Fortunately, despite the storm and rain, on Saturday 11 May, around 200 visitors still came to the opening of the new 3D archery course at the hunters’ shooting range in Saanen.
After receiving thorough instructions and completing one round of shooting, those who were keen went out onto the course with their bows and arrows. The animal dummies sited at the 28 posts were much admired.
"I’ve never shot with a bow and arrow," said a woman on her way to the shooting range. She and her family were staying in the Saanenland over the weekend and the hotel staff had made her aware of the event. Equipped with wooden bows and a quiver full of arrows, they went out onto the shooting range during a break in the rain. The expert guidance from members of the Bowhunter Saanenland club showed them how to handle these traditional weapons. In fact, a few arrows hit their targets. "You almost forget to breathe when you pull back the bow," said the daughter of the family, describing her first experience.
Openness and communication
Hunting with bows and arrows is currently arousing increasing interest. The media often portrays conflict between hunters who use bows and arrows and those who use rifles. "This isn’t the case here in the Saanenland," clarified Toni Marti, club president of Bowhunter Saanenland during the open day. "We’ve also been very pleased to welcome passionate rifle hunters here on the course today," Marti added. He was particularly pleased by the praise received for the beautifully landscaped course and the very real-looking animals.
“The animals are awesome”
The animal dummies attracted much attention from all guests. Some even forgot to shoot. "We really admired the ram and his goats," explained the father of a family that had just completed the course. His son added: "They looked so real that I was almost afraid to fire an arrow at them." A group of two families summed it up very well by the black bear post: "The animals are really awesome."
In the afternoon, a window of opportunity opened in the weather, allowing the course to be completed in drier conditions. Those taken by surprise due to the sleet at the last few posts and who had numb fingers then enjoyed a warm meal. This together with the outdoor experience made around 200 visitors very happy on Saturday.
Based on AvS/Jenny Sterchi
Translated by Justine Hewson
Opening times for the course can be found at www.bowhunter-gstaad.com