ATA, MN Elevate Archery
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Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 – 18:37:03

ATA, MN Elevate Archery

By Kelley Kellley

May 8, 2006, 05:54

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from left, Joe Broneak of Carlton, Minn.; Minnesota DNR Commissioner Gene Merriam; Minnesota DNR Director of Enforcement Colonel Mike Hamm; Minnesota DNR Director of Fish and Wildlife Dave Schad; ATA CEO/President Jay McAninch; ATA Board Member Bruce Hudalla, President of Hudalla Associates of Perham, Minn.; and April Broneak of Carlton, Minn. Joe and April excelled in the 2006 Minnesota school archery tournament.

A comprehensive effort by the Archery
Trade Association and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is boosting
archery and bowhunting statewide by building ranges, training instructors for
school-based programs, educating and training bowhunters, and expanding archery
and bowhunting in urban settings.

After signing a Memorandum of Understanding in late 2004,
the ATA and Minnesota DNR embarked on this ambitious, multi-pronged effort,
which ? among many things — has already produced or launched efforts to upgrade
or build four ranges in city and county parks. The program also hired a
statewide school-archery coordinator, Kraig Kiger, in the DNR’s Division of
Wildlife. The school-archery program is already in 106 Minnesota schools, and
more than 100 teachers have been certified to teach the course. In addition,
more than $60,000 was spent the past 12 months to include archery in physical
education classes in 50 schools.

For bowhunting, the DNR’s Division of Enforcement has
increased the number of certified National Bowhunter Education Foundation
instructors in Minnesota to 126, up from 47 two years ago. This will address the
rising number of bowhunters in Minnesota, which appears to be on a
record-setting pace. Minnesota estimates its bowhunting numbers will soon reach
80,000, with some of them taking part in expanded metro bowhunting opportunities
in cities like Duluth, New Ulm, Rochester, Red Wing, Sandstone, Mankato,
Ortonville and Granite Falls.

“These are just a few of the projects under way in
Minnesota,” said Jay McAninch, President and CEO of the ATA. “By working
together, state agencies like the Minnesota DNR and our industry can make
archery a mainstream recreational activity. The ATA considers itself an
investment partner with the DNR, which means we try to provide whatever is
missing to achieve results for projects and programs. Sometimes it’s providing
equipment, other times it’s funding staff time. On many occasions we can provide
expertise that’s critical to advancing a program. The key is that we can devise
a plan and pool resources to produce measurable results. Clearly, this joint
effort is working.”

Michelle Doerr, the ATA’s Education & Research
Coordinator, said the Minnesota DNR’s commitment helps demonstrate archery’s
wide range of benefits. “We all know shooting archery is fun in its own right,
but it’s important to provide recreational programs like Junior Olympic Archery
Development, 4-H and Becoming an Outdoor Woman,” Doerr said. “In many locations
we’re working to create community archery programs, which aim to bring families
into archery.

“We also have tried to emphasize the recreational and
deer-management benefits of bowhunting,” Doerr continued. “Minnesota gives
bowhunting a lot of positive media exposure,” she continued. “It shows
bowhunting’s practical application as a wildlife-management tool by working with
municipalities, landowners and bowhunters to manage deer in urban and suburban

On April 8, the ATA and Minnesota DNR held a joint ceremony
to dedicate and help publicize their cooperative efforts. McAninch said the ATA
is planning similar launches soon with the wildlife agencies of Tennessee and
Michigan. He said the Minnesota agreement demonstrates how successful archery
programs can be when private and public entities combine their

Dave Schad, director of Minnesota DNR’s Division of
Wildlife, agreed. “Budgets are tight everywhere, but by working together as
partners with the ATA we’re able to make maximum use of public funding by
sharing staff and expertise,” Schad said. “Archery and bowhunting are important
to the Minnesota DNR. Nearly 80,000 Minnesotans bowhunt, and the state has a
strong, important bowhunting tradition. Archers play an increasingly vital role
in helping the DNR manage deer populations, especially in urban areas where
firearms hunting is limited by local ordinances. In 2005 we had 17 archery-only
hunts in the Twin Cities metro area, and at least eight other bowhunting
programs in other urban areas.”

Schad believes the state’s partnership with ATA will
encourage and expand opportunities for new and current archers. “The Archery in
Schools program puts bows and arrows into the hands of more than 40,000 students
in over 100 schools in 2006,” he said. “ATA is also providing technical and
funding assistance to identify and develop opportunities for new archery ranges,
especially near population centers. We hope these programs help recruit and
retain new archers and archery hunters. That would help stem the loss of hunters
that many states are already experiencing.”

For more information about the Archery Trade Association and
its two nonprofit foundations, ArrowSport and the Bowhunting Preservation
Alliance, contact Kelly Kelly at (507) 877-5300,


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