Contact: Kent Keene, Assistant Manager, Lower Midwestern States and Agriculture Policy
Why It Matters: Opportunities to recognize and highlight our time-honored traditions are important to maintain interest and ensure that these traditions are passed on to the next generation. Recognizing the history of archery in the Show-Me State, the formal recognition of archery as the official state sports accomplishes this mission. As an activity that draws participants of all ages and abilities, archery represents a great gateway for the recruitment of new sportsmen and women.
During the last week of the 2022 Missouri Legislative Session, the Missouri State Senate offered floor amendments to House Bill 1738 which included a provision to declare archery the official state sport in Missouri. Originally introduced via House Bill 1672 by Missouri Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Representative Tim Taylor, HB 1738 now awaits approval by Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Governor Mike Parson before Missouri’s archers can celebrate this recognition of their time-honored tradition.
As previously reported, the “Show-Me” State has a storied history with archery, including serving as the home state for Holless Wilbur Allen, who is credited as the inventor of the compound bow in 1966. Likewise, Springfield, Missouri serves as the home of the Archery Hall of Fame which is housed in the landmark Bass Pro Shops store. Leaning on this history, recognition of archery as the official state sport represents a victory for sportsmen and women while serving as a recruitment tool for future generations of archers.
“Designating archery as Missouri’s state sport will bring long overdue recognition to a Missouri citizen who single handedly moved archery into the modern era,” said Representative Taylor. “We should be proud of what Missouri citizens have contributed to archery and promote these contributions every chance we get.”
Early in the legislative process, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted testimony in support of naming archery as the official state sport. As sportsmen and women, it is critical that we find unique ways in which we can highlight our time-honored outdoor traditions to raise awareness and recruit the next generation.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?