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Illinois college starts archery club

February 15, 2010 at 08:31 PM

Illinois College Senior, Jake Surratt, is finally realizing a dream that has been with him throughout his college experience. Surratt has been attempting to start an archery club on campus since 2007 and this year, after he was able to secure 15 interested members, the college approved his student organization registration request.

Surratt, a life-long hunter, says that he picked up bow-hunting three years ago in order to challenge himself and was astonished at the skill and patience that the sport requires. Starting the archery club was a way for Surratt to meet other people on campus who shared his passion.

Most of the 15 club members have some sort of hunting experience but not all are experienced with a bow. Sponsorship by Robinson Outdoor has helped club members obtain necessary equipment at half price. Members must also take a hunters safety course and obtain a Firearms Owners Identification card to participate, a measure that Surratt says has helped to build knowledge and establish dedication.

The Illinois College Archery Club practices weekly in North Jacksonville at Scott’s Gun and Pawn. Members plan to compete in their first invitational tournament in mid-March. Tournaments are designed to simulate an actual hunting experience with 3-D animal decoys in an outdoor woods setting. Surratt even hopes that the IC club can host an invitational tournament yet this semester in order to raise funds for the group and awareness for the sport.

While Surratt will graduate in December 2010, he is leaving the club in the capable hands of Vice-President (and sophomore) Steele Sullivan. “Steele comes from a whole family of outdoorsmen,” says Surratt, “he can carry it on and keep it growing.”

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success.

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