by Jeff Cole
From the pros to those in the youth classes, males and females of all ages and ability levels will soon take aim at the 2012 International Bowhunters Organization World Championship and Archery Festival.
On four occasions, including last year, the IBO World Championship and Archery Festival has been held at Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville. The change in venue this year to Seven Springs Mountain Resort, according to Jane Eshbaugh, director of marketing for Holiday Valley, is because with so many people participating in the event, it needs to be held in other locations to be more accessible for people in various parts of the country.
“The people in Buffalo loved it when it was at Holiday Valley, but now it’s going to take place at Seven Springs for at least two years, so it’s closer to Pittsburgh and West Virginia. They (the IBO) travel around. We are hoping that they will come back hopefully in the next couple of years,” she said.
On Aug. 8-11 competitors will arrive from states across the country and nations around the world. The events will include bowhunter defense ranges, an Easton Eagle Eye championship and bowhunter opens among others. A trophy shoot will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 10 and 11, and trophies will be awarded in each category. A Kids’ Camp will keep children of walking age through age 5 busy at games, crafts and more, while parents partake in the event.
Even though the event is farther away this year, the drive isn’t enough to deter some archers from participating, however.
Craig Acklin of Jamestown, who competed in Ellicottville last year, will also compete in the men’s senior release Aug. 9 and Aug. 10. He said with people from all over the country and different nations travelling to the event, he understands organizers “trying to make the travel fair for everybody.” Though he admitted that having a short drive to Ellicottville would have been more convenient for him, he gave a number of reasons for making the trip to Seven Springs.
“It’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot of good camaraderie and great competition. I just enjoy the shooting,” he said.
Acklin’s friend and fellow archer Jim Livak of Dewittville said that having the event in Seven Springs just means that he has to “travel a little bit farther” and added that he thinks the Seven Springs Area “is going to be a nice venue to shoot in.” Livak, who also competed in Ellicottville last year, will be in the open class in his second year in the event and said that he is looking forward to it.
“There are a lot of really good shooters in that class and I think it’s going to be some really good competition,” he said.
Auge’s Archery owner and Town of Ellicottville Chief of Police Don Auge said he “wished it was in Ellicottville.”
“I got some business out of it when it was in town here and I think that it really boosted the economy in Ellicottville, and hopefully we’ll get it back in a few years,” he said.
Though participants do not need to be IBO members, they must qualify to shoot in the championships. The cost to enter is $40 per adult and $25 per youth. All registration postmarked after July 23 will result in a $10 late registration fee. A special lodging rate will also be available to IBO members and information is available by calling (866) 437-1300.
For a complete schedule of events and more information, visit www.ibo.net.