NY archer Kim Ferguson wins IBO World Archery Championship

PHELPS, NY – For Kim Ferguson, archery isn’t just a sport. It’s a family tradition.

“We used to shoot in a league before we had kids,” said Ferguson, noting that it was 26 years ago.

Her husband David had also shot competitively since before they had children, with both participating in a recreational Friday night league. Once their youngest son Brett turned 12, Ferguson, who works at Ontario County Public Health as a secretary, got her own bowhunting license. She specializes in the compound competition bow, with her older son Brandon also playing competitively while Brett mostly just shoots for hunting.

“It’s nice to do as a family,” Ferguson said.

Now 10 years after she began shooting competitively, Ferguson is the newly minted winner of the 2021 International Bowhunting Organization’s World Archery Championship. The annual competition requires the contestant to not only be a member of the organization but to also place in the top 20 scores of their specific competitive class at an IBO-sanctioned qualifying tournament, according to the organization’s rulebook.

Kim Ferguson of Ionia practices at Heritage Archery Academy in Phelps, Thursday, Oct.  7, 2021. She recently won the 2021 International Bowhunting Organization Championship in her class.

In addition to winning the world championship, Ferguson also won the National Triple Crown in the Senior Female Hunter Class, which is only eligible to contestants with the top 30 scores in their class.

“It was really surreal,” Ferguson said of her wins. “It was amazing to see that I did it.”

“We told her she was leading. She didn’t believe it until she saw it,” David added.

‘The competitive bug comes out’

Kim Ferguson of Ionia practices at Heritage Archery Academy in Phelps, Thursday, Oct.  7, 2021. She began shooting competitively 10 years ago, and she recently won the 2021 International Bowhunting Organization Championship in her class.

David Ferguson said both he and Kim had initially joined the IBO to improve at their hunting skills. But once they started shooting, the “competitive bug comes out.”

Unlike traditional archery practice, which can involve bullseye targets and clearly demarcated distances within an indoor setting, bowhunting involves shooting at animal-type targets in an outdoor setting at unmarked distances, according to the IBO’s rulebook. Given the lack of controlled settings, that meant “practice, lots of practice,” Ferguson said, noting that she would practice every day, often shooting 30 arrows or more daily.

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