Author: Cassie Scott
These fun, educational programs introduce kids and adults to archery while teaching bowhunting and bowfishing skills. The programs can be taught by retailers, and teachers and educators working with state wildlife agencies and city or county recreation departments.
Wildlife agencies in 23 states are using these programs to generate interest in archery by getting participants off the couch and outdoors. The programs also offer next-step classes for those with basic archery skills who are ready to check out new gear with help from ATA-member retailers.
To expand the program’s reach, the ATA makes Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing easily accessible through workshops and partnerships. The ATA also offers Explore Bowhunting in Spanish to reach the Hispanic community, and ATA staff taught retailers about both programs at January’s ATA Trade Show.
These workshops led those states’ wildlife agencies to adopt Explore Bowhunting and test Explore Bowfishing. The workshops also helped several ATA-member retailers, nongovernmental organizations, and local parks and recreation departments launch the programs in their stores or communities. Photo Credit: Kurt Smith
Five states held ATA-taught instructor workshops for Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing in 2017. These classes in Texas, Georgia, Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin introduced teachers, educators, ATA members, state-agency staff and others to the programs. ATA workshops prepare attendees to launch the programs in their communities. The sessions also make teachers and instructors more comfortable and confident with the curriculum, equipment kits and implementation strategies.
These workshops led those states’ wildlife agencies to adopt Explore Bowhunting and test Explore Bowfishing. The workshops also helped several ATA-member retailers, nongovernmental organizations, and local parks and recreation departments launch the programs in their stores or communities.
The Michigan workshop was run by the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association, also known as mParks. It previously partnered with USA Archery to receive instructor certification and offer basic archery programs around the state. ATA introduced the Explore programs at the workshop to provide communities with next-step programs for those who complete USA Archery classes.
This strategic plan helps mParks offer archery classes and opportunities to its member communities, keeping them interested and engaged in archery. Michigan plans to expand its archery offerings and teach the ATA’s Explore programs in more communities this year.
With NFAA and S3DA’s help, the Explore programs introduce hundreds of kids to bowhunting and bowfishing regularly. Photo Credit: ASA Cullman AL
Partners Push the Explore Programs
ATA partnerships with the National Field Archery Association and the Scholastic 3-D Archery program also increase student access to recreational and educational programs while boosting business for ATA-member retailers.
Both organizations teach basic archery skills through club programs. The ATA made Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing available to these partners to expand their offerings and promote archery’s diverse disciplines to members. With NFAA and S3DA’s help, the Explore programs introduce hundreds of kids to bowhunting and bowfishing regularly.
‘Explora Caza Con Arco’
Hispanics are America’s fastest-growing minority group, and represent $1.4 billion in spending power, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Bureau reports 38 million people age 5 and older speak Spanish at home.
To attract more new archers, the ATA launched “Explora Caza Con Arco,” its Spanish version of Explore Bowhunting in 2017. The program has generated high demand because it reduces participation barriers. The program targets nontraditional Americans to help the ATA and affiliate groups boost nationwide archery participation.
The Member Services Area contains one-on-one sessions helped create awareness and interest among retailers who know the value of growing their businesses one customer at a time. Photo Credit: Shannon Rikard
The 2018 ATA Trade Show
Many ATA Trade Show attendees also learned about Explore Bowhunting and Explore Bowfishing when visiting the Member Services Area at the January 2018 Show. ATA staffed the area to explain how the program grows retailers’ businesses. The one-on-one sessions helped create awareness and interest among retailers who know the value of growing their businesses one customer at a time.
The ATA offers Explore Bowhunting, Explore Bowfishing and Explora Caza Con Arco free to its members. The programs are also available at discounted prices to state wildlife agencies, federal agencies, and nongovernmental organizations.