Archery club on target
Members of the Lakeview Archery Club turned up for a club working bee over the weekend in the rain — but still found time to do some shooting.
Lakeview was established five years ago and has quickly developed into one of the North Island’s foremost field archery clubs recently hosting the North Island Bowhunters Society’s 60th annual tournament.
One of the club’s big advantages is its base — the 14 acre property of Christine and Don Finnegan near Karapiro which includes large sand banks and a 7 acre gully system is ideal for field archery. This is currently being connected into a neighbour’s gully to add further opportunity to the archers’ domain.
The range has a selection of targets — wool bales stuffed with plastics, flat targets with pictures of animals and cast rubber animals.
Christine took up the sport when Don bought their grandson a bow.
“It was hanging in the shed and I thought it would be interesting to learn how to use it. We got someone to show us the basics in an indoor range. We were travelling down to Tokoroa to shoot with the club there but decided to establish a club ourselves and it’s just taken off. Now we are hosting national and international events.”
“Lakeview Archers has about 60 members in juniors, intermediate and senior levels. Most of our members come from the Cambridge and Hamilton area.”
A member of the NZ Black Arrows national team, Christine has recently returned from competition in the world Bow Hunters Championships in Italy where she competed among 1700 archers from around the world. She also competed in the same event in Budapest in 2015 and South Africa in 2013 coming away with a bronze medal.
She was a member of a 27-strong group of Kiwi archers which competed in key US National Field Archery Championship tournaments in Fresno and Redding in April 2015 and is entered in the coming International Pacific Archery Champions which will be held in Whangarei in October.
Hamilton couple Tony and Robyn Denton, the club’s course captain and registrar, are Hamilton City Council civil engineers. Tony had joined NZ Bowhunters as a teenager and last year with a couple of other Lakeview members took part in the World Field Archery Champs in Wagga Wagga in Australia.
“Quite a lot of people spent time in the bush. Hunting with a bow is different to shooting with a gun. You have to get a lot closer, often closer than 30m so there’s a lot of stalking and game tracking and knowing the animal.
“I gave it up for a while but then noticed there was this new field archery club so got back into it.”
There are three types of bows and all are represented by archers in the club. First there is the traditional wooden long-bow as used for hundreds of years, then there is the ‘recurve’, which as its name implies is curved two ways to give additional power to the shot, and finally there is the modern ‘compound’ bow, a technical fantasy of wheels, cams, stabilisers, and optical sights which is designed to allow the user to gain maximum power with only reasonable arm strength.
There are three types of archery — target, field and bow hunting, represented in NZ by three organisations, Archery NZ, the NZ Field Archery Association and the NZ Bow Hunters Society. Lakeview offers target opportunities for all types.
“Field archery is a bit like golf, you walk around a course with a small group of other archers and this can include forest, farmland and even old quarries,” Tony said.
Fellow club member and bow hunter Steve Watkins said being quiet, the bow had an advantage over a rifle in the bush and a day’s shooting drawing a 70 — 80lb bow can be a workout.
Meanwhile Lakeview Archers will host the field section of the Archery New Zealand Youth National Championships in October and has been used as a training ground for young archers including those training for the Halberg Junior Disablility Games to be held in Auckland in October.