Some of the best archers this country has to offer will take aim at the Warren County Fairgrounds this Thursday through Sunday.
Coupled with the All-American BBQ Festival, the Regions Pro-Am Archery Tour is scheduled to make its first appearance in the Warren County area. According to Richard Pintcke, Regions Archery President, 300 to 400 archers are expected to compete this weekend at the Pittsfield fairgrounds facility.
"We're really hoping to have at least 400 shooters compete this weekend, but we'd be happy with anything over 300," said Pintcke. "We expect to have shooters from all over the country. From as far south as Florida and Georgia and as far west as Washington state and California."
Times Observer photo by Allen Seybert
Locked on target
Clyde Wiggins of Regions Archery sets his sights on the target while taking a break from setting up for the Regions Pro-Am Archery Tour event taking place this Thursday through Sunday at the Warren County Fairgrounds in Pittsfield. The Regions Archery event is taking place in conjunction with the All-American BBQ Festival.
According to Pintcke, Regions Archery - a national 3-D shooting organization similar to the International Bowhunters Organization -is a relatively new venture and the entity has planned three events this year.
"Right now, we are primarily learning how to run a strong, well-liked event that is fun for both the competitors and spectators," said Pintcke. "Our ultimate goal is to create a new nationwide 3D archery shooters event that will ultimately consist of six regions with three scheduled televised events on a 26-week schedule in each region with the emphasis on the "Bowhunters Pro/Am Tour."
With the Regions Archery program in its infancy, one may wonder why an area as small as Warren County would be a destination for a national product.
According to Pintcke, the decision to develop an event in Warren County was a logical one.
"Archery is a popular activity for bowhunters in the offseason and this area certainly has a hotbed of shooters," he said. "When you couple that with the fact that the Cabela's shoot hosted here was very successful, it just kind of goes together. We love this area, the people love the sport and we're ecstatic to be putting on the show we have planned for this weekend."
The show planned is extensive with events running for the better part of four days. Registration for the event begins Thursday afternoon and runs through the day on both Friday and Saturday. More information about registration, as well as rules of competition, can be located at Regions Archery's website at www.regionsarchery.com.
While actual competition doesn't get underway until Friday, shooters will be in action on Thursday with a variety of practice rounds scheduled for completion.
"Some of the 3-D courses will be open and we will also have targets at unannounced distances and pop-up targets available to practice on," said Pintcke. "All of these give a great opportunity for people to come in and tune up their bows."
The first competition on the weekend's schedule of events is Friday's team shoot. According to Pintcke, that competition pairs groups of five or six shooters and allows amateurs a chance to practice and exchange scoring ideas with professionals. That competition will take place at 12 p.m.
The busiest day of shooting is undoubtedly Saturday. Youth will be served early in the day as the kids' shoot is scheduled to take place from 8 to 11 a.m. Following that will be one of the main events of the weekend as the actual Regions Archery Pro-Am Tour event begins with a 12 p.m. shotgun start.
According to Pintcke, the action doesn't end after the roughly three and a half hour Pro-Am Tour shoot. At the conclusion of the Tour event, the amateur bowhunter championship will be held with nearly $5,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs.
"The top two shooters from each amateur class are entered and they shoot head to head until just two shooters remain," said Pintcke. "The last two remaining battle for $2,000 in cash and almost $3,000 in door prizes. It's one of the funner events of the weekend and I think it will be a very popular event."
Wrapping up the weekend's shooting festivities will be Sunday's 1 p.m. Regions Archery Pro-Am Tour "Pro Pressure Point" ShootDown. Pintcke says this event is another "fun one" with shooters shooting from as far as 50 yards out and aiming for a golf ball sized circle on the target. Inside the circle are various point values, including five points for a body shot, eight points for a gut kill shot, 10 points for the heart and a pair of 12-point rings. Regions has also added a 14-point ring on the outside edge of the target to "spice things up a bit."
If the shooting alone isn't enough to draw a crowd, plenty of great food will be available with the All-American BBQ Festival taking place at the same time and place all weekend. In addition, nearly 35 vendors from the archery and bowhunting industry will be on hand, giving locals a chance to see new equipment as well as new styles of bows and new production in engineering.
Pintcke says the weekend is shaping up to be a great one and he doesn't expect that many people will be disappointed with the quality of the event.
"I can honestly tell you that Warren County has put together a tremendous effort to make this a first-class event," said Pintcke. "I think people will find that this is a spectator friendly archery tournament and it is something that they will fondly remember. We're looking forward to a great weekend with a great group of people."
For the entire weekend's slate of events, including BBQ-related events, visit www.wccbi.org.