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Local archers take part in indoor tournament

Beth Goodhart, 11, of Hawley, removes arrows from her target during the Saturday Scheels Classic 3-D Archery Shoot put on by the West Fargo Park District at the Veterans Memorial Arena. Dave Wallis

Roughly 200 archers from around the area made the trip to Veterans Memorial Arena this past weekend for the Scheels Classic 3-D Archery Shoot, organized by the Sandhills Archery Club of West Fargo.

Shooters of all ages - from the “cub” age group to “senior” - flocked to the arena on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the opportunity to shoot at 3-D targets of various sizes and distances and be scored based on their accuracy. Bull’s-eyes were worth 12 points, with surrounding rings worth 10 and eight points. Hitting the target anywhere else earned the shooter five points.

While most of the archers were from the Red River Valley, the tournament’s participation numbers were not limited to this area.

“Usually, we pull in some archers from Bismarck, Aberdeen, S.D., Alexandria, Minn., and places like that,” Sandhills member Trent Teets said. “We may even get some from Canada, so we have a bit of a reach.”

While most tournaments are “unmarked,” the Scheels Classic also takes distance into account for an archer’s score, adding an additional challenge to the event.

“The challenge is not only to be a good shooter,” club President Brian Hage said. “You are also challenged by yardage. If you are a good judge of distance, you can do pretty well here.”

According to Hage, the event brings in participants of various experience levels, from the seasoned hunter who hunts all fall and shoots target practice the rest of the year, to the novice archer looking to improve.

“If you are a hunter, this is very good practice for the season,” Hage said. “If you’re not a hunter or a target archer, this is a great chance to learn.”

The Sandhills Archery Club is a nonprofit organization of roughly 350 members that provides an opportunity to children of all ages to develop their archery skills, become involved in a hobby or sport, learn responsibility and develop a respect for nature and the environment.

The club will also have a presence at the North Dakota state archery tournament on March 28, also at Veterans Memorial Arena.

Armless paralympic archer Matt Stutzman, who won a silver medal at the 2012 paralympics, is expected to make an appearance.