She’s never shot an apple off of someone’s head, but archer Misty Jeanotte once shot a ping pong ball at 20 to 25 yards, suspended only by air from a blow-dryer, pinning it to a wall with an arrow at the local archery club.
“A bunch of guys were trying to do it. They were all sitting around eating,” said Jeanotte, a clerk at Luther Collision and Glass in Fargo. “I pulled up and I shot it. It was luck.”
Since then, her skills have sharpened even more, enough to carry her to a state level win in the Bowhunter Freestyle Division of the North Dakota Bowhunters Association State Outdoor 3D event in Medora.
Jeanotte uses a “hunter style” compound bow with pins, rather than a scope, to gauge distance. Binoculars assist in the process. Animal-sized, three-dimensional targets are placed 20 to 65 yards out with rings to indicate the vital areas that bring the most points. Medora’s many up and downhill ranges make the estimating process even more difficult, she explains. “It was one of the most challenging shoots around– it’s amazing” she said.
Prep for the contest came through months of practicing archer form. She also had experience, earning second place at the event in 2011. Jeanotte started shooting just four years ago to be more involved with her husband, Mike, and their three boys.
Mike started shooting with a bow after his father passed away as an emotional release, she explained. By getting involved, she has met many lifelong friends and the family participates in league shoots. Mike makes the arrows for the family.
Some people assume that archery is all about hunting, but Jeanotte’s whisper quiet weapon has only found targets and hay bales. The process shares similarities with golf’s emphasis on form. “It’s all mind games … all the things that go through your mind the second when you pull back and are aiming.”