Kanahal Archery Club hosts tournament

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 12, 2010

NATCHEZ — Edna Murray is hoping more women will follow in her footsteps.

After taking up archery last August, Murray has already bow hunted, and taken several deer in the process. On Sunday afternoon, however, she spent time with her family doing a different bow activity.

Murray competed in the Kanahal Archery Club’s archery tournament at Natchez State Park Sunday. The tournament was put on by the recently revamped club in hopes of generating more interest in archery around the Miss-Lou.

“Not a lot of women know there’s archery even around here,” Murray said. “My husband got me into it last August, and when I bow hunted, I killed three deer.”

And Murray said archery would be a great sport for not just women, but whole families to pick up.

“Just getting away from the computer and the daily grind is great,” Murray said. “It’s something you can do as a family.”

Being able to bond with his father is what Austin Dungan, 10, enjoys about archery. Austin’s dad, Derrick Dungan, helped put on the tournament for the club, and Austin said there’s no better experience than shooting both targets and live animals with his dad.

“Bow hunting is really fun,” Austin Dungan said. “I’ve never killed a deer or turkey with a bow, but I have shot deer and squirrels with my gun.

“My dad is a really good person. He always takes care of me, helps me and teaches me to shoot with a bow. He invited me out here to shoot with him, and that’s why I’m here.”

The family-oriented atmosphere of the tournaments is something Derrick Dungan wants to stress to people that are interested in shooting, he said.

“I shot with Austin, and it was a blast,” Derrick Dungan said. “When you get kids into it, it’s always a blast. My wife and daughter were also both out there, and my daughter wants a bow now, so I guess I have to buy her one so we can all do it.”

The tournament included 20 dummy animals as targets. Each animal had rings on its body, with higher point totals allotted to the smaller rings. Austin Dungan said the animal targets were harder to hit than basic ones.

“It’s not as easy, because you can’t see any black dots like you can on the bags,” Austin Dungan said.

Roughly 19 people showed up, Derrick Dungan said, and he hopes to see more interest in the club in the future.

“The turnout could always be better, but for the first event, I’m pretty happy,” Derrick Dungan said.

“We’re just trying to get the club back in the public eye, and get the interest back in it. If people would come to shoot they’d love it. I met some guys. I met some guys today that I had never shot with before. To me, that’s always a plus.”

The club will host a field archery tournament next Sunday at the same location. Registration will be from 8 to 9 a.m., and shooting begins at 10 a.m.