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David  Lohr

David Lohr

By David Lohr
Taxidermist for Kosh Trading Post

First I want to apologize to those of you that have been following our column, but between a couple bouts of some of us being under the weather, and then three events in a five-week period, it has been hard to do all the things that I am committed to do.
We did have an article for turkey season, but it was delayed due to illness long enough that I asked it be held for next year.
Our Pomme De Terre rendezvous at Pomme De Terre Lake Outlet Park (near Carson’s Corner and Hermitage, Mo.) May 2-3 gave me the inspiration for this article, and as it is kind of a follow-up to two other articles I felt it appropriate. This was the biggest event that we had participated in this year with some 90 camps including a Boy Scout group. In addition, on Friday the local school along with some homeschoolers came by for demonstrations and to get their chance to try some of the primitive skills for themselves (about 150 kids plus teachers and family). We even had a small pow-wow over the weekend and all this made for a very good event (we do have more pictures posted on our kosh trading post face book page).
Kosh Trading Post put together an atlatl competition known as an ISAC (International Standard Accuracy Contest), which is the contest for the World Atlatl Association. This was the first time this year that we had done the ISAC. Because ISAC was added to the fun of walking back in time some 170 years, this event was even more special.
We arrived on Thursday and set up the range. Very quickly we had people interested in the atlatl, which since we make and sell them is a good thing.
On the first evening there was a young boy that came by and showed particular interest, so I worked with him until almost dark. On Friday I spent almost the entire day working with the school kids, so I had little time for anything else.
But at the end of the day the young man from the evening before was back. and this time his grandfather was along. Seeing the boy’s love of his new found experience, the grandfather purchased for the boy his own atlatl and darts. The young man was out at the atlatl range almost every daylight minute that we didn’t have an official event going on there.
Saturday morning was the first day of our two-day ISAC event. We had some very good atlatlists participate in the event, including some who have been in the top rankings in the world like Andrea (Andy) Held; the current #1 ranked female atlatlist, Dawn Wagner, womens division; the #3 male atlatlist, Jon Wood; the #4 male atlatlist, Ryan Grohsmeyer; the #12 ranked male atlatlist, Jerry Nevins; and another ranked in the top 30, Dave Patterson. These rankings are based on top official ISAC scores for this year. I considered this field a great honor just to get to throw with.
I asked the young man that had taken to the atlatl so quickly if he would like to compete, and he was ready. At only 11 (and barely 11 at that), I almost feared that he would have trouble with the distances for the ISAC and get discouraged as he would have to throw five rounds at 15 meters and five more at 20 meters, and that would be difficult for him at his size, but he was ready to try. The Saturday event went okay for him; even though he scored well below the top scores, he did surprisingly well considering he had only been throwing for less than 48 hours (granted he threw most of those).
Later Saturday we had a competition with just the time period dressed campers, several of which had thrown atlatls for some time. This time instead of 15 meters and 20 meters, the range was 10 meters and 15 meters. With the shorter range our young competitor had his opportunity to shine. He came in third out of five, missing second by only 1 point. Considering that he was by far the youngest competitor for any of the atlatl competitions, I was very proud of him. On Sunday he competed in his second ISAC competition and placed one place higher than he had in his ISAC the day before.
As we were packing out I kept thinking about what a great event this rendezvous had been all the way around. I met some really good people. I had a lot of fun outside of the ISAC and atlatl throws, and I got to see some of my friends from the atlatl world (I really wish Ray could have made it). Also, I have always considered it a privilege to get to compete against some of the best atlatl competitors in the world. As I was thinking about it, my mind had to wonder if this young man will stay with it and how far can he go. With his enormous experience of the many hours, I have to say it was an honor to have played a role in helping him get started and to have the pleasure to compete with such a fine young man.
For ISAC events go to the web page of the World Atlatl Association HERE . There they have a link to upcoming events. Or, you can see their Facebook page. This is a lot of fun for all ages and is the opportunity to meet some of the nicest people in the world. Who knows, the day may come soon when you are at the top of the list for high score of the year.
If you would like to get started, we at Kosh Trading Post make and sell atlatls, and will be more than happy to let you try one out to see if you like it.
Come by Kosh Trading Post, check out our Facebook page, or our webpage at koshtradingpost.anglefire.com. Or you can E-mail koshtrader@hotmail.com, or call or text 417-280-6304. Since this time of year we do so many different events, be sure and call or text to be sure we are in the store at 206 Bingham, Koshkonong, Mo., before driving any long distance.
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