First, I am very humbled to be asked to run for the office of president of an organization as fine as The Professional Bowhunters Society. If elected, I promise to do my best to fill the shoes of the quality gentlemen who preceded me, and to work with the Council to continue our success in representing all that is best about our lifestyle. I can say honestly that I love this organization and what it stands for.
I little about me – I was born and raised in Georgia, am single, hunt way too much, and make a living managing a sales agency covering the southeast and specializing in the work and outdoor industry. I travel often to hunt and have since my first trip to Alaska in my early twenties. Most of my closest friends are bowhunting buddies and fellow PBS members who share my passion for stick and string. I’ve held most offices including the presidency of my state bowhunting organization The Traditional Bowhunters of Georgia, and have served PBS as Councilman and as the current Vice-President.
I would love to say I have some creative new initiatives for the PBS but frankly, I do not. Right now, we are doing quite a few things right, and I would not change any of them. For the first time in years, we are operating firmly in the black and we are growing our membership at the same time. We are also attracting a younger membership through our ongoing membership drives, social media presence, and our support of traditional bowhunting-oriented podcasts. We now have the capacity to easily and cheaply send email blasts so we are trying to keep the membership informed on important political issues related to bowhunting such as the attempts by Crosman to legalize the during archery seasons. If anything, we need to expand these efforts. For our membership that doesn’t care for the new media, and that is a lot of us, PBS won’t change any of the stuff that made us successful in the first place – a first-class magazine, outstanding Biennial Gathering, and frequent membership hunts where like-minded folks can spend time and hunt with new friends and old. But we have added arrows to our quiver that will help attract and keep the many younger bowhunters who are discovering the heart-pounding excitement of close-range, woodsmanship-based bowhunting. I think we also have to think about reaching out in different ways to promote the idea that the difference between shooting something at sixty-five yards and fifteen yards is another ninety-minutes of hunting and a world of experiences. And that there is immense satisfaction in those last few yards even when one ends up with nothing but a great story. To do that, we have to get a little out of our box and not preach only to the choir, and we have to do it with a smile and a handshake, not a poke in the eye.
Finally, I firmly believe that a lot of the success we have had in the last couple of years has been because the current Council under Norm Johnson, and our membership too, have kept us on a positive path. That needs to stay a priority. When I ran for Vice-President a few years ago, I wrote that to be successful, PBS needed a long period of peace and harmony. I still believe that, and we all need to keep it that way.