by Kate Shunney
Cacapon State Park hosted the International Bowhunting Organization’s World Championship on August 10-13, and the group has already committed to bringing the event back to Morgan County in 2024 and 2025.
They made the announcement late last week.
The first year of bowhunting competition at Cacapon drew a large crowd to the park. Competitors shot in the open on the park golf course and along trails on Cacapon Mountain and park ridges.
“The IBO event held at Cacapon Resort State Park was a huge success and brought in 1,423 registered participants plus spectators, total numbers pushed 3,500 total,” said West Virginia DNR spokesman Andy Malinoski.
“IBO staff were key to the success of the event plus help from the Natural Resource Police Officers, local law enforcement, and Park staff,” he said.
The International Bowhunting Organization has already agreed to bring the World Championship back to Cacapon in early August of 2024 and 2025.
Events dates have been set for August 5-11, 2024 and August 6-10, 2025, said park officials.
IBO organizers announced that they saw a 31% increase in participation and they saw a jump in youth class shooters.
“Seeing all the families enjoying 3D archery together was the highlight of our season,” the group said.
Organizers said the championship drew families from all over the U.S. and archers from as far away as Calgary, Canada.
Local people were able to observe the bowhunting competition from select spots throughout the multi-day event.
Park officials closed off trails, the golf course, clay shooting range and the upper reservoir to accommodate the event and maintain safe boundaries for the championship archery activity.
Jason Wilkins of Georgia was the top scorer of the event, shooting a score of 428 with a crossbow.
Eli Forsyth of Pennsylvania ranked first in the Cub category with a score of 421.
Lilly Parks of Pennsylvania was the top Female Youth archer with a score of 421.
Levi Morgan of Pennsylvania was ranked first in the Pro Male Release category with a scor
e of 421.
Gavin Heaney of West Virginia was the top archer in the Youth Release, age 15-17 category with a score of 421.
Ethan Conway of Pennsylvania was ranked first in the Beginning Bowhunter Open category with a score of 416.
Hunter Biggs of Virginia was ranked first in the Hunter Class with a score of 417.
Curtis Wiley of Ohio was first in the Senior Hunter division with a score of 415.
Brady Morgan of West Virginia was ranked first in the Youth Hunter division with a score of 413.
Alex Burrell of West Virginia was the top Advanced Hunter archer with a score of 413.
Stanley Parker of Vermont ranked first in the Master Hunter division with a score of 412.