Another year has passed for the Central Alberta Archers Association (CAAA) and they are once again looking forward to the Mother of All Shoots.
The event runs in the UFA Agricentre at the Westerner March 1-3.
“The Central Alberta Archers Association is a club devoted to just that — archery. We’ve got our lanes which are close to 40 yards where people can come in and shoot whether they just enjoy the sport or happen to be hunters,” said Mike Screen, CAAA secretary treasurer.
Screen said the CAAA sees kids getting involved as young as nine and they have competitors right up to the age of 70 and beyond in some cases.
“There are just some things that people love about shooting a bow and arrow whether it’s a traditional re-curve bow or the now popular compound bows.”
Screen said the lanes see upwards of 5,000 kids a year through a number of different programs including school trips and kids clubs.
“It gives them a chance to try it out and if for some reason it catches on then they join into the juniors programs in the fall or winter.”
Screen said there are entire families that get involved including one such example of a peewee archer who will attend the Mother of All Shoots with not only his parents but also his grandparents.
“They will all come out and shoot and just enjoy the weekend as a family. The archery community in Alberta is a pretty tight-knit good group of people.”
Screen said he recalls an outdoor 3D shoot he attended in a field and people were camping and he said it was just an enjoyable weekend with strangers who have now become life-long friends.
“There’s not only a community aspect to it with everyone competing but also a personal aspect where everyone is trying to do their own best and hit that bulls eye.”
Screen said archery is beneficial for people of all ages as it helps with personal development and satisfaction.
“It’s the self confidence in knowing you can do something well, just like any other sport. There are opportunities, too, to not just be practicing but also taking part in competitions.”
While Screen said archery is really not a spectator sport, he said last years addition to the Mother of All Shoots went over very well.
Competitors in the ‘Shoot the Tube’ event have one shot and one arrow, to try and get through a hole just 5/8” in diameter from an unspecified distance.
“Last year they were shooting from 80 yards. Everyone was in the stands for that one.”
Screen said that archery is not just about professionals’ playing field, but that anyone can take part.
“We had some pro-shooters last year that weren’t coming close and than an older retired gentleman with a beat up old hunting rig shot. You could not have put the arrow more centred in the hole if you’d walked up and placed it by hand.”
For more information on the Central Alberta Archers Association or the Mother of All Shoots event visit www.centralalbertaarchers.ca.