On April 1, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point timber sports team took second place at the 65th Annual Midwestern Forester’s Conclave.
The once a year conclave brings together timber sports teams to compete in both academic and physical forester related events.
This year’s conclave was held at Iowa State University. There were 26 UWSP students that traveled to the event.
This competition is what the team spends the entire year prepping for. Seniors Micah Ertel, Rainer Shooter and Jack Duffy competed in various events on Saturday.
Ertel participated in the underhand chop, single buck and double buck. The underhand chop is when participants stand on a log with an ax and chop through the log. The single and double buck is when one or two people use a cross cut saw to saw through a chunk of wood.
Ertel admitted that most of the students on the team have been exposed to natural resources in some form or go to UWSP’s Society of American Foresters’ meetings.
“Everyone is welcome to come and join the team, there is not any requirement,” Ertel said. “The really great thing about timber sports and conclave is if someone is interested in the sport and shows up to practices they could definitely come to conclave.”
Shooter, the co-coordinator of the team, said that UWSP’s team formed in 2008. According to Shooter, most practices are held outside and oftentimes in his own backyard.
Shooter said that one of the misconceptions about timber sports is that strength is the key component to being successful, as opposed to technique. He believes that UWSP’s team has a good reputation because they are respectful and successful when competing.
“A lot of our success comes from the women on our team and the professionals that come back and are willing to help to teach,” Shooter said.
This was the first time in six years that UWSP’s team did not take first place at the conclave. This year Southern Illinois University placed first.
According to Duffy, who also competed in the double buck this weekend, Southern Illinois University is one of the team’s toughest competitions and is considered a rival.
Duffy said that even though the team did not come in first place they still enjoyed the experience and having the opportunity to compete.
“I think everyone did the best that they could and all worked very hard, which is all you can ask for,” Duffy said.