Annual Bow Hunters Festival benefits hunters and local non-profits

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(WBRE/WYOU) — Deer hunting is upon us with archery season starting in three weeks.

An annual event brings archers together for some practice before hitting the woods. Every fling of an arrow is a chance for these hunters to improve their shot.

The mechanical deer is a popular target. Jeff Bidelspach of Sunbury comes to the PA Bow Hunters Festival each year and has been for nearly two decades.

“You get to know your yardage better and learn where you have to shoot a deer,” Bidelspach said.

This three-day sportsman event has been going on for more than 60 years. Thousands of hunters and non-hunters attend from all over the country.

“Definitely a family event and we see a lot of multi-generational families that attend each year,” organizer Philip Holcomb said.

Along with deer targets, archers can shoot bears, hogs and other animals.

“Each year we have 3-D ranges up on the mountain with more realistic hunting scenario type situations,” Holcomb said.

Tens of thousands of dollars is raised each year at this event. That money goes towards local non-profits.

“Every organization in the county comes here and works and they get money donated to their organization,” Linda Baumunk, a volunteer for the Eagles Mere Laporte Lions Club said.

For the past 15 years, Linda continues to give her time at the festival, making it a memorable occasion.

“Been parking cars for the last 10 years and they’ll come in and they’ll go ‘Hey, we’re here again.’ You know, it’s just a good time,” Baumunk said.

For some, that good time might pay off in the woods during deer season.

The Bow Hunters Festival continues through the weekend, ending Sunday afternoon.

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