Duck Hunters Club aims for a big event

Gwen Chamberlain
Bryce and Rich Moravec of Penn Yan say up to 300 bow hunters of all skill levels are expected to compete on the Seneca Lake Duck Hunter’s 30-target course this weekend.

If the organizers of a new event at the Seneca Lake Duck Hunters Association are on target this weekend, up to 300 bow hunters from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Vermont will participate in a number of 3-D target activities this weekend at the Route 14 grounds.

The public is invited to stop by Saturday or Sunday and observe the competition and learn more about the organizations involved, says Rich Moravec, one of the organizers.

The Finger Lakes Bowhunters Excursion is an IBO (International Bowhunting Organization) World Qualifier and the first leg of the New York 3D Challenge. That means archers of all ages and skill levels will be on hand to take aim at 30 3D targets spread around the grounds overlooking Seneca Lake.

This is the first year the excursion has been a World Qualifier, and since organizers were taking the competition to that level, they agreed to also be the first leg of the New York Challenge. The New York Challenge is a competition spread over three events. The others are held in Oswego and Glenwood.

Bryce Moravec, a 12-year-old archer who has been competing for a few years, says some of the targets —deer, elk, mountain goats, an alligator, turkeys and even a dinosaur —  are more challenging than others because of their size and the way they are situated in the brush and wooded areas.

Trails wind through the woods leading to the different targets, and if a local archer thinks he can get an early practice session in on the course, he’ll be disappointed to learn that all the targets will be rearranged before the weekend.

Each target is marked with scoring areas awarding zero, eight or 10 points, in addition to a bonus area. The maximum score for the entire course will be 300.

In some cases, the entire target animal will not be visible from the shooting location, and the bowhunters have just two minutes to get situated and make a shot.

Moravec explains the goal of 3D target shooting is to make better hunters.

“It’s about making decisions in the field,” he explains.

Younger shooters and those with less experience shoot from a position closer to the target while the hunter, semi-pro and pro classes shoot from a greater distance.

In addition to the competition course, some fun challenges will be set up for the archers as well, promises Moravec. One fun competition will have those in the Hunter class competing for a piece of a cash pay-out with a shoot-off on Sunday for the big prize.

Other highlights of the weekend include free primitive camping, hot food served each day, full bar and live music on Saturday night.  

An archery pro shop will be on site.

Shooting begins Saturday at 8 a.m.

For details about the competition visit www.SenecaLakeDuckHunters.net or call 315-374-2016.