In 2016, Nancy Zorn and Randy Rutledge began writing a series of reviews of their experience at various Chicago-region target archery events. The purpose of this series is to encourage area archers to branch out and participate in these gems which otherwise are hard to find out about.
Although these events are annual events, the dates listed here are for their 2017 editions. In future years, check the main Upcoming Events page for the current dates for these events.
These reviews cover the event locations, registration, formats, venues, hotels, and available food. If they can help bring more archers to their favorite shoots, hopefully Nancy and Randy can get a discount at the lunch counter…
Nancy and I have shot in most all the local and not so local indoor and outdoor shoots for many years and decided to share some of our experiences at those tournaments so you might have a little insight on which ones to attend.
December 9-11 PSE Midwest Open
This tournament is shot in Bloomington,Illinois about a two hour drive from Chicago down I-55 . NFAA rules . A 360 round (60 arrows at the blue face scoring a 6 for the X ring) the second day a 330 round (30 arrow at the FITA face scoring the little ten as 11 for ALL shooters) . The venue has good lighting, adequate back stops-the same as Vegas and the NFAA indoor nationals. The competition can be tough in some classes and enough to get your nerves up in the other classes. Entry fee is moderate, cash and trophy classes, lots of room for spectators, lots of parking and space to set up your bow with a pay for practice range. Small food concession at range however it’s away from the shooting line too far to get food if you’re by yourself. Small trade show, plenty of hotels and places to eat. We have not found a restaurant to recommend, but the golf driving range has ok food . Registration is on Archery Events. Nancy gives this tournament a 7 and I will give it a 8. Will be there.
December 17 or 18 Holiday 495
This tournament is shot at the Issac Walton League 20400 Darren Rd. South Bend In. About 10 min off of I 80 and about 90 min east of the Illinois/Indiana state line . This is a one 495 round shot on Saturday or Sunday with line times each day. The round is a 495 round with 45 arrows shot at the 3 spot or single spot FITA target scoring the little 10 as an 11 for all shooters . The range could be a little dark for some but with the target well lit. I like the lighting and have shot some good scores . This tournament is run by Joe Kapp who pays close attention to details. In the past, he has had door prizes for all shooters . Plenty of parking, the entry fee is average and backstops are good. This tournament does draw regional shooters that know how to shoot their bow & arrow sets and this is a good one to win . Register early it will fill up . The only drawback is the range has no space behind the shooting line for spectators. Spectators are restricted to the room adjacent to the shooting lanes with no view of archers or shooting lanes and limited space and seating. Also limited snacks are available, soft drinks and water are provided. Nancy gives this shoot a 8, 8 for me also . Registration at Joe.Kapp@Att.net
December 17 Sauk Valley
Sauk Valley Archers located at 598 Palmyra Rd, Dixon, Illinois is about 1 1/2 hours west of Aurora. They are hosting the Illinois Archery Association indoor aggregate. The first one will be the NFAA 300 round 12 ends of 5 arrows scoring the blue target 5 to 1 with the X as a tie breaker. Sauk Valley has a great range with a great group of members. The range is in a old roller rink, the lighting is good with room for shooters and spectators. Great range to crack a personal high score. They normally don’t have any food but water and soft drinks are available. This will be a low pressure day with your bow and arrow. Great warmup for the Holiday 495. If your addiction to tournament archery is high, Nancy and I will see you at Dixon on Saturday and South Bend on Sunday. Shooting times are 9:00am and 2:30 Saturday. Call Terry at (815) 499-5800 or email Bowkil@grics.net for registration.
Editor’s Note: If my notes are correct, the Dec 17th event is the first of a 2-part aggregate series at Sauk Valley, with the 2nd event in late January. See the Upcoming Events page for schedule updates
January 6,7,8 Iowa Pro-Am
The Iowa Pro Am shoot at Hy-Vee Hall 730 3Rd St. Des Moines Iowa . This shoot moved from Mason City which was a little harder to get to and the weather could be horrific (-35F, high winds and deep snow)! Moving to Des Moines made a good tournament better. This shoot is the same format as the Bloomington shoot. Day one 360 round NFAA blue face 60 arrows scoring the X as a 6 . Day two 3 spot or single spot 30 arrow scoring 11 to 6 on the 3 spot and 11 to 1 on the single spot, this scoring is for all shooters. The range has lots of space for shooters and bleachers for spectators. The lighting is fair to poor so it’s great practice for Vegas. This shoot is well run and always on time . They get a good turnout for this shoot so the competition can be tough. Vendors are located just behind the bleachers but don’t take your savings as there are limited vendors. The food at the range is typical convention food, high price and not so good. Vending machines in the hallways have lower prices soft drinks and water . Lots of hotels available with heated skywalk to the range. We have found some great restaurants with good Iowa pork . Registration is on ISAAPROAM.com. I give this shoot a 8 and Nancy gives it an 8 too.
Wisconsin Tri-Star Tour
The Tri-Star Tour – three great tournaments – 3 consecutive weekends! Information for all 3 shoots can be found on the Beloit Archers website. No advance registration, simply show up and shoot. All three are walk on, single line with score keepers.
Round 1 – January 14&15, Stoughton Sportsman Club, 918 Collins Rd, Stoughton, Wi. This is a NFAA 360 round 60 arrows blue face, 6 for the X .The range is great, lots of room for the shooters, great lighting with a small glass window for the spectators who generally don’t venture into the range. As at most of the Wisconsin ranges they have a bar which is a great place to sit, enjoy a great steak sandwich, a soft drink or adult beverage and talk over the days’ shooting. All three of these tournaments are run the same way – single line with scorekeepers. All you do is shoot, walk down and pull your arrows which makes it go fast – be ready for the speed – no rest between ends.
Round 2 – January 21 & 22, Janesville Bowman, 5119 N Fox Rd , Janesville ,Wi. Great range, lots of room for shooters with glass windows for spectators to watch the action. The kitchen has hotdogs and chips – ok – but no steak sandwich! This is a 495 round – 45 arrows on the three spot or single spot Vegas targets scoring 11 to 1 on the single spot and 11 to 6 on the 3 spot. Same as Stoughton – score keepers with a single line. Just like Beloit and Stoughton the club members always make you feel welcome and glad you came.
Round 3 – Beloit Field Archers, 9243 Cleophas Road, Beloit, Wi. The third round is one I like, not shot any were else except on our range. 60 arrows on a 5 spot Vegas face or Vegas single spot .The scoring is 11 to 7 on the 5 spot and 11 to 1 on the single . With a total of 660 points on the table, if you’ve fallen behind after the first two rounds this can be a make up round but that 11 ring can be elusive. Like the other ranges, Beloit is a great range though little cramped behind the shooting line so no moving around after you have shot your 5 arrows, just hang your bow and wait for the all clear whistle to pull arrows. Windows look in on the range for the spectators. The food is usually something homemade and good. These 3 shoots get a great turnout – 9am on Saturday or Sunday are the prime times and you may have to wait . Registration is 8 to 3 both days at all three shoots. These are 3 great shoots! Wisconsin has always had great shooters even back in the seventies. I love to take their money and the bragging rights for the year. Worth the travel time. I give them 9, Nancy with a 9 also .