Bulkley Valley archers kicked off another season last weekend with the annual Bowmen’s Jamboree April 28 and 29.
After an intensive sponsorship drive last year the club is starting to see resurgence of bow enthusiasts’ and with new life like 3D targets, the game has continued to elevate interest.
The yearly event is one of the largest in the northwest attracting shooters from Prince George, Terrace, Burns Lake, Quesnel and Kamloops.
In years past the archery range, affectionately known as Camelot, down near the fair grounds, has always been popular.
However, the sport of target shooting is not only for the occasional hunter, families have become a big part of the sport now and as Scott Olesiuk explained that is at the heart of a growing number of archers.
“The club’s done a good job over the years to make sure it’s not an elite club of shooters,” said Olesiuk.
“It’s a bunch of people who enjoy archery and enjoy shooting but then really strive to get into the school systems.
“For myself I shoot with my wife and little boys 10 and 12. It’s amazing, their eyes when they see their targets come around the corner, they get the opportunity to shoot a T-rex or velociraptor or a polar bear so it’s pretty exciting.”
With each new 3D target there’s a community sponsor, part of the sponsorship drive to beef up the archery range and offer a more realistic experience than the old paper cutout hanging from a tree.
Pegging a large animal for some is not the objective of learning how to shoot well, but it definitely excites the shooters of all ages.
“It makes for a more realistic experience and the kids love it,” said long time archer Gerry Maurer, as he and his grandson Ashton Tiljoe made their way through the new 3D trail targets.
“We made an investment last fall and a decision to move forward and order a big dollar value of new targets to revitalize the club,” Olesiuk said.
“By generous donations from the community, different businesses have sponsored those targets and allowed for a great shoot today and made it a lot easier for people to come out and take advantage of a great club a great area and have a great time.”