Arrows, archery and an alligator in the woods

Rod & Gun Club hosts upcoming archery event

Life-sized foam animals will be lurking around the Lake Windermere District Rod & Gun Club range hoping to avoid the shots from your bow.

All kinds of creatures from a bear to a moose, elk, alligator, sheep, turkey and maybe even a dinosaur or two will be posed in the woods like giant pin cushions for the Bighorn 3D Archery Shoot on June 8th and 9th.

“It’s like being Robin Hood or Peter Pan and you’re in the woods with your big bow,” said Evy Walker, one of the organizers.

The event is for everyone from experienced archers who pack their own bows to novices and first-timers who need to borrow their equipment.

Those of all ages are welcome, said Kayla Ferguson, another organizer who won a different archery competition and who uses her bow for recreation and for hunting.

“If you can pick up a bow, if you can keep holding onto a bow, (the event is for you),” she said.

Even her three-year old, who just got his first bow, will be taking aim at the shoot, where plenty of safety measures will be in place.

“No one’s going to get shot in the bum, hopefully,” Ms. Ferguson said.

Ms. Walker said the Lake Windermere District Rod & Gun Club is hoping to see lots of families and kids at the event, which is taking place during the club’s 100th year.

“What kid doesn’t like you to give them a weapon and say ‘let’s go into the woods?’” Ms. Walker asked rhetorically. “Kids, no matter the age, you give them a bow, you show them how to do it, and they have a great time… They have to work at it. It’s not easy. It’s not like The Hunger Games where you go: ‘I’m going to shoot this arrow and kill this thing’. They have to practice. There’s some skill involved, but once they figure it out they can hit the target no problem.”

There will be three courses of varying difficulty levels from “fairly easy” to “super extreme” at the shoot, she said. Some of targets will be behind obstacles, obscured by trees or higher or lower than the shooter.

There will also be a concession, balloon shoots for kids and prizes.

Guests are welcome to camp out at the range for the weekend – if they don’t mind sharing the darkness with the holey foam beasts they’ve killed or enraged.

Registration will take place onsite. The shoot starts at 8:30 a.m. both days, but participants and spectators – no shields required – can start their days whenever they’d like.

For more information, check out the event poster at or email

“It’s good practice for out in the wilderness hunting,” Ms. Ferguson said. “I love the sport of it. I love the practice that it gives me. I like being outside. And the archery community is a really nice community to be a part of.”

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