BHSU Archery Club Seeking Members, Officers

Stephanie Oxford, Contributing Writer

With a swish and a thunk the arrow hits its target, but this is not the sound of Katniss Everdeen shooting a squirrel in “The Hunger Games.” It is the sound of one of Black Hills State University’s newest clubs practicing at the range.

The BHSU archery club is fresh on the scene and while some members have been shooting for years, many of its members are getting a taste of the bow and arrow for the first time. BHSU student Nick Gale had only been shooting for a little while when he joined the club. Gale’s interest began when his son received a bow as a gift and they went out to shoot with club founder Steve Weir.

Weir started the club in the spring of 2013. He and the other officers have worked hard to get the club off the ground and recruit members.

“We’re struggling to get established and when people see that, they don’t want anything to do with it,” Weir said. “They want something that’s already in place and I’m looking for people who want to build something.”

Most of the club’s officers will graduate this year, so they are scrambling to find replacements. Quite a few people signed up during the student organization fair, but not many of them followed through, according to Archery Club’s President, Anastasia Bush.

The club is not just another extra-curricular activity for BHSU students, it is a competitive team. They can’t form as a NCAA team because archery is not recognized as a college sport. Weir is working on getting team accreditation through the U.S. Collegiate Archery Association (USCAA) instead.

The USCAA offers grants to new and existing archery clubs. These grants come in the form of equipment. The team can also get a trailer for moving their equipment to competitions, according to Weir.

The equipment grant for new clubs includes 12-15 beginner recurve bows, arrows and a variety of other things including protective equipment, according to the USCAA website. While equipment grants can help get the club started, the USCAA also offers benefits for individual members.

“The USCAA gives students an opportunity to earn scholarships and national honors. There’s also the possibility of U.S. Olympic team placement,” Weir said.

Competition was not Weir’s only goal when he started the archery club. He also plans on getting the club involved with the community. Weir believes that archery is a vital survival skill, and it’s something he wants to pass on.

“If we can get involved with elementary, middle, and high school programs then we would be fostering our future generation of Yellow Jacket archers,” Weir said.

Anyone interested in joining the archery club should contact Anastasia Bush at [email protected] Personal archery equipment is not necessary to join the club.