The world of archery always tends to be quite eventful. In a month’s time, so much can change, as the sport of archery itself continues to evolve. The latter portion of July, and first half of August, has been no exception to this rule.
In the last 30 days, we have seen major archery organizations take steps to return to normal competition in the midst of concerns related to the ongoing pandemic, the Pope and Young Club take a stance on cellular trail camera use, and a major shift in manufacturer based sponsorship. The following is a rundown of the archery world’s biggest headlines from the past month.
Stage Set For First Post-COVID World Archery Competition
Since March, the bulk of competitive archery competitions worldwide have been canceled or postponed. This has left many wondering when a return to normalcy would take place. On August 14th, archers finally received a long-awaited answer to this question, as World Archery announced that the first post-COVID world ranking event will take place on October 2nd-4th.
Antalya, Turkey, will serve as the host city for this upcoming event. Antalya was initially scheduled to stage the European Championships, which was to serve as a leg of the 2020 Hyundai Archery World Cup. Though the Europeans, as well as the International Tour, were ultimately canceled, the city of Antalya was still the first to bid for further hosting duties.
As competition is set to take place, competitors will be required to follow social distancing mandates set forth by World Archery. The registration period for this upcoming event will open on August 17th, and run through September 21st.
NASP Sets Protocols For Safe Return To Competition
As many school districts across the United States are once again beginning classes, athletic competition at every level looks to follow suit. In order to safely facilitate the return of school-level competition archery, the NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program) has put together a comprehensive list of safety practices and protocols.
The majority of the NASP’s guidelines center around social distancing during practice and competitive shoots, as well as the avoidance of sharing equipment. Some of the highlights of the guidelines are as follows.
- Whatever safe spacing distance is required, that would also be the minimum width of lanes on the range. In other words, if 6 feet continues to be the recommended safe distance, lanes should be 6 feet wide with a single archer/lane standing in the middle of the lane.
- If archers shoot the same target during a flight, only one archer at a time should go to the target line to score and retrieve arrows.
- When retrieving or returning bows to the bow rack, only one archer should be at the bow rack at a time. If the range has multiple bow racks, they should be spaced according to social distancing requirements to allow multiple archers to pick up and return bows.
- Shared bows and arrows should be regularly disinfected. To disinfect, the CDC indicates, “Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work”. Except, caustic agents such as bleach should be kept off the bowstring.
- If the archer is wearing a face mask, care should be taken that all parts of the mask are such that they won’t be snagged by the string when released. Bowhunters routinely shoot while wearing face masks.
The NASP’s complete list of guidelines is available here.
Pope and Young Club Takes Stance On Cellular Trail Cam Use
The recent development of cellular trail cameras (read our article about the best wireless trail cameras here) has signaled one of the most significant technological advancements in hunting, as of late. Rather than retrieving an SD card from their camera as was the case in the past, hunters can now receive photos directly to their cellular phones, in real-time.
While this technology has indeed put a new spin on scouting as a whole, many have questioned the potential misuse of this technology by those wishing to gain an instantaneous edge. The Pope and Young Club, who serves as North America’s single largest keeper of archery-specific game records, recently took a stance on the use of such cameras.
“The Pope and Young Records Committee, with assistance from the Boone and Crockett Records Committee, jointly created a policy that should provide hunters with a greater understanding of how this technology can be used in a manner that still provides Fair-Chase,”Roy Grace, Records Chair for the Pope and Young Club.
Under this policy, Pope and Young states that receiving a wireless image (photo, video, GPS coordinate, etc.), which elicits an immediate (real-time) response, guiding the hunter to the animal would be considered a violation of the Rules of Fair-Chase.
Under Pope and Young standards, Fair Chase is defined as, “The ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit of free-ranging wild game animals that does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over the animal.“
In essence, the use of cellular trail cameras is permissible if used solely for scouting, and an absence of any intent to immediately track down, and harvest, game based upon the real-time information provided by these photos.
A violation of this policy would bar the admittance of a game animal into the organization’s record books.
Legendary Whitetail Hunters Make The Switch From PSE To Mathews
Earlier this month, legendary hunters, Mark and Terry Drury, announced that they had parted ways with PSE. Mark and Terry, of Drury Outdoors, are best known for their prowess at routinely patterning and taking some of the nation’s largest whitetails. They have also hosted numerous outdoor television shows over the past three decades.
After a 13-year stint with PSE, the Drury brothers announced that their partnership with the storied compound bow manufacturer had dissolved. “To make a long story short, basically, they emailed us and informed us that they let us go,” said Matt Drury. “They weren’t continuing on past our current contract with Bow Madness.”
For the duration of PSE’s partnership with the Drury’s, the company had produced the Bow Madness line of compound bows, so named for the highly popular bowhunting television show produced by the Drurys. Although this announcement came as a shock to many, and served as the end to an era, it did not take long for the Drurys to be offered a contract with another manufacturer.
Mathews Archery quickly jumped at the chance to sign the Drury brothers to a sponsorship deal, to which the duo was quite pleased. “The popularity of Mathews speaks for itself,” says Terry. “There’s a lot of guys shooting Mathews bows!”
“Our connection with Mathews was an immediate bond,” says Mark. “It was a natural and beautiful fit.” Mark was also quick to express how pleased he was with the shootability of the team’s new Mathews bows. “It’s one I’m excited to take out to a treestand or blind with me,” says Mark.