Archers prep for Buckmasters

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 14, 2002

The Buckmasters Top Bow Indoor World Championship is a unique archery competition that is both nerve wracking for the competitors and the most exciting of all the major tournaments for the spectators.

One by one the shooters are brought from a confined room into the indoor arena. Twelve computer-controlled, pop-up targets are set in a variety of nature scenes at unknown distances. The targets are set at 15 to 60 yards from the three shooting stands. As the computer sequence begins, the targets appear one at a time. On an occasion, a double target or a moving target will appear. The archer standing on a stand approximately four feet above the floor shoots four arrows from each of the three stands for a total of 12 shots per round.

This year the top 32 archers who have successfully made the cut through one of the two qualifiers will gather in Montgomery on Friday. Two area archers have qualified for the event.

Richard Hammett of Rose Hill is one of the top archers qualified for the event. He placed fourth in the Southern Qualifier last month in Birmingham and he intends to put together a good showing.

"I practice nearly every morning at Friendship 3-D Archery Range before work to help prepare myself for the upcoming tournament," Hammett said.

Being an avid deer hunter has also helped Hammett hone his archery skills. Hammett also enjoys competing at various tournaments to practice his archer and meet new people.

"I enjoy shooting the many tournaments and getting to know people from other places."

Hammett has enjoyed a lot of support from the Rose Hill community and said he is thankful to the many individuals and businesses who have helped him prepare, including Friendship 3-D Archery Range, Garrett's Grocery, Hammett Drilling and Rax's Archery in Level Plains.

He also is thankful his uncle, Robert Hammett of Gadsden, introduced him to the sport when he was 12 years old.

Robert Barton of Andalusia has also qualified for the Buckmasters Top Bow Indoor World Championship. Barton was introduced to archery at a young age when he was either seven or eight. His late father, Lamar Barton, introduced him to the sport.

Barton shoots daily and enjoys target shooting because it helps him prepare for hunting season.

The shooting at the Buckmasters Top Bow Indoor World Championship will begin Friday evening and continue throughout the weekend with the top eight archers squaring off on Sunday. The winner will walk away with $15,000 in prize money and the title

of "Buckmasters Top Bow Indoor World Champion."