SOUTH COLTON Archery season began Sunday with the years first fun shoot at the Raquette Valley Fish and Game Club, 233 Cold Brook Drive.
The club holds two fun shoots a year. Shooters test their accuracy against 40 3-D targets placed along a wooden trail. They keep score, but there are no prizes for the winners other than bragging rights.
Weve got to go cut trails, clear them out, and then we have to go set the targets. It took us two days to do that, said Ernie N. Davis, the clubs second vice president.
Depending on the weather, the shoot can draw anywhere from 20 to 90 archers, Mr. Davis said. About 40 participated Sunday.
The day began with an all-you-can-eat breakfast.
Benjamin J. Darou is a retired Clayton native who spends most of the year in Florida. He returns to St. Lawrence County every summer, and even though the weather has yet to turn warm, he always makes sure to come to the shoot.
Ive come up here every time for this shoot, Mr. Darou said. Its a great club, a great shoot.
For many, the event marks the start of the season.
This is my first time shooting this year. Im definitely pretty rusty, said Gregory A. Dunning, South Colton.
Mr. Dunning and son Jerry K. started target shooting last year, making a nice change of pace from golf, the elder Mr. Dunning said.
This is the first time Ive been on a shoot, Jerry Dunning said.
Sundays shoot also was new to Lisa Callahan, Ogdensburg, who wielded a bow for the first time. Her goal was to outscore her boyfriend, Gene S. Gardner, Ogdensburg.
Im gonna beat him, Ms. Callahan said.
Not everyone who comes is inexperienced, Mr. Davis said. Many of the participants have been shooting for years.
A lot of people here are pro shooters. They just come here for practice, he said.
Some of Sundays competitors were bow hunters; others just liked target shooting, but all share a love of archery.
I just love the sport. Id rather hunt with my bow than anything else, club President Michael E. Pearl said.
The clubs next fun shoot will be in July.