Working to revive the Canyon Creek Bowhunters club, a core group of members held their second Northside 3-D Trail Shoot competition last weekend on the Malheur National Forest.
Over 50 participants took aim at 40 animal targets on two trails, from deer and elk to bear and buffalo, set up in real hunting situations.
Steve Dunn of Prineville, a former John Day resident, led his nephews Dylan and Seth Ferrier of Salem along the trail.
Dylan and his uncle zeroed in for some perfect shots at the decoys, while Seth kept track on a score card.
Dunn said the Northside competition is a warm-up.
“It helps a lot with hunting season and helps you judge yardage,” he said. “It helps you pick out a spot on the animal, and it tunes you up so you’re used to pulling your bow back. It’s just good practice.”
Dunn plans to take Dylan on his first archery elk hunt at the end of the month.
Some families and individuals set up camp Saturday and Sunday off County Road 36, near Four Corners, between Prairie City and John Day, where the event was held.
Archers, who ranged in age from 7 to teens and adults, could participate for fun or for competition and prize money.
Club leaders said they hope to see interest in archery, which is a growing sport nationwide, increase locally.
“Our main goal is to give archery hunters and shooters practice and to locate members and better their shot,” said club vice president Walt Sharp.
President Ty Sharp said another goal they are working toward is offering a scholarship to young college-bound archers.
The Bowhunters club started up in the late ’50s, and after a couple stops and starts, the Sharps and others hope to revitalize the organization.
Walt said the Northside Shoot is small compared to other competitions, but the club plans to continue to make it a biannual event, in May and July, and have it included on a permanent list of archery shoots.
If the event grows as much as hoped, the club will relocate the event to an area on the Malheur that will accommodate a bigger crowd.
“We’d love to see more people involved,” said Cecil Sharp, who helped set up the event. “We want to get more youngsters involved. If we don’t have youngsters out here shooting and liking it, we’ll lose the future — and it’s fun.”
For more information, call Ty Sharp at 541-620-2417.
Northside 3-D Trail Shoot
First place: Mike Springer
First place: Brent Smith
Second place: David Dorschner
Third place: Walter Sharp
First place: Josh Wolf
First place: Shannon Springer
First place: Tabatha Jensen
Second place: Heidi Wolf
Third place: Rachel Sharp
First place: E Jensen
Second place: Jordan Nodine
Third place: Declan Zweygardt