YANKTON, SD (KTIV) – Maybe unknown to many folks around town–the Rushmore state is home to the largest archery complex in the world.
This weekend, Contestants from around the globe aimed for success at the 11th annual First Dakota Archery Classic.
Over 300 archers, including participants from 30 different states and half a dozen foreign counties have all ventured to Siouxland for a “shot” to win thousands of dollars.
“It’s Massive, absolutely massive,” says Bruce Cull, the President of the National Field Archery Association Foundation.
This weekend the NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Center hosted the National Field Archery Association Foundation’s 3 Star Tour.
“This is the culmination of 3 tournaments, which starts with Vegas, the biggest tournament in the world. Then we have our nationals which are in Cincinnati. Then this one in Yankton is our classic,” says Cull.
4,000 archers began this quest to be the best in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Those numbers have been narrowed down drastically with each tournament, bringing on the pressure for some participants in comparison to contact sports.
“When you get nervous, you’re still moving around and exerting energy. With archery, let’s say you got a big shot to win a bunch of money or win a tournament, you still have to find a way to hold still and make that shot,” says Steve Anderson, a professional Archer.
Like any other favorite pastime, practice makes perfect.
Similar to other sports, Archery requires discipline and often times focus.
To set up, you grip the bow with your non-dominant hand, set the arrow in the rest, click it underneath the knocking point, put three fingers underneath the arrow, fix your stance, fire up and pull back.
“It’s all mental and physical and everything else you need for any other sport,” says McKenna Cooley, an Archer, and contestant.
Over the years, this old-time sport has gotten a rise in popularity through film and tv.
“Just a few years ago, the Hollywood shot in the arm we got was incredible. Katniss has no idea what’s she did for Archery,” says Cull.
About 10 divisions were divided by gender and by age exist for this final competition, giving everyone the chance to be the best.
“Realistically people six years old do it, people 86 years old do it. It’s a sport for everyone it’s a lifetime sport,” says Anderson.
The NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Center offers weekend classes.
To test your skills with a bow and arrow you can visit the link below.