Haley West of southwest Las Vegas became interested in archery after watching her father, Dennis, get involved in the sport. Today, much to the joy of her father, Haley sometimes outscores him.
“It is satisfying; it is bittersweet,” Dennis said, beaming down at his daughter. “It is so good to see she has worked that hard …”
Haley, 12, a student at Miller Middle School in Henderson, has been shooting arrows since she was 9. For her, the goal is to “beat the older guys” and her personal best score.
Impact Archery shooters, including Dennis and Haley, have been preparing for months for The Vegas Shoot, happening Feb. 8-10 at the South Point. The Vegas Shoot, put on by the National Field Archery Association, is the largest indoor archery tournament in the world; organizers said more than 3,600 archers had registered this year.
Impact Archery opened in southwest Las Vegas in 2013 as both an archery shop with bows, service equipment and private lessons, and an indoor shooting range. About 25 archers represent the shop at tournaments throughout the year. Impact Archery has a junior league that meets every Monday and Thursday at the shop; 12- to 18-year-old members will compete in The Vegas Shoot.
“If you are a decent shooter in Las Vegas, you are going to compete in The Vegas Shoot,” shop owner Charles Roof said.
To prepare, Impact Archery shooters were practicing in the range as much as possible. Brenda West, Haley’s mother, Dennis’ wife and a shooter herself, said archery is 90 to 95 percent mental.
Ryan Boring, 14, an Impact Archery shooter, agreed that the sport can be mentally taxing. He said he used to “get in his head a lot,” causing him to overthink and miss shots.
Roof said his 74-year-old father still shoots.
Though the sport is challenging, Brenda said, “anybody can do it.”
Archers use different styles of bows to shoot arrows a specific distance from a circular target. Archers try to get as close to the center of the circular target as possible; there is a small X in the center that archers aim for. Scores are based on the sections of the circular target that each arrow hits. In tournaments, archers compete based on the type of bow they use.
The National Field Archery Association breaks down archers into divisions, junior through professional. Junior divisions include young adult archers, ages 15-17; youth archers, ages 12-14; and cub archers, younger than 12. The senior division is for archers 55 and older. The professional division is for archers of any age who are members in good standing with NFAA.
All divisions shoot at targets 20 yards away.
About The Vegas Shoot
The Vegas Shoot is free and open to the public. For more information, visit thevegasshoot.com.
It is split into two basic competition types, one for experienced archers, called championship, and one for amateur archers, called flights. Anyone can join either competition type.
Archers in the championship competition shoot 30 arrows over the three-day tournament. Whoever scores the highest wins the prize money.
To enter the competition, championship archers pay $300 to $500, while flights pay $175. The prize money is $297,500 for championship events and $125,500 spread throughout the flight winners. The prize money is awarded to different places depending on the competition type. For example, in the combined male and female barebow championship, money is awarded to the first- through 22nd-place finishers.
About Impact Archery
Where: 6323 Dean Martin Drive