Wednesday, July 16, 2014

No 3D Animal Targets Allowed at El Dorado Park Archery Range in Long Beach, CA!

Last week I was informed by a local blog reader that the El Dorado Park (Long Beach, CA) archery range we know and love has disallowed use of 3D animal targets effective immediately. I was shocked as I have been using 3D animal targets at the range for over five years with no issues. Using the 3D animal targets allows us to better prepare for hunting season. I read this excerpt in the California Bowmen Hunters newsletter about the change;

From the CBH newsletter:
There was a recent ruling at the El Dorado Archery Range, by the Long Beach Parks and Recreation Department, that disallows the placement of...and shooting at... 3D animal targets in front of the butts on this range. This is a practice that has been enjoyed by target archers and bowhunters for years without problems.

This ruling was based upon two women who had observed an archery class being taught by Marcus Bossett. They were aghast at seeing youth shooting at 3D Animal Targets and demanded that the park stop this terrible practice.

The “terribly offensive” class is called “Instinctive Archery” and Marcus has been using his own personal 3D targets for his students to shoot at so they know how to shoot and score all of the tournaments held in California which includes the 3D tournaments.

These two women managed to cause a sweeping policy change that includes the entire archery range and anyone who comes to enjoy it.

Marcus and I spoke a couple years ago when PETA planned a protest at his classes due to his use of 3D animal targets. He had 'dedicated four and a half years to the range.' I contacted Marcus regarding what I had read and he confirmed what the newsletter states. He said that during one of his classes, a woman walked up in between his students and the targets (incredibly unsafe on her part) and began taking photographs of the animal targets and then turned around and took photographs of the class. When Marcus asked her if he could help her she ignored him and walked away. He tried confronting her and she remained silent, got in her vehicle and drove off.

Shortly thereafter, Marcus was informed he would no longer be allowed to teach archery at El Dorado Park. Marcus explained to me that he contacted the park numerous times and spoke to Citywide Programs Superintendent, Joy Warren a trying to get a straight answer as to why. He stated that she refused to meet with him in person, but would talk on the phone. He also mentioned that he was told that very few people are using their own 3D targets on the range. I have shot 3D animal targets at this range since 2009. So has my hunting partner and many of my friends. So do many other archers. I even have video proof of my shooting 3D animal targets in 2009 with no issues with anyone. I even had other archers ask me if they could shoot it, too.



In checking the El Dorado Park webpage, I notice the lack of any information on the archery range. At the bottom, it does mention the Junior Olympic Archery Development program and states, 'FREE archery instruction. Learn on their equipment or your own!' Yes, it also says your own, so can't archers bring their own targets to this class? If to this class, then can't other archers bring their own targets as well?

I called Joy Warren and she informed me that the ruling is indeed correct. There were a couple people that felt the park was 'promoting the injuring of animals' by shooting at the 3D foam targets and the 'park does not want confrontation'. She admitted she knows very little about archery and bowhunting. Just to clarify, shooting a 3D animal target allows bowhunters to practice better shots so that when we hunt these animals our shots are spot on and so we DON'T leave an injured animal in the forest. We want our shots to be accurate and for the animal to die quickly. We hunters don't like to see an injured animal any more than you do.

I shared with Joy that bowhunters use 3D animal targets to more accurately focus their shots by shooting for a smaller area in preparation for hunting. That's one of the reasons we use them. Another reason for using our own 3D targets is that we don't beat up the straw bales or the rubber backing used by the Olympic-style archers. We bring our own targets to save the park having to replace the bales sooner and to have a more solid target to shoot.

Here's the real issue. The park did not inform the public of this change! I asked if I could see the official letter they sent out to people. Come to find out, they didn't draft a letter to go out and they surely didn't post notices around the range stating that archers couldn't use them. What they are doing is if the rangers see someone is shooting at a 3D animal target, the rangers go out and inform the archer they must remove the target from the range as they are not allowed any longer. She also stated that there was no plan to inform the public. It's not even mentioned on the Long Beach Parks website. Many of us bowhunters buy an annual park pass specifically to use the archery range. Even the park pass rules are outdated as they now use a plastic pass that hangs from your rear view mirror. At $60 per pass or $7 per vehicle if you don't have a pass, it isn't cheap, but it is worth it to be able to practice out to 80 yards. It's the only place in Long Beach that you can shoot that far legally. Shooting at 80 yards allows our shots at 30-40 yards to be more accurate.

There is a multitude of bowhunters who use this range on a daily basis to practice for hunting and just for target practice. According to the park, only Olympic Style archery is allowed from now on and that this ruling was put in place two years ago. Really? How come no one has ever heard of this until now? Ms. Warren explained that the park manager put it in place two years ago and she is just enforcing it as she is fairly new to her position. I offered to sit down with the Long Beach Parks and Recreation Department and share what bowhunters do for conservation and why we practice like we do, as much as we do. With 30 years of experience I believe I have some knowledge on the matter. I was denied a meeting.

I also asked if bowhunters could volunteer to help rebuild the dilapidated fence just beyond the archery targets. Anyone who uses the range knows what I am talking about. This is a safety barrier and backstop should any arrows miss the straw bales. It looks like Swiss cheese. She said that staff from Boeing would be fixing the fence on July 26. I also mentioned how unsafe it is to have the fence open in the middle and recommended that it be closed. I also asked if any signs would be placed on the opposite side of the fence to let patrons know there was an archery range on the other side. She said they can get temporary signs to put on the backside of the fence. I hope they put a few up and spread them out. Plus, they should be in English and Spanish so that more park users can read them. 

How do you bowhunters feel about this? Please chime in as they must hear from us. I know I am incredibly upset as the next step is to ban anything but a traditional bow. I will be following up with the park to see if we can get the 3D target use back and what steps we need to take.

33 comments:

  1. I think "AZbowhunter" has a better ring to it. Get out of that state while you still can. Sorry to hear about that and best of luck moving forward.

    Ben

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    1. Nice Ben! Yeah, the more we deal with this stuff, the more I want to go to Texas or back to NY.

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    2. I think that it's a tragedy and is a disservice to the young archers that they can't experience the (realism) of getting to shoot at 3D targets at this facility anyone. I find it hard to believe that a couple of tree-hugging soccer moms can have that kind of pull to alter how an archery range at a public facility can be run. I feel that these 2 women did nothing bit create a disservice to those who embrace the archery shooting sport.

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  2. Al, I would love to know if the women had passes to the archery park to shoot, or did they just happen to show up, take pics of the 3d targets and class, and then complain. 'No confrontations' is ok on that side of the equation, but I guess it is ok to confront the bowhunters practicing?

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    1. Hi Bill. You don't need a special pass to be at at the archery range. It's part of your admission price to enter the park. You get access to the entire grounds. And to be clear, the woman that took photos didn't confront bowhunters, she interrupted a youth training class.

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    2. I think Bill was referring to the park administrators who seem to be cowardly in the face of some ignorant agitators, but will eagerly get confrontational with bowhunters. Typical, spineless, clueless bureaucrats.

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  3. Outrageous! The city didn't want to deal with 2 uppity moms. How will they feel if all the archers made a stink? This is complete bs. I'm sickened by the notion that 2 nutter ladies "feel" this is inappropriate and a committee then bands it for everyone. I'm really at a loss of words.

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    1. I agree with you Cody. They bowed down without even asking the public. Unreal.

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  4. So, this woman showed up, committed an extraordinarily unsafe act by walking on an active archery range, possibly trespassed and she got what she wanted afterwards? How amazingly backwards is the political process in California? Around here (NH), the opinions of both sides involved would have been heard before a decision affecting a large organization would have been made. Especially an organization that serves children! I'm fairly certain that considering some of the crime issues in Southern California, these women would rather have the kids taking archery classes than some of the alternatives. This is sickening, I'm disappointed in your local park for allowing a few squeaky wheels to destroy a safe, constructive activity for locals. Please, raise a stink, get this fixed. Obviously the squeaky wheel in that community gets a lot of grease.

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    1. Hi Corey. No trespassing as you buy a pass to get into the park and anyone can get on the range. It is self-policed. The park did not get anyone else's opinion or feedback, especially from the archers or the main public on the matter. You are right, it is very disappointing and we will pursue efforts to get this changed back.

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  5. I say find another facility or find a way to open up another archery range. Run it as a private business and stop relying on your local Government to run it. That way, you are Federally protected by refusing to do business with anyone who has a problem with this.

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    1. There are other local pro shops, but you can't shoot past 20 yards in most. Why should we have to find another location? This place is great because you can bring the entire family there and bowhunters have been using it for years. They made a snap judgement and it was done without informing the public.

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  6. Im glad our club is private. we have had some small media related issues. nothing to that degree. 3 D animals are just foam!. Obvioysly you have some teribly misgiuded people and thats too bad. Quite possibly they may be responsible for more injured REAL animals this fall.

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    1. I totally agree. Foam is foam and shooting a 3D helps us improve.

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  7. I bet there kids play violent video games and shoot and stab people all the time...

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    1. I won't make any claim about their kids or even if they have kids. What I will say is there is that the park personnel should have done some research and then asked for public opinion before making a hasty decision.

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  8. would it be possible to talk with other archers into not going to the park until they change the rule?
    since you guys must make up a lot of the customers, have them notice that banning 3D targets reduces their money more than a couple butthurt, malinformed people. (they care about money, sad isn't it?)
    i think they're afraid 3D targets is upsetting more people into not coming, so show them that isn't true?
    btw i like the calm manner in which you talked to them :)

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    1. Why should we go someplace else? I think we hold our ground and continue to practice. As bowhunters, we need to keep sharp and practice to make excellent shots in the field. Plus, many of us have bought yearly passes. They won't be losing money that way.

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    2. I agree I bought a yearly pass because I enjoy shooting there..It is so sad that some people think it is their right to have everything the way they want.

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  9. I would suggest creating some 3d robots, cars, then swastikas...lets see just what they think. Stupid people need to be exposed to their own ignorance.

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    1. I think the 3D Alien from Rinehart would garner some attention.

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    2. I would consider investing on the Rinehart Zombies. This would allow everyone to prepare for the oncoming zombie apocalypse.

      Even the local soccer moms could take part. They make for great pepper spray aiming practice, and work incredibly well for practicing the overhand designer purse slap.

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  10. Parks and Rec Dept official meeting minutes show no such ruling. I suggest emailing the Department.

    Here's a statement from the Parks Director, so I'm sure he would listen.....
    "I welcome your suggestions about Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine. Please feel free to call me at (562) 570-3170 or e-mail george.chapjian@longbeach.gov"
    Sincerely,
    George Chapjian,
    Director of Parks, Recreation and Marine
    City of Long Beach

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    1. That's exactly what I am saying. There was nothing official, but it is still being enforced. If people are going to email Mr. Chapjian, please do it in a polite, informed, factual way.

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  11. Solution,
    EVERY SINGLE person who has spent money on a pass to get into this park to shoot archery needs to put together a bill and send it to each one of those ladies and the parks and rec person in charge. If they DON’T pay, you send it to collections and you keep doing this until it hurts. There are consequences for actions right? Send them a bill from EVERY MEMBER separately. Because this effects your pocket book and life, now it needs to affect there’s. I am SO SICK of our rights that hurt NO ONE being stripped from us. You fight fire with fire. This PC crap HAS to go.

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  12. Sounds like you need to request a meeting up the chain...with the mayor who appointed the Parks and Rec director.

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  13. Get on the schedule for the next city meeting. Have a bunch of club members show up and express their concerns with the unpublicized rule change and lack of spine of the parks and rec dept.

    They may have tried to "avoid" confrontation; however, all they did was choose a side for whom the confrontation will come from.

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  14. 3D sbooting is also a popular alternative to hunting at all. California.... I'll spare you my opinions LOL but what a fine example of the lack of democratic process and pandering to lunatic fundamentalists. CA is a very INtolerant state.

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  15. After you have exhausted all avenues for trying to reinstate the 3D targets, I would suggest spreading the this story to as many news outlets as possible to demonstrate the ridiculousness of this. The more noise you make, the better. Publicly embarrass these people and get as much negative publicity as possible for the park. Then we shall see how that "avoiding confrontation" worked out for them.

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  16. Although I support the argument that practicing on 3d animals helps to be more proficient as a hunter in the field, remember who you are dealing with. People like Joy who are completely clueless, don't care about your hunting success. 3D target archery is by far the highest paying and most popular venue in the U.S. Back East, the IBO and ASA have tournaments every weekend the size of Redding with $20,000 payouts. So they are stopping archers and children from being able to compete at the national and world level. That is an answer Joy could tell the two whack jobs who got this shut down.

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  17. Turn the tables on these people. Get all the kids and parents to call and complain. Get a petition together. fight fire with fire..don't let them win! Stand and fight Nancy!

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  18. Hey. I have the same problem at our 4h club. We cannot shoot at anything that resembles an animal or human, that means no aliens or zombies. If you can find 3d targets that resemble bowling pins baseballs or something let me know

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  19. This happens far too frequently in many settings. Individuals who feel the need to complain should first try to establish a little communication to develop greater understanding of 3d motivations. Its rather shameful that the park believes the misguided complaints of 2 individuals warrants the lost opportunity of many youth and other archers. Although I am not a local (by any means) I think this reflects a major issue with interpersonal relations these days.

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