The Rim Country Deadshots, Gila County’s first 4-H archery club ever, took nine marksmen to the 2011 4-H state invitational tournament last month in St. Johns.
The team competed with other teams from around the state through three different courses.
First was a 3D match, where archers shot a single arrow at each of 10 different life-sized models of game animals. The foam targets were placed at varied distances along a path skirting a hillside.
Next was the field archery competition. Here archers were faced with paper bull’s-eye targets set on large foam backstops.
The team progressed through four stations with different target configurations.
Archers could not see the configurations before the event.
Finally, the teams stood at a traditional firing line and volleyed five rounds of three arrows each into large circular targets. Each archer’s combined scores from all three challenging courses determined the state champions.
The Rim Country Deadshots, coached by a team of local volunteers, dominated the state competition, with each of the nine competitors bringing home ribbons in their respective divisions.
Local competitors included Madeline Goldman, Caleb Burket, Dylan Justice, Devin Speer, Kelton Bachtell, Chance Creasy, Karson Ross, Bryndee Hall and Sarah Minturn.