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NFAA Easton Yankton
Archery Complex

800 Archery Lane
Yankton, SD 57078


Weekdays: 9am - 9pm
Saturday: 10am - 7pm
Sunday: 12pm - 7pm

Archery: Yankton Hosts Major Tourneys This Weekend

As a Yankton resident and life-long archer, Eric Moore has watched first-hand how the sport has grown in town from being simply an activity for those interested into national hub it is today.

The 45-year-old enthusiast is understandably excited for his hometown to showcase itself on the national stage yet again, as Yankton will host nearly 800 archers from around the country for two tournaments this weekend.

As the two - and only - premier archery events of the summer, the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) Unmarked 3D Championship and First Dakota Bank Classic begin today (Saturday) at the Easton Yankton Archery Complex.

“Hunting, in general, is extremely popular in Yankton,” Moore, set to compete in the First Dakota Classic, said this week. “The growth is there, but the big thing is getting the younger kids involved. We're starting to see more kids sign up for these tournaments and actually do really well.”

Not only do the tournaments give Yankton yet another chance to showcase its NFAA headquarters to a national audience but it also shows off the new 29,500-square-foot addition to the complex, according to NFAA president Bruce Cull.

“This is the largest (tournament) for Yankton for the year, but the archers can see the new 70-meter ranges inside for the first time,” Cull said. “There is no dedicated range like this anywhere in the world.”

As is always the case now that the NFAA headquarters are located in Yankton, big tournaments are nothing new for this town.

Last year alone, Yankton hosted the USA Archery National Field Championships, the NFAA National Field Championships and the U.S. National Target Championships.

For good measure, the Pan American Games trials were also held that same weekend - of the group of six qualifiers, four will represent Team USA in the upcoming London Olympics.

One of the significant changes from previous 3D tournaments in Yankton is the location of the ranges. Utilizing animal targets, the ranges are located behind the Easton complex, instead of out at Paddlewheel Point where they were last year because of flooding issues.

“The big thing is just getting the ranges ready,” Cull said of the preparations. “We utilize our volunteers from all over the country and we work with inmates to help with grounds work, setting up animal targets and other stuff with the Olympic field.

“It's a big undertaking.”

The First Dakota Bank Classic begins at 2 p.m. today and continues Sunday at 9 a.m. at the Olympic ranges southeast of the Easton complex. Archers will shoot arrows at varying distances - starting at 40 yards and working back to 60 yards.

“It's a fun format; there aren't many like that style where your target moves every 20 arrows,” said Moore, who will be competing in the Bowhunter Freestyle division. “In this South Dakota weather, with the wind and the heat, it's pretty challenging to have to walk around all day.

“With this tournament, you don't have to walk in the heat; you just stand there.”

As the third and final leg of the World Archery Festival 3 Star Tour, the First Dakota Bank Classic also allows competitors who shot in all three events to vie for a new car or $10,000 during a shoot-off Saturday night.

“It's the top shooters in the country vying for those two prizes,” Cull said of the event scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday at the Olympic ranges southeast of the Easton Complex. The public is invited to attend.

“Big money brings out the big boys,” he added.

Though archery is not typically viewed as a true spectator sport, Cull said events like the car shoot-off provide fans a chance to see top-level competitors up close and personal. The event will be held inside the Easton Complex at the new 70-meter indoor range - the first of its kind in the world.

“That's about as action-packed as archery gets,” Cull said. “They start at 10 yards and move back five until the last person is standing. That's unlike any other event. There's a lot of drama.

“You have literally have any age or discipline, male or female, eligible.”

In addition to the tournaments themselves, there will also be manufacturers trade shows on site at the Easton Complex throughout the weekend. And though the booths and stands will draw interest, the additions to the complex might draw the biggest attention, Moore said.

“I don't know why the other guys from out of town wouldn't like it,” he said, chuckling. “It's way better inside, especially the last few days. The fact that you can shoot the longer yardage inside is the icing on the cake.”