‘A stick and a string’

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  • Courtesy photo Treven Weaver of the Coeur d’Alene Bowmen archery club shoots his Hoyt Buffalo traditional recurve bow at Saturday’s club archery tournament in Post Falls.

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    Courtesy photo Archers line up at the Coeur d'Alene Bowmen range in Post Falls. Those who like a little competition participate in the 10-week winter league, which runs through March. The Coeur d' Alene Bowmen are a nonprofit solely run by volunteers.

  • Courtesy photo Treven Weaver of the Coeur d’Alene Bowmen archery club shoots his Hoyt Buffalo traditional recurve bow at Saturday’s club archery tournament in Post Falls.

  • 1

    Courtesy photo Archers line up at the Coeur d'Alene Bowmen range in Post Falls. Those who like a little competition participate in the 10-week winter league, which runs through March. The Coeur d' Alene Bowmen are a nonprofit solely run by volunteers.

Top scorers in Saturday’s Post Falls tournament

Mens Recurve: Scott Neer, 357; Troy Holman, 348; Kerry Baker, 342.

Mens Longbow: Joel Neubauer, 378; Kent Neubauer, 373; Cyrus Bowlin, 346.

Mens Primitive: Denny Cossett, 305; John Zieske, 299; Bill Comfigliacco, 272.

Womens Longbow: Teresa Holman, 294; Madison Childers, 222; Kelcie Hedman, 181.

Womens Recurve: Rebecca Burks, 331; Jennie Steiner, 304; Laurie Neubauer, 295.

Youth Longbow: Marissa Holman, 301; Anna Comfigliacco, 288; Clara Hedman, 25.

To be an archer takes a certain mindset.

Treven Weaver fosters the necessary mentality.

Weaver, who has shot a bow since his dad brought one home from a local pawnshop 15 years ago, has grown into the sport of bow shooting and bow hunting.

“For me, it’s the challenge of it,” said Weaver, who grew up in St. Maries, works at the Black Sheep archery department and is a member of the Coeur d’Alene Bowmen.

His club, the Bowmen, finished an archery tournament last weekend in Post Falls, where they rent an indoor range and hold shoots and practice sessions until April — when most Idaho archers head back outside. Target shoots and tournaments use life size, 3-D foam targets of game animals.

“We have a lot of tournaments and outdoor shoots throughout North Idaho beginning in spring,” Karen VanSkyock, the secretary of the Bowmen said.

The club, which started in 1955, has seen a surge in membership over the past several years.

Saturday’s tournament at the club’s temporary range at 1631 E. Seltice Way was for traditional shooters. Traditional shooters shoot longbows, primitive and recurve bows as opposed to the compound bows that many archers use when they join the sport.

Shooting a traditional bow requires a deftness that compound shooters don’t need, because compound bows are equipped with sites and pulleys that allow the strings to be pulled back with relative ease.

Traditional bows are archaic. They are the leather loincloth of the sport in which most participants wear tuxedos.

“Basically, it’s a stick and a string,” VanSkyock said.

Newcomers generally start the way Weaver did 15 years ago, using a compound bow, often one purchased second hand.

Like Weaver, who began shooting traditional three years ago, they may graduate to a traditional set up if they stick with the sport.

And they may foster what Weaver refers to as the archer’s mind-set.

“Patient, calm, cool, relaxed, methodical and thorough,” Weaver said.

Firearm shooters simply point and shoot, Weaver said.

“You don’t have to get close,” he said. “If you see it, you can basically touch it.”

Archers who use compound bows must get close enough to a target undetected before pulling off a shot, but their equipment has amenities not available to the traditional archer.

“The challenge and the mind-set of traditional archery is completely different,” Weaver said. “It’s more rewarding.”

Archery as a sport has increased dramatically in popularity, Phil Cooper of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said. Over the past 15 years there has been a 25 percent increase in the number of hunters who use a bow.

“It’s clearly exploded,” Cooper said.

He started hunting with a compound bow in 1983, and has upgraded twice since then. The Bear Grizzly compound bow he started with was much less sophisticated than the Mathews he now uses, but even today his bow doesn’t have the bells and whistles of equipment that has been upgraded over the past few years.

Many archers upgrade their equipment every year, Cooper said, so it’s easy for newcomers to purchase good, used equipment.

Idaho requires a 300-grain arrow and broadhead to hunt big game, and bows must have a draw weight 40 pounds or more. Check regulations.

The Coeur d’Alene Bowmen have close to 300 members, VanSkyock said, and the club participates in a number of community events each year.

“We do a lot in the community to introduce people to archery,” she said.

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