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Tim Dyer of Moscow, Idaho, draws his bow back at the Grande Ronde Bowmen’s range on Mt. Emily Sunday. The GRB hosted an International Bowhunting Organization world qualifier. (Submitted photo)
REDDING, Calif. — Three local men competed at the National Field Archery Association’s national shoot recently and found some success.
Norm Paullus, Scott Wilson and Jerry Gibson, all of La Grande, competed among 1,450 people from around the world.
Wilson finished second in his flight with 1,394 points, while Gibson placed sixth in his flight with 1,280 points. Paullus placed 15th with 1,465 points on the marked-yardage course.
The event had different flights for different skill levels, as well as different divisions depending on the equipment each archer used.
“We shoot probably the most elaborate equipment in our group. Moveable sites and the whole works,” Paullus said.
This was the sixth time Wilson made the trip to this shoot, while it was Gibson’s fifth time and Paullus’ second time.
“As far as the tournament’s that I’ve been to, that particular tournament is the most fun tournament because it is not quiet,” Gibson said. “You go to any other tournament and it’s quiet.”
Paullus said that the tournament is about bonding with other archers.
“The archery itself is more about the camaraderie,” he said. “We find that we’re more like family members when we do that.”
Paullus, Wilson and Gibson said there were 20 people in their group, and six or seven people would shoot at one time. Targets ranged from three yards to 101 yards.
And just because it was a marked-yardage course, don’t think it was easy.
“I kind of drug my feet on (that tournament) for a while,” Wilson said.
“My attitude was — I always shot 3-D which are unmarked — why would someone want to go down and shoot marked-yardage? How hard is that? Well, a perfect score is 1,540 and I haven’t scored 1,400 yet. So, even though you know the distance, you still need to execute the shot. And that’s tough.”
The three guys are also members of the Grande Ronde Bowmen, which has a course on the face of Mt. Emily.
Paullus said that the Bowmen are working hard to try and improve their course to someday host a national shoot.
“We will probably here in a couple years have the only range in Eastern Oregon to have two marked-yardage courses and two unmarked-yardage courses that could handle just about any form of shooting you want to do,” Paullus said.
“We wanna bring the state shoots here and the national shoots here.”
The Grande Ronde Bowmen held an International Bowhunting Organization world qualifier at its Mt. Emily course Sunday.
The top 25 shooters in every class automatically qualify for the IBO world championships scheduled for Aug. 7-10 in Seven Springs, Pa.
The GRB has held world qualifiers in the past, but this was the first year the club has held it at its Mt. Emily location.
“With the improvements and clean up that have happened on our range over the past few years we were excited to show it off to local and out-of-state archers,” GRB President Clayton Lowe said.
“We were very excited to get some great feedback on our club course. Several archers from Washington, Idaho and other parts of Oregon raved that they have got to bring their friends next time.”
Lowe finished in first place in the men’s bowhunter release class with a score of 366.
Wilson was the top master senior hunter class shooter with 362 points, while Paullus had 396 points to win the master class bowhunter. Gibson won the men’s bowhunter fingers class with 291 points.
Lowe said the turnout was a little down this year, but those who did compete were impressed with the Mt. Emily range.
“This is one of the top-10 IBO courses I have ever seen,” said Bill Young of Spokane, Wash. “I thoroughly enjoyed the challenging layout of this beautiful range.”
John Nelson of the Tri-Cities liked all of the options that the course offers.
“There are endless possibilities to the course layout. It can be different every year,” he said.
Lowe said the GRB always welcomes new archers to their range.
“We would love to see more local shooters and more traditional shooters come enjoy this shoot, especially the county’s youth” Lowe said.
“Some shooters shy away when they hear it’s a world qualifier without realizing that there is no extra membership fee to shoot in it. It attracts archers from all over the three states but the Grande Ronde Valley holds an overwhelming number of great archers who can compete at any level.”
Lowe said anyone can join the Grande Ronde Bowmen at any time.
Membership forms can be found at Alpine Archery, Ben’s Archery and Thatcher’s Ace Hardware in La Grande.
The Grande Ronde Bowmen can be found online at granderondebowmen.org or Lowe can be contacted at 541-663-6440.