SUNBURG -- Most people think of circular targets pinned to hay bales when outdoor archery is mentioned.
It will be the furthest thing from the truth Aug. 2-3 when the Little Crow Archers host the 2008 Minnesota State Archery Association's 3-D State Tournament at the Little Crow Archers Outdoor Range.
Dennis Winzenburg, a Little Crow Archers member and MSAA Conservation Chair, said he expects about 300 competitors for the two-day event. He also noted about 25-30 volunteers have helped or will be helping the tournament run smoothly.
"We had to submit a bid in January to the state archery association," he said of the site selection process. "Whoever bids on it, the board members decide where it will be held. You have to have 30 targets where the kill zones are in good shape. All of our targets were in bad shape, so we ended up buying 30 new ones. A smaller target would last about five years and our larger targets are about 12 years.
"We basically redesigned our range this year, so there was a lot of trail trimming."
Outdoor 3-D tournaments differ greatly from normal archery tournaments in that you are aiming -- and trying to hit -- three-dimensional targets. Small game and big game are represented. There isn't a circular bulls eye to hit either.
"Everything depends on the shooting ability of the archer, whether its men, women or children," Winzenburg said. "The adult divisions have a release-aid division, which is unlimited, or a finger division, which is limited. Not very many shoot fingers anymore. Since then the rules have changed and it's closer to 97-98 percent release-aid."
A release-aid is a trigger-like mechanism an archer uses to draw the bow and then release it. There is a hook or clip to attach to the string and a trigger to pull or push to release the string and the arrow.
Competitors will shoot at all 30 targets that encompass the 25-30 acre range. The targets are shot at from 10-50 yards away. The perfect score is a 600.
"I'm not sure if anyone will shoot a 600, but it will be close," Winzenburg said.
The popularity of 3-D shooting has gone up in the last few years, Winzenburg said. "It is on the upswing. Ten years ago, you were probably at 100 archers that shoot the outdoor 3-D. Last year, they had 256, which is really good."
The range is located at 16952 118th St. NW, Sunburg. For more information, visit the MSAA site at www.mnarchery.org.