They may not be hunting for food for their families in District 12, like Katniss before The Hunger Games, but archery has still become a popular sport with children and teens across the nation. Seeing this increased interest, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recently began work with the Archery Trade Association to offer archery programs and opportunities in communities across Texas.
“We saw that archery was so very popular in schools, and we wanted to give all Texans the ability to experience this great sport,” said Nancy Herron, TPWD outreach and education director. “Working with community parks and recreation departments, we plan to offer archery opportunities in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex then work our way across Texas. Archery is just one of the many fun ways families and individuals of all ages can get outside and learn a new outdoor skill.”
The ATA is made up of archery and bowhunting industry professionals which promotes participation in archery and bowhunting and runs the annual ATA Trade Show. Mitch King, director of government relations with the ATA, signed the memorandum of agreement with TPWD executive director Carter Smith March 14.
“The ATA is excited about this new and growing partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department,” King said. “We are looking forward to seeing a growth of archery in the schools and parks departments in those areas. In addition, all of our ATA member retailers and manufacturers in Texas are excited to get to work with the TPWD and local governments and grow archery and bowhunting.”
Texans currently enjoy archery through recreational pursuits and through bow hunting of fish and other wild game, yet this coordinated effort between the two organizations marks the state’s interest in promoting the sport to all Texans. Ideas for the project include lessons for all skill levels with a focus on beginner and intermediate levels, the creation or designation of areas in which archers may practice and community events and mentored bowhunts.
For more information on archery and archery opportunities in Texas, visit the ATA site at www.archerytrade.org  or www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/hunter_education/homestudy/archery/index.phtml .