Getting the (k)nock of it — Port Angeles archery group's targets go 3-D for realism and fun (3 photos)
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
Brittainy Girr pulls back the bow for a shot on the Wapiti Bowmen's archery course.
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Brittainy Girr goes to retrieve arrows out of a dinosaur target as her father Hector Girr, right, admires her shot. Photo by Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News.
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Scott Gordon, hunting director for the Wapiti Bowmen, lines up a shot on the club’s practice course outside Port Angeles. Photo by Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News.

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Brittainy Girr had just rounded a tree in a dense forest outside of Port Angeles when she saw a ferocious beast.

She reached in her quiver for an arrow, nocked it to her bowstring, drew it back and let it fly, hitting — yes! — the Tyrannosaurus Rex right in the kill zone.

“Usually, we just shoot at cardboard boxes and plastic bottles in the backyard,” Girr said as she approached the target to retrieve her arrow.

“This is a lot more fun.”

Truth be told, the dinosaur, holding a stuffed bunny in its clutches, was made out of a plastic foam material — one of the realistic animal targets set out for the Wapiti Bowmen's 3-D Fun Shoot on March 15.

Girr, manager of the UPS store in Port Angeles, recently took up archery with her father, Hector Girr.

“It gets us away from the Xbox,” Hector said.

Getting new archers excited about the sport is part of the draw of the 3-D shoot, said Wapiti Bowmen club member Scott Gordon, an experienced archer who has downed real-life impala and bison in addition to shooting down the models on the Wapiti practice course at 374 Arnette Road in Port Angeles.

“This is what it's all about,” Gordon said, “helping new archers find out how much fun and how much of a challenge this can be.”

50th year

The Wapiti Bowmen Archery Club is now in its 50th year of training new archers and bringing together the more experienced.

With more than 140 members, it is one of the larger archery clubs in the state, Gordon said.

The club has produced archers who have gone to claim championships in state and national competitions, but one of its primary goals, Gordon said, is to help new archers find their skill.

Beginner sets of traditional recurve bows and arrows can be purchased for around $100.

Hector Girr said his compound bow, which allows better control over arrows, came in a package for $149.

Gordon leads classes in the Wapiti Bowmen clubhouse, part of the club's 20-acre complex, on a donation basis.

He's trained 75 new shooters since December, with 30 of them joining the club.

Physical education

The club also helps train Sequim School District elementary students in archery as part of the physical-education curriculum, something Gordon said the club is hoping to expand into the middle and high schools, and maybe even Port Angeles schools.

A family membership in the Wapiti Bowmen, chartered with the National Field Archery Association and the Washington State Field Archery Association, is $60. An individual membership is $50.

Or novices can shoot on the club's course, which has 28 field targets and a heated indoor range, for $5 a day.

To schedule a training session, contact Gordon at 360-460-5636 or scottinsequim@olypen.com.

For more on the Wapiti Bowmen, visit the club's website, www.wapitibowmen.us.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 29. 2014 5:29PM
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