PRESTONSBURG – East Kentucky Archery, Inc. hosted the International Bowhunting Organization Kentucky State Championship at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park on Saturday. Participants came from across Kentucky and parts of Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia to compete in the event.
Shooting classes for the IBO State Championship were: Level One-Non-Competitive Classes, Level Two-Youth Competitive Classes, Level Three-Entry Level Adult Classes, Level Four- Advanced Amateur Classes, Level Five-Semi Pro Classes and Level Six-Professional Classes. Each class is divided into smaller categories to ensure everyone is competing with peers of the same skill level, age and experience.
“This is a beautiful and challenging course to navigate,” said Gerald Bennet, of Ironton, Ohio.
East Kentucky Archery, Inc. is a non-profit organization that promote bow hunting ethics and safety. Learning the skill of Archery helps an individual to develop attention, behavior, attention and focus. EKA realizes the importance of these skills and all children 17 and under shoot free.
“The archery course located at Jenny Wiley is a 3D course. The targets look just like a real animal, except they don’t move,” said Floyd County Judge and E.K.A. member Eric Hall. “The course is open seven days a week. There is no charge to use the practice bales and a $5 honor system to shoot the full course for adults and children 17 and under shoot free.”
The sport of archer has been gaining popularity thanks to the NASP, National Archery in the Schools Program. The program was developed to serve specific educational and conservation purpose. Co-created by the Kentucky Departments of Fish and Wildlife Resources and Department of Education and Mathews Archery in 2001. Originally called the “Kentucky Archery in the Schools Program”, the goal was to teach archery skills to 24,000 students each year. Neighboring states gained interest and “National” replaced “Kentucky” in the program’s name. E.K.A. support the local NASP teams by allowing children to shoot free. Genesis bows are available for their use free of charge.
“With a little advance notice, we can arrange for a member to come and show people how to shoot,” said Hall. “We shoot usually every Sunday, sign-ups begin at 9 a.m. with the last sign up usually around 1 p.m.”
Natural resource professional are convinced learning target shooting skills will result in character and self-reliance development that will serve the future of wildlife conservation well. For more information about East Kentucky Archery and how to become a member contact Judge Eric Hall at 606-889-1672.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for the Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 794-0290.