On Tuesday, Oct. 1 Bighorn Archery club held the first of their indoor practice sessions and saw about a dozen people attend, which club president Allen Pickering said is pretty good for the first night back.
The group usually takes a summer recess before resuming their indoor practices in the fall, where they will practice until the road conditions prohibit meeting or temperatures become too cold to practice in the unheated arena.
“It gives people the opportunity to keep busy and keep in practice throughout the winter months when we don’t shoot outside,” Pickering explained.
Two new families came out to explore archery on Oct. 1 and have verbally committed to returning next week and potentially signing up as members with the club.
“The youth was very interested, and of course, it’s a great youth-parent participation [activity],” said Pickering.
Bighorn Archery club meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Stan Halcro Arena in 100 Mile House.
Typically, the group practices from 7 to 9 p.m. Pickering noted that the club shares the arena with two other groups; thus, he is appreciative of those who stay behind for a few moments to help clean-up after each practice.
“I think the students or the youth are more interested to keep coming than perhaps the parents. Kids don’t seem to mind the cold as much,” said Pickering with a laugh. “We normally have a good share of youths that come out with a guardian. Anybody under the age of 18 has to have a guardian with them.”
Any interested individuals who would like to try their hand at archery are welcome to attend Tuesday’s practices with the club. Newly interested individuals should attend in appropriate warm clothing. The club can also provide them with the necessary equipment to get started.
Bighorn’s Tuesday practices are not drop-in, but the club does allow newcomers to get a taste of the sport before committing to sign up as a member.
Towards the end of March, the club also holds an indoor 3D shoot that is open to everyone and often sees participants attend from across Canada and even other countries.
“We’ve had some folks that have come from Germany and other places to attend that indoor shoot. So that will be our first shoot of the new season,” said Pickering.
If the snow goes away soon enough, an outdoor field activity called a Stump shoot is planned for members. The Stump shoot usually takes place in the spring at Woodfrog Lake, near Lac la Hache.
“It’s kind of a social gathering for club members,” Pickering explained. “We go up to Woodfrog Lake park and break into smaller groups and walk through the forest. Somebody will pick a dead stump, hopefully, a rotten one so it’s softer. We have some special points on the arrows and it’s a warm-up practice for the season.”
Pickering said that members will shoot at a particular spot on the stump before returning to the park for a hot dog roast together.
“The club provides hot dogs and refreshments. We then have bow birds. That’s a machine that throws foam disks into the air much like skeet shooting and you shoot at that with special arrows.”
The club also holds a long-shoot tournament that day before holding some of their outdoor shoots as the weather improves in late spring and summer.