Hunter Hinz shoots straight

Image: Hunter Hinz takes aim at a 3D target during the Ellis County 4-H Shooting Sports 3D Tournament in Waxahachie.

Hunter Hinz takes aim at a 3D target during the Ellis County 4-H Shooting Sports 3D Tournament in Waxahachie.

Italy Junior High School’s Hunter Hinz, age 12, is proving to be a master marksman in archery as he won back to back 4-H tournaments in 3D archery over the past two weekends. Hinz competes in the intermediate, ages 11 to 13, compound aided division of the sport.

Hinz’s first win of the new 4-H year, which runs concurrently with the school year, came on his home turf at the Ellis County 4-H 3D Archery tournament located at the Ellis County Sportsman’s Club off Sterret Road in Waxahachie on September 6. Hinz shot a score of 315, which included 14 bull’s-eyes.

Next on September 13, Hinz dominated the woods at the Johnson County 3-D Archery Tournament held at the Johnson County Shooting Sports Association Range in Alvarado. He scored a 287 with 13 bull’s-eyes. The second place finisher scored a 274, which means Hinz could have missed a target entirely and still come out on top.

Hinz joined his local 4-H shooting sports club as soon as he was old enough in third grade. While the firearms side of things drew him in, the quiet precision of the bow and arrow soon won him over, he says. Last year, he decided to put shotgun on hold so he could better focus on all of the archery events. He says he enjoys all of the archery events, which include indoor, clout, wand, modified 600, and field, but 3D is his favorite.

“I like 3D the best because you get to hike in the woods. It’s more like hunting because you have to estimate the distances at every target and also know where the vital organs are,” said Hinz.

Each 3D competition averages a 3 mile hike through woods and field. Shooters aim at 30 foam animal targets that include a wide array of animals such as bears, deer, elk, turkeys, fox, fish, dinosaurs, badgers, and more. Hinz plans to continue competing at archery tournaments throughout the fall and spring with the State Indoor Match in March and all other events at the Texas 4-H Shooting Sports Games in July in San Antonio.

“Last year I did well (at the state games) and was only one place out of awards. But I have improved a lot now. So I intend to do better next summer,” Hinz stated.

Hinz thanks his 4-H advanced archery coach Jered Kimmel for helping him improve. “He really knows what he is talking about, and is a great coach,” says Hinz.