Archery at Sonnhof in Hinterglemm | © c Edith Danzer
  • Outdoors

With Bow and Arrow

New Archery Course at the Sonnhof

Over the last few years, archery has evolved into a trendy sport. Subtle movements, the fun factor and taking aim with a bow and arrow alleviates the stress of everyday life, whilst at the same time improving concentration levels. This summer, a new archery course opened at the Alpenoase Sonnhof on the Hochalm in Hinterglemm.

For Saalbach Stories, Claudia and I set off to the archery course to take up the offer of letting a few arrows fly and test out the course. Rather than the great weather that was forecast, it was rather cloudy and a couple of fat rain drops fell from the sky. However, archery is the ideal sport to partake in “Modelweda” (a word locals would use to describe a cloudy day with showers). So blue skies and glorious sunshine can be reserved for a day to hike to a mountain summit, and when the sun is hiding, it is time to reach for the bow.

An Archery Course directly in front of the door

Günther Dragosics is the landlord of the Sonnhof, whom along with his wife Caroline, has conjured up an archery paradise in the surroundings of their Alpine Inn. Last year the training course for the European Championships was situated directly in front of the Sonnhof, and for two years the Austrian Championships were held here. Since then, the two of them have been gripped by archery fever. “My wife and I, as well as our two daughters, are great fans of archery. Together with the Archery Course Glemmerhof in Viehhofen, we have constructed a course with 28 3D animal replicas, directly in front of the hut. The course consists of two rounds – one in the forest, and one in open terrain with the possibility of shooting over ditches and Alpine meadows. In order to complete a full round, one should allow between three to four hours, depending on the size and ability of the group. Beginners are able to hire equipment from us and a briefing will be held at the shooting range before venturing onto the round”, Günther explains. We do not require a briefing as the boss himself will accompany us on the round.

For Beginners and Professionals

At every station, there is a board with an illustration of the animal to be targeted. The lifelike 3D targets are made from a rubber composition and are positioned in open terrain. We come across a group of wild boar, including the boar, sow and piglets. Up the hill there are deer in the sparse forest, as well as a big bear by the stream.Three different coloured pegs mark the shooting position. Experienced archers should take the peg which is furthest away. Place one foot on the peg!

Occasionally, this can be tricky due to tree stumps, hanging branches and embankments edges, forcing you to contort yourself in order to find the ideal shooting position. Although Claudia and I are experienced archers, we exclaim “Uh! This shot is quite demanding”.

Blueberry Pancakes at half time

The easy-going walk between the 28 animal groups, in a stunning landscape, with views to the Schattberg West and Zwölfer is extremely relaxing and the art of concentration is only required when taking aim and preparing to shoot. It is not long before the thoughts of everyday life quieten. After the round, we take a seat on the cosy Sonnhof sun terrace, by which time the weather has settled. Laughter breaks out as we discuss our hits and misses, an analysation which is all part of the sport – we decide we will return again soon. For one thing, there are a few scores to be settled, and the other, the blueberry pancakes are truly addictive.

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