Sun shines on West Kootenay Archers Spring Shoot

The West Kootenay Archers hosted another successful and sunny Spring Shoot on the weekend, with about 120 competitors.

The West Kootenay Archers hosted another successful and sunny Spring Shoot on the weekend, with about 120 competitors taking to the forest at the Trail Wildlife Association Shooting Range for the annual event.

The weekend saw archers tackle three courses on Saturday and two on Sunday, with over a dozen categories ranging from the very young to the very experienced, and a variety of bows including longbow, recurve, and compound.

Each course is unique in its own right, with shooting distances and levels of difficulty changing from course to course, depending on category. Each track winds for over two kilometres through the forested Casino range, on a marked trail, with life-size foam targets placed at various intervals, in varying situations and angles. One of the more interesting facets of the shoot is the targets themselves, imitating large game mammals and birds, to the more exotic such as a polar bear and a prehistoric raptor.

Each is marked with a target area, and points scored go from 0-5-8-10  and 11 depending on where your arrow pierces the target. Shooting through a tight window of tree branches, from downhill or  uphill vantage is common, and gauging the distance is critical in judging the arrow’s trajectory.


The Men’s Unlimited competition would come down to the final arrow before Trail’s Mike Lerose took home top prize by beating Mike Rieberger of Fruitvale by a single point.

With over 50 archers competing in the Unlimited class, it took five courses and 75, 3-D life-size targets, before the winner would be decided on the final target. Rieberger led Lerose by five points after completing three courses on Saturday with a score of 423 to Lerose’s 417, setting up Sunday’s dramatic win. The two went toe-to-toe shooting in the same group, but when the dust settled Lerose notched a 281 over two courses to Rieberger’s 274, beating him by a total of 698 to 697.

Ben Beelestone came third with a two-day total of 690 and Josh Conci was fourth with a 684.

In the Ladies Unlimited, Calla Rieberger came out on top with a score of 601, a mere two points over second-place Lee Bedard, while Candace Campbell came third with 594 points.

In Youth Girls Unlimited Brooke Beetlestone beat out Joshlyn Derosa for top spot, while Brent Plotnikoff shot a very impressive 688 to edge Matthew Dominici, 643, in the Youth Boys Unlimited.