By: Brennen Nading (@nadingbr)
In mid-June, I got my first taste of a HHAUSA archery shoot. I headed just north of Wausau to one of Wisconsin’s oldest archery clubs, Rib Mountain Bowmen. The 3D course was beautifully laid out in the rolling terrain of Rib Mountain. The course presented a wide variety of fun and challenging targets. A long shot novelty shoot and over 40 silent auction items rounded out a great weekend for the entire family.
I arrived early in the morning and stayed well into the afternoon that day so I got to see first hand how many people were involved and had a hand in making sure this event went off without a hitch. It was pretty cool to see an archery club take pride in their domain and have it ready for a busy weekend of archery fun. The weekend was blessed with great weather to spend time outside, and the turn out was exceptional. In the course of the 2 day shoot, HHAUSA had their biggest crowd yet, and was able to raise over $8,000 for our veterans!
I think a lot of people avoid 3D archery shoots because they are intimidated. Many people think these events are for diehard target shooters, and they don’t think they will be able to compete so they avoid them all together. I am here to tell you that you couldn’t be more wrong! I watched people of all ages (kids – elders) go through the course and have a blast. It was an extremely laid back environment and everyone was out there having a great time with their friends/family. You could show up at anytime, and shoot the course at your own pace whether you wanted to walk through and shoot by yourself, or shoot with a group of friends.
There were 28 targets spread throughout the course. Moose, Caribou, Elk, Bear, Deer, Antelope, Cougar, Python, Alligator, Frog, Jackalope were amongst the fun spread. Most of the targets were set up at distances to shoot between 20-40 yards. A couple of long shot targets were mixed in as well which allowed people to air it out at 50 yards. Some people chose to keep their scores while others (including myself) just went through and shot the course for fun and it didn’t matter what the score was. For kids, or someone not comfortable shooting at the distances the targets were set up at, no problem…you could shoot each target at whatever distance you were comfortable with.
One cool thing that was set up, was a long shot target for a chance at some awesome prizes. You could pay to shoot either 1, 3 or 5 arrows at a 70 yard moose target. There was an orange bullseye placed on the target and for anyone that could hit it, their name was thrown in the drawing for some of the awesome prizes. HHA sights, trail cameras and other goods were up for grabs on the long shot.
There are 3 more HHAUSA events left this year, and I highly encourage anyone that loves archery to try and make it out to at least 1 of them. It’s not only a great way to show support to our veterans but it is a lot of fun just to get outside and shoot your bow. Not to mention it is great practice leading into hunting season which will be here before we know it. The remaining events are as follows:
July 3,4,5 – Chain O’ Lakes Conservation Club – Waupaca, WI
July 11,12 – Tomah Sportsman’s Alliance – Warrens, WI
August 22,23 – Blackhawk Archers – Custer, WI
A handful of us from TBP will be heading out to Waupaca tomorrow to join in on the fun. A record setting turn out is expected on the 3 day shoot that is located on the winding Crystal River. The Chain O’ Lakes Conservation Club is long regarded as one of the top 3D shoots in the state, and it should make for an awesome 4th of July weekend! We hope to see you there!