By JIMMY WATSON | The Times
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — As many as 500 shooters will invade Benton's Cypress-Black Bayou Park and Recreation Area in February when the Region's Archery Bayou Shootout hits northern Bossier Parish.
The event, secured by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission in conjunction with Hoot'N Holler Archery, is slated for a Friday through Sunday, Feb. 21-23 competition featuring amateurs and professionals.
"We are hoping to get the maximum number of shooters there in our first venture into the area," said Region's Archery director Dick Pintcke. "We expect people to come in from a wide area for the competition there. We know shooters from Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi will be coming."
The local shoot will be one of six regular-season Region's Archery events that will qualify competitors for the Regions Archery 3D Championship 2014, slated for West Monroe Aug. 28-31. Other events will be held in Stillwater, Okla., Lawndale, N.C., Carrollton, Kent., Anderson, Ind., and Warren, Pa.
Pintcke said he expects shooters from 6-year-olds to 90-year-olds in the event, which features 35 classes of male and female competitors.
Entry fees are $5 for children up to 12, $30 for youth, $40-$60 for adults, $100 for champion's class, $125 for semi-pros and $275 for the pro class with a 50 percent payback.
Among the top Hoot'N Holler shooters expected to compete in the Bayou Shootout are Daniel Matthews, Caddo Magnet senior Ty Adkins, Carl Adkins, Morgan Shows, Brenda Small, Cindy Snyder, Brandy Mitchell and Kathleen Hemphill.
"We are hoping this will continue to grow the sport of archery locally," Hoot'N Holler owner Chip Hemphill said. "We have seen a lot of new people shooting since we opened this business in 2007."
A number of local and area National Archery in Schools Program participants will be competing on the amateur side.
"We have invited all of the NASP groups in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi to come and we believe a lot of them will," Hemphill said.
Pintcke, who lives in Tampa, Fla., said he spent approximately two weeks in northwest Louisiana on a site visit and found a lot to his liking.
"The venue was a perfect fit and there is lots of activity outside the tournaments for the shooters to do," he said. "With just 400 shooters, the economic impact on your area should be $250,000-$300,000. If we end up with 1,200 shooters, it will impact you by about $1 million."
The event will open that Friday (Feb. 21) at 8 a.m. with registration and practice. Known distance, Bowlife pop-ups, the Broadhead Challenge range and team shoot practice sessions will run throughout the day.
The visitors will be treated to a visit to a Mardi Gras parade float tour in the evening.
The actual competition will launch at noon on Saturday with an awards ceremony slated for 4 p.m. The action repeats on Sunday.
"Spectators are always welcome to visit the ranges after the range officials have signaled for the competition to begin," Pintcke said. "The ranges are designed to be spectator friendly, and we appreciate compliance with some reminders."
Visitors should not allow conversations to interfere with the shooters and all electronic devices should be turned off. Pets and range finders are not allowed on the ranges.
The use of cameras or video equipment must be approved in advance and will be monitored.
Information from: The Times, www.shreveporttimes.com