CPW reaches out to young archers inspired by 'The Hunger Games'
We’ve seen a tremendous increase in the popularity of archery in the last few years," said Windi Padia, Colorado Parks and Wildlife education manager. "To meet this demand, we've been working to expand our programs and work closely with other organizations that share our mission of getting more youth involved in shooting sports."
Archery, once considered by most teenagers as an antiquated activity reserved for silly looking men in green tights and feather caps, has become a hip, pop-culture sensation thanks to the success of “The Hunger Games” book series and last year's blockbuster film. The film's bow-wielding heroine, Katniss Everdeen, has inspired legions of young Katniss-wanabees who are purchasing bows and are flocking to archery ranges in record numbers.
To support growing demand, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is opening more public shooting ranges. The agency manages shooting ranges across the state where archers, from novice to experienced, can hone their shooting skills. Last summer, Colorado Parks and Wildlife expanded its operations, opening archery ranges at Barr Lake State Park and Cheyenne Mountain State Park. A 3-D range, featuring lifelike animal targets, will be added to the Cheyenne Mountain range next year. The 3-D course provides true angles and shooting conditions that hunters might experience on a big-game hunt.
"The new ranges at Barr Lake and Cheyenne Mountain offer an excellent opportunity for Denver and Colorado Springs residents to practice archery in a safe and beautiful setting," Padia said.
Through a partnership with the National Archery in the Schools Program, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is also taking archery into school gymnasiums. CPW is the local sponsor of NASP, an archery program designed specifically for physical education teachers of 4th-12th grade students. The popular program has grown to include more than 100 schools statewide, and it gives elementary and high school students the chance to practice archery during PE class.
In addition, CPW is working closely with organizations like The Wildlife Experience in south Denver, to establish archery education for youth. The Wildlife Experience hosts a variety of monthly "outdoor workshops," where participants can learn international-style target shooting, archery safety and shooting techniques.
To introduce archers to Colorado's exciting hunting opportunities, Parks and Wildlife offers a bowhunter education course in conjunction with the Colorado Bowhunters Association. The in-depth curriculum provides a wealth of information for both beginner and experienced shooters alike, including archery safety and ethics, bowhunting methods and outdoor survival. Students also have the opportunity to shoot a variety of different bows and learn about the different types of equipment available to hunters.
Archery’s increasing popularity is expected to continue upward when The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire debuts in theaters Nov. 22.
To further promote participation in archery, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is advertising its archery programs during the movie’s premier. The static, 15-second advertisement depicts a female archer along with the slogan: "Get in the game – explore your passion for archery."
Appearing in select Colorado theaters Nov. 15-28, the ad also includes a QR code and link, which sends movie audiences to a resource webpage. The webpage features CPW's archery programs, an interactive map of shooting ranges, videos and a summary of partnering organizations that offer archery or bowhunting programs in Colorado.
"We are excited to take advantage of The Hunger Games archery phenomenon," says Tony Gurzick, creative services and marketing manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "Obviously, the film’s futuristic theme is very different from what we normally associate with, however, we felt this was a great opportunity to showcase some of Colorado’s shooting programs and get more youth involved in archery."
The advertisement and webpage primarily targets teenagers and young adults new to archery, but it also features information directed toward more experienced shooters interested in learning about bowhunting in Colorado.
To view CPW’s movie advertisement and archery-resource webpage, visit the Colorado Outdoors Magazine webpage.
Division of Wildlife