By RACHEL JACKSON/ THE BAYONETMarch 11, 2010
More than 1,250 archers competed in 31 categories during the Hoyt Pro/Am Tour Friday through Sunday at Uchee Creek for prizes totaling $100,000.
Archers shot 40 targets. The 3-D foam targets included antelopes, deer, boars and wolves. The archers shot at known and unknown distances during the event.
"Every target is a challenge and each is different," said MAJ Bobby Toon, 198th Infantry Brigade, who has shot archery for 16 years and is an avid hunter. "Where the targets are located on the 3-D animals is where the vital organs would be if you were hunting a real animal."
If an archer can hit those targets, he could hunt and kill a live animal, said Toon, who competed in the hunter class.
The event brought in archers from all over the country, including competitors from Arkansas, Illinois, Tennessee, and North Carolina. More than 2,400 spectators attended the event.
Curt Colvin traveled nine hours from Conway, Ark., to compete in the event.
"There is tough competition out here," said Colvin, who has shot in the competition for four years. "A lot of these guys can shoot really well."
This year, he competed in the Limbsaver known distance competition and the open B Class. Colvin said he looks at archery as a sport for all ages and abilities.
"What I like about archery is that anyone can do it," he said. "You don't really have to have many skills for this sport. You just have to practice and train hard."
Griffin, Ga., resident Kailey Johnston, 15, competed in the women's open category and took first place with a total score of 405.
"Archery is a fun sport," she said. "The competition is tough, but you just have to stay focused on what you are doing and shoot the best you can."
The tour is one of six archery tournaments the ASA hosts each year, in addition to the ASA Classic.
The number of archers in the tournament was 300 more than the ASA Classic, which was in August at Uchee Creek, said Cliff Hughes, special events coordinator with the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
And this year's Pro/Am had 200 more archers than the 2009 Pro/Am in Hattiesburg, Miss., said Mike Tyrell, president of the Archery Shooters Association.
The next tournament is the Delta Targets Southwest Shoot Out March 26-28 in Paris, Texas.