Lancaster Archery Supply Product Reviews from ATA 2018

The 2018 Archery Trade Association (ATA) Trade Show in Indianapolis from Jan. 11-13 was a banner one for product innovation and technological advancements.

And the Lancaster Archery Supply video team was there to capture some of the most intriguing new products we could find.

We covered releases, arrows, vanes, sights, stabilizers and various other archery products that we think archers will find interesting. In each video, we interviewed a manufacturer representative or a professional archer, and had that person run through the features and functions of their product or products.

The goal of our videos is to provide consumers information about this new gear, and to allow them to see it up close, through our camera lens. Ultimately, this information could help consumers as they decide which products to buy.

The ATA show is ideal for making these videos, because it’s often the first place manufacturers present their new products to the public, and the people who know these products best are all on site to provide complete information on them.

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Rob Kaufhold Re-elected to ATA Board

Lancaster Archery Supply president and founder Rob Kaufhold has been elected to a second four-year term on the Archery Trade Association’s (ATA) board of directors.

The Archery Trade Association is an advocacy organization for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, sales representatives and others working in the archery and bowhunting industry.

Kaufhold is excited about using his experience with Lancaster Archery Supply to help the industry adapt to changes in the retail and consumer landscape.

“By working together with everyone in the industry, the ATA can help archery retailers and manufacturers navigate the increasingly digital business world,” Kaufhold said.

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The ATA is dedicated to making the industry profitable by decreasing business overhead, reducing taxes and government regulation, and increasing participation in archery and bowhunting.

The organization also owns and operates the ATA Trade Show, which is the archery and bowhunting industry’s largest and longest-running trade show worldwide.

The ATA board is made up of 18 members representing various manufacturing, distribution and retail companies across North America. The board guides ATA’s actions and shapes the organization’s policies and positions.

Recently, the ATA was one of 18 trade associations to participate in the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable, which briefed Congress on ways to increase outdoor recreation opportunities – such as bowhunting – and access to public lands for all Americans.

Also, ATA recently signed an agreement to collaborate with World Archery over the next four years to promote archery around the world. This agreement spans the time leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

These and other ATA initiatives are aimed at helping archery and bowhunting grow, which, in turn, helps archery companies in the industry prosper into the future.

Kaufhold first was elected to serve on the ATA board in 2014. Over the past four years he has worked with ATA CEO Jay McAninch, ATA Board Chairman Ben Summers and the dedicated staff and fellow board members of the ATA to launch Archery 360 and Bowhunting 360 – website and social media initiatives designed to educate the public.  Also in recent years, the ATA launched the Retail Growth Initiative, which provides archery retailers with tools and techniques that can help them be successful, and created an updated archery safety brochure and many other programs that benefit the sport of archery and the archery industry.

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“I’m thrilled that so many industry professionals and business owners were motivated to run for a seat on the ATA Board,” Kaufhold said.

“I began attending ATA Board meetings two years before running for the board, and I encourage interested ATA members to do the same.

“Our industry faces some unique challenges as we look into the future. These include working with the National Deer Alliance/NDA to improve the health of our whitetail deer herds; new archer and bowhunter recruitment; and reversing the trend of deep discount online pricing by e-commerce sites fulfilled by third-party distributors.”

Lancaster Archery Supply, Inc., offers the world’s largest selection of 3D, target, bowhunting and traditional archery equipment. The company actively supports tournament archers around the world, and hosts the annual Lancaster Archery Classic, an international competition that draws over 1,000 competitive archers to Pennsylvania each year. The Lancaster, Pa., based Pro Shop is also home to the Lancaster Archery Academy – a year-round training facility for beginner, intermediate and competition archers.

 

Bowhunting: The season’s drawing near and we love it

It’s the middle of July, and the weather across the U.S. is pretty predictable.

It’s hot.

And when it’s hot and sticky and just plain miserable outside, a lot of the LAS audience starts thinking about the same thing.

Bowhunting season.

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Photo: Bowhunting.com

Nearly 12 million Americans ventured out in pursuit of game with bows or crossbows in 2014, according to the Archery Trade Association. That was an increase of about 4 million over the ATA’s 2012 estimate.

People bowhunt for different reasons. Some do it to fill their freezers with fresh, chemical-free meat. Some like the chase for trophy-class animals. Others do it purely for fun and adventure, and the list goes on.

Many of us here at Lancaster Archery Supply enjoy bowhunting. Yes, it’s part of our business, but we do it because we love it just as much as you do.

In recognition of the upcoming, fall hunting seasons, we’re kicking off a bowhunting blog campaign today to help archers get ready for their hunts. Each week for the next several weeks, we will bring you a video and/or article on bowhunting-themed topics that we hope you’ll find informative.

To get things rolling, we thought we’d serve up some general facts and figures about hunting – especially bowhunting – in the U.S.

According to Archery Business, the top five bowhunting states in the U.S. in 2013 – the last year for which numbers were available – were:

1. Michigan – 328,655

2. Pennsylvania – 325,041

3. Wisconsin – 266,573

4. Ohio – 215,000

5. New York – 194,663

The top five states in 2015 for the number of licensed hunters overall were:

1. Texas – 1.06 million

2. Pennsylvania – 969,633

3. Michigan – 763,618

4. Tennessee – 727,229

5. Wisconsin – 717,381

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Hunters are considered by many to be the greatest conservationists in North America, since they are the ones who contribute the lion’s share of the funds used for wildlife research and habitat protection.

Here are some North American wildlife-population recoveries, which groups like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation say were made possible by hunters.

1. Elk – 41,000 in 1907; more than 1 million today.

2. White-tailed deer – 500,000 in 1900; more than 32 million today.

3. Wild turkeys – 100,000 in 1900; over 7 million today.

4. Pronghorn antelope – 12,000 in 1950; more than 1.1 million today.

Generally, the fall bowhunting season in North America begins in August, with hunters heading to high-altitudes to chase goats and sheep. This is also a popular month for bowhunting pronghorns over water holes out West and for chasing caribou across the Arctic.

September is ruled by bugling elk and grunting moose in the rut. And there’s a lot of mule deer hunting as well. Bowhunting seasons for whitetails start to trickle open, and there still will be plenty of archers chasing caribou and antelope.

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Photo: Hal Korber, PA Game Commission

October and November are whitetail months. The white-tailed deer is considered the most-hunted big-game animal in North America, and October and November are whitetail prime time.

Subspecies of whitetails are found in every state, except for Hawaii and Alaska. So certainly their widespread distribution plays a role in their popularity.

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There is still plenty of bowhunting in December and January – mostly for whitetails – but archers definitely aren’t out there as thick as they were in earlier months.

Below is one of the finest films we could find for this blog, which illustrates how many of us feel about bowhunting. It’s 20 minutes long, so you will need to carve out some time to watch it.

But if you love bowhunting, we think you’ll be able to relate. And if you’re thinking about getting into the game, we believe this will convince you to take the leap.

Why aren’t compound bows used in the Olympics?

Compound bows have been around since the 1960s. Here in the U.S., you’re more likely to see people shooting compounds at the local archery range than recurve bows. Watch any of the televised coverage of archery at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, however, and all you’ll see are recurve bows.

Why aren’t compound bows used in the Olympics?

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Compound archers stack the line at the World Cup tournament in Shanghai, China. (Photo courtesy of World Archery)

A New York Times article published ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London quoted a FITA official who opined that the world might see compound bows being shot during the archery competition at the 2016 Games.

FITA has since changed names to World Archery, and compound bows will not be shot in this year’s Olympics. Nor does the world’s governing body for archery expect them to be used in the next Olympics, either.

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American archer Jake Kaminski shoots his recurve bow during the 2012 Olympics in London.

“It’s not so much a case of the compound being allowed, but more making it appealing so that when we apply to have it included, the decision makers at the International Olympic Committee see that what we’re proposing will bring a lot of value to the Olympic Games,” said World Archery Secretary General Tom Dielen.

“There are many different areas we need to progress. Each sport and discipline at the Olympics must offer something different to the Games, athletes and spectators. There must be universality – meaning that people from countries all around the world compete at a high level – and gender equality.

“At the moment, the top compound archers are focused in countries in Europe and North and Central America. We need to do more to promote the compound in Asia, Africa and Oceania…”

Elite archer Reo Wilde, 42, of Idaho, is currently ranked by World Archery No. 3 in the world among men’s compound archers, and he’s the top-ranked American. He’s been dreaming of the day when he might shoot his compound bow in the Olympics.

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Reo Wilde competes at the first World Cup event of 2016 in China. (Photo courtesy of World Archery)

And while he keeps hoping, Wilde sees his dream slipping away with each passing Olympics.

“I think it would be great for the sport, but there’s a lot of politics getting in the way,” he said. “I hope to have the chance to go one day, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen.”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the world organization that determines which sports are featured in the winter and summer Olympic Games. After each Olympics, the IOC sits down and hears from world sports committees, like World Archery, about sports that could be added to the next games.

Getting compound bows into the Olympics is not simply a matter of convincing the IOC that the move would be good for the archery competition, but it’s convincing the IOC that adding compounds is a better idea than adding scads of other sports that are also trying to get in the Games.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics, for example, golf and seven-on-seven rugby will make their Olympic debuts.

“There is already a cap on the number of athletes that can attend a Games, and if we added the same competition as we currently have with the recurve, it would mean doubling the number of archery competitors,” Dielen said.

“Questions of logistics, like this, will have to be worked through when the time comes.”

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(Photo courtesy of World Archery)

The current archery competition at the Olympics allows each country or group of countries with a National Olympic Committee – there are 206 around the world – to send a maximum of six archers. Those archers all shoot at the beginning of the Games to qualify for 64 male and 64 female slots in the individual competition. Twenty-four national teams of three archers apiece – 12 men’s teams and 12 female teams – will be chosen from those 128 archers to compete for team medals.

“The demands for housing for athletes, coaches and team officials continues to increase, and the sheer number of people requiring support is financially daunting,” said Jay McAninch, president/CEO of Archery Trade Association (ATA), which represents manufacturers, retailers, distributors and other working in the archery and bowhunting industry.

“Add to that a crowded broadcast schedule and it’s hard to justify adding new sports or expanding existing sports like archery. Yet, the IOC is growing the event and we’ve learned that they are open to new proposals or proposals for change that includes increases in some aspects of many sports.”

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(Photo courtesy of World Archery.)

So is there a year when we might expect to see Olympic archers shooting compound bows at the Games?

It’s too soon to ask that question, McAninch and Dielen  say.

According to Dielen, World Archery’s top priority is working to get mixed-team archery – men and women shooting recurves together – into the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. World Archery already includes mixed-team events in its competitions. The U.S. team of Brady Ellison and Khatuna Lorig in April won the mixed-team gold medal in China at the first World Cup event of 2016.

McAninch said getting compounds into the Olympics is a “step beyond the challenge of strengthening compounds in all the countries of the world. The process for doing this, we feel, is to work with the leading Federations in each continent to increase the number and quality of compound archers in competitions from communities to countries to major continent and world tournaments.

“Increasing prize money and contingency will also play a significant role in this process. In short, we think the path to landing compounds in the Olympics starts in communities worldwide and progresses though national, regional, continental and world tournaments.”

Dielen adds, “We’re up against things like 3×3 basketball, skateboarding and sport climbing, and we’ve got to make compound archery a more appealing choice.”

And there’s a huge opportunity looming to show the IOC just how great it would be to have archers shooting compound bows in the Olympics. The World Games is an international event held every four years, which features sports not contested in the Olympics. The games are endorsed by the IOC, and are seen as a proving ground for potential, new Olympic contests.

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The men’s U.S. compound team of, from left, Steve Anderson, Reo Wilde and Alex Wifler won the silver medal at the first, outdoor World Cup tournament of 2016 in Shanghai, China. (Photo courtesy of World Archery)

Compound target archery was first included in the World Games in 2013, and it was considered to be a “great success,” according to Dielen. It will be part of the 2017 games in Poland, and again in 2021, when the games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama.

“Making compound archery a huge success in Birmingham would do a lot for its chances” at getting into the Olympics, Dielen said. “If 5,000 people turn up to watch every competition session and the public demand is high, people will have to take notice. Supporting this event in the USA is critical.”

McAninch said success at the World Games and other similar events will determine when compound archery becomes an Olympic sport.

“Until we see national, regional and continental competitions where compounds are as strong as recurves, we can’t assume compounds would have any chance of being in the Olympic Games,” he said.

Lancaster Archery Supply Videos from ATA 2016

Lancaster Archery Supply was active with the video camera at the Archery Trade Association’s 2016 show in Louisville, KY, Jan. 5-7.

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We did product reviews that looked at new archery gear just brought to market by a number of companies, as well some existing products that were tweaked for 2016.

We interviewed celebrities, such as Don and Kandi Kisky, hosts of the TV show Whitetail Freaks, and professional archers, including Reo Wilde and Jesse Broadwater.

Basically, we captured video snippets of what it was like to be at the show this year.

You can check out all of our videos from ATA 2016 on a special playlist we’ve created on our YouTube channel.

The playlist is available by clicking here.

Delta McKenzie Wedgie Bag Target Review

The Delta McKenzie bag target is a new archery target aimed at backyard archers. In this video, Gabe Perkins talks to Lancaster Archery Supply about this target, which is shaped like a wedge to improve its stability when taking hits from arrows.

The bag has 30 pounds of arrow-stopping material inside, so it can take lots of shots without any pass-throughs. Since it is a bag target, the Wedgie is to be used for field points only. No broadheads.

Scott Halo hinge-style release review with Levi Morgan

The Scott Halo mechanical release is a new offering from Scott Archery that champion archer Levi Morgan discussed with Lancaster Archery Supply at the 2016 Archery Trade Association.

The Halo is a hinge-style release Morgan likes because it’s made of heavy brass, it’s got a large opening for the index finger and the groves for the other fingers are deep enough that each finger can seat comfortably on the release.

Morgan in 2015 became the first archer ever to win all three legs of the IBO Triple Crown, plus the IBO World Championship, which makes him the first to claim the IBO Grand Slam.

Mathews Halon X review

The Mathews Halon X compound bow was unveiled to the public at the 2016 Archery Trade Association show. In this video shot at ATA, Mathews engineer Jason Thurow discusses this new bow with Lancaster Archery Supply TechXPert P.J. Reilly.

While similar to the Halon released by Mathews late in 2015, the Halon X is longer, at 35 inches axle to axle, the brace height is fixed at 7 inches and the cam is a bit smaller than the Halon’s.

What you end up with in the Halon X, is a bow that’s designed to be forgiving, with a gentle draw cycle, which makes it ideal for target archers as well as hunters.

Reo Wilde gets ready for busy 2016 tournament season

Reo Wilde, the world’s No. 4-ranked, men’s compound archer – No.1 in the U.S. – stopped by the Lancaster Archery Supply booth at the 2016 Archery Trade Association show in Louisville, KY, Jan. 5 to talk about his busy tournament schedule.

After winning the second stage of the Indoor Archery World Cup in Bangkok, Thailand, in December, Wilde spent some time at the ATA show visiting with sponsors. He will head to the third leg of the World Cup in Nimes, France, Jan. 15-17, before competing in the Lancaster Archery Classic Jan. 21-24, followed by the Vegas Shoot Jan. 29-31.

Wilde says he’s feeling good about his shooting form, after announcing in December that he will now shoot for Elite Archery.

Lancaster Archery Supply to Report Live from ATA Show in Kentucky Jan. 5-7

Lancaster Archery Supply will be reporting live from the 2016 Archery Trade Association Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., Jan. 5-7.

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The ATA show is an annual gathering of archery industry manufacturers, dealers and celebrities, at which new products are unveiled.

Besides attending the show as an exhibitor, Lancaster Archery Supply also plans to report on new and hot products via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Follow all of our social media channels for regular reports from the floor of the show.

Through LAS, audiences can get a first look at the archery products they’ll be seeing on Pro Shop shelves and e-commerce site pages within a few weeks.

Find LAS on Facebook under Lancaster Archery Supply, on Twitter as @lancarchery and on Instagram as @lancasterarchery.