Christmas gift sparks unique hobby for father, son

GREENFIELD — It was an unexpected gift.

Harrison Milne, 11, wondered why his grandmother gave him a bow and arrow for Christmas. He certainly didn’t ask for it.

Having never shot one before, he was confused. What would he do with it, he wondered.

His father, Chris, was surprised by the gift choice, too. But he was more surprised by how well Harrison shot the bow on his first try.

He achieved a Robin Hood.

That’s what it’s called when an archer shoots an arrow into another on the bull’s-eye. It’s a good shot and not one many archers achieve their first time, Chris Milne said.

“That really inspired me,” Harrison said. “I thought I was good at it, so I kept going to see if I could accomplish more.”

In just over a year, he’s won a number of competitions and set a few state records for archers his age.

Recently, he competed in Las Vegas against 28 8- to 11-year-old archers and finished third, earning a $300 scholarship.

It’s the busy season for indoor archery. Harrison will compete almost every weekend through March. That means he’s practicing about five days a week, and Dad is always in tow.

Milne takes his son to competitions and all of his practices, which he enjoys because he gets to spend time with his boy.

And he’s given the sport a try as well.

“It’s a great father-son thing to do,” he said. “I get to spend a lot more time with him now.”

Harrison is a natural, Milne said, but it doesn’t come so easy to his dad.

“He keeps trying to beat me, but he can’t,” Harrison said. “This is why he keeps shooting.”

Milne hasn’t tossed his hat in the contest ring just yet. He’s chosen another role.

“I’m a cheerleader at competitions,” he said.

Milne is proud of his son. Not many children his age do archery, but Harrison is good at it.

Greenfield Police Chief John Jester is also a local archery instructor. He shoots with Milne and Harrison.

Jester agrees Harrison is a natural. Not many archers, especially children, can shoot as well as he does, Jester said.

“If you watch him shoot, he just has a form like you wouldn’t believe,” Jester said.

Harrison participates in Jester’s men’s league on Thursday nights. Having a kid in the mix makes archery all the more fun, Jester said, and Harrison is usually the one doing the teaching.

Harrison is not only enjoying a fun hobby; he’s setting a good example for other Hancock County children, Jester said.

“He’s in here doing something constructive,” Jester said. “He’s a good example of what kids can do to stay out of trouble.”

Milne and his son aren’t sure where archery will take them. High school and college are a long way off for the Maxwell Intermediate School student, but if Harrison keeps progressing, his father said he hopes he will stick with the sport.

“He’s just kind of got a knack for it,” he said.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or