While I’d hunted with guns for years, I hadn’t picked up a bow since middle school gym class. Then one day I thought about how many American Hunter readers were bowhunters and how archery’s popularity was steadily on the rise. Maybe I didn’t know what I was missing. So a few years back, I asked my friend, guide, outfitter and TV host Phil Phillips for help in getting started. I caught the bowhunting bug so bad that I married him! Now we’ve bowhunted together from Kansas to New Zealand and Greenland, and in June we’re heading to Africa. To say bowhunting has changed my life in amazing ways is a sheer understatement.
Of course, if you’re a bowhunter you obviously get it. So why am I telling you? Because this Saturday—May 9—is National Archery Day, and we bowshooters have much to celebrate. If you didn’t know our holiday was fast approaching, don’t feel bad because I didn’t know either until my friend Breanna Tuttle at Easton Archery mentioned it. Of course, Easton should know considering it has been in the archery business since 1922. I’m betting that its 93 years in business accounts for more innovative hunting and tournament arrows than even Easton can count!
As for who selected the second Saturday of May as National Archery Day, it’s NASP, the National Archery in the Schools Program. This couldn’t be more fitting considering NASP has introduced two million 4th-to-12th-grade students to target archery annually since its inception in 2002. By the way, 77 percent of NASP students are new archers and 40 percent are girls.
So on May 9, give thanks for our sport. Maybe even take a newcomer under your wing. I know that every time I watch my nephews, Andrew and Joey, hit a target, the instant gratification and excitement they feel makes them—and me—happy beyond words.