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Archery club holds 3D shoot

Gerry Rivest aims to get father-son time. Competing in the Whitehorse Archery Club's 3D Shoot, Gerry and Travis Rivest -- father and son -- took the top spots in the adult and youth recurve competitions at the biathlon range on Grey Mountain in Whitehorse.

Gerry Rivest aims to get father-son time.

Competing in the Whitehorse Archery Club’s 3D Shoot, Gerry and Travis Rivest—father and son—took the top spots in the adult and youth recurve competitions at the biathlon range on Grey Mountain in Whitehorse.

For Gerry, who dabbled in archery in his younger days and was motivated by Travis to recently get back into it, the sport has a lot more to offer than the satisfaction of an arrow meeting its target.

“It was great to get out and get back into it again,” said Gerry. “My son has done me a favour—it’s something that we can do together now.

“It’s a great conditioning sport because you’re pushing a pulling at the same time.”

Travis, 15, who competed with a longbow with a 45-pound draw-weight, was introduced to the sport years ago while at summer camp, but it was not until last year that he began taking it seriously, thanks to a family friend.

“My dad’s friend, Jerry Wald, brought me a bow over,” said Tavis. “And last spring I was at home and I thought, ‘I’m going to go shoot my bow.’ I’m very enthusiastic; I love doing it. If I’m doing homework and I need a break, I’ll go outside and shoot my bow for a bit.”

In fact, Wald played a large part in getting Gerry back into it as well, giving him a bow he made.

“(Wald) made a bow for himself but it was too short for him—the draw-length,” said Gerry. “So he gave it to me, shot it a few times and then parked it.

“Last week I got it out on Thursday.”

The “3D” in the name of the competition comes from the three-dimensional targets resembling various animals. For each shot, archers were awarded five-points for hitting the target, eight for shots hitting close to the vital organs (represented by outer markings) and 10-points for hitting the target in the section representing a kill shot.

About 13 club members participated in the shoot, spread among a youth recurve bow, an adult recurve bow and an adult compound bow divisions.

“We had a youth compound (event) also, but we didn’t have any show up,” said Harlam Inkster, club member and event organizer. “We know they’re out there, but I think the weather was against us, in terms of being so nice.”

The archery club was first formed in the early ‘80s and currently has about 45 members.

Despite the animal-shaped targets, not everyone is interested in hunting, said Inkster.

“We have diverse background of people like any club,” he said. “Some people are hunters and some people don’t hunt at all and some people are just there to enjoy (shooting). It’s a relaxing sport.

“But some people occasionally like to be competitive, so that’s why we occasionally throw a competition in.

“We’ll probably have one this fall for the indoor course.”

Last summer 13 club members competed at the North American Indigenous Games, bringing home four silver medals, two bronze and a gold, won by Pelly Crossing’s Kristen Van Bibber.

Hoping to build off that success, Les Jons, president of Whitehorse Archery Club, is currently working towards getting his third-year coaching certificate, which will allow the club to enter archers in the Canada Winter Games that are set to take place in Nova Scotia in 2011. In the same year, the club is hoping to again send athletes to the next North American Indigenous Games being held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

On top of that, the club is still hoping to attract new members.

“Because some people only like to shoot the 3D targets, I’ve dropped the price to $35 just for the summer,” said Jons. “The fall, when we go into the schools, is when we renew our membership for the whole year, and that’s $75 for the whole year.”

A family of four can also purchase a membership at the price of $150 for the year.

“We got this competition going, but now that we’ve moved to the outdoor range, we’ve charged everyone $20 for the entrance fee into the tournament,” said Jons. “With that we have the rest of the summer to use the range, plus it covers the insurance policy. Because we’re affiliated with the Canadian Archers Association we have to have insurance.”

For kids who do not own their own equipment, the club has bows and arrows they can lend to those wanting to—pardon the expression—give it a shot.

“They’re not my bows; I seconded them from the Yukon Aboriginal Sports Circle,” said Jons. “In case there’s kids that want to join but don’t have any bows.

“A couple kids came to see if they could practise so I said, ‘Here’s a couple bows, here’s some arrows.’ Away the kids went and they had a great time. And their parents were there and they right away signed them up to the club.”

During the summer months, the club meets Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the biathlon range and will continue practicing during the winter months at Christ the King Elementary School on the same days.

For Gerry, who says there are archers out there who are better than he is, the practice hours will help him stay on top.

“There are a lot of guys in town that could go and take that recurve trophy away from me any day of the week,” said Gerry. “I haven’t shot against them yet, but they’d better hurry up because I’m going to get into it now.”

Saturday’s results

Youth recurve

1st Travis Rivest

2nd Calden Cottrell

3rd Shelley Inkster

Adult recurve

1st Gerry Rivest

2nd Cathy Cottrell

3rd Harlam Inkster

Adult compound

1st Horst Wegnann

2nd Bevon Keefer

3rd Sid Smarch

Contact Tom Patrick at