A central Kansas archer continues towards his goal of making archery a full-time occupation. In the past few years Heath Getty has enjoyed an online video with millions of viewers, numerous public demonstrations and a pretty good run on a popular German television show.
In 2009, photographer Travis Heying and I followed some backroads out of the tiny town of St. John to meet a young local man a caller said was a whiz with a bow when it came to shooting targets out of the air.
Travis’s video clearly showed the farm kid with a shy, “aw-shucks” smile could consistently hit zipping clay targets with well-aimed arrows.
For those who don’t know, those targets are about 1/2″X 5″, traveling at about 60 m.p.h., and are about 30 yards out by the time the arrow finds them. They’d have been a challenge with a shotgun, let alone a rifle or a bow.
At the time, Heath said he hoped his skills could lead to a career as an exhibition shooter. Well, he’s certainly getting there.
The video Travis posted on Kansas.com eventually led to more than 2.5 million hits. Heath has since done public shooting demonstrations in a number of bordering states. And, he’s become quite the hero in Germany, too.
It’s been about a year since the German television show, “Galileo,” sent a crew to St. John to spend two long days filming Heath making a variety of trick shots, including several kinds of aerial shots and shooting an arrow into the back of another arrow, Robin Hood style.
The show was obviously popular.
“Things literally blew up. On Facebook I got like 800 friend requests from Germany,” Getty recently said. “I’m still getting a lot of e-mails weekly. I guess they’re still showing it because every so often everything takes off like wildfire again.”
Heath has several aerial target exhibitions scheduled, and is helping Atlas Trap promote their machine that lofts foam disks up to 150 feet into the air.
He’s also purchased a quality video camera and is hoping to get some of his archery hunts taped.
“Doves, geese, ducks, pigeons, turkeys, deer, pretty much everything that can be hunted, I’m doing it with a bow,” he said.