Thousands Gather For Minnesota State Archery Tournament

DULIUTH, Minn. — Over the years thousands of students have participated in the Minnesota National Archery in the Schools Program State Tournament, this year is no different as 1,900 kids show off their archery skills at the DECC this weekend.

After a drop in numbers during COVID, this year the event has hundreds more students then past years.

“Every kid that walks in, they got that same look of excitement on them, they’re at their state tournament, and that is exactly what we tried to build into this,” said Kraig Kiger, Minnesota DNR Shooting Sports Coordinator.

The archery filled weekend has two events, one classic bullseye competition and a 3D event, where fake animals are set up as the target.

Schools from all across the state are in town to take part in the tournament.

A few teams are lucky enough to have the competition close to home.

“If you’re closer to it, it just feels better to do it, otherwise it gets very nerve-racking when you’re from a different place, farther from here,” said Anders Kohler, Archer.

Since 2002 NASP has helped schools get students into the sport of archery.

The program trains teachers and provides schools with equipment.

Financial assistance for the program may also be available through the DNR or other organizations.

NASP awards $20,000 in scholarships to the top eight or ten shooters from the weekend, and the top shooter gets a very special prize.

“You can feel the electricity in the room when you announce that little Suzy or little Johnny has won a lifetime hunting license,” said Kiger.

The Minnesota DNR, one of the sponsors of the tournament, has weekly webinars on different outdoors skills, including shooting sports such as archery.

Registration is available online on the Minnesota DNR website.

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