The Pine Mountain Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation held its inaugural Sportsman Archery Tournament on Sept. 17 at the Ball Farm Event Center in LaFollette. The sign-up started at 9 a.m. and continued until 11. As the contestants signed up, they were directed to the course of 30 different targets, all at different ranges and set-ups.
The course was designed to give the archer a “real to life” target using 3-D life-like targets, which included deer, antelope, bear, raccoon and turkey.
A “Smoke Shoot” was also included in the course. This is a series of really tough shots consisting of (1) shooting at a target through a small hole placed in a piece of cardboard which is placed in between the target and shooter; (2) shoot a target through a fork in a tree without hitting the tree; (3) sitting on a five gallon bucket and shooting a target from the sitting position. There were a couple of other hard shots to make, as well, in this section. As the shooters moved on through the course, there were some long shots and some really tough close shots. Most people would think that the close shots would be easy to make. Not these. The way the targets were set up, archers had to be on their game in order to make the shots. Another neat shot on the course consisted of shooting through a waterspout in the middle of a pond at a target on the other side.
It was obvious that everyone was having fun and that there are some very good archers in Campbell County and the surrounding area.
As for winners in the event, there were three categories. There were 1st and 2nd place winners in each category and the following were the winners of each category: Pro Division: 1st place, Bruce Shelton; 2nd place, Casey Boshears. Sportsman Division: 1st place, Michael Ridge; 2nd place, Tim Ellison. Amateur Division: 1st place, Katy Carmany; 2nd place, Maverick Williamson.
A total of 34 competitors entered the tournament, which was held to raise money for the chapter to purchase food baskets for needy families this Christmas. Last year, the Pine Mountain Longbeards gave out 30 food baskets and hope to be able to give out more this year.
All entry fees will go to this cause. Chapter members Durand Carmany, Jason Shetterly and Anthony Lucas were instrumental in organizing the tournament. Durand Carmany mentioned that the club is planning on holding this event every year right before archery season opens. The event was a lot of fun, and everyone had a great time with some friendly competition.