Name: Jacob Gardner
Shop Name: Harvest Archery Pro Shop
Hometown: Evensville, TN
Coach: Doodle Gardner
- TN ASA State Championships - 1st and SOY (2016,2017)
- ASA Foley, AL - 3rd (2018)
- ASA Ft. Benning, GA - 2nd (2018)
- ASA Augusta, GA - 1st (2018)
- ASA London, KY - 1st (2018)
- ASA Metropolis, IL - 2nd (2018)
- Currently in 2nd place for SOY going into the Classic.
Who introduced you to archery and at what age? Did your interest start in the hunting realm or the target side?
My uncle (Doodle Gardner) introduced me to archery right before I turned 12 and my interest was somewhat torn on the hunting/ target side. I did both but took mainly to hunting as I didn’t realize what all the tournament world had to offer at that time.
How many arrows do you send a week, and how do you overcome the bad days?
I probably shoot 500 arrows a week. My practice doesn’t necessarily have a pattern as I just practice whenever I find time. If I have a bad day I normally get very frustrated at first and then I calm down and just get over it because there is nothing I can do about it. I just try to focus on what I’m supposed to do so I don’t create any bad habits.
What adjustments to your equipment have you made in the last couple of years to create a more consistent shot?
Over the past few years I have made multiple adjustments to really help me find my shot. I have spent a lot of time shooting my hinge and have become very fluent with it and it is now my go to release for tournaments and hunting. I have also made slight variations in my stance over the years to really find the optimal shooting position for me.
When did it become apparent to you that Elite was your bow brand of choice?
I got a Spirit not long after I started shooting and my scores went way up and the bow was just so easy to shoot. Then when I got big enough to get an E32 I got one. I hunted and shot tournaments with the E32 and to this day it’s one of my favorites. The E32 really sealed the deal for me on shooting an Elite. I now have an Option 7 to hunt with and an Echelon 37 for tournaments and I can honestly say that everything I loved about my E32 carried over to these bows.
What about your equipment makes it so you are consistent and confident in your game?
My equipment plays a major role in my shooting. I have shot an Elite paired with a CBE sight, Scott Longhorn Pro Advantage release, Winners Choice strings, and Bowfinger Bars for almost my entire archery tournament experience and I can say that all of this products are top notch and have never let me down. I go into every tournament with 100% confidence that my equipment is going to perform flawlessly every time. Having that confidence in something really boosts my mentality going into a tournament as well as my scores.
What is your greatest strength as an archer? Weakness?
I would have to say my greatest strength as an archer is my ability to manage a course. I feel like I really know what to do in most of the situations I’m put in. I have a very strong yardage judging game and I have a process I go through every time I judge a target. I get my number and then consider what could happen with different things that I do such as holding in different spots or my number being off by a yard or two. It has really helped me to not give away many points on a course and gain as many as I can when I need them the most.
What achievements have you made, what goals have you set, and what advice would you give to younger archers looking to achieve the same?
The achievements I’ve made mostly consists of podium finishes this year as I have never really shot indoor very much. I plan on shooting some (indoor) this winter to advance my game, as I have never really put all I had into my archery until this year when I realized I have to dedicate myself to it in order to succeed.
I would love to see my archery career take me to World Championships, Shooter of the Year wins, and really just being considered one of the best to ever do it. Looking back on it I would’ve gotten into archery at a lot younger age if I knew about it and I would’ve gotten serious about it much sooner. I would tell young archers to really set goals and chase them with all you have, but still have fun while doing it and don’t be afraid to try new things.
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