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NFAA Easton Yankton
Archery Complex

800 Archery Lane
Yankton, SD 57078
605-260-9282
info@neyac.org

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Saturday: 10am - 7pm
Sunday: 12pm - 7pm

New Location Hosts 400 Archers for National Tournament

The scenery may have changed but the success was the same as almost 400 archers participated in the 2007 National Unmarked 3-D Tournament this weekend in Yankton.

For the past two years, Yankton has been home to the national outdoor championship. The National Field Archery Association (NFAA) had hosted the tournament at the Lewis & Clark State Recreation Area on the western edge of Yankton.

However, this year the tournament was held south of the Super 8 Motel and Best Western Kelly Inn. Bruce Cull, NFAA president, said the main reason the move occurred was to accommodate the large crowd.

"One reason was that the tournament didn't fit in the lake area like they wanted it to. It's a lot of people with a big impact on that area," Cull said. "The reasons I think are several, but we used a lot of land they have other uses for, and they already have a busy schedule."

Cull said with the help of the city, county and Chamber of Commerce, the NFAA was able to make the transition from the lake into the city limits. The NFAA had to get approval from both city and county officials, and then a city ordinance had to be changed allowing bows to be shot only in town at NFAA-approved events.

The NFAA also had to find available land. Most of the land at this year's site is private ground. Cull said some of the land was purchased, while private owners agreed to let the shooters use other portions for the tournament.

"It's been great. The people have really helped us do this," Cull said.

Cull said one of the reasons the tournament first came to Yankton was because there was a dilemma with the host site.

"Several people just came to me because I was the president and said, ïHey, we've been to Yankton, why not try it there?' One thing led to another and we ended up here," Cull said.

Three ranges were built for the tournament. The two-month project was completed last week.

"As far as the courses go, they are beautiful top-of-the-line ranges," Cull said. "They are just as good as they get. I've heard nothing but compliments about the ranges."

Three new ranges will be added because Yankton hosts two tournaments in 2008.

"Next year it's this tournament along with the 2008 National Field Championship. Between those two, we get about 900 shooters, compared to the 400 that are here," Cull said.

He said this year's turnout was within 20-30 people of last year. He said about 75 percent of the people attend every year.

"One thing we've noticed this year is the number of youth. We've got a lot more kids, which is good to see, and I'm sure that's due to the interest in archery nationwide becoming bigger," Cull said.

Adam Cloos and Allen Capp of Milbank both said they would like to participate in next year's tournament. Cloos, 13, placed first in the Youth Male Freestyle Limited division. He has been involved with archery for seven years, and he said it runs in the family.

"My dad did it, and then he got my mom and sisters doing it, but now it's just mostly me and him," Cloos said.

Capp has been shooting for six years, and he placed first in the Cub Male Freestyle Limited Division. He said archery is popular with his family because his parents and sisters enjoy the sport.

Capp said he likes coming to the Yankton tournament because "it's convenient and it's not a long drive." He said the best part of the weekend was "just getting to know some new friends."

The first day of shooting was Saturday, but participants could practice on the ranges on Friday. An awards ceremony was held at 3 p.m. Sunday at Dakota Archery & Outdoor Sports.

"It's a big thing for Yankton to bring in that many people. I think that everybody sees that and realizes it, and they came out in full force to support us," Cull said. "It's been a community effort to get this done, and it's been great for everybody."

Although Cull said he does not plan to make any major changes for next year's tournaments besides the addition of three courses, Capp suggested "a little more shade and a larger selection of candy bars, not just Snickers."