With growing interest in archery hunting, there is an ever-increasing group of outdoorsmen who are also getting involved with 3-D competitive target shooting.
It could be considered an off-season method of sharpening your skills by flinging arrows at 3-D big-game animals.
A participant walks a trail course and targets are stationed at varying distances.
The archer must judge the distance, which may be from 5 to 50 yards, without the aid of a range finder.
A field has 15 to 20 targets and a day of competition has two rounds where the scores are tallied to determine a winner.
Local Tonto Basin resident, Tom Gonzales, has been shooting competitively in the 3-D circuit in many of the Arizona tournaments for nine years and has certainly made his mark.
He was recently crowned the Western States Triple Crown winner in the semi-pro division for 2006, which was his second title in a row.
To earn the gold medal, he had to shoot at the different tournaments, which culminated in Williams against 50 other archers.
Needless to say, the competition was keen and Tom had to shoot very well in the last round to earn his second title.
He is excited about the possibility of making it three in a row this next season.
The 2007 3-D competition begins in February and the schedule can be obtained by contacting the Arizona Bowhunters Association or Bootleg Archery of Payson.
Tom is sponsored by Mathews Bows and Bootleg Archery, where he is scheduled to present shooting seminars this winter and early spring.
The Rim Country residents are proud of Tom Gonzales -- another excellent outdoorsman who has made the Rim Country famous.
This weekend enjoy the fall colors by taking a hike in God's country.