J. R. Wright - Outdoorsman, Avid Bowhunter and Friend
By: Randy R. Mabe
On January 19th, 2007 the hunting community lost a wonderful friend and avid bowhunter. J. R. Wright, owner and operator of J. R.'s Archery in Eden unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack. For more than 20 years J. R. worked to assist and educate outdoorsmen, women and youth about the joy he found in archery and bowhunting. Using his knowledge, services and business, he provided a location for events such as Hunter Education classes, indoor and outdoor 3-D shoots, NWTF Banquets and a hunting missionary work entitled On Target for Christ.
Friends in the hunting community from Canada and throughout all of the United States remember J.R. as an avid bowhunter and ambassador for all of the hunting sports.
When you entered J. R.'s Archery shop you were greeted by a man of medium build who wore a constant smile and moved around the shop while wearing a phone headset. Long time friends entering the shop would often jokingly say they wanted to order a burger and fries. J.R. took it in stride and would smile and ask, "Do you want pickles on that?"
Customers recognized incoming calls, as the phones' ringer was replaced with the sounds of a turkey giving a resounding "gobble-gobble."
By wearing the headset, J.R. could continue to replace worn bowstrings, tune a bow or fletch arrows while answering callers' questions. He gave advice to archers on how to shoot tighter groups, the best products on the market and thoughts on hunter safety. During hunting season J.R. was constantly helping hunters with tips on subjects such as shot placement and how to find deer.
But the thing that set J. R. Wright apart from the ordinary was his love and passion to assist first time archers/bowhunters, children and handicapped sportsmen. It was not uncommon to find this avid bowhunter and archery expert taking time to teach youth about the outdoors or assisting a handicapped individual with shooting archery.
A picture album could be found on the counter showing photos of hunting trips where J.R. had taken good friend Barry Hussy on hunts for whitetail deer. J.R. would set up a blind that allowed the handicapped hunter to shoot a crossbow while J.R. assisted him.
J.R. Wright's passion for bowhunting was most often displayed in his quest for hunting whitetail deer. He hunted in Virginia, North Carolina and western states. But each spring he and fellow bowhunting friends traveled to Canada to hunt black bear with archery tackle. J.R. also loved to hunt springtime eastern wild gobblers, often calling in turkeys for others to shoot. It was just another way to share his love of the outdoors with beginning hunters and friends.
The well-known archery shop will continue to operate under the supervision of J.R.'s son, Jason Wright.
The walls of J.R.'s Archery will remain lined with mounted deer, turkey fans and black bear, all intertwined with photos of friends and families of the outdoors. Sportsmen will continue to browse the aisles looking at bows, arrows and hunting accessories while the atmosphere over flows with hunting stories and laughter.
You may even find a bumper sticker on the counter that J.R. Wright was fond of that reads, "Most of my life I spent bowhunting, the rest was just wasted." It was a humorous expression of his love for archery and hunting. But in reality, when he wasn't bowhunting, this avid outdoorsman could be found helping first-time archers, youth, women and handicapped sportsmen to grow closer to the great outdoors - a place he dearly loved, wanting always to share it with others.
| 7.29.2009 |