Young archers on target at state

BEND — William Tell would be proud.

Three young sharpshooters from the Appleknocker Bowmen tested their skills at the Oregon Bowhunters State Indoor Shoot March 1-2 in Bend.

And one, 13-year-old Jessica Miller of Odell, walked away with the top prize in the youth female freestyle division.

“I was pretty nervous the first day,” said the Wy’east Middle School eighth grader. “But I was still able to tie my best score ever (249 out of 300). Then, on the second day, I shot my best score ever (262), so I was happy.”

Miller attended the shoot with her father, Steve, who competed in the men’s bowhunter freestyle division and took ninth place.

“My dad taught me everything,” said Jessica, who had never participated in an indoor shoot. “I started watching him when I was really young at the outdoor shoots. He got me a new bow for Christmas and that’s when I really started getting into it.”

Other Appleknocker representatives at the state shoot were Kelsey and Kyle Griffith of Hood River.

Kelsey took second in the youth female free-style division, while Kyle took third in the youth male freestyle division.

Hot on their trail in the years to come will be Miller’s younger sister Shelley (10) and brother Nick (6).

“They all got into archery around the same time,” mother Rita said. “I’m the only one in the family who doesn’t shoot. But I still have fun going to the events.”

With all the young talent in her family, chances are Rita will have plenty more opportunities to scope out future shoots like the one Sunday, March 24 at the Appleknockers’ home range on Swyer’s Drive.

“You really learn a lot by watching,” Jessica said. “There are a lot of really good shooters around here. And the more you compete, the more you get into good habits.”

Jessica and Shelley both spoke of habits such as holding the bow steady and a fluid release as being keys to consistent shooting.

“It takes really good eyesight and patience,” said Shelley, who hopes to compete at next year’s state shoot. “It also takes a lot of practice.”

The Millers and Griffiths will continue to hone their skills on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Mid-Valley Elementary School for the upcoming 3D outdoor shoots this summer.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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