MV grad World Champion archer
BY ROBERT L. BAKER
When Pennsylvania’s fall archery deer season opens Oct. 2, the animals will have something new to contend with.
They will have a newly ordained World Champion archer in their midst.
John Demmer III, 30, of Kingsley, grabbed the World Champion Title in the Traditional Bow category in mid-August at Ellicotville, N.Y., at the Holiday Valley Mountain Resort near Buffalo with 414 points beating out Gene Heck of Addison, N.Y., with 398 points.
Demmer had participated in the International Bowhunter’s Organization-sanctioned event in 2005, 2007 and 2008 but always came up just a little short of the title.
The 1998 Mountain View High School graduate said he has been shooting a traditional bow and arrow for more than 10 years, and was mostly inspired by friends to keep at it.
“I do it for the camaraderie, and the opportunity to meet other persons who are focused and enjoy it,” Demmer said. “I try to learn from them.”
He said that the competition consists of two full days of 20 targets. “They take the top five scorers and give them one more day to have at it.”
Although he doesn’t actually hunt a lot, Demmer said “it’s absolutely a thrill” to get a deer or turkey during hunting season.
“I have limited range with a traditional bow, maybe a maximum of 25 yards,” he said, “so that alone makes it tough, especially since you don’t want the animal to have any idea you’re there.”
He admits most people prefer the compound cross bow, but he is content to stick with the traditional bow.
When he was around 14, he got his first bow and arrow paying for it with money from a summer job, and he’s rarely looked back since.
Of course, he has his own targets in his back yard now and also enjoys shooting at Decker’s Bows & More near Fleetville.
Asked about the secret to a world title, Demmer, who works in a stone quarry for a living, said that it seems to come down to the last target every year, and who’s doing best at that moment.
Although he won some cash and a World Champion belt buckle, Demmer said the big thing for him is “bragging rights” although he noted that he’s not likely to lord over anyone his world title.
“The bottom line is that it takes a lot of time and effort to skillfully hunt at this level, and it’s nice that people notice,” Demmer said.
His advice to others aspiring to be the best they can be with a bow and arrow is to “practice, practice and practice some more.”
He added, “Don’t allow yourself to become easily frustrated. And, if you’re not having fun, you just won’t do well.”