Robin Hood and his band reportedly were a merry bunch, plunking wooden arrows into stumps, tournament targets and an occasional deer of Sherwood Forest.

And for the calming effect of a day in the bush with a good bow and a full quiver, traditional archery is resurging in popularity.

Just ask the patrons of the Appalachian Traditional Archery Rendezvous when they descend upon Winterplace Ski Resort at Ghent Friday through Sunday.

Archers are invited to the fifth all-traditional bow shoot in the Mountain State as the rendezvous gets under way at the local resort on Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m. On Sunday, a church service will be held at 8:30 a.m.

?It?s a chance for children and adults to hook up with the family-style event in more ways than one,? explained Annette Adame of Cool Ridge.

Reason: The resurgence of traditional archery and bow hunting with longbows, re-curves and self-bows has swept into the area, according to traditional archery enthusiast Gene Thorn.

?It was evident that with the formation five years ago of the 100-member Traditional Bowhunters of Southern West Virginia that is sponsoring the shoot, that we needed an archery get-together,? explained Thorn. ?The club is dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of the traditional bow and its use in hunting.?

The particulars are as follows: The Appalachian Traditional Archery Rendezvous will be held at WinterPlace starting from the Mountain House, where more than 40 vendors will be located. The vendors are coming from as far west as Montana, south as far as Florida. Several West Virginia vendors also will be on hand.

Thorn added, ?Common in every sporting shop at one time, this kind of gear has become almost impossible to find locally. As a result, many avid traditional shooters literally use these vendors at events like the mountain men of the Rockies, who attended the rendezvous each year to buy their supplies and gear for the next season.?

Thorn said many traditional shooters fashion much of their own gear. Consequently, the vendors offer a variety of the supplies needed to make arrows, bows and accessories.

?Buying, selling and swapping bows and gear is also part of the event,? he said. ?On Friday and Saturday evening, there will be a blanket swap at the Mountain House. It offers an atmosphere much like an old-time flea market. A blanket is laid on the ground and the seller lays out his wares for inspection. The buyers dicker over prices at times, but when a purchase is made, everyone goes away happy.?

Thorn said the archery shoot will be held in the wooded areas between the ski slopes above and around the Mountain House. There will be four courses laid out with 3-D realistic animal targets for shooters to try their skills. Some spectacular children?s activities and events, including dinosaur competition shoots for trophies, are scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

On both Friday and Saturday night, a coon shoot course will be available.

?The shooting by flashlight at a coon target with reflective tacks as eyes is both fun and challenging,? Thorn said. ?The instinctive style of shooting that traditional bowhunters employ lends itself to the challenge.?

A number of novelty shoots also will be held, something like shooting an apple off a standing bear?s head at a distance, Thorn explained.

In addition, special novelty shoots just for kids will be held, including aerial targets thrown for flu-flu arrows.

Seminars will be given on a variety of archery and hunting topics, including information on how to prepare an animal skin for the taxidermist.

Traditional crafts such as flint-knapping will be demonstrated during the weekend. Door prizes will be given out during the event.

There will also be camping with showers available at the Mountain House. Prepared food and meals will be available on site. A church service sponsored by the Christian Bowhunters of America will be held on Sunday morning. The speaker will be Gene Thorn, pastor of Hensley Assembly of God in McDowell County, and chaplain for the Professional Bowhunter?s Society.

The public is welcome. For more information, call Jay Adame at 787-4325, Lonnie Sneed at 384-3527, or Mike Persinger at 252-3993.

? E-mail:

jabbb@register-herald.com

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