When McKayla Greene is stressed, she takes it out on the archery range.
She started out in archery hunting with her family, but later in life the sport has changed into a competitive endeavor for her. She said she loves the feeling of shooting and she loves the challenges of the sport.
“It’s very calming to shoot a bow,” she said. “And I like that there’s always a way to better yourself through different techniques and upgrades.”
Greene and her boyfriend, Zac Zuber, are hoping to introduce more people to the sport of archery through TNS Archery Outdoors, an archery shop they opened three months ago in Winlock. Greene is originally from North Carolina, and the two met about when she moved to Lewis County three and a half years ago. They have been together ever since. Zuber, who was raised locally and graduated from W.F. West High School, said he has always been into hunting and first went bow hunting in about 2010 and was hooked.
TNS Archery Outdoors was born out of the couple’s mutual love of the sport of archery for both hunting and competition. The two are both competitive archers. Zuber said he estimates to be ranked around the top 10 in the state and is looking forward to testing himself at the national competition in February 2020. They explained that archery is a popular sport, with six active clubs located between Castle Rock and Tacoma. Zuber said he works for a fuel company and started TNS (short for Talk’N Smack, the name of Zuber’s hand-turned game call company) hoping it would take off and eventually provide him with a full-time income.
“It was definitely kind of a fly by the seat of your pants thing, and it has worked better than I thought,” he said.
Zuber said his first goal when opening the shop was to create something that fit with the lifestyle and economy of Lewis County. TNS Archery Outdoors sells both compound and traditional bows made by Martin Archery as well as all the accessories archers need. Zuber explained that it can cost between $1,500 and $1,800 for a full set of gear for archery, but TNS offers the same setup for around $500-$550. The Winlock shop also offers financing options, which most shops do not.
“We’re just offering a cost-effective way into the archery community,” Zuber said.
TNS also sells vinyl decals as well as hats and shirts made by Zuber’s mother and wooden furniture and racks made by Zuber’s father. Greene and Zuber also make many archery accessories they sell in the shop. These small details add up to savings for customers since they do not have to mark items up as much as they would if they purchased them through a manufacturer, Zuber explained.
Greene and Zuber customize every bow and arrow sold at the shop to the specifications of each customer. They explained that while someone can use a generic bow and perhaps even get good results, the best experience will be with a custom fit bow and arrows.
“It’s crazy what a difference a millimeter can make to a bow,” Zuber explained. “We can take a half ounce from the inside of the cam and move it to the outside and it’ll move that bow 2 inches. We’re trying to take the human error out as much as possible.”
TNS is located on Kerron Street in Winlock in the historic brooding house for the Winlock chicken hatchery. Zuber said the location was perfect for the business because it had an upstairs area large enough to site the safety equipment for an indoor archery range. In addition to the full-service sales and consignment of archery equipment, TNS also offers lessons, leagues and open range times as well as rental traditional bows for use on the range. The range offers a 20-yard shooting area for adults and also a special 8-yard range for kids. Zuber’s kids, Mackenzi, 8, and Cylas, 3, are regulars at the range. Zuber said he comes from a sports-oriented family and background and he loves that he and Greene have a hobby they can share with his children.
“It’s a family activity,” he said.
Creating a space for families like theirs to have some good clean fun was another goal for the couple when opening TNS Archery Outdoors. He said they have noticed many young people walking by the shop in the evenings and hope the range may become a place that draws them in for some positive fun. He said he also hopes the range will draw more families looking to do an activity together. He is in the process of founding a local chapter of National Archery School Program, which can allow local youngsters to earn a physical education credit for doing archery and also gets them access to competitions. He noted that competitive archery can lead to college scholarships as well as professional positions after college.
“It’s not to get them into hunting at all. There’s a lot of life lessons to be learned through it,” Zuber said of the benefit of kids being part of competitive archery. “You’re competing but it’s also a team sport. And you don’t have to be the strongest or the fastest. I know people who use a wheelchair and are paralyzed who shoot so there’s no limitations.”
TNS Archery Outdoors
705 NW Kerron St., Winlock
On June 15, Saturday of Winlock Egg Days, TNS will be open 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. offering a balloon pop shoot for kids, adult traditional competition and an unknown distance bring your own bow outside competition. They will also be serving hot dogs and soda.
A four-week league will begin on July 8.
For more information about either of these activities, contact the shop.