Summer course keeps archers at full draw
July 19, 2023
Assistant Chief of Communications
MAYFLOWER — The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Arkansas Bowhunters Association will hold a special “Introduction to Bowhunting and 3-D Archery Tournaments” workshop from 8:30-11:30 a.m., Aug. 5, at the AGFC’s Fiocchi Shooting Sports Complex in Mayflower (formerly known as the Camp Robinson Shooting Range).
Otis Lambright, vice president of the ABA, said the class will be both instruction as well as hands-on learning to offer newcomers a good overview of the experience this type of hunting can provide. Instructors also can give new bowhunters some advice on how to shorten the learning curve in the woods and increase their odds of success.
“Bowhunting is one huge lesson you’re constantly learning,” Lambright said. “We will have at least three of our members who are experienced bowhunters on hand as well as AGFC staff to give you a few tips from our own experiences.”
Lambright, who also assists the ABA and AGFC with urban bowhunting orientation days and instruction, said the course will be much more hands-on than an official Bowhunter Education course with an actual 3-D target shoot.
“It looks like we’ll have our ABA president, Aaron Nickson, and Clarence Taylor, another veteran bowhunter, available with their years of bowhunting experience to help with treestand placement, setup and safety,” Lambright said. “ABA member and veteran archer Maria Glover also will be instructing some of the class to offer a woman’s perspective in bowhunting and tournament archery.
“We’re just going to get out, meet some new people and spend some time shooting life-sized targets at the range to add some fun,” Lambright said. “That’s what the other part of the day’s classes will be about, having fun with new friends through 3-D archery meetups and tournaments.”
According to Lambright, 3-D archery tournaments are an excellent way to stay in tune with your equipment all summer and be ready to make the shot at a deer this fall.
“It’s much different than just setting up a target in your backyard or shooting bull’s eyes at a range,” Lambright said. “We place targets in likely hunting scenarios to challenge you, and you only get one shot per target, just like you’ll have in the woods. Elevation changes, grass or trees partially obscuring the animal and random distances all add realism to the shoot. Add the pressure of a little friendly competition and you can almost get that same feeling as the moment you’re drawing on a real deer after days of scouting and sitting.”
Lambright says archers will need to provide their own equipment for this portion of the day, but there will be opportunities for newcomers to learn basics with bows provided by the AGFC. Staff from the AGFC’s Recreational Shooting Division will teach basic archery instruction with targets, bows and arrows provided, as well as going over tree stand setups and safety.
“We’ll be using the same bows that we teach people how to use with our Archery in the Schools Program,” Bill Haynes, AGFC Facility Manager, said. “We’ll have some basic safety instructions and can teach you all the fundamentals to test the waters to see if you’re interested in pursuing archery further.”
The archery basics course will run at the same time as the bowhunting and 3-D classes, so it’s a great opportunity for experienced archers to bring their entire family or friends and learn at different levels.
“We are proud to partner with the ABA in this event,” Haynes said. “We are excited to kick off our National Shooting Sports Month education activities with a group of people so passionate about hunting, recreational shooting and outdoor education.”
Lambright hopes the experience will be sort of a one-stop shop.
“Whether you’re an experienced archer who wants to learn how tournaments work, someone who shoots a bow in the backyard and wants to give hunting a try or someone who just wants to see what archery is all about, we’ll have something for everyone,” he said.
Contact Lambright at 501-503-9293 or contact Haynes at 501-229-8194 for more information. Visit www.arkansasbowhunters.org to learn more about the Arkansas Bowhunters Association.
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