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Archery continues to gain popularity

More than 100,000 hunters in North Dakota and Minnesota have taken interest in bow hunting.

PHOTO: Archery popularity

WEST FARGO -- More than 100,000 hunters in North Dakota and Minnesota have picked up the bow and arrow to target their next prize.

It's a sport thousands of years old, and is seeing a resurgence in the last few years.

"It doesn't matter if you're 70 or seven, you can all shoot together," said Brian Hage, president of the Sandhills Archery Club in West Fargo.

Tyler Thomas picked up on it at a young age.

My dad was doing it and I thought it was really cool that you could just come out here, have fun, shoot some arrows, and then go hunting," Thomas said.


Popularity continues to grow for the sport, thanks in part to some pop culture appearances.

"When 'Brave' came out and the 'Hunger Games' came out, there was a big surge in people wanting to shoot archery, learn how to shoot a bow," Hage said.

Those who shoot compare it to another sport where patience is key.

"If you take a golf swing, if you can't make the exact same contact on the ball with the exact same swing, it's not going to go to the same spot," Hage said. "When you try to shoot x's for archery in tournaments, or you're hunting and you want to hit that right spot, you've got to practice and it's got to be the same every time."

It's much different from the experience of hunting with a rifle, but for someone like Thomas, that raises his interest level even more.

"The adrenaline rush is insane," he said. "You can get a long range with a gun but with a bow it's much closer so you can see them better which, again, helps the adrenaline rush go. It's so fun."

Zach Staton joined WDAY as a sports reporter in 2018. He grew up in Salem, Virginia loving any sport he could play or watch. Staton graduated from Bridgewater College with a degree in Communication Studies before getting his Master's in Broadcast and Digital Journalism with a Sports Communication Emphasis from Syracuse University.
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