After years of shooting bull’s eyes and months of bowhunting, 14-year-old Laurel Thompson’s practice paid off when she took top honors in her first 3-D tournament.
Thompson and more than 50 other students shot at animal-shaped foam targets the first NASP IBO 3-D Challenge tournament, hosted by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) in Nashville, Tenn.
“Target archery (in NASP) has no sights on the bow and just a tab for releasing,” Thompson said. “Bowhunting has sights, sometimes a stabilizer, and a release. Bowhunting equipment is more high-tech, but it doesn’t do all the work. You still have to use your hand-eye coordination and your brain to make a good shot.”
Participants made history by shooting lifelike animal targets at the first NASP 3-D tournament. NWTF reported:
“NASP students have been shooting bull’s eyes for the last 12 years, so we’re excited to offer the opportunity for them to try something different,” said Roy Grimes NASP president/CEO. “Using the new NASP IBO 3-D Challenge format, Nashville-area students tried their skills on foam animal targets shaped like deer, bear, sheep, antelope and, in NWTF's honor, wild turkeys.”
Laurel Thompson of Ashland City, Tenn., was the first-place female high-school winner and overall tournament winner, scoring 280 points of a possible 300. The Center for Homeschool Enrichment and Tutorial (CHET), a Tennessee homeschool group, was the overall team winner with 1,357 points out of a possible 1,500.
Archer Turned Bowhunter
The thought of trying something new attracted Thompson to archery and bowhunting.
“I first tried archery three years ago and enjoyed it, so I kept going with it and began competing,” Thompson said. “About six months ago, I decided to try bowhunting with my dad. I haven’t harvested a deer yet, but just going out in the woods has been fun so far.”
Thompson shoots the same Mathews Genesis bow as other NASP archers during tournaments. When bowhunting, she shoots a BowTech Equalizer. She emphasized the importance of finding other archers to practice with, and a good teacher to help improve archery skills.