PARMA, Oh. — Jeremiah Parsons has been shooting his bow for a long time with great success, but if you asked him about his chances for a world title going into the recent International Bowhunting Organization World Indoor Championship in Ohio, chances are he would have been skeptical.
“I was going into it pretty blind. Usually I’ll practice about twice a week when I have my bow,” said Parsons in a recent interview with MetroNews. “But I was out of town working in Washington D.C. and I didn’t have my bow. So I hadn’t shot at all leading up to the tournament.”
The lack of shooting didn’t seem to bother the Vienna, W.Va. native. He shot a score of 430. Out of 40 possible targets, he shot the top score, an 11 or “x”, on 32 of them. His lowest scoring shot of the day was an 8. He not only secured the title among college shooters in his division, but he did it with an additional handicap.
“I stepped up to the practice ring where you get about six shots before the tournament and realized my 20 yard pin was off,” he said. “I was going through the tournament pretty chaotic. When you travel that far with a bow, that will happen. I’ve done it before and it’s one of those things you learn to live with.”
Unlike most archery events, the IBO utilizes 3-d animal targets in the competition. Shooters may use binoculars, but are not allowed to go up to the target and inspect it.
“The one I got the 8 on was the hardest, it was a laying down Corsican ram. There was also a fox and a pouncing cheetah and a few other smaller targets,” he explained. “Some of these targets are tough because they’ve never been shot. They are really smooth and it’s like looking at the side of a car door, it’s hard to find where the rings are.”
Parsons is a member of the WVU Archery Club. He’s in fact the president and coach of the organization. He’s also a part-time coach for the Parkersburg High School Archery club back in his native Wood County. Among the shooters he coaches there is his little brother Nathaniel Parsons. Not to be outdone, Nathaniel won the high school division at the indoor shoot in the World Championship as well.
Parsons has been shooting most of his life and calls it one of his most enjoyable pastimes. He cautions though against getting so involved you wear yourself out.
“I’ve torn both rotator cuffs in my shoulder from shooting too much,” he said. “I used to shoot four days a week and now I shoot two. If you’re body can handle it, it’s okay but it’s not the best thing in the world. I tell the kids three days a week is enough. It’s not the quantity of shots, it’s the quality.”
Who could argue with him, he’s a world champion.