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Q2 AOW: Archery ambition driving 12-year-old Montanan Nora Krieger to success

Nora Krieger Archery
Posted at 3:14 PM, Apr 03, 2024

RAPELJE — A hip quiver full of arrows, a bow and a barn on a wide-open prairie. Those are the tools of 12-year-old archery state champion Nora Krieger.

“So, we’re at our family ranch," Nora explained to MTN Sports, offering a tour of her grandpa's sizable barn in Rapleje. "I come down here to shoot when it’s windy, or in the wintertime when it’s cold.”

For Nora, who won last month's 4-H 3D state title in Bozeman, and her dad, Brian, the make-shift practice spot is just a short gravel road drive from their house.

“We can turn the lights off, we’re out of the wind and we spend a lot of long nights here,” said Brian.

There's no question about Nora's determination. Case in point; last year when she was at the trampoline park in Billings and fractured a bone in her elbow. Nora wasn't able to shoot for months but wanted to be ready for the rapidly approaching state and national tournaments.

“I knew I had a lot of catching up to do once I could pull it (bowstsring) back. Even then it still hurt," she admitted.

“We wanted her to get back into it, but we didn’t want to push too hard because we didn’t want long-term effects,” said Brian.

Once she was comfortable, Nora hit every small tournament she could to find her groove. And it worked, collecting all sorts of medals along the way.

Just week and a half ago, Nora’s family traveled to Salt Lake City for her first national tournament. Nervously, she thought a great finish might be middle of the pack.

“I shot pretty well," she said with a smile. "I ended up getting third with 287 (points) out of 300 at 20 yards.”

Nora Krieger national tourney

Her passion for archery surfaced a few years ago while tagging along with her dad.

“When she was little, she’d come out and watch me," Brian recalled. "Then she said, you know, I think I want to get a bow."

And she was hooked.

“I started when I was nine in 4-H, and the instructors in the archery unit have really helped me,” Nora said.

Now, she admits it’s her favorite sport. And how about this? On days Nora can’t shoot outside, or make it to the barn, she heads to the family basement and fires arrows between doors to nail targets from about 15 yards.

Nora Krieger basement practice

Surrounded by plenty of animals — both barn and house pets — plus, plenty of arrows, Nora says she’d love to combine the best of both worlds someday.

“I’m hoping to get a scholarship so I can go to college and become a veterinarian,” said the straight-A student.

It's far more than her dad envisioned not long ago.

“I was just hoping for a hunting partner. I never dreamed it would develop into this,” he said.