Yesterday I arrived at the Manitoba Outdoor 3D Provincial Championships at 9:00 am. I was nervous. It was my first archery competition ever. I had no idea what I was doing or what to expect. All I knew was that I would have to shoot at some type of animal target somewhere in the bush, 20 times.
I almost didn't make it through equipment check as I only had 4 of my mismatched Easton 500 arrows. My old faithfuls. I told them I didn't know matching arrows were a requirement and luckily they let it slide. They thought I was an idiot.
Teams were called out for the first round and we all gathered into our groups as the score cards were dispersed. I didn't even know how to score. Had never even counted my own score before. The members in my group were kind to me and extremely helpful. I'm sure they still all thought I was an idiot about to bomb the shoot. At that point I wasn't too sure myself.
The shoot being a shotgun start meant that we had to walk out to our designated start target; number 9, a howling white wolf, and begin shooting when we heard the shot.
I had been wondering why so many people were carrying binoculars but as our first shooter took his place at his designated stake it became clear to me. He was examining the target. I also realized how difficult (and later on impossible) it was to see the "X" spot on the wolf's side. I shot last out of us four hitting a respectable "10", much to my teammates' surprise. My nerves cooled instantly.
The rest of round one went well. There were some challenging shots up and down varying inclinations with deceiving distances but I managed to hit every target with a respectable first time score of 167 out of 220 possible points. I was leading the female Hunter division.
During the lunch break I spoke to a few of the officials who were asking how I was finding it and found out that the second round was to be more challenging. Boy were they telling the truth.
Our maximum distance for the female Hunter division was 40 yards so I expected maybe a handful of the 20 targets to be at or close to that distance. Wrong. Most of the shots were long. Even the other, more experienced competitors were shocked at what was being asked of us. 40 yard shots up a steep hill, off a cliff, skimming between tree trunks and bushes. I missed one shot that round. The others missed more. I was lucky not to lose an arrow.
When all was said and done my score for round two was 136. I had tied that round with one of the other women. My final score was 303 points. 23 points higher than the woman I'd tied in the second round. I had won!!
I had fallen into the provincial championship out of the clear blue sky and won the gold medal.