Club on target for shift after top comp
IT was a series of firsts and series of lasts at the Bluff branch of the Capricorn Field Archers at the weekend.
The shoot not only marked the first Boora Jensen Memorial competition, it was also the last to be held at this particular range in Bluff.
After more than 10 years of competition club patrons have resigned themselves that the entire setup will soon be no longer due to circumstances out of their control.
“The person who bought the land at the start of this year is starting to explore for mining purposes,” Capricorn club spokesman Brenton McFadzen said.
“So the way the grounds are set up now, as Boora set them up, they won’t be any more.”
The response from the archery fraternity was overwhelming. The club received more than 50 nominations for the weekend from all corners of the state to fire their last arrows on the one-of-a-kind range.
The significance of the occasion was not lost on Brenton, a club shooter with the Capricorn club for the past eight years and a representative from national and world archery meets.
“It is (sad to see it go) because there are no other clubs around like this that go up and down through the creeks,” he said
“It’s quite unique and I’ve been to quite a few ranges and they’re nothing like this. It will be very disappointing.”
Fittingly the last of competition also coincided with the first named in honour of the late Michael ‘Boora’ Jensen, one of the Central Highlands archery’s originals.
Good friend and fellow hunting companion Ross ‘Cowboy’ White from Capella remembered Boora as a modest shooter with a “style all of his own”.
“He was a funny bastard,” White said. “He’d shoot something and all he would say is ‘s***, nearly got him’, he’d do that all the time.”
Boora was also a skilled craftsman and one of the first in the region to design his own life-like 3D targets used on the range.
“If any clubs wanted his targets he’d cart them around on his boat trailer,” White said.
“I’ve actually seen people walking on the street running into each other because they’re looking at
this car going past with all these animals on the back.
“Four deer up the front, foxes, pigs, a big buffalo looking over the back and people just head-butting each other on the footpath.”
Archery has always run in the blood of “Cowboy” White. His son took home his first competition gold medal at just three years of age and even now Cowboy said he couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
“I love this. Paper targets don’t do much for me but the 3D’s are like being out in the bush – I prefer to hunt than anything else,” he said.
Brenton’s love of archery spurred from humble beginnings also, after watching Australia’s greatest ever archer Simon Fairweather shoot gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
“I thought yeah I’d like to give that a crack,” Brenton said. “My first bow was a bit of poly pipe, a rubber band and dad’s welding rods but he didn’t like me using all his welding rods so he bought me a bow.”
Club shoots will continue at the Bluff range, the next scheduled for August 27, before the range is relocated to a nearby site next year.