Getting the point: Moffat County 4-H archers let arrows fly on their way to state |

Getting the point: Moffat County 4-H archers let arrows fly on their way to state

With deer, turkeys and velociraptors spread out across the pitch of Wyman Living History Museum, some of the targets Moffat County 4-H archery competitors were aiming at had more real-life applications than others, but all of them provided their own challenge.

The Sliver Slingers’ Saturday state completion shoot was a mix of old and new elements of the sport between flat and three-dimensional quarry and classic and modern equipment.

More than 40 shooters competed though they’ve had more than 60 in past years, said Shawn Polly, who coaches the group along with wife Sarah.

While the familiar targets of colored rings make up part of the shooting area, in recent years, adopting the use of 3-D animal targets as part of the event has livened up the happenings.

“Paper targets are pretty boring,” Shawn laughed.

Taking the local championship in the senior recurve events were Kimber Wheeler in the limited and Brandon Madsen in the traditional discipline.

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“I really like my compound bow because I can score higher, but with the recurve I can take it back a lot farther,” Wheeler said of the difference between the makes of bows.

Madsen is strictly a traditionalist, and his wooden bow dates back to 1951.

“It’s simpler to me, and you see the guys with all the sights on their bow, you’ve got to fix this and that, and I just prefer simple and old school,” he said.

Madsen noted the bow’s durability, as well, which he hopes to test during a hunting trip through Colorado Traditional Archers Society.

Among the users of compound bows, Zach Soron won the seniors’ limited and Ty Blackwell the unlimited, with Laadan Rothermund and Tatam Hickman the reserve champions, respectively.

Soron and Rothermund will be the lone Moffat County archers to move on to state in the limited — though Cody Eckhoff also qualified — while the unlimited team will include Brittany Schulze, Blake Duncan, Wyatt Johnson and Tiffany Hill.

Schulze is in her 10th and final year of competition and hopes to have a memorable finish at state.

“I’ve gone to state pretty much every year, so it’s really stuck,” she said. “Way back then, there were only about 12 of us.”

For the juniors, Haley Boatman and Alexander Nichols were first in limited and unlimited. In the former, Kaison Martinez, Kaeden Martinez, Zackery Durham, Alyssa Duncan and Haven Carr will also make up the state group, while Caitlyn Adams, Brook Wheeler, Jasmin Daigneau and Abbie Blackwell will be in the latter.

Though they won’t be attending state, Garrett Taylor and Jarred Bennett also were eligible in the limited.

The Colorado 4-H archery events take place Aug. 18 and 19 in Pueblo, and though it’s a competition many of them have faced before, shooters hope to make it a good one.

“It’s my last year as a junior, so I just want to have a fun time over there,” Nichols said.


4-H archery state shooting teams


Compound limited

  1. Zach Soron
  2. Laadan Rothermund

— Cody Eckhoff also qualified for state.

Compound unlimited

  1. Ty Blackwell
  2. Tatam Hickman
  3. Brittany Schulze
  4. Wyatt Johnson
  5. Blake Duncan
  6. Tiffany Hill

Recurve limited

  1. Kimber Wheeler

Recurve traditional 

  1. Brandon Madsen

• Junior

Compound limited 

  1. Haley Boatman
  2. Kaison Martinez
  3. Kaeden Martinez
  4. Zackery Durham
  5. Alyssa Duncan
  6. Haven Carr

— Garrett Taylor and Jarred Bennett also qualified for state.

Compound unlimited

  1. Alexander Nichols
  2. Caitlyn Adams
  3. Brook Wheeler
  4. Jasmin Daigneau
  5. Abbie Blackwell