The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s (TWRA) Buffalo Ridge Wildlife Refuge in Waverly, TN recently hosted a dual archery event with the TN S3DA’s 3D State Championship and the TN ASA Federation’s State 3D Qualifier. The event marked the first time that TN S3DA had hosted an ASA event at the Refuge. TN S3DA’s partnership with TWRA has allowed venues such as Buffalo Ridge to be utilized for target archery events and furthered the mission of S3DA to impart conservation and hunting knowledge to youth archers across the state. Through education and outreach efforts such as these, a new generation of hunters and conservationists will glean a passion for the outdoors!
The Buffalo Ridge – TN S3DA event brought over 150 youth archers from 17 Tennessee S3DA Teams across the state to compete for the title of TN State Champion as well as more than 400 spectators to the venue. Nearly 50 of those youth archers also chose to compete in the TN ASA event to be qualified for the TN ASA State Championship. TN S3DA State Coordinator, Robert Carter said, “I can hardly find words to express my feelings about the success of this event. Our partnership with TWRA and their willingness to not only allow us use of this property but their work to prep the ranges is an invaluable asset, and we are thrilled that they have welcomed us back for our 2023 State Championship. With the ongoing support of TWRA and their grant funding, we have been able to improve and enhance the S3DA experience in TN. Because of the grant, we have been able to purchase much-needed equipment and resources needed to help grow our program while spreading the message of S3DA for all. I believe that TN S3DA archers, coaches, and parents are hands-down some of the best in the S3DA program. Seeing coaches step up to help archers regardless of their team affiliation and watching young archers encouraging one another and cheering on their competition, are just a couple of things that make these events and this program so meaningful and successful.”
Lily Napolitano with Clinch River Archery competes in the highly competitive Young Adult Pins division and earned her way to her 1st shoot down appearance. When asked about her experience, Lily replied “The experience was nerve racking but also very amazing at the same time. I was so nervous when I learned I was in the shoot down, and I did not know what to expect. I was overwhelmed and did not know what was happening or if it was even real but Kaden Ward, the newest member of our team helped me through it and calmed me down and I was not so nervous after that. This was an amazing experience for me, and it has motivated me to do better in all I do in archery. I will give my all – 100%!”
Buffalo Ridge is comprised of approximately 2,000 acres in the southern portion of Humphreys County. Since becoming a TWRA refuge in 2016, the area has been utilized as an outreach, education, and learning center as well as TWRA’s Law Enforcement Training Academy. Future plans include the addition of a new education center and shooting ranges. For more information on the Buffalo Ridge Refuge visit: Buffalo Ridge Refuge (tn.gov) and for more information regarding the TN S3DA program visit: https://www.facebook.com/TNS3DA.