By Haley Stevens
I first became interested in archery when I went with my brother to a charity 3-D archery tournament.
It was the first time I was introduced to the sport. Before that day, my mom had asked me if I would be interested in joining 4-H to try out the Shooting Sports program, but at that time I wasn’t interested. After attending this tournament with my brother, I starting rethinking that decision. The next school year I joined 4-H and signed up for the Shooting Sports Program, and archery was the discipline I picked. I started off with a youth compound bow and quickly excelled. 4-H Shooting Sports use the FITA targets in competitions. The size and distance of the targets depend on your age. The 4-H Shooting Sports tournament season is comprised of two parish invitational shoots, a regional shoot, and a state shoot for those who qualified from the regional shoot. My first year competing, I placed 12th in the regional shoot and qualified for the state shoot. Although I didn’t place in the state shoot, I learned a lot my first year of competition. My second year to compete was similar to my first year, however, 4-H was allowing my age group to also do a 3-D round. The 3-D round uses the IBO rules. I was new to the 3-D round and I had an added challenge of 3-D being measured in yards and the FITA targets being measured in meters. Even though I didn’t place in the 3-D round, that is where my love for 3-D shooting began.
The same weekend of the 4-H regional shoot, we heard about a 3-D shoot that was sponsored by a local archery club. This shoot followed the Archery Shooters Association (ASA) rules. This particular shoot was a state qualifier. Since ASA rules are different from IBO rules, I wasn’t expecting to do well but I knew I would have fun. Well, surprisingly I won second place and received an invitation to shoot at the state shoot. Through-out the summer I continued to compete in local ASA shoots and I totally fell in love with 3-D archery shooting. Participating in the summer shoots gave me great practice for the state shoot that I had qualified for earlier in the summer. While at the state shoot, I ended up shooting my personal best score which was enough to win and give me the title of state champion in my division! In just a couple of months I went from never shooting 3-D, to winning my state’s middle school girls – pinned division. Another perk of the state qualifier shoot earlier that summer was it gave me the opportunity to also compete in a neighboring state’s state shoot also. I placed second in the same division for that state shoot.
Since my parents realized that this was something that I really loved, and because I was growing and getting stronger, my parents bought me a new bow. I now shoot with a Diamond Edge SB1. This year I have also begun hunting with my new bow. Although I haven’t had a harvest with my bow, it is still early in the season.
It is currently the off season for 3-D shooting, but I recently participated in a charity indoor shoot. We raised money for families in need during this holiday season.
I see archery continuing to be in my future. I would like to continue to compete in 4-H Shooting Sports and also 3-D archery. In 2017, my parents will take me to a few national level competitions in surrounding states. As I get older, I would like to volunteer my time to help other young archers find their passion for the sport just like I did. I want to be able to share my experience and show them the happiness and fun times archery has brought me.
From the staff
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