Managing Stress During the Busy Archery Season

What steps do you take to manage stress and stay organized during the busy archery season?

Managing Stress During the Busy Archery Season

Photo by John Hafner

We asked three veteran retailers, “What steps do you take to manage stress and stay organized during the busy archery season?” Here’s what they had to say.


Rhonda Crabtree

Corner Archery

Glendale, Arizona

Delegate. I allow my staff to tackle numerous tasks so I can gain a little extra time to help with my stress levels during the busy seasons, which are in August and again in early December. I have eight staff members, each assigned to certain days. In between everyday tasks, they check the floor and see what merchandise needs to be replenished and/or re-ordered.

ATA’s ePRO Software also helps tremendously. It has eliminated the floating notes I used to have on my desk. Further, I arrive at the shop two to three hours before it opens, which allows me to pay bills, submit orders and organize for the coming day.

When we encounter a short-fused customer, we reassure him or her that we treat all customers equally. We also assure the customer that we’re doing our best and politely ask them to be patient. Every customer deserves the same attention and quality of work. And in order to keep it that way, we must take whatever amount of time is required to deliver high-quality work and satisfy our customers.

The customers who bring in equipment for repairs or service right before hunting season are the ones who sometimes get upset when they’re not first in line. They knew hunting season was coming, but they waited until the last minute anyway. We carefully instruct them that we’ll address their needs as quickly as we can, but that the wait time will be longer than if they’d brought it in a few weeks earlier.

After a long, stressful day, a little bit of whiskey helps! Honestly, though, when I walk into my house, I try to forget everything that happened at the shop. I’ll go on my computer and play a game to help redirect my brain. I also enjoy reading to decompress.


Rick Hellums

Archery Unlimited, Inc.

Prattville, Alabama

Our busy season lasts quite long. It begins the week following July 4 and lasts through the end of the year. It peaks in October because that’s when our hunting season opens. We also have another rush of high-end bow sales from mid-February through late April.

We keep our store extremely organized. We have three bow presses behind our counter, each mounted to toolboxes that are set up identically. Tools inside the toolboxes have appointed places so that when one of us opens a drawer on any of the three toolboxes, we know exactly which tools are in that drawer. Everything is organized. It makes the day far smoother.

We have three full-time employees and one part-time employee. Prior to the busy season, I always ask them if they want overtime, or if they’d rather have me hire another part-time employee. Annually, they gladly accept the overtime hours. Instead of 40 hours a week, they work probably 60 hours from August 1 through February. 

Unlike many shops, we handle general bow work the same day prior to closing the store, even during our busy season. We tell the customer they may have to wait around for a bit and be patient, but that it will happen today unless it requires us to order something. This keeps our plate clean, so we don’t get backed up on repairs and service.

I like to go home after a long day, have some alone time and maybe a cold beer. However, I want to stress that over 19 years in business, I’ve never dreaded coming to work or left work thinking I need to do something else. Occasionally, a customer will push my buttons, but they are few and far between. I genuinely love what I do.



Ross Anderson

Buckhorn Archery

Atoka, Oklahoma

Our busy season usually begins in July as people prepare to go on early season western hunts. In August, business ramps up more as folks begin feeding deer (it’s legal on private land in Oklahoma) and planting food plots. That’s when having a to-do list is important so I can stay on task. I also hire seasonal help for the busy season, which evens out the workload.

I know the busy season is coming every year. Since I expect it, I allow more time for things. I try to be upfront with customers. If they need service work performed, it’s going to take some time. If I rush, the quality of work will reduce. They’d love the fast turnaround, but they’d be unhappy with the cut corners. I carefully tell them it’s going to take some time, but I’ll get it right the first time. Then, both the customer and I are happy in the long run.

During the last few years, orders seem to be taking longer to ship to our shop, so I make my customers aware of that, so they don’t get upset. They’re learning they need to come in earlier in the year for special orders if they want to have them fulfilled within a timely manner.

When I conclude a stressful day at work during the busy season, I try to do something other than archery. I try to leave my worries at the shop and put my mind to something else like fishing or things around the house. That allows me to mentally decompress, so I arrive at work in a fresh state of mind the following day.


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