Archers Club hosts tournament Sept. 15
Tania Jobson, SEAL Archers Club member, lines up her shot on a deer target on the 3D course at the Fort Rucker Archery Range Aug. 29. SEAL will host its archery competition Sept. 15.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 5, 2013) -- Along the east bank of Lake Tholocco, nestled within the woods of Fort Rucker, lies a place that many on the installation might not know exists hiding a well-equipped archery range where dozens of people will gather for an upcoming competition.

The Southeast Alabama Archer's Club will host a tournament Sept. 15 with a shotgun start at 2 p.m. and registration at 11 a.m. for all levels of archers at the range. The contest will consist of 28 simulated animal targets placed along a 3D field course, according to Jeffery Denzine, vice president of SEAL Archer's Club.

The course is a known-distance course and will be broken into three divisions: beginner, novice and expert, said Denzine, and each team will consist of two team members.

"There will be a blind draw for the team members on the day of the competition, and that provides a handicap for some players," he said. "The better shooters will shoot with some of the less experienced shooters and it will make it a fair competition."

The competition will use the Archery Shooters Association standard for scoring and will go by best arrow.

"Out of the two members, 10 of your best-shot arrows will be scored along with 10 of your teammate's best-shot arrows, then eight arrows between the two members," said Denzine. "Any shot that hits the animal will be 5 points, but there will be a circle that outlines the lung cavity, which will account for 8 points. Within that circle is another 5-inch diameter circle, which is 10 points, then a smaller circle within that, which is 12 points."

The tournament should last about 2 ½ hours, according to the vice president, and people should bring their own equipment. People should also bring at least four arrows to shoot with and plenty of water to drink throughout the day.

Cost to enter the tournament is $40 per shooter and cash prizes will be given out for first, second and third place winners.

Also, local archery vendors will be onsite to demonstrate the latest bows and equipment starting at 11 a.m.

For anyone who is not a member of the SEAL Archers Club, membership to join on the day of the tournament will be discounted 25 percent. Normal membership cost is $20 annually, which includes instruction and 24/7 usage of the archery facility.

Howard Beeson founded the club out of his love for the sport, and he wanted to provide a place for other archers to come share his passion.

"I started this club about 19 years ago, and we have everything the Army needs to come out here and shoot," he said. "I've been here since 1974, and I love archery and anything that has to do with it. We want to get people to enjoy the sport and have them stick with it."

The grounds have a 10-target, 3D course that goes through the surrounding wooded area, a field range with targets ranging from 20 feet to 80 yards, which is official National Field Archery range, and a practice course that people can use to brush up on their skills.

"Howard has been responsible for introducing archery to hundreds of active-duty members, and he was the one that got me started when I was stationed here in the 90s," said Denzine. "I'd say having him as an expert here is the biggest benefit to joining the club. He usually spends three to five hours with each individual new member to help them understand their bow, improve their form and keep their bow maintained."

Many people who are new to the sport will buy equipment that isn't properly fitted for them, he said, but a little time in the archer's club and they'll know how to get it fitted right.

"Archery is a commanding sport and you have to concentrate and do your best, and there's no end to that," said Beeson. "I've never been as good as I want to be, but you just try to do your best and that's what we want to teach here."

For more information, call 347-4990, (719)-685-6520 or 389-6135.

Page last updated Thu September 5th, 2013 at 16:02