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Archery competition opens April 27

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News from Larry Rattray Mission Valley Archers’ Club 

Each spring, here in Montana, archers shift from inside shooting lanes, school archery programs and our statewide 4-H Shooting Sports to the outdoors. From first-time shooters to the most advanced competitors, archers look forward to 3D archery shoots. 

The start of 2019 saw a few familiar faces for the Mission Valley Archers’ Club and a few new ones at the first meeting. It was a good turnout. We decided to make the first shoot on Saturday, April 27. It will be a one-day fun shoot with no trophies, but all shooters will become members and get a discount at the next shoot. 

On Aug. 10, we will have a smaller agenda but try to get some targets so everyone can shoot a few broadheads to ensure they are ready for the archery season. We decided to have another two-day trophy tournament on June 29 and 30. No one knows what the weather will bring, but the people who show up will have a good day and become better bowhunters. 

Seeing the life-sized animal targets in different situations helps when the opportunity arises in the hunting field. Learning to judge distances is a learned art. The competition whether against everyone in your archery class or just against yourself is challenging and the challenge is what draws many people into archery.

For anyone interested in attending one of the shoots, call Larry Rattray at 406-261-7199 or Dave Ottun at 406-314-0015

Our club has supported local schools, Cub Scouts and 4-H programs over the years. We donate equipment and supplies to get the kids started and keep them going. The 3D shoots for all ages are our major fundraising events that allow us to do so. This is an all-volunteer organization that relies on community support. Rick from Van Voast Farms has allowed the club to use some of his property for the past decade.  Western Building Center has been a valuable asset to the club as well, thanks to the manager, Dave Ottun. 

The club was started in the early 1990s to provide local access to other archers and host local 3D archery tournaments. These tournaments were very popular at the time with many archers traveling hundreds of miles each weekend to attend. For several years, the club hosted 3D tournaments, and several members held offices helping to guide the direction of the club's activities. For one reason or another, members dropped out until the trailer full of targets was just sitting.

In early 2018, people with ambition who were willing to give it one more go held a meeting. They started with trying one shoot. With the past members’ knowledge and the new member’s drive, things looked pretty positive. They set a date for another shoot in early summer, but the turnout was dismal due to rain. Setting the course went well. 

The first day dawned slowly because of all the black clouds. A dozen brave souls came out to enjoy the shoot. Sunday saw a bit of brightness and a few more people showed. With the help of some great sponsors who had donated raffle prizes and some beautiful plaques for a second-day return incentive, a few brave souls stuck it out. Maybe not enough people came to call it a success, but we had accomplished the challenge.  


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