Weekend draw: A contest of skill

Grand County Archers host regular tourneys at Mary Jane

A bowman fires through the trees at a bear target on the 3D archery course at Mary Jane. The Grand County Archers Association has strategically placed 28 targets on the hillside to test their abilities.
Eli Pace /

A winding trail off the Utah Junction parking lot at Mary Jane reveals mountain goats, wolves, bear, elk, deer and even a couple of dinosaurs — all targets carefully placed by the Grand County Archers Association.

This Saturday, the archers will return to the mountainside to put new holes in their targets — secured through fundraising efforts and some careful, creative planning over the years — for the newest installment of the 3D Archery Shoot tournaments.

Chris Key, a board member for the Grand County Archers Association, removes arrows from a bear target Wednesday on the 3D archer course at Mary Jane.
Eli Pace /

For last month’s contest, the association saw about 10 archers come out to compete, and they’re working to get word out in hopes of growing the numbers and membership.

The tournament fees are $5 for members and $25 for nonmembers. The next contest is set for Saturday and the association has another after that scheduled for Aug. 7.

The Grand County Archers Association has existed since 1984, started by a group led by Bill Wolvin as an effort to promote all phases of archery and fellowship among their ranks. Membership numbers can fluctuates, but generally the group has about 100 archers, board member Rich Kotrba said.

John Kacik takes a shot Wednesday as Rich Kotrba looks on at the 3D archery range at Mary Jane.
Eli Pace /

The archers’ 3D archery range is free to the public, and the group enjoys offering courses through local partnerships in the community.

The 3D range starts at the Utah Junction parking lot and traverses its way up the mountain with more than two dozen 3D targets representing a wide range of life-size wildlife and even a few dinos.

The range is designed so that there is something for all level of archers and ages. Additionally, the archers have traditional targets set up in the parking lot at various distances ranging from 20 to 80 yards out.

Much like a golf course, the 3D tournament course will test an archers’ ability to shoot uphill, downhill, at angles and through the trees. A nice perk to go with bragging rights, the one with the highest score at the end of the contest will take the pot of entry fees.

The association’s board is comprised of Matt Hills, Chris Key, Alberto Lopez and Rich Kotrba. For more, go to

John Kacik, former president and longtime member of the Grand County Archers Association, has his bow fully drawn and ready to shoot Wednesday on the 3D archery range at Mary Jane.
Eli Pace /
Rich Kotrba fires through the rain at a mountain goat target. The Grand County Archers Assocation will be back on the 3D course at Mary Jane for an open tournament this weekend.
Eli Pace /


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