Author: Cassie Gasaway
The ATA and partners submitted grant proposals and received nearly $490,000 for three 2022 projects through the Multistate Conservation Grant Program, administered by the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. These funds allow the ATA to work on large-scale efforts that benefit ATA members, partners, and the entire archery and bowhunting industry. Here’s a brief overview of what ATA staff are working on.
The ATA and Discover Mediaworks are going to create educational “family bowfishing” television shows to be broadcasts on multiple networks. Photo Credit: ATA
1. Creating Awareness of and Providing Education on Bowfishing
The ATA and Discover Mediaworks are leading a national public education initiative that will inspire millions of youths and families to discover bowfishing. The “Discovering Family Bowfishing” initiative aims to create awareness around bowfishing, further encouraging people to try it.
Jennifer Mazur, ATA’s senior director of outreach and education, and her outreach and education team are working with partners to create:
- Three, 30-minute, youth educational “family bowfishing” television shows that will be broadcast on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, Apple TV, Roku TV, Sling TV and other platforms to reach a potential audience of over 8 million viewers nationally. The episodes will share bowfishing information for silver carp, common carp and snakeheads.
- Six educational classroom videos and companion lesson activities on bowfishing and related topics. The educational materials will come from the ATA’s Explore Bowfishing curriculum, which was created in 2016 to help educators teach students basic bowfishing skills. The Into the Outdoors Education Network will distribute these resources to school systems nationwide.
- Six “bowfishing action” short-form videos (one to two minutes) that empower newcomers by explaining hands-on bowfishing strategies to help them be successful.
- Ten “how-to” short-form videos (two to three minutes) that showcase different ways people can discover bowfishing.
The TV shows will digitally introduce people to bowfishing. Then, state wildlife agencies, outdoor organizations and ATA members can use the educational and short-form videos to teach people how to bowfish. The entire initiative aligns with the R3 effort to recruit, retain and reactivate sportsmen and women nationwide. Filming for the TV shows begins in spring. The videos will debut in early 2023, and the resources will be available on the ATA website next summer.
The ATA will work with the ASA to update the Data Dashboard. Photo Credit: ASA
2. Improving and Expanding the Real-Time License Data Dashboard
The ATA continues to work with the American Sportfishing Association and others on the real-time data dashboard created in 2019 to allow state agencies and industry members to get an accurate picture of statewide license sale data and information. The dashboard uses automatic, secure data transfer protocols to regularly compile license sales data from participating state agencies into a central location. The real-time model helps state agencies and the R3 community evaluate ongoing R3 efforts, boost overall participation, and better identify and react to license sales threats and opportunities.
The project started with funds from another multistate grant in 2019. At the time, the project had eight pilot states on board. Now, the platform has information from 20 states. The 2022 grant money is being used to recruit more states, revise and improve the platform’s layout and functions, and expand awareness of the dashboard’s availability and benefits to the outdoor community. Dan Forster, ATA’s vice president and chief conservation officer, is leading the project changes.
The dashboard is currently up and running. Users can search by year, region and state, and find information on hunting, bowhunting and fishing. The ATA hopes the dashboard will be comprehensive and complete with data from all 50 states in five years or so.
The ATA will conduct four photo shoots featuring diverse bowhunters. Photo Credit: ATA
3. Making Bowhunting More Welcoming and Relevant to Diverse Audiences
The ATA partnered with NubAbility and Hunters of Color to conduct four photo shoots across the country featuring people of color. The goal is to capture authentic bowhunting and outdoor lifestyle-focused imagery that reflects a more diverse and inclusive demographic. The ATA hopes the images will help state agencies and ATA members and partners recruit racially diverse archers to boost the industry.
The photo shoots will occur in different regions, including the West, Midwest, Northeast and Southeast, so the images represent different landscapes and topography. Allison Jasper, ATA’s senior director of marketing and communications, is working with state agencies to identify ideal photo shoot locations and local bowhunters who represent different ethnic groups. ATA staff will also hire photographers, create shot lists, and oversee the photo shoot execution and editing processes. The first photo shoot is April 27-28 in the Southeast. The other three will be held in fall.
The ATA will distribute the images to state agencies for use in their marketing materials. ATA members and partners will also be able to access and use the images when they become available. Additionally, the ATA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee will create a toolkit with tips and instructions on how to use the images authentically.
The ATA is constantly improving the industry by forming partnerships, collaborating with different people, groups and organizations, and using grant funds on projects that benefit everyone in the archery and bowhunting community.
To learn more about these grants and the ATA’s efforts to grow archery and bowhunting, please contact ATA’s Jennifer Mazur at firstname.lastname@example.org, or ATA’s Dan Forster at email@example.com.