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ARCHERY: 3D target shoots at Culvertown have been popular

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By Peter W. Zubaty, Sports Editor

The semi-weekly 3D archery shoots that debuted on a course behind the Culvertown ballpark this spring have been a first-year success, organizers say, with nearly 60 participants each session.

“The sport’s just grown so big,” said Gene Culver, who used to set up 3D shooting targets on the property where he runs the Bent Arrow Archery business, but the crowds got to be too big, prompting Culver to petition the Nelson County Fiscal Court for permission to expand the course on a larger location, a wooded area behind the ballpark.

At the midway point of the season — the next 3D shoot is set for 9 a.m. Saturday — Culver said 58 people a week has been the average, and there is space to accommodate many more people. Culver said shooters can register up until 1 p.m. The next shoot would be May 26 and the shoots occur every other Saturday through July 21.

Shooters go on an obstacle-course type of trail through the woods, looking for life-sized targets resembling game hunters would target in real life. Full-sized elk and buffalo are featured, as are multiple types of sheep found in the wild.

“It’s probably one of the best ranges in terms of variety of targets,” said Culver, who is a decorated hunter of big game.

In all, 30 different targets line the range paths, giving shooters numerous options to simulate the hunting experience.

“It’s pretty realistic,” Culver said.

Cost is $10 for adults, $8 for youth and $5 for shooters 12 and younger. Scores are compiled throughout the season, and the best score will win a new bow at the end of the season.