Archery Shoot Puts 3D Sport Out in the Open
Posted on 21 May 2015
By Miranda Quartemont/The Town Talk
Maybe, it shouldn't come as a surprise that a sport, usually set in the woods, has taken a while to come out into the open.
Such is the case with 3D archery, according to Jonathan Briggs, a bow technician Louisiana Archery and Sports Center in Pineville. The archery form has traditionally been popular among hunters for practice shoots. But others are starting to take it up competitively now, too.
"It's getting bigger and bigger every year," Briggs said.
On Sunday morning, Louisiana Archery hosted a 3D shoot at the Fort Buhlow recreation area, located in off Lake Buhlow Road in Pineville. Briggs estimated they try to hold four events like it each year. Smaller shoots like the one this weekend draw a crowd of around 30 shooters.
Lena Hines puts the archery knowledge she has learned at school into action Sunday morning during a shoot hosted by Louisiana Archery and Sports Center at the Fort Buhlow recreation in Pineville. (Photo: Miranda Quartemont/The Town Talk)
Most of the archery programs offered by local schools is done with a set distance and colored rings as the target. That's the kind Ashton Sweat, 15, is used to. He decided to give 3D a try though.
"It's fun," said the Alexandria Senior High Student, who admitted, "3D is more difficult."
There are two main differences that set 3D archery apart. The life-sized animal targets like bears, deer, armadillos and hogs and their unmarked distance. The range for Louisiana Archery shoots is along a mile and a half walking trail at Buhlow where about 20 targets stand in the woods.
Some hitting that trail on Sunday like Chris Atwood and his son Wyatt represented the growing number of competitive archers. The father and son already had attended two other shoots across the state over the weekend.
Wyatt Atwood looks through his binoculars trying to estimate the distance of his target during a shoot hosted Sunday by Louisiana Archery and Sports Center at the Fort Buhlow recreation in Pineville. (Photo: Miranda Quartemont/The Town Talk)
The five-year-old said he started shooting to be "just like my daddy."
"I'm getting a bunch of points," said Wyatt, who picked up his first bow and arrow at 3-years-old. Two years of experience haven't been lost on him either.
"Arms straight, Mr. Holiday," said Wyatt, offering some advice to others in his group.
Briggs said they anticipated seeing a lot of parents with their kids as well as a school group or two to show up Sunday. On August 15, Louisiana Archery will host a larger event at Buhlow that is expected to draw more than 300.
Just when archery in general started getting so popular is something Briggs thinks he knows the answer to. Since the National Archery in Schools Program debuted in the early 2000s, interest has spiked in both kids and adults.
The parents see how much fun their child is having and want to do it too, Briggs said.
NASP brings archery into a school's physical education curriculum. During the 2012-13 school year, more than two million students participated in the program, according to naspschools.org.
"They've said by 2017, they should have more than a million in the program," Briggs said. "It's gonna be probably one of the biggest sports in the next two or three years."