Cherokee Bowhunters Club organizers are gearing up for an event on Sunday, Feb. 17, just outside of Neosho.
"We have our first 3-D shoot coming up on Feb. 17," said Paul Fickbohm, vice president of the club. "We will start setting up about 7:30 a.m., it will be ready to shoot at 9 a.m. Come on out and shoot, have fun. It is to tone your skills, to get better at shooting, get consistent with your shooting. We do have a lot of people that shoot pro and semi-pro areas."
Directions to the event are as follows: From junction highways 59 and 60 at Walmart Supercenter go east 3 miles to Highway HH. Turn right on HH for 4 miles to Parrot Road. Turn right on Parrot for 1 mile to range. (The range does not have an actual street address there is an entrance sign.)
The club began 30 years ago in Cherokee County, Kan. For the local group, it began about 15 years ago.
"The Cherokee Bowhunters, we do what they call the 3-D Shoot, where folks come out and shoot targets, different yardage at the target, and trying to place the arrow in a specific point range on the target," he said. "We also do field shoots, we are one of three or four fields in the state of Missouri that has a field shoot out at Fort Crowder Conservation Area archery range. There are 40 targets out there on the range and they go anywhere from 10-15 yards all of the way out to 80 yards. Then we do have a practice range that goes out to 80 yards also."
Fickbohm said the most important aspect was education.
"It is mostly for family-oriented friends of all ages to come out and learn the sport of archery," he said. "You learn how to shoot a bow, you come out and practice, any questions they may have, we would be more than willing to help them, show them how to properly shoot, their stance, their string pulling, aim, whatever it takes to get them to understand and have fun shooting out there. My biggest objective is trying to get as many kids involved with this as we can, to carry on a tradition of archery shooting."
Fickbohm said that he is seeing more women getting involved in shooting and they are also seeing a few more kids getting involved with it. In 2010 and 2011, he said, the group was on hand at the annual Barnyard Days at the Circle R Ranch to introduce their club to the public and get people involved.
Fickbolm said he enjoys the sport of archery.
"I get involved with bow hunting because it is a competition, but it makes you focus," he said. "You challenge yourself trying to put an arrow in something at a distance and so small to say that I can do it. That is one reason why I get involved, to challenge myself to get better at shooting things at distances of targets and competition. The second thing mostly for hunting, because it does advance my skills and makes me a better shot, makes me a better judgment of yardage. But the biggest thing is when you are bow hunting, you actually get close up with nature. When you are out there in a stand, you have to learn the animals when you are archery hunting to get them close to your comfort zone of shooting. Even though you may not place the shot on a animal or anything, you get to watch them in their natural habitat, just watching them graze, watching them walk, look around and that is what makes it so exciting. Because if I am not shooting them with a bow, I am shooting them with a camera."
Page 2 of 2 - For more information about the upcoming event or the club, please contact Fickbohm at 451-9560 or Janis Pruitt at 499-4570.