Archer Profile Jeanette Dowd
If you've ever walked into Abbey Archery in Brisbane, chances are you've seen Jeanette. Jeanette is a keen ABA archer who manages the store since opening its doors eight years ago, in 2005. As a member of the Renegade Archery Club for over 28 years, Jeanette's personal experience transcends to personal expertise in the shop. Her love and passion for the sport are obvious. Observing Jeanette with new customers, wanting to "get into archery", it is clear she spends genuine time with them. She listens intently and asks questions relating to the person, rather than grabbing a bow off the shelf and doing the 'hard sell'. She gives advice, hands out brochures, offers archery information and club locations all before going to the bow racks. The Assistant Store Manager, Michael Welk echoes these observations. "Jeanette has a wealth of archery knowledge. She is wonderful with the customers, always friendly and talks to them to see exactly what their expectations are." Her service is matched by her passion and honesty for the sport. She is a modern day tailor, asking many questions, to get the 'exact fit' for the eager new archer. And judging by the looks and smiles of the cutomers as they leave the store, Jeanette has put them on their right path. You know they'll be back for more.
When did you first pick up a bow?
I started archery in 1985. Before that, my husband Kev and I enjoyed rifle shooting at Belmont. One day we met a person who did ABA archery at the Renegades Club in Ipswich. He invited us out to the club and we loved it so much that within one month we both bought bows and joined the club.
What discipline do you shoot?
I regularly compete in Australian Bowhunters Association (ABA), 3D Archery Association of Australia (3D) and International Field Archery Association (IFAA) Tournaments. I also try to get out bowhunting as much as possible. For the last 28 years my family's life has revolved around archery. My two girls, now in their 20's, joke about that while growing up, they can only remember two holidays that didn't involve archery. In the 28 years there would not be many club ABA, 3D, IFAA or ABA Branch D Interclub shoots each month that we have missed. When you also add in Nationals and hunting trips, there is not much time left. A few years ago, I did try my hand at FITA at club level, for a year at the local club, Centenary Archers. Although I did enjoy it, I didn't have enough time to do it.
How often do you shoot?
Archery is my whole life! I attend Renegade Bowmen Club, ABA shoots, IFAA Shoots and every Branch D interclub shoot each month. That takes up three of my weekends every month. With the one weekend left, you will find my husband and I out at the club doing a little practice or off hunting somewhere. We are also on acreage so we have a target butt set up to shoot at home when we feel like it. If there is a big tournament or hunting trip coming up I will shoot a few arrows before coming to work each day.
Who has had the most influence with your archery?
Brian Westerhout (known affectionately as Hooter to his mates). He was Abbey Archery's National Sales Manager and he put his trust in me to run the Brisbane store. He has taught me so much about the running of a retail archery store and archery in general. He is a great Bare Bow shooter and recently turned his hand at sights which he picked up so easily. He has the ability to make a success out of everything he touches. He moved on from Abbey Archery and now runs his own successful business in Stanthorpe. He is one of those few people that can turn a simple idea into great success. A great family man, true friend and just an all-round good guy.
Why do you enjoy archery?
Archery is something that is very individual. Trying to better your score each round has kept me coming back. I'm lucky to have a husband with the same passion for everything archery. Even the archery community is a great bunch of people and we have made great friends over the years, it is like one big family.
Most memorable archery moment?
The 2010 World Field Archery Championships (WFAC) in Germany. Competing overseas in Germany was just great. At this shoot we got to shoot from a Castle which was very memorable. The highlight was meeting some German people from the town of Dahn who invited us back to their home for a traditional feast. We met some fantastic people whom one day I hope we get to see again.
Best archery advice you've been given?
I was fortunate enough to get some great advice on shooting form from Justin Olexienko when I first went to sights in 2007. Justin taught me the importance of correct draw length and follow through of your back arm. He also taught me that you have to start off with the right mind frame when shooting. Being confident from your first shot and keeping that with you on the whole round.
How long have you been at Abbey Archery?
Eight years - since the opening of the Brisbane store in July 2005. I was very lucky that the Dalton Family (owners) gave me the opportunity to have a job relating to a sport that I'm very passionate about.
What (archer) demographic do you see most in the shop?
We do have customers from each area in our sport - ABA, 3D, FITA, IFAA and Hunting. There is also a lot more archers than people think that own a bow and acreage that set a target up to relax and unwind after a full week of work.
Top selling item in the shop at the moment?
Fads change each week and month. The Trophy Ridge React Sight is at the moment the latest, fastest selling sight in the store. It really takes the hassle out of sighting your pins. Once you have sighted in your 20 and 30 metre pins, the rest of your pins will be automatically set.
What has been the 'biggest' development in archery in recent years?
My opinion would be the speed of bows. Each archery manufacturer has developed a speed bow. ABA and 3D shooters like the extra speed which helps them with their distance judging. With a faster bow, you do not have to be as critical with your distance judging. Hoyt have the Spyder Turbo, 34" axle to axle, 340 fps with a 6" brace height. Mathews have the McPherson Series MR5, 33" axle to axle, 360+ fps with a 5" brace height. Bear have the Motive 6, 32" axle to axle, 350 fps with a 6" brace height.
What advice do you give archers buying a bow?
The best advice I give to customers when they want to buy their first bow is to go to a club first. Go to a few different clubs, to see what type of archery you would like to do and talk to the club members. Each code of archery has different rules so you need to buy the bow to suit the archery type (ABA, 3D or FITA) you want to do. Get sized up, draw length and poundage that best suits you and then choose a bow to suit your budget. On shooting a bow the best advice is to go to a club and get help from a coach. Practice good form is the only way to get good at the sport.
Does Abbey sponsor any archers or competitions?
Abbey Archery has a shooting team, with members all around Australia in all the different archery codes. The team was started back in 2001-2002. When each member is asked to join, they are allocated a team number and that number stays with you. It is like the Australian cricket team where Ricky Ponting is number 366 and Michael Clarke is number 389. My eldest daughter Katie was asked to be on the team when she was 12 years old back in 2002. Her number is #3. The next year my husband, Kev #5 joined the team. In 2004 I was allocated #9 and our youngest daughter Shayna #10 joined the team. Since then we have over 25 members on the team.
Abbey not only sponsors its shooting team to promote its website and stores, they also support and promote archery in general. Over the years they have sponsored many shoots and events, the most recent being the Archery Alliance Shoot held at Mount Petrie in February 2013.
What would you like to see for the sport?
I would like to see more people, especially families, get involved in the wonderful sport of archery. As I have seen first hand with my family, archery has kept us close together. As the saying goes, "the family that plays together, stays together."
Jeanette’s archery titles and achievements:
- 2013 Australian ABA, 3D and IFAA Champion in Ladies Bowhunter Unlimited
- 2013 3rd Archery Alliance Shoot
- 2012 Norfolk Island 3D Champion Ladies Compound Unlimited
- 2012 Renegade Bowmen Adult Sighted Champion
- 2011 2nd World Bowhunting Championships
- The last three years World Indoor Mail Match placed in top three each year
- 2005 Norfolk Island 3D Champion Female Unaided
- Over the past 28 years numerous Club, Branch, State and National titles and placings
- ABA Branch D Ladies Champion & Best of Species Award numerous times
- 2003, 2004, 2006 Best of Species Ladies (Australia)
- Current Club - Renegade Archery Club joined 1985 and awarded Life Membership in 2003
- Best Score? - In 2011, I shot a perfect 400 (ABA) at a Club Shoot. This was just before the World Bow Hunting Championships in Wagga Wagga, so I thought I was right on track for the Championships