Spring shoot welcomes archers

The West Kootenay Archers welcomed about 140 bow and arrow aficionados to its spring shoot at the Casino range on the weekend.

The West Kootenay Archers greeted about 140 bow and arrow aficionados to the Trail Wildlife Association range in Casino on the weekend.

The family event welcomed archers from across the Kootenays and Okanagan and enjoyed nice weather as they roamed the bush, taking aim at 3-D targets.

The fun but competitive event rewards top shooters from a variety of categories with trophies, from young kids to adults, while all participants have a chance to win one of many door prizes.

“We keep a score, based on the actual target,” said club treasurer Mike Mailey. “Then submit it to the scoring staff, after each shoot.”

The 3-D targets include small fox, a variety of deer, coyotes, wolves, and large elk with a hit-zone of 5, 8 and 10 point scoring system depending on where the arrow hits the target, and an ‘x’ for a complete miss, he explained.

Archers compete in compound bow, traditional bow and cross bow categories, hitting five courses, each with 15 3-D targets over two days. A course takes about two hours to complete.

“It is competitive,” said Mailey. “Everyone wants to do better but I think most people are here just for fun, it’s a lot like golf that way . . . you just see if you can do better each time.”

The event hosts some of the best shooters in the area, but it is also a great opportunity to spend an active and entertaining weekend with fellow archers.

“It’s a family event that we can all do together,” said Jason Kloster who brought his family from Kelowna for the shoot. “It’s just nice getting out for the weekend and having fun . . . The wife shoots, the kids shoot, anyone that can pull a bow back can shoot.”

Archers travel to similar events throughout southern B.C.  over the course of a summer to keep them locked in for hunting season.

While many of the members are bow hunters, Mailey says, more and more people are joining just because it is an enjoyable pastime.

“It started that way originally, there’s maybe 60 per cent of members are hunters, but you don’t have to be a hunter to enjoy archery,” he added.

A special thanks goes to the Kiwanis volunteers who pitched in running the concession, flipping burgers and making breakfast for all the campers and archers.