Right on target

Olympian Jacob Wukie opens archery store
Melissa Topey
Nov 1, 2013
There is no better person to learn archery from than a local Olympian with a silver medal.

Jacob Wukie and his teammates Brady Ellison and Jake Kaminski won the silver in July 2012 at the Summer Olympics in London. Now Wukie aims at another target: Successfully running his new business. Jake’s Archery opened this month. “I am primarily doing repairs and equipment tuning,” Wukie said.
 
There is some equipment for sale in the shop, and he can also order in anything a customer needs.

Jake’s Archery
• 5199 Oak Harbor Road Oak Harbor
• PHONE: 419-307-4657
• HOURS: 5 – 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday or by appointment
• MORE: Coaching by appointment, $35 an hour
 
Personal coaching for people interested in learning archery is also part of the work Wukie does. The Olympian test fires the bow into a paper in a process he calls “paper tuning.” “You can see what the flight is — is it straight?,” Wukie said. He has tuned the bows of the Thorpe family of Oak Harbor.

“He is a genius of the mechanics of the bow. He got them shooting better than they ever shot,” said Tom Thorpe, a local hunter.

Thorpe’s 14-year-old son Dylan hunts as well.

“He’s been shooting with a compound bow since he was 10 and has harvested about 11 deer. My boy is good,” Thorpe said.

Wukie watched both father and son shoot and offered them a few pointers.

“Anyone can get better,” Thorpe said. “You would be crazy if you hunt and do not go over there, at least to tune your bows.”

Most of Wukie’s customers are hunters but that client base is expanding. He also coaches a few clients.

The sport surged after the main character, Katniss, in the movie “The Hunger Games” was portrayed as an archery expert. Its popularity was also helped by the publicity generated by the U.S. team’s Olympic win.

“We have waited for the interest to die down, but it has been sustained,” Wukie said.

All body types and fitness levels can participate in the sport, he said. “Anyone can shoot and have a good time,” Wukie said. Wukie started with the bow and arrow as a child learning from family members who hunt. “I wanted to be good enough to hunt. I got there” he said, laughing.

But his Olympic-level skill came with the help of good coaches, and he hopes to return the favor in the future.

Wukie’s prominence in the sport should not only be beneficial to his business but to the community as well, said Jamie Beier Grant, director of the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation.

“The footprint he has nationally and internationally continues to put our community on the map,” Grant said. “He could draw people from anywhere.”