Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Okmulgee County Archery Day at Deep Fork NWR
Southwest Region, March 28, 2006
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Photo:Ron Price 03/28/2006 3-D Targe Shooting
Photo:Ron Price 03/28/2006 3-D Targe Shooting - Photo Credit: n/a
Photo:Ron Price 03/28/2006 Archery Tournament
Photo:Ron Price 03/28/2006 Archery Tournament - Photo Credit: n/a
Photo:Ron Price 03/28/2006 Metal Presentation
Photo:Ron Price 03/28/2006 Metal Presentation - Photo Credit: n/a


Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge hosted the first Okmulgee County Archery Day Event on March 28th, at the Cussetah Boardwalk Area. The refuge partnered with Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and others to make the event an enjoyable outdoor experience for area students.  A total of 90 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students from Morris, Beggs, and Wilson attended the event and participated in the Archery Tournament.  The students practiced for the event using skills taught through The National Archery in the Schools Program.  The Archery in the Schools Program is conducted at local schools during Physical Education classes.

Students participated in several activities and were separated into groups and rotated every 30 minutes through the following activity stations:

Station 1:  Olympic Archery Shooting - Refuge Operations Specialist and previous Olympic shooter, John Megara, discussed his experience as an Olympic archery shooter, preformed archery shooting demonstrations, and gave instructions on the rules and regulations of Olympic archery shooting.

Station 2 A and B:  Primitive/Traditional Archery and Bowfishing – These two stations were located a short distance from each other and the time was split between PT Archery and the Bowfishing.  Dwight Tallent, a proficient builder of traditional bows, explained the craft of making primitive bows and arrows and the correct shooting techniques.  The bowfishing station was run by volunteers from a local organization, Fish Stickers, they demonstrated the equipment and techniques used when bowfishing and allowed the students to shoot plastic fish floating in a wading pool.

Station 3:  Bowhunting – Dean Anderson of Pat’s Archery, an experienced and avid bowhunter, discussed bowhunting equipment, bowhunting techniques/preparation, and safety issues when bowhunting.  Dean also demonstrated shooting from tree stands and ground blinds with different types of bows.

Station 4:  Three-dimensional Target Shooting – Michelle Doerr, Archery Trade Association and Mike LaGrand, Okmulgee County Bowhunting Council, demonstrated the sport of shooting 3-D targets using different types of bows.  The students were then allowed to shoot 3-D targets using compound bows, recurve bows, and crossbows.  There was a large variety of targets for the students to shoot at, including; turkeys, bears, hyenas, wild boar, deer, elk, and baboons. 

Station 5:  National Archery in the School Shooting Tournament:  Colin Berg, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation School Coordinator, supervised the tournament shoot.  The students shot two rounds of practice during the first rotation.  It was here that the top shooters gathered at the end to have a final shoot-off.  The top three boys and girls were recognized with gold, silver, and bronze medals.  The Olympic theme music played in the background and the kids cheered for their teammates and their rivals.  A trophy was given to the school with the highest total score.

During breaks students were allowed to explore the refuge boardwalk and tour the information booths.  The First Oklahoma Trappers and Predator Callers Association demonstrated trapping techniques and predator calling at their booth and the Burgess Creek Chapter of the national Wild Turkey Federation demonstrated hunting and calling techniques and handed out hats to the students.

In Oklahoma, the Archery in the Schools curriculum is geared to 4th-12th graders and follows National Physical Education Standards.  One P.E. teacher pointed out that an intangible plus is kids who usually sat on the sidelines, took an interest in archery.  “Some of the kids can get intimidated by the team sports,” said the instructor.  “I’ve seen some new stars come forward in my class with archery.”

A reception was held the night before with local community leaders, volunteers, refuge and regional office staff to honor all those involved in putting the program together and to stimulate interest in the Archery in the Schools Program.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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