Rural Missouri - October 2011 - (Page 15)

O U T D O O R S ith compound bow in hand, Carroll Walker routinely draws back the string and takes aim at the paper target placed 15 yards downrange. He takes a steadying breath, then releases. As is often the case, the arrow’s flight is true — bull’s-eye. Looking only at the arrows packed tightly in the target’s center ring, few would believe the archer who shot them is disabled. Yet Carroll, who lost his right arm in an electrical contact accident, has been converting disbelievers for nearly 30 years. Along the way, he’s become a national archery champion who inspires others to persevere. In 1978, a then-27-year-old Carroll was a fledgling archer. “I had hunted with a rifle, and archery was a way to extend my time outdoors,” he says. “I harvested a deer with a bow and arrow before Watch Carroll demonstrate my accident.” his archery skills in the But on an early online edition at autumn day in tember, Carroll’s life changed forever. He and his father were unloading corn into a grain bin on the family farm outside of Green City. With the task complete, Carroll raised the grain auger, and his father slowly began to pull away the tractor. As he turned to miss an old shed, the end of the auger swung into the power lines, electrocuting Carroll. “I remember the sensation of being shocked. I looked down and my right biceps muscle just exploded,” he recalls. “That was the last thing I remember for about two to three weeks.” Carroll received medical attention in nearby Kirksville before being airlifted to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. There, doctors amputated his right arm at the shoulder. At times, survival wasn’t certain. In all, Carroll would spend 69 days in the hospital. “When you’re lying in a hospital bed that long, your mind does weird things,” says the North Central Missouri Electric Cooperative member. “I was thinking of all the things I could do and not really focusing on things that I couldn’t do.” The winter of 1978-1979 was exceptionally snowy, and Carroll found himself housebound without much to do. While the accident took his arm, it didn’t take his newfound enjoyment of archery. Carroll began developing a unique shooting method — using his teeth to draw and shoot his bow. He started strengthening his jaw and neck muscles using a child’s bow with a 10-pound draw weight. With help from a friend, Carroll was fitted for a full-size bow, and he began practicing. Despite losing his right arm in an electrical contact accident, Carroll Walker is a national champion target archer. W by Jason Jenkins Staying on target By 1980, he was participating in a local archery club, and some of the members invited him along to a tournament in Kansas City. • “That first shoot, I came in dead Green last,” says Carroll, who today teaches special education at Novinger High School. “By 1983, I was state champion.” Carroll’s accomplishments with a bow and arrow are impressive. He’s a 15-time champion at the Missouri Archery Association’s indoor tournament. At the state outdoor contest, he’s taken home 12 titles. On the national level, Carroll has accumulated six titles at the National Field Archery Association’s Indoor National Championships. He’s the reigning titleholder in the NFAA men’s senior bowhunter freestyle limited division, winning the title the past four consecutive years. “On any given day, Carroll’s in the top 20 percent of all archers in the country,” says M.J. Rogers, facilities coach at NFAA’s Easton Archery Complex in Yankton, S.D. “On his good days, he’s in the top 5.” for the deluxe model, the kayaks will be available beginning in early 2012. Learn more at ••••• Disability is no barrier for this champion archer M.J. says Carroll’s ability to disassociate the mental act of aiming from the physical act of releasing the arrow is akin to “patting your head and rubbing your stomach.” He adds that when Carroll City is on the range, his demeanor is more stable than most competitors. “It’s like nothing in the archery realm flusters him,” M.J. explains. “It’s advantageous for a competitor to not let the world around him get in the way of the task at hand.” Such is the way Carroll lives all aspects of his life. While he still enjoys the camaraderie of competition, he admits he now gets more of a thrill by teaching others. Trophies and medals may be on display in his home, but photos of his grandchildren take center stage on the mantle. “Why did this happen? Nobody knows,” says the 60-year-old. “But you can’t just sit and do nothing. You’ve got to keep going.” You may contact Carroll at 23406 Hazelwood Dr., Green City, MO 63545 or bring lots of snow for you to shovel. If you find a fork shape, folkfore dictates you’re in for a mild winter. ••••• Outdoor Notes L ebanon-based Osagian Canoes — known for producing some of the toughest, most durable canoes on the market — hopes to appeal to solo paddlers everywhere with its launch of the world’s first line of aluminum kayaks. According to Jared Carr, a sales manager for Osagian, the three new 12-foot kayak models combine both lightweight maneuverability and durable design. Depending on the model, Osagian’s kayaks weigh between 46 and 50 pounds, which is comparable to kayaks built of other materials. Ranging in price from $549 for the economy model to $749 photo courtesy of Osagian Canoes ccording to Ozark weather he endangered American folklore, the seeds from a ripe burying beetle could be on its photo courtesy of MDC persimmon can be used to preway back to southwest Misdict the severity of the coming winter. souri after an absence of more than two decades. After the first frost, cut a persimThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to work mon seed lengthwise (like separatwith the St. Louis Zoo to reintroduce the insects to ing the two halves of a bean). It Wah’Kon-Tah Prairie in St. Clair and Cedar counties. will display one of three symbols. A Once found in 35 states, the black and orange-red knife shape is indicative of a cold, beetle has been reduced to a handful of states. It icy winter, as the winter winds will relies on dead animals for food. By eating carrion, cut through you like a knife. If you it helps return nutrients to the soil and could be an find a spoon shape, winter will indicator of ecosystem health, scientists say. A T OCTOBER 2011 15

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - October 2011

Rural Missouri - October 2011
Table of Contents
Dining on the tracks
Zagonyi’s Charge
Staying on target
Husking heritage
Painting memories
Out of the Way Eats
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
On the brink
Around Missouri

Rural Missouri - October 2011