Archery participation continues to trend upward, earning the sport national attention from sources like Fox News and the Washington Post. Could the widespread exposure have influenced NFL player Benjamin Watson to try bowfishing? It’s possible.
Fox News Features Bowhunter Cameron Hanes
Professional bowhunter Cameron Hanes (pictured above) shared with Fox News how he got his start, and his views on hunting.
Hanes didn’t dream of making a living as a hunter, but he did dream of using his love of the outdoors to write about hunting. His options increased when he discovered bowhunting during his teens.
“It started in high school and college,” Hanes said. “I didn’t really have a lot going on, and I needed an outlet for my energy. I found bowhunting and became enamored with it. I like the challenge. The challenge is immense - trying to get within bow range of an animal, and then to bring it down with essentially a sharp stick. That test is what really drew me to bowhunting. As a lifestyle, it gave my life direction when I didn’t have any.”
Hanes told Fox he respects the animals he hunts, and takes their lives seriously. “I prepare for the hunt like a professional athlete prepares,” he said. “If I’m going to kill the animal, I need to be my best, and I want it to be an ethical kill. It’s a big deal to take the life of an animal.”
Hanes often hunts with big-name country singers. When asked if Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean are good hunters, Hanes joked, “They’re good at playing music. … No, they’re good hunters.”
Rudy Garza Talks Archery With The Washington Post
Archery pro Rudy Garza is an ex-conjunto musician who once played the bajo sexto at the Smithsonian Institution with original conjunto player Narciso Martinez.
Conjunto music originated in South Texas after German settlers brought accordions to America. Musicians mixed the accordion with the bajo sexto, and created the conjunto sound. The bajo sexto is a guitar and bass rolled into one instrument.
After retiring from music, Garza traded his guitar strings for bowstrings and opened a shop, Eagles Nest Archery, which he now runs. He told the Washington Post: “My dad was an avid hunter, but with a rifle. We went hunting, but I got to the point that you don’t feel the excitement to take an animal at 200 to 300 yards.”
Garza had dabbled with archery when he was younger, but later got hooked after seeing a demonstration by a professional archer. When he decided he needed a new career, he and his wife opened Eagles Nest Archery.
Both Garzas attended classes at PSE Archery, a giant of the U.S. archery industry, to learn bow basics and get certified on bow repair and construction.
Well-known bow manufacturer Earl Hoyt once built a South African hunter a custom bow with a 110-pound draw weight. When the hunter realized he needed custom arrows for it, he contacted Garza.
Garza and Eagles Nest Archery now help clients worldwide.
NFL Player Benjamin Watson Tries Bowfishing
Benjamin Watson, tight end of the New Orleans Saints, recently tried bowfishing. Watson is particularly well-known for a play in a 2005 AFC divisional playoff game between his former team, the New England Patriots, and the Denver Broncos, in which he tackled Denver cornerback Champ Bailey one yard short of the end zone. It would have been a 101-yard touchdown interception return off Tom Brady.
Watson is also skilled at bowfishing, and posted the picture above on Facebook:
“Went bowfishing for the first time last night,” he captioned the photo. “After three hours and after EVERYBODY else had caught multiple fish I FINALLY got one at MIDNIGHT. As you can see, I was elated. Shooting a bow and arrow is a lot harder than it looks. Katniss Everdeen makes it look way too easy.”
Katniss might have a run for her money.
Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks Announce 2016 Hunt.Fish.Feed. Tour
Archery Wire reported that the Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks (OSGN) are sponsoring a nationwide tour to help those in need. The networks will donate fish and game meat to bring awareness to efforts to end hunger.
Hunt.Fish.Feed. was created by the Sportsman Channel to donate meat that hunters accumulate during their hunts.
Jim Liberatore, CEO and president of OSGN, said: “Our networks, employees and corporate partners are extremely proud of this program. We want to (share) our passion for the outdoor lifestyle with communities across the country.”
The donations include a full meal. Executive chef and television host Scott Leysath, along with volunteer crews, will prepare meals at each location using meat donated by local hunters and anglers. The OSGN will fill in the remainder to provide a complete meal service.
Here are its 2016 stops:
- May 3 – San Luis Obispo, California, partnering with Charter Communications;
- June 7 – Spokane, Washington, partnering with Comcast;
- June 21 – Fort Worth, Texas, partnering with Charter Communications;
- June 30 – Sacramento, California, partnering with Comcast;
- July 14 – Chattanooga, Tennessee, partnering with Comcast;
- Sept. 6 – Location TBD, partnering with Cable One;
- Sept. 24 – National Hunting and Fishing Day, St. Louis, Missouri, and Springfield, Missouri, partnering with Charter Communications and Mediacom, respectively.
Previous tour stops included:
- March 30 – Boston, Pine Street Inn, partnering with Comcast;
- April 4 – Minneapolis/St. Paul, Dorothy Day Center, partnering with Comcast.
Remembering Archery Hall of Fame Inductee Owen Edward Jeffery
Owen Edward Jeffery, 91, died March 18 in O’Neal, Arkansas. Jeffery served in World War II in the Marine Corps. His long-standing love of archery spurred him to start Jeffery Archery, and he was recently inducted into the Archery Hall of Fame.
COLA Daily reported that Jeffery spent 66 years in the archery business. He was a world-renowned master bowyer, and held multiple titles in archery competition.
Blind Boy Scouts Experience Archery
Boy Scouts in Muskogee, Oklahoma, experienced archery during a three-day camping trip at the Honey Springs Battlefield Historic Site.
This trip was especially noteworthy because it was held for the Oklahoma School for the Blind’s Scout Troop 672, and the archery range was adjusted to their needs. The Muskogee Phoenix reported: “The Scouts got help from a small battery-powered metal device placed in front of the targets. The device could be adjusted for pitch and speed of emission, indicating where the shooter should aim.”
“It’s really fun,” said one of the Scouts. “It shows me that I can still shoot a bow even though I’m (100 percent) blind.”
Subaru Gives Archery a Nod
The widely recognized Subaru brand recently acknowledged archery’s growing popularity by including it in a commercial. Archery’s influence in the commercial is quick but meaningful, showing a boy shooting fake arrows at his family’s car. The scene gives archery a household feel, portraying it as part of everyday life.
Meanwhile, Archery 360 recently featured an article spotlighting commercials influenced by archery. As Archery 360 states, Subaru showed that children playing with toy bows and arrows have become “as common as having an Easy Bake Oven.”
Archery Imaginations Run Wild at LEGO Adventure Camp
LEGO’s new Adventure Camp toy set features archery. The commercial shows LEGO friends trying camp sports, including archery and river rafting.
Here is Archery 360’s take on the commercial’s marketing approach: “It appears LEGO is wise to the growing fascination among younger consumers. This ad encourages young girls (and boys) to try archery. It’s portrayed as something totally fun, with the narrator’s vibrant, energetic voice conveying excitement.”
Adventure Camp Archery is sold separately from LEGO’s main Tree House set. This new campaign aims to get children excited about archery.