Isaac Bedford proudly holds up some targets after he shot his national championship-winning score in Quesnel. (Dale Chaplow photo)

Isaac Bedford proudly holds up some targets after he shot his national championship-winning score in Quesnel. (Dale Chaplow photo)

Cariboo teen archer becomes Canadian champion

Isaac Bedford is taking aim at U.S. pro tournaments

Williams Lake’s Isaac Bedford became a Canadian Champion at the Archery Canada Indoor Target Championships March 5 and 6.

The Archery Canada Indoor Target Championships were decentralized across the country, with locations in every province and Bedford shot in Quesnel. Scores from all the various club events, with Archery Canada-certified judges in each venue, were then submitted to Archery Canada.

The 17-year-old Isaac’s 593/600 earned him the top spot in his category. This score meant that out of the 60 arrows Isaac shot, only seven of them failed to hit the dime-sized centre at 18 metres. All seven of those outside the dime-sized centre hit the twoonie-sized outer bullseye.

Past coach Al Campsall noted “This is remarkable shooting – especially for a junior-aged archer competing against most of the top adult men from across Canada. The only archer to beat Isaac was a long-time Senior Canadian Target Archery Team member shooting in a different category (by only three points).”

“I felt like I could have done better,” said Isaac, of his result. “I know that I shot well but I didn’t actually feel like I shot amazing. There’s always more to strive for.”

With an American pro card in his wallet, the local archer will be heading to international tournaments in pursuit of some big prize money. The professional designation is given to archers who are members of national teams whose scores and standing are then assessed.

He leaves for his next tournament next week, flying down to Louisville, Kentucky, where he expects to face off against close to 1,000 other pros for up to $20,000 in prize money in the National Field Archery Association Indoor Nationals.

He said his perfect score will only put him in the top 20 or 30 at this tournament.

“It’s much less of a ‘who can hit the target’ … I know I can shoot those perfect scores every day, any day of the week,” Isaac explained. “But it’s whether I can do it under that kind of pressure.”

Shooting as a pro won’t change anything, in Isaac’s mind, he said, “it’s still the same equipment, still the same target.”

“I get mad at myself if I miss in a tournament anyway.”

Campsall said that earlier this week, Isaac shot his best ever 30 arrow round.

Of the 30 arrows he shot from 18 metres (20 yards), he put every single arrow into the dime-sized centre “X” (it is referred to as a 30 “X” 300).

“Very few archers in Canadian history have ever done that,” noted Campsall. “Isaac is the only person I have ever met who has accomplished such a feat.”

After Kentucky, Isaac will be heading to the Pan-Am qualifier tournament in P.E.I. in April. It will be an outdoor, 50 m shoot.

“I’m just trying to plan for the next month and see what happens after that,” Isaac said.

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