A conversation with shop owner Nico Gallegos

Why don’t you have a phone number?

I am a one man, owner-operator business. I don’t have employees. My customer service approach is to personally engage with each person who comes in the door to the best of my ability, given the number of people needing service at any given time. In addition to retail sales, my business includes an indoor archery range that I oversee, where people of varying abilities are shooting a weapon – an activity that has safety implications that I take very seriously.

Decades of retail sales experience has taught me that interacting with customers by phone can take precious time away from the people who are standing in front of me. This is fine when there are multiple people attending to customers needs, not so when there is only one. I am here 100% of the time; this is my place, my livelihood, my passion – I look forward to meeting you and serving your traditional archery needs.

I am obsessive about reading and responding to email – you will get a reply from me faster than you are used to. Email is the perfect medium for giving you detailed information in response to your questions. If sending an email is inconvenient, use the form on my Contact page. I promise, I’ll reply very fast, multiple times if necessary!

I AM blessed with a community of USA Archery Certified Instructor archers who volunteer their time on weekends, my busiest days, to help with beginner lessons, our JOAD Club, and Range Captain duties. These awesome folks allow me to interact with YOU on the days you are most likely to stop by – they keep things safe and smooth on the shooting line!

Can I drop in and just try archery or get a lesson?

Unfortunately no. Archery is not like bowling, miniature golf, etc. It is shooting a dangerous weapon. My Saturday morning “Explore Archery” beginner lessons are very thorough and fun – read my 5 Star Yelp Reviews and Groupon reviews; my lessons are so popular that they fill up 2-4 weeks in advance. It takes 20-30 minutes of focused, highly supervised instruction to properly teach someone how to shoot safely and with good form (to prevent injury) – I simply cannot do that during normal business hours (Saturday morning lessons take place before the shop opens to the public). If Saturday mornings don’t fit your schedule, there are coaches who offer “semi-private” lessons during normal business hours – click HERE to contact one of them.

Why are you an Adults Only facility?

Archery is often promoted as a great “family activity,” and it is, however proper instruction is required, and children require supervision in public places. Children require a very high student-teacher/supervisor ratio for an activity that involves shooting a dangerous weapon, it’s not like bowling or miniature golf.  No matter how responsible or strong or mature a parent believes their child to be, kids are kids, and that’s OK. However, since I am a one man, owner-operator business I cannot personally pay attention to children as their supervisor. Minors can participate in our JOAD Club. Minors and their family members can shoot together under the supervision of one of the coaches who offer their services at Ohlone Archery. If you shoot at Ohlone Archery, you might see a minor shooting – there is a small number of young folks who I am comfortable personally supervising due to years of experience with them prior to opening a range – I am absolutely unable to take on any more.

What does “Experienced Only” Mean?

It means that you have taken MY beginner lesson or one that I know about within the last 2-3 weeks if you are new to archery. If you have been shooting for a while, it means that you will have respect for and the presence of mind while shooting to follow my Range Safety Rules and Range Etiquette (see Indoor Range page). It means that you can keep your arrows on the 4′ x 4′ target butt at 10 yards (or 20 if that’s how far you shoot) and not repeatedly put arrows in the backstop, or ever in the walls or ceiling.

Are Compound Bows Allowed at Ohlone Archery?

Ohlone Archery is a predominantly single string (Recurve, Longbow, Barebow) archery community; the compound archers who shoot here are experienced, seasoned competitors. I don’t sell or service compound bows, so I can’t put your bow on a press and twist your peep. The range operates on a 2 minute per end time limit (see the Range Rules and Range Etiquette lists on the Indoor Range page). If I don’t know you I’ll watch you shoot your first couple of ends – you can’t shoot here if you have to high draw; if you repeatedly miss the target butt; if your finger is on the trigger when you draw. So the answer is yes and no. Yes if you are already a skilled compound archer and are OK with the Range Rules and Etiquette. No if you just bought your (50 or 60 LB) bow from a friend, Craig’s list, eBay, etc. and have never taken a lesson or shot a bow before. I simply don’t want you to hurt yourself or others or damage my place. Compound bows should be set up and tuned by a professional compound bow pro shop (not me!) and the archer should be taught how to use and adjust them by someone who knows what they are doing. Here in the SF Bay Area, I highly recommend Archery Only, Fat Shafts Archery, and Pacifica Archery for all of your compound bow needs.

Why so much emphasis on missing the target butt, what’s the big deal?

When you miss at an outdoor range, your arrow just goes in the grass or the bushes. Consequences are greater at indoor ranges when you miss; walls and other fixtures get damaged, arrows get bent, etc. Sure, we all miss sometimes, but repeated misses indicate a lack of shooting control. Indoor ranges are set up for occasional misses, not repeated ones. At Ohlone Archery you can move the portable target butts further away in small increments – this allows you to learn how to adjust your aim, etc. without damaging my place or my equipment. All butts have two targets on them, so if the lanes are full you may not be able to make incremental distance adjustments until you can have a two-lane butt all to yourself.