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Danielle Herman has that golden touch in archery

Danielle Herman sat freezing in a tree for two hours waiting for some prey to happen by. She was prepared to take aim with her compound bow and strike at the heart of some unfortunate boar or deer.

Good thing for the beasts that Herman ran out of patience, because it's unlikely the 13-year-old archer would have missed.

While her father Mike has hunted many times with a bow, it was Danielle's one and only attempt. Again, good thing. Good thing that it was Danielle who quit.

"My dad hasn't hit anything yet," Herman said. "I'm pretty sure I could, but I'm just not patient enough. There's no way I'm going to sit in some tree for two hours again."

Mike Herman is the first one to admit his daughter is the better shooter. He does it for fun. She takes it seriously.

She proved that earlier this month in the national Junior Olympics in Austin, Texas. Herman won two gold medals in the junior girls compound freestyle division to add to a gold she won in last year's Junior Olympics.

Herman also has won several state age-group titles and participated last summer in the Junior Olympic Development Program in San Diego, where she won two more medals. She'll attend the program again this summer.

"I have no idea what makes me so good," said Herman, who took up archery at age 9 after watching her father shoot. "Actually, I'm a real klutz. I trip over my own feet. If there's a rock to trip on in the forest, I'll find it."

But when it comes to shooting a bow, Herman is a study in concentration. Her coaches, Diane Watson, Floyd Beckwith and Jack Clarke, have helped her develop her ability and technique so that her aim is almost always true.

In the ranking round of the Junior Olympics, she scored 1,288 points out of 1,440. And in the finals, she beat her one-person competition by 12 points.

After winning gold in her own competition, Herman would like someday to compete in the Olympics. She said she is eager to follow the archery competition at the Olympics even though the rules call for traditional bows.

Herman uses a compound bow, which differs from the traditional bow in that cables and wheels reduce the amount of weight resistance on the archer. But Herman feels compound bows are just as challenging.

"It takes just as much skill," said Herman, who will be an eighth-grader at Bayonet Point Middle School. "You still have to aim and shoot and hit the target."

While traditionalists wince, advocates of the modern compound bow are lobbying to have the discipline included in the next Olympics. Herman is hopeful.

"A lot of people are pushing for compound bows and I think they will get accepted," said Herman, who is sponsored by Discount Archery and Darts and West Coast Archery. "But even if they don't, I won't switch just to get a chance to shoot in the Olympics. I like the bow I shoot now."

That might just be a 13-year-old talking, said Danielle's mother, Anne.

"Oh, she's stubborn," Anne Herman said, "but as she matures, she might change her mind."

But there's no chance Danielle will change her mind about hunting. And that's too bad, Anne Herman said.

"She'd probably bag a big deer," her mother said.

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