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NFAA Easton Yankton
Archery Complex

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Yankton, SD 57078


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

World Outdoor Archery Festival Over 300 In Yankton For NFAA Event

After a successful start to the World Outdoor Archery Festival, hundreds of archers are still in Yankton for the second tournament of the festival.

Monday was the first day of the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) National Field Championships.

“This is a three-day tournament and they just shoot different rounds on the different ranges we have,” NFAA president Bruce Cull said. “The big difference is that these are all marked distances. The FITA field they shot out at the lake were all unknown distances the first day and then they were marked the second day.

“They are similar in some ways, but significantly different from an archer's standpoint.”

The first tournament, the USA Archery (USAA) Field Championships on Saturday and Sunday, saw more success this year than it had in the past.

“We had for the FITA field, it's a new tournament for anything we've ever done. They usually just have a handful of competitors, like 40 or 50, but we had 100,” Cull said. “We doubled anything they had in the past and we were really happy. People enjoyed it and liked the range - they're excited to do it again next year.”

The NFAA Championships welcomes over 300 archers every year. The event is spread over three days and competitors shoot on four different ranges. Cull said the fields used for the NFAA have different requirements than the USA Archery Championships.

“We have four fields all together for this tournament,” he said. “The one at the lake we use because it has more diverse terrain, it's a little more up and down and for the FITA requirements, and they like to have that. These ranges are more for the skill of field verses the diverse terrain.”

With archers traveling from all over the United States, as well as other countries, competitors spend a lot of time with people they've never met before. Grouped together for the rounds, Cull said many new friendships are formed.

“One of the biggest things about archery as a whole, and especially what we do, is the camaraderie. Just the new friends that were made over the weekend is kind of neat,” he said. “This is a family sport - there are a lot of grandparents, grandchildren here, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons. It's their annual time of year to get together and see friends they haven't seen in awhile. It's really neat in that point.”

Marcia Jones has been arching for over 30 years and said there are many reasons why she continues to compete.

“I enjoy the sport, enjoy the company, enjoy the people,” she said. “It's just as competitive as any other sport, but people make friends during the tournaments. I have friends I've been shooting with since 1980. You see a lot of the same archers at all the tournaments, it helps keep friendships going.”

Although he hasn't been competing as long as Jones, LeRoy Capp said it's a common interest that builds the strong friendships.

“You go out and shoot with guys you've never met before, but by the time you come off the field you're pretty good friends with them and keep in touch,” he said. “I've shot with the guys I shot with today three times. As long as you stay shooting, you stay pretty close. Most of them have a common interest that evolves around hunting.”

As Cull said archery is a family sport, David Thomas can attest to that. At just 17 years old, Thomas has been competing for over 12 years.

“My parents both shot a bow and I wanted to try it when I was old enough,” he said. “After I started, I realized I really liked it and kept doing it.”

Archers may be forced to spend more time together than any other competitors and that might contribute to their easily formed friendships, but Cull said it's something else that connects them.

“I think it's because the makeup of the people. The people that get into archery are pretty well-rounded people, they're good people. That's a natural bond that flourishes when they get together,” he said. “Even with our pro divisions when they're in it for money, the camaraderie there is unbelievable. Most of these people have been shooting for years and yet there's still really good camaraderie.”

The NFAA Field Championships continue through Wednesday and to celebrate the Hoyt World Open, Cull said the organization is hosting an opening ceremony for the tournament.

The event includes a free barbecue at the Olympic field on the NFAA complex with South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard and Easton Technical Products president and CEO Greg Easton as honorary guests. There will be shooting games for the public to watch. The ceremony starts at 6 p.m.