John Curtis Daily Union Sports Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — Shelbyville shooter Corey Stigers, in 2011, won his first National Pro/AM archery tournament, claimed Shooter of the Year, but missed being State Champion by a single point. He took a year and a half off from competition, came back this year, and won it all.
Stigers recently won, not only won another National Pro/Am, he won two. He won the Metropolis Superman City Classic, then went to the Illinois State Shoot and claimed Shooter of the Year. However, this year he also shot his way to the state championship.
I’ve been shooting competitively in ASA for eight years and this is my first state championship,” said Stigers. “I have been Shooter of the Year four times.”
Stigers (age 34) has had sponsors during his previous competitions. But after a year and a half, he shot this year without a sponsor.
“I was all on my own this year,” Stigers said. “I wanted to get wins. Then this winter I’ll work on getting sponsors.”
It cost him more paying his own way, but it was even more satisfying when he won big.
Stigers shoots ASA (Archery Shooters Association) tournaments aiming at 3-D targets of various animals at various distances in a wooded course. Stigers shoots in the Pro/Am division in the Known 45 Class. Known 45 means the distance to the target is known and ranges from 20 to 45 yards.
“I got back into it this year by going to Arthur in February for a shoot between archery shops,” Stigers said. “I then shot in some local shoots.”
Stigers went to London, Kentucky in June for a Pro/Am shoot. A perfect score is 400. Stigers shot 448, getting 46 bonus points. He beat the runner-up by 110 points (338).
He then went to Metropolis for the Superman Classic. The Classic is a 3-day shoot, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, prior to the Matthews Illinois Pro/AM. There are three daily winners, who then shoot against each for the overall winner.
“I won the first day, won the second day, and was 8th on the 3rd day,” Stigers said. “You have good days and bad days. I won the overall and had the highest cumulative score for the three days.”
The Matthews Illinois Pro/Am was then on the weekend. Stigers once again shot 448, a perfect score plus 48 bonus points. He would need every point, because the runner-up shot 446, just two points behind Stigers.
Points are awarded this way. Sticking an arrow anywhere on the body of the target is 5 points. Hitting within the 12” by 6” target area is 8 points. There is a bulls-eye inside the target area 8” in diameter that counts 10 points. There is also a bonus circle about 1 and 1/2 inches wide outside the bulls-eye in the lower part of the target area. That is worth 12 points.
A perfect score on 40 targets is 400 points, hitting the bulls-eye each time. Stigers hit the bulls-eye 16 times and the smaller bonus circle 24 times to score 448.
There are seven Pro/Ams a year in the nation. Stigers entered two and won them both. All that was left was the Illinois State Shoot.
Based on points for the year, Stigers used the State Shoot to cement his fourth Shooter of the Year honor. A perfect score on 30 targets at State is 300 points. Stigers shot 328. He beat the runner-up by 26 points (302).
Stigers shot a bulls-eye on 16 targets and shot the smaller bonus circle 14 times for 28 bonus points (328) and his first state championship.
Up until now, Stigers has shot Known 45, but that will now change.
“I’m locked out of it now,” Stigers said. “When you win over $600 and are Top 10 in two Pro/Ams you have to move up a class.”
Stigers won $620 at the Kentucky Pro/Am and won $559 at the Illinois Matthews Pro/Am and he didn’t just finish in the Top 10 in two Pro/Ams, he won two Pro/Ams.
Stigers will now move up to the Semi-Pro Class Known 50. The entry fee will more than double and the targets are Known, 20-50 yards away. He will also be shooting against better competition in a professional class. The next highest level above Semi-Pro in ASA is the top class, the Pro Class. In the Pro Class, there is no Known distance.
Stigers uses a Hoyt 65-lb. compound bow and a range finder. The rest is all him, aiming, allowing for the wind, having an imperceptible release, and hitting a circle the size of a silver dollar at 45 yards.
Stigers shoots out of Buck Stop Archery in Shelbyville, but he is not the only one.
Carl McKittrick form Herrick, who shoots out of Buck Stop, has won state in Hunter Class. He was 2nd overall at Metropolis this year in his class and was 3rd at the Matthews Illinois Pro/Am this year.
Three others shoot competitively for Buck Stop. Rich Orr of Mattoon, Rich Apperson of Tower Hill and Chris Elzer of Shelbyville shoot Bow Novice Class. Elzer has also won State in his class.
Although the big competitions are over for this year, there are still some local and charity shoots coming up.
Buck Stop Archery will be holding the 1st Annual Buck Stop Archery Customer Appreciation Days Charity 3-D Shoot, August 24-25 at Buck Stop Archery in Brownstown. All proceeds from the charity shoot will go to St. Jude’s, the American Cancer Society, and Wounded Warriors. There will be raffles and door prizes, as well as discounts on store items.