WINSIDE — Whether at a competition or hunting, Carter Anson has a talent for shooting a bow and arrow.
He recently placed second at the National Field Archery Association meet in Yankton and has a slew of medals from target shooting.
He started in the 4-H archery program, then evolved his art into shooting in other contests as well as 4-H.
“I just love to shoot,” Carter said. “Shooting targets is great, but I really like shooting at deer and turkeys.”
He credits 4-H with giving him his beginning and, with the help of his father, Corey, his passion for bow hunting has grown.
“I practiced a lot to get better at target shooting, but I was looking to get better to shoot game,” Carter said. “When I was going to shoot a live animal, I didn’t want to watch it suffer.”
And he didn’t. His first deer lasted 20 yards, and it was ready to field dress.
“That was very important to me,” Carter said. “I wanted to get a good clean shot on the deer.”
The targets and live hunting are equally important to Carter, 12, who is wise beyond his years, according to his dad.
“We got him a starter bow, and he took it from there,” Corey said. “We didn’t push him, but once he was interested, I was going to help him get as good as he can be shooting a bow.”
Carter had a different approach to the sport than most young people.
“I figured shooting a bow would be something I could do my entire life,” Carter said. “You can’t play football your entire life. I don’t think I’ve ever golfed, so I kept practicing shooting the bow.”
Corey also indicated hunting was his preference but didn’t mind taking him to competitions to hone his skills.
“Competitions are great because we get to spend time together,” Corey said. “It’s great to spend time together at something we are both very interested about.”
Carter also enjoys the time with his father but also has developed a keen interest in the outcome of target shooting.
“At first I just wanted to get better and I enjoyed the outdoors and shooting,” Carter said. “But once I got better — well, I just want to keep getting better and better.”
The intent of the first bow dad bought son has grown into a passion for both.
“I think I got him a starter bow when he was 4,” Corey said. “He kept practicing and got better, so we moved on from there.”
As far as the target shooting, Carter prefers the 3-D shooting.
“Don’t get me wrong, the indoor target shooting is fun,” Carter said. “But I really just love to be outdoors — doing anything.”
In fact, he was in the midst of planning a fishing trip with his grandfather before he returns to school this fall in Winside as a seventh-grader.
“I like to fish, too,” Carter said. “And going with my grandpa and everything he has to show me makes it even better.”
In retrospect, he thinks he probably continued shooting targets more for his dad than anything he will earn doing so.
“It was just the time together and the fun we had at the shoots,” Carter said. “That is the best thing about all of this — sometimes my mom goes along and other family, we go together. I like it so much more with a group when we’re all together.”
Although the reason may have been his dad, he may have found a little more incentive to keep improving.
“I would love to make the 4-H national team,” Carter said. “I’m not sure I’m good enough, but I am certainly working hard to get there.”
And then there’s that “hunting” bug.
“I don’t go hunting to get the biggest deer or some trophy,” he said. “I go hunting because I love to be outdoors. I just want to make sure it’s a good shot to take down the deer or turkey, but the outdoors is why I am there.”
Corey may be biased, but he also thinks he and his wife, Michelle, are raising a good person.
“He’s not afraid to work. He has a mowing business around town,” Corey said. “He will help neighbors do things without being asked and no money offered. He’s just a great kid.”