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Old 05-09-2018, 05:40 PM   #1
Splitlimb
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Default Is 3-D archery in decline

Hello All
I just have a quick question on 3-D shoot attendance.
We are a Bowhunter club that has been putting on tournaments for a long time, 20 years ago we had on average 200 archers at our tournaments. Now we are lucky to pull in 50 to 60.
My question is: Is it a regional problem, we are in SW Iowa, and the 3 clubs in our area are all struggling to get shooters. Or is it just a participation issue, just not a lot of folks doing it anymore?
I know the whole "everyone is busy"," kids have hobbies" and so on mantras.
We went from a 40 target course to a 30 target course trying to make it a shorter amount of time for the shooters convenience, with really no noticeable increase or decrease.
Welcome any thoughts.
Thanks
And No there isn't a P/Y buck behind every tree here in Iowa !
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:43 PM   #2
Outback
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I can't speak for others but most of the shoots near me are on Sunday and that doesn't work for me with church. I might be more inclined to go on Saturday but others might not share that opinion.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:01 PM   #3
Splitlimb
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We hear that as well from a few guy's. Our problem is we use a County Park and have to set the entire thing up on Saturday and tear it all down after the shoot on Sunday.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:17 PM   #4
RJH1
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I don't know about every where, but there used to be very big monthly shoots here too, don't really know why there still isn't. Our local course is very good, but like you our numbers are down from several years ago, but seem to hold steady at 30-40. I don't know why there has been a shift, but there definitely has
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:23 PM   #5
Outlaw_6
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The national ASA ProAmís are having record numbers.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:26 PM   #6
RJH1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw_6 View Post
The national ASA ProAmís are having record numbers.
Could the ASA qualifiers be pulling numbers from locals? I don't think that is the case in my area, but could be an issue elsewhere for sure
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:38 PM   #7
Outlaw_6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJH1 View Post
Could the ASA qualifiers be pulling numbers from locals? I don't think that is the case in my area, but could be an issue elsewhere for sure


Sure. In TX there is a qualifier somewhere pretty much every weekend there is not a ProAm or holiday.

Some shooters are willing to shoot two shoots in a weekend but most donít.
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:27 AM   #8
mudbone
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I would venture to say that the cost of archery equipment has a great impact on current attendance and future participation. When I started we had 150 to 200 people in attendance at a weekend club shoot. There were a lot more young people in attendance then also. Now here in TX we have ASA Qualifiers almost every weekend and the club shoots are really suffering because this. The clubs do not take in as much money as they used to but they still have to have money to operate. Most clubs are kept alive by a very few dedicated members out of the total member roster and this eventually causes burn out. I guess there are various reasons for decline but I believe cost of equipment is a major concern because we are not getting the number of new shooters we need to keep moving this beloved sport forward.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:21 AM   #9
beararcher_84
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Definitely agree cost is a big factor,not only with archery equipment but the event as a whole. Currently Im in a tournament series,that is 4 rounds plus a championship,of which u have to shoot 2 of the 4 plus the championship to win the buckle. I have to drive an hour to get there 1 way,so I have half a tank of gas,plus entry fees,food,drinks and ice for the cooler since its good part of the day and little warm here in Texas this time of year lol. So easily Ive spent $60 just for 1 day. Then there is any costs in equipment,like lost or broken arrows,and at $6-$15 an arrow it gets expensive fast when ya miss judge a shot,hit metal frame work in the 3D target or if your shooting with others,they robinhood your arrow. Also for some folks like my self,shoot alone and feel a little intimidated being a "loner" while on a shoot. I have few friends who bowhunt,but they arent as into archery as I am or have young children and cant devote a whole Saturday away. While Ive gotten kinda used to it,others may not be as easy with being alone,especially when ya get behind some of these large groups,like I encountered at the R100,of 10 or more people shooting as a group,on double targets

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Old 05-10-2018, 08:40 AM   #10
cbd10pt
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Yes with crossbows and strings that don't stretch people see less reason to practice all year
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:44 AM   #11
Rat
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Overall, it seems there are more people into archery than ever before. Take my favorite public hunting spot for example; I see far more people hunting there than I did in the past. This may be due to increased access to information though.

We started a 4H archery club 3 years ago, we have over 30 members and regularly have 15-20 in attendance at practice.

I think the ASA qualifiers do have something to do with it, they are really gaining in popularity and it is a great place for an up-and-coming archer (under 18 years old) to get recognized and maybe pick up sponsors. Since that doesn't happen at a club shoot archers will spend their time at the shoots where they can network with archery pros or manufacturers.

There are also more shoots than there used to be and shops are having leagues more often. I could shoot an indoor 3D league every Monday night, and three 3D shoots a month within an hour of my house. And another shop is building a bigger building to hold leagues to include indoor 3D.

One other thing may be Olympic Style Archery is more popular than ever as well. In the past most would start with compound and then move to Olympic but I see more and more starting with, and sticking to, Olympic Archery.

It is going to take some creative, and probably collaborative, thinking to keep 3D club shoots relevant amid all the options that are available today to archers.

Something our 4H club is doing is a buckle series at the end of Summer. We have three clubs participating, and three tournaments will be held with cumulative scoring; winners will be awarded really nice buckles (as well as regular trophies). Things like this will help to bolster attendance at 3D club shoots, I hope.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:48 AM   #12
jimned
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How many clubs 20 years ago had shoots on a regular basis? There were three legs to many of the shoots (which was an reason to go). In Abilene we use to draw a lot of DFW shooters. They have many more options closer to home now. The greater the number of clubs the less people have to travel. Some clubs that are not in an area with a large number of shooters are going to suffer.
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Old 05-10-2018, 12:41 PM   #13
LAW
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In the Traditional world it is alive and doing well, thanks to organizations like Traditional Bowhunters of Texas (TBoT)
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:08 PM   #14
Splitlimb
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Great points by all, Thank You !!
So much of the responses are the same as we have been throwing around. The equipment has came so far in 30 years, it takes less time to be proficient. Even here the Trad guy's as well as the Gal's are less all of the time. It use to be a family event where they would come and spend the day.
We have archers in the area that shoot IBO ASA and so on, but they come once a year maybe. We try to attract the archers more geared to a hunting situation, but try to accommodate everyone.
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:33 PM   #15
Miller
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My son and I do a lot of competion. Mostly ASA 3D and Outdoor Field Archery. I probably have around 10 good friends and family members and I am the only one that does 3D. Had my older son not got me into it I probably never would have done it either. I am really glad he got me into it and it has definitely made me a better archer, but if he didn't do it I wouldn't probably make very few competitions if any... I would be doing whatever he and my younger son are into.

All that to say in my age group (parents with kids under age 18) you probably aren't going to get very many new shooters in. People with kids are just too busy on weekends.

I would follow the ASA model. For kids they have a lot of known range divisions, not crazy long shots, cater to kids, etc. They also have a lot of known range divisions for adults as well. (Do everything you can to bring kids to the shoots and hopefully some parents will follow). I would also host as many ASA shoots as you can and when not having an official ASA shoot follow their guidelines. I don't think you are going bring in a lot of new shooters so bring the shooters to you that are doing it. In our area people will travel for ASA Qualifier shoots.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:16 AM   #16
Miller
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I meant to say I have 10 good friends and family members that bow hunt and I am the only one that does 3D. In our area at least it just seems like it is tough to get big crowds for shoots unless it is an ASA Qualifier. Like already has been mentioned there is quite of few local shoots around and they always seem to be around 40-50 people at those. I only see the really big crowds when it is an ASA shoot. It might be easier to get shooters to travel to you then to get people who have never shot 3D to start doing it.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:21 AM   #17
hound dog
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Kids happen! That took me out of the loop 17years ago and still have not been able to get back to it. It's on my to-do-list. :-)
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:12 PM   #18
Pistol
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That depends on who you talk to and what style they like. I think all formats are seeing an increase but the clubs are not. That may be due to the reasons listed above. It may be due to kids playing other sports.
I do know that S3DA is growing faster than anyone could have imagined. I know that clubs that join them see tremendous growth as well. When kids join, the parents follow. Clubs that can offer a certified level coach are well ahead of the curve. Lots of people want to shoot archery but finding an instructor that isn't Uncle Buck is darn tough.
Clubs cannot due things the way they did 20 years ago, with a "build it and they will come plan."
3D is growing, but at the club level, you are competing with big money payouts elsewhere. Our club shoots attract people who just want to have a family fun day and the majority of our club members don't compete, they just want a place they can come practice.
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Old 05-13-2018, 01:14 PM   #19
eholguin13
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I believe known distance will take over. 30 pro shooters at a national event is 1/2 what you saw before. 100 plus in known now. Guess it's the path of less resistance and those that do not have time or a place to shoot on a regular basis. I'll stay a little longer and see where it all goes.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:19 AM   #20
Dusty Britches
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Yes, 20 years ago we often saw 75-100 shooters. But times have changed. I agree with Pistol - clubs have to change and adapt. Our club still has relatively high monthly club shooter turnout - 50-60 shooters.

We now encourage and support lots of other venues - Traditional Bowhunters of Texas, ASA, The Deerman, charity shoots, 4H, boy and girl scouts, S3DA, and everything we can identify.

These are often the venues that decrease club shoots, so we encourage them to come to our club. So in short - 3D participation it up, but so is competition for those shooters.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:42 PM   #21
Splitlimb
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Thank You everyone for the responses and keep them coming. We are a very small club 16 members and were not spring chickens if you know what I mean. With the rules and costs accompanied with a big sanctioned shoot it's hard for us to pull off.
Hope you all had a great turkey season.
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:26 AM   #22
lk05077
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Just started in 3d shoots last year with my then 9 year old daughter I started taking her then she asked me to shoot with her so I am, also now have my older daughter shooting. with asa shoots almost every weekend the shoots we have done seem to have a good amount of shooters. we have also started doing the deermen and have a lot less people at them and at a resent club shoot seen even less people. Think it is hard to compete with the asa shoot
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:40 AM   #23
Outbreaker
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I used to shoot regularly. I even traveled to shoot the LSBA series. Then kids happened. I still have not gotten back into it yet.
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Old Today, 09:36 AM   #24
Stykbow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outback View Post
i can't speak for others but most of the shoots near me are on sunday and that doesn't work for me with church. I might be more inclined to go on saturday but others might not share that opinion.
x 2
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