Total Archery Challenge brings its 3D archery to Oklahoma

Total Archery Challenge is coming to Oklahoma.

The company that organizes some of the most unique and challenging 3D archery shoots across the country announced Wednesday that it will hold an event in Oklahoma for the first time at Beavers Bend State Park from April 1-3. .

The Total Archery Challenge is not a tournament. Entrants do not compete for cash prizes. This is fun 3D shooting for archers of all skill levels and ages.

If no one is aiming for a score to win something “now everyone is just here to have a good time,” said Total Archery Challenge chairman Sean DeGrey. “And that was our goal. To create an event that anyone can attend and have a great time doing, regardless of skill level.”

Total Archery Challenge events take place in the most scenic locations across the United States, including the top of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, the Black Hills of South Dakota, the woods of northern Michigan, and many more locations.

Several archery courses are set up at each event to test the marksmanship of all skill levels. Each event features over 100 3D targets (realistic animal targets, including a Sasquatch) that challenge shooters to adapt to distances, steep angles and natural obstacles.

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“A big part of our event is hiking. You have long ways to go,” DeGrey said. “We provide more realistic shots of the terrain than you could capture in any other event. There are obstacles in the way. If you’re not on target, you’ll hit a tree or a rock or whatever, because that’s what happens on the pitch.”

But not all targets are set up as hunting scenarios. There will also be targets positioned for unusual shots, such as a target up to 100 yards “because it’s just fun to watch an arrow go that far,” DeGrey said.

There are compound archery and traditional archery lessons.

Registration for the Beavers Bend event will open in February. The date to be determined will be announced on the Total Archery Challenge social media platforms.

The cost to participate in the event ranges from $60 to $175, depending on how many days a person wants to shoot and at what time. Early morning starts will cost more as an archer can then shoot multiple rounds in a day.

The Beavers Bend event, the first event of the 2022 season for the Total Archery Challenge, is expected to draw participants from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. And maybe even further.

Total Archery Challenge events in Utah drew people from all 50 states, and before COVID-19, other countries as well, DeGrey said.

Total Archery Challenge events will typically have between 1,500 and 3,000 shooters.

“It’s a pretty big show,” said Stillwater’s James Ambrose, who helped persuade DeGrey to bring the Total Archery Challenge to Oklahoma.

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Gary, a chocolate lab owned by Patrick Finney of Edmond, poses with the bounty of a duck hunt near Guthrie on December 29.  Duck season ends in Oklahoma on January 30.

Orange Bison Company

The Total Archery Challenge wouldn’t come to Oklahoma if it wasn’t for two Stillwater residents, Ambrose and Sean McCabe, who did a recruiting campaign with DeGrey.

Colleagues at the Oklahoma State University Foundation, the two men share a passion for all things outdoors.

“We’re always hiking, hunting, fishing, or shooting arrows in the front yard,” McCabe said.

Ambrose is currently preparing for a three-day backpacking trip to Big Bend National Park in Texas next month.

“I spent my lunch break trying to rack up miles,” he said.

During the pandemic, co-workers and friends found themselves with down time, so they started an outdoor business together called the Orange Bison Company. His mantra is Born to Roam.

They sell clothes and just launched weekly outdoor podcasts.

“Our goal is simply to create an outdoor brand, a lifestyle brand,” Ambrose said. “However you like to walk. Anything that gets you out, whether it’s biking, running, hiking, whatever, that’s what we’re looking for. We just want to bring more people outside.”

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On an island

This is the 10th edition of the Total Archery Challenge. The bulk of its events take place at ski resorts across the country. Utah, Montana, Colorado and Vermont are just a few of the stops on the 2022 tour.

If not at a ski resort, Total Archery Challenge looks to hold events in scenic settings and locations where there are other tourist attractions nearby. The Total Archery Challenge is also hosting an event in San Antonio at the Natural Bridges Cavern, for example.

Many participants in Total Archery Challenge events across the country bring their families and make the trip a mini-vacation.

The landscape of southeastern Oklahoma along with the other outdoor adventures around Broken Bow prompted DeGrey to organize a 3D shoot at Beavers Bend State Park.

“It’s a beautiful area and there’s a lot of opportunity there to do other things, and there’s good elevation,” DeGrey said.

Four 3D archery courses will be set up, including one on an island in Broken Bow Lake. Shooters will need to take a boat ride to and from the island.

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The recruitment pitch

DeGrey was looking to expand Total Archery Challenge to new locations, but did not consider Oklahoma until contacted by McCabe and Ambrose.

“We wouldn’t have been here in the next five years if they hadn’t contacted us,” DeGrey said.

Ambrose and McCabe initially tried to persuade DeGrey to go close to home, but he was not enticed by the flat terrain around Stillwater.

“What makes their courses unique are the elevation changes, the topography of the area,” Ambrose said.

Seeking a more mountainous site, the Orange Bison Company founders persuaded DeGrey to return to Oklahoma and visit Beavers Bend State Park.

“At first we kind of harassed him to the point that he finally started responding to us,” Ambrose said. “Then I harassed him enough that he came here once, then twice, then three times and here we are.”

DeGrey said state tourism officials were receptive to the idea of ​​holding the event at the state park.

“We have a good track record and work with giant, well-known venues across the country,” he said. “It kind of creates some credibility for us, but they’ve been great to work with. It’s been pretty painless.”

There will also be an outdoor exhibit at the Beavers Bend event with between 30 and 50 outdoor vendors.

For those who have never participated in a Total Archery Challenge, DeGrey has the following advice:

“Be prepared to hike and bring a backpack to carry water and snacks because you’re there for a few hours at a time. And just get out there and enjoy shooting and meeting new people. people, regardless of your skill.

“It’s a great gathering of like-minded people.”

Journalist Ed Godfrey is looking for stories that impact your life. Whether it’s news, outdoors, sports – you name it, it wants to report it. Do you have a story idea? Reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @EdGodfrey. Support his work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.

Earnest A. Martinez