What’s his secret?

Chance Beaubouef is used to variations of that question.

Wherever he travels, the long-time professional archer knows he’s bound to get asked how he does it; how does he maintain his standing as one of the top pros in the country.

“A lot of time when I’m at these tournaments, people will ask me about the bow I use or the arrows I use, but it’s all work ethic,” said Beaubouef, a 39-year-old from Mount Juliet, Tennessee (a suburb of Nashville).

Preparation, not always the equipment, is the key to success.

“There’s no magic touch,” Beaubouef said during Friday’s opening round of the NFAA Indoor National Championship that is being held at the Easton Yankton Archery Center.

“It’s the way you approach the sport and how you work at it.”

That approach has certainly worked for Beaubouef.

He has been shooting a bow and arrow for a quarter-century and has been a professional for 20 years, and is a three-time champion of the prestigious Vegas Shoot.

During Beaubouef’s career, equipment has advanced to the point that nearly every archer in a tournament has state-of-the-art equipment, but there are other factors at play with a mental sport like archery, he said.

“The edge you get is mental,” Beaubouef said.

Beaubouef is one of approximately 700 archers (from 47 states) in Yankton for the three-day Indoor National Championship — the event was originally scheduled to be held in Louisville, Kentucky, but was moved to South Dakota.

He brings with him two decades of professional experience that he said originally stemmed from his passion for bowhunting.

“I shot in some local 3D tournaments to help me with my bowhunting, and eventually, that brought me into target archery,” Beaubouef said.

His competitive archery experience, he added, has been a good outlet for his passion for hunting and fishing.

Target archery, Beaubouef said, has also opened doors for him — through his connections in the archery industry — that would have “otherwise been closed.”

As Beaubouef has continued to win tournament championships throughout his career, those victories have provided him with a different perspective than he had early in his career, he said.

“In the beginning, when I started winning, I didn’t really grasp those accomplishments,” Beaubouef said.

“It starts to sink in over the years.”

Back in Yankton, a place he has traveled to many times over his career, Beaubouef is staying with a group of archers in a house on the Nebraska side of the Missouri River.

While he enjoys the scenery and the wildlife of this area, he’s here for a specific purpose, he said.

“I don’t come to one of these (tournaments) unless I plan to win,” Beaubouef said, with a smile.

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