When first asked about attending an archery tournament, Mark DeBoard, Shooting Services Manager for Crosman, was not certain it was the best option. “We have invitations from events across the country so picking one means not going to another,” said DeBoard. “Then the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources stepped in, explained the event, and we saw a great opportnity,” he stated. This was no mere archery tournament. This was the national tournament for the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) and had 8,000 registered shooters, making it the largest event of it’s kind in the world (this fact confirmed by an onsite representative from the Guinness Book of World Records).
Crosman’s participation was due to the efforts of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife and their interest in promoting hunting in the state. Youth were invited to complete their hunter education requirements at the air rifle range provided by Crosman during the NASP event. KYFW exceeded their goal of issuing licenses, deeming the event a success. Alongside the Hunter Education range, Crosman representatives DeBoard, Bob Soldivera and Chip Hunnicutt erected a 10-point firing range for anyone interested in shooting. “We brought 60,000 pellets for the event – the second most we’ve ever taken to any event – and had to scramble to come up with 20,000 more by the end of the event,” said DeBoard. Nearly 6,500 shooters took a seat and pulled a trigger at the range.
With so many families interested in the outdoors, even the Benjamin booth was hopping. According to Hunnicutt, “these folks knew a serious hunting rifle when they saw it and while they may have been surprised to learn these were airguns, it did not deter them. To see so many genuinely interested was great.”