MOBERLY — For most of the 132 shooters entered, the Show-Me State Games’ 3-D archery competition isn’t the biggest event in their sport.
“In this group, everyone is excited for Sept. 15,” Rick Wilson, 51, of Macon, said. “It’s the first day of bow hunting season.”
Wilson and Allen Bock, 49, of Columbia, had a friendly competition at the NOMO Bowhunter Club, completing two, 20-station courses that featured a variety of styrofoam animal targets in various hunting scenarios.
Competitive shoots like Sunday’s keep the group well-connected. A majority of them go by first names, and they all have hunting stories to tell. But until the season opens, they focus on the simulated game.
Sunday the worst animal for both Wilson and Bock were the turkeys. Especially at station A-3, where they had to thread their arrows through three trees in order to hit their target.
“I hate turkeys,” Brock said. “The 12 point (bull’s-eye) on them is about the size of a dime.”
In 3-D archery, shooters must guess the yardage between their shooting post and the animals. They then adjust their compound hunting bows before shooting. They are trying to hit a foot-and-a-half wide kill zone painted on the animals. They receive 12 points for a bull’s-eye, then two less points for every circle outside of that in the kill zone. The “dreaded dime” is a five-point circle outside the kill zone. It is the last chance to secure points.
“Hit more than a few fives in a day and your out of contention,” said Wilson after shooting one of his few fives early in the round.
Brock started the day a little rusty. He had to take time off from shooting this summer because of family and work commitments. However, he hit more bull’s-eyes after lunch on the second course of the day.
Wilson was quick to remind him what skills are lost in this sport without practice.
“You know the first thing to go, don’t ya Allen? It’s the yardage,” Wilson said.”
Bock quickly responded to why his shooting form was off.
“With out shooting much, you lose a lot of things, but it’s mostly that muscle,” Bock said.
This type of archery parallels golf in some ways. Competitors must shot from the correct starting markers, estimate yardage and maintain quiet etiquette during shots. Rick Wilson said he would try golf if it weren’t for the cost.
“I watch a little golf on TV,” he said. “I’ve even contemplated playing golf, but I already have one expensive habit and my wife prefers that I don’t start another.”