From the likes of folk heroes like Robin Hood, William Tell, and Cupid, to the modern-day sportsman, archery has captured both the romantic imagination and desire for competition and discipline of many generations.
In addition to its timeless appeal, archery — as highlighted by the Asessippi Archery Club in the Shoal Lake Community Hall last month — is a sport suited to young and adult alike.
For the fourth year, archers from Manitoba and Saskatchewan clubs took aim at 3-D animal-shaped targets that ranged from a skunk, to an elk lying down, to a large, standing moose, at the indoor shoot.
“This year we have 50 life-like targets for archers to test their skill. With additional targets there is also less staged indoor forestry scenes,” said Roseanne Yaremchuk, who along with her husband Tim, son Dylan and daughter Robyn, are avid archers and members of the Asessippi club, one of approximately 35 Manitoba clubs.
Yaremchuk said Asessippi members shoot at the Major Pratt School in Russell every Thursday. The cost to become involved is $70, and the club provides the bows, arrows and membership into the Archers & Bowhunters Association of Manitoba (ABAM), whose mission is to perpetuate, foster and direct the practice of archery in all its forms in accordance with good sportsmanship and honourable tradition of this most ancient sport.
Last year, at the 3-D Outdoor Nationals at Vernon, B.C., 12-year-old Robyn, who began archery at the age of three, placed first in her division and older brother Dylan was fourth.
“Some archers enjoy outdoors because it gives them a true nature setting, while at our indoor shoots we strive for that look with some of our larger animals,” said Yaremchuk.
Clubs within the area — Asessippi, Snake Creek Wildlife Archery Club (Birtle), South Mountain Archery Shooter & Hunter (Erickson) and Minnedosa Archery Club (Strathclair) — all have 3-D outdoor shoots, which not only test the skill of a participant in natural habitat on different terrains but also various weather conditions.
Archery is excellent recreation for all ages, friendly competition, and a great way to meet others with similar interests — truly a lifetime sport.