LONG BEACH - The Bear River Archery Club (BRAC) held a 3-D tournament last weekend at their range near Lone Fir Cemetery with 111 competitors trying their hands at the bow. Charter member, Gail Quimby says, "The tournament helps pay for targets, upkeep, and insurance for our club for the year."
The 3-D tournament is one of two such fundraising events BRAC puts on each year. The course is in the woods, some very dense, and is estimated to be between three-quarters and a mile in length. Targets are anything from small animals to bear, deer, elk and caribou replicas. Member Dan Holzemer says, "Some of the targets are partially hidden from view and archers need to set up in such a way as to get a clear shot and still stay within the boundaries. The 3-D shoot is very much like hunting."
Charter member since the club's inception in 1985, Don Nolan said, "Targets this year are from 18- to 45-yards away and the course is steep in places." There is no actual hunting allowed on the range at any time.
The tournament was divided into age and gender categories in finger release, mechanical release, and traditional bow competition according to registration and scorekeeper Doug Schnebly.
Quimby says, "The field archery course has targets up to 80 yards away, but for actual hunting of game animals the effective range of an arrow is about half of that and that is reflected in the distance we have set our 3-D targets for the tournament." The arrows can carry up to 300 yards but for hunting purposes 40- to 50-yards is about the maximum effective distance.
There were 34 targets on the course and scoring is similar to golf. Targets are 3-dimensional versions of actual game animals and different areas of the animal are worth various points towards the archer's score. A direct hit to a vital part of the target is worth up to 10 points and a complete miss will result in a zero. At the end of the round competitors tell the tournament officials their score. Trophies are awarded to those who competed both days of the tournament and there is a raffle drawing for three sculptures created by John Hayes, who is also a BRAC member. A barbecue Saturday night was provided by the club.
Quimby explains, "To become a (Bear River Archery Club) member you have to pay a $20 annual fee and a $10 initiation fee. A family membership for $30 will allow members and their children up to age 18 to participate at no cost. Members also must attend meetings and work parties during the year." Members receive a key to the gate and can use the course at any time they choose. Meetings are at the clubhouse at the northeast end of 85th Street the second Wednesday of each month, except September, at 7:30 p.m. Nolan jokes, "Everyone is hunting in September so no one would show up, so that's why we don't meet that month."
BRAC holds club shoots once a month between March and August for members at the range. "The Lone Fir Cemetery directors lease the land to us for recreational purposes as they do not need to use it at the present time," Quimby explains. "We must have the area open to the public so there is a field range for their use."
Nolan, who won the Men's F/S division last weekend has been an archer for 53 years, having started in the sport at age 15 in his native Castle Rock. Rose Larson is the current BRAC President and finished third in the tournament's Women's R/S category. There are between two and three dozen BRAC members at any one time according to Quimby. Membership includes being part of the Washington State Archery Association.
Archers from Three Rivers Christian Archery Club in the Longview-Kelso area provided prizes for a novelty shoot Saturday evening. BRAC members made the trophies and presented them to the following winners at the 3-D shoot:
Cub R/S boys:
Cub R/S girls: