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NFAA Easton Yankton
Archery Complex

800 Archery Lane
Yankton, SD 57078


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

Top Archers Converge On Yankton For First of Two Major Events

Talk of two premier archery tournaments is nothing new in Yankton, but yes, there are some changes to this weekend's lineup.

Nearly 300 archers are in town for the First Dakota Classic and the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) Unmarked 3D Championship, both of which have been held in Yankton before and will begin today (Saturday) at the Easton Yankton Archery Complex.

The First Dakota Classic, however, will be shot indoors for the first time in five years. In the previous four years, the tournament - which uses 40, 50 and 60-meter targets - was contested outside.

“When we moved the headquarters to Yankton, it was only natural to go outside, with all the beautiful ranges and scenery here,” NFAA president Bruce Cull said this week, between preparations for the weekend.

Previous weather issues, though, including snow one year and intense heat another, prompted officials to look inside, Cull said. The Unmarked 3D will still be held outside, despite the wintery weather.

And with a brand new complex, now featuring one of the world's only 90-meter indoor range, it made sense.

“It's exciting for all of us,” Cull said.

The Unmarked 3D tournament, on the other hand, will naturally be held outside, at the ranges behind the NFAA complex and along the Missouri River.

“Rain or shine, we'll have that one out there,” Cull said. “That one is more for bowhunters, because it simulates different distances with animal targets.”

The largest of the two tournaments, the First Dakota Classic, serves as the third leg of the World Archery Festival 3 Star Tour. With a million dollar prize at stake, not to mention a new car, some of the nation's top archers will be in attendance.

Proof that the million dollar prize is a rather big carrot, the number of archers still eligible after two legs of the 3 Star Tour for the money is six - the most since 2004.

“It's neat to have that many,” Cull said. “When you talk about the top archers, the game hasn't gotten easier, the archers have gotten better.”

In all, there are 507 pre-registered archers between this weekend's two tournaments, and next weekend's International Field Archery Association (IFAA) World Indoors - which will bring competitors from at least 10 countries.

Calling this weekend the “unofficial big-time debut” for the Easton Yankton Archery Complex expansion, Cull said there are bigger things to come.

“The first official tournament arrows shot here were from the (United States) paralympic team, and some of those people went on to win gold in London,” Cull said, referring to the 2012 Olympics.

“There are so many opportunities here for us.”