The Bowhunting League is Back!

Show Notes

This week on the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast, Ben Harrison of the Bowhunting League is back and he brought along some friends. If you haven't heard of the Bow Hunting league, it is a family friendly nationwide bow hunting competition that is completely free to enter. The main reason it remains free is due to the help of great sponsors like the ones that joined in on this episode. Ryan Stricklin of Native Ground Land Co. and Bren Chapman of Okie Land Bow Hunters archery shop are two of the Oklahoma based sponsors of the league, and they joined Ben and John to talk about all the ins and outs of the competition. 

Oklahoma has held its own in the competition over the years. Last year Oklahoma was second in entries, and multiple Oklahoma Teams finished towards the top of the leaderboard. While it is called a competition, the league is much more about camaraderie and bringing folks together rather than tearing them apart. If you don't have access to prime hunting ground, don't worry. There are all kinds of prizes to be won, some as easily as just signing up! Did we mention it's free?

Check out the Sportsmen's Empire Podcast Network for more relevant, outdoor content!

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Hey guys and gals, welcome to the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast, brought to you by Arrowhead Land Company. Here you'll be educated, entertained, and equipped to get more out of your outdoor experience. So hold on tight because here we go.

Welcome to the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast. I'm your host, John Hut Smith, and welcome to today's show. We got a really good one this week. Not gonna get into it quite yet I'm just gonna say it's a really good episode. So wanted to catch you guys up on what I've been up to lately. Made it out to the ranch twice, actually in the past week.

And the first trip I made up there was awesome. I ended up buying some feed to put in my feeders instead of making my own. It's just, it's a hassle. Last time I was up there they didn't have all the [00:01:00] ingredients I needed. They were outta corn, and so I just didn't wanna risk running into that same situation and leaving my feeders empty.

And so ended up picking up some Game Pro by Martindale Feed Mill, which is my mom's side of the family. They own and operate Martindale Feed Mill. And so picked up some of their 16% protein filled the back of my truck up, headed to the ranch and got my feeders completely full. Had a few bags left over just in case.

So yeah, both, both the feeders I had filled previously were empty, refilled 'em, got 'em up and going. And also got, I think, six trail cameras out. So beginning of July now bucks are starting to really pack on some inches. I don't have any yet that I, really recognize from the past.

There's one that I'm pretty sure I know which bucket is but not gonna quite put a name to him just yet. I have another buck that looks very promising. I'm gonna say he's probably going to be a little bit young this year. But man he looks like he could be a hammer in the future so that's [00:02:00] very exciting.

But man I'm getting ahead of myself here Got out to the ranch, like I said, had the protein feed, had the cameras with me made it to my first stop. And again, these, I keep talking about it. My soybeans, they just look so dang good. I'm loving it. But I come to find out it's not necessarily such a great thing that they're looking so good.

I found out. But anyway, so yeah, first spot beans were looking good. Went ahead and filled the protein feeder up. Got a camera on it. This spot, it's down in a hole. It's like before I get to the back area. And I've had problems with cell cameras sending pictures from there before.

And I bought one of those, one of the like extended antennas that you can get from tactic cam. And so I didn't have a good, like pole or anything to raise it up high. But I basically just went over a T post, put it on the top of the T post. It's a much bigger antenna and so far it's worked decently.

Like I've gotten some pictures. I feel like I'm still not getting all the pictures and so I need to take some kind of two by four or metal pole or [00:03:00] something and and get it higher up in the air to get a little bit better service but it's definitely working better than it did last year. And so yeah, I got that up and going again.

I'm like looking at these beans, I'm thinking it's just the most amazing thing ever. But then I headed on back to the back and I stopped made a little pit stop at the saddle and was looking at those beans and they just kind looked terrible. And I was like, man, is it the soil? Was it the fertilizer is just a weird spot or what.

But I drove on out cuz they looked like they looked different than they had last time. Like they looked worse. And so walked out in the plot and once I really got to looking, I. I realized that the soybeans are actually doing fantastic. They had just been hammered, like the deer were just keeping 'em down.

Every single plant that I looked at had been munched on and j like some of them still had some leaves. Some of them were down to the stem, like they were just being absolutely hammered. And so backing up to that first plot, it kinda makes me wonder like I, they're not even that far apart, but the [00:04:00] one down below, it just looks lush and green and just not getting utilized really.

And then this one, just a few hundred yards away is the crow flies. But right in the middle of kind of my deer area, more of the sanctuary type thing. It was just getting leveled. And so I was actually really happy with it. It's gosh acre and a half, something like that. Again, I really only planted it just because I had extra seed leftover.

But man, it it's getting hammered and so it's hard to complain about the deer munching it down. Especially cuz you know, it's like a bonus plot to begin with. So yeah, I was actually pretty, pretty happy with that. And so with that in mind, I went on back to the back, my, my biggest and best spot I would say.

And that plot is not quite three acres, it's two and a half to three, somewhere in there. And it was a mix of the two. Like it had a lot of good growth. Lot of plants, but obviously had also been munched on really hard. But just the bigger size, the more acreage is, it was hoping to keep up with the deer and so it looked [00:05:00] really good as well.

So plots were looking good. I got six cameras out, I believe, and they have just been lighting up so far. It's been really fun. Nothing too crazy to speak of just yet. I got one buck that's definitely gets me excited every time I see him, but I don't have any history with him, or at least I don't recognize him yet.

And I think he's going to be a little bit young this year. I don't know. It's always hard to tell during the summer. Oh, excuse me. We'll see how he looks as as the fall gets closer. Got another eight point that's looking pretty solid. Some huge brows. I think I might know which bucket is, but again, little early still.

But man, just here in the next few weeks, these buckets are really gonna be packing on the inches. They're gonna be recognizable. No 2% buck yet. He, last year, I think he showed up on the 14th, July 14th for the first time. In the previous two years, I think in, I had the, a picture of him on the exact same day in 21 and 2020 on I think it was like July 28th.

And so he [00:06:00] normally shows up, end of July, something like that. I was hoping maybe with the soybeans and the protein and everything, he might show up a little earlier. But so far nothing really holding my breath that he's out there, though. He will be eight and a half this year. I know he made it through last season.

Like I got a picture of him last year after deer season had already closed. So as long as, a critter didn't get him, or a vehicle or anything like that, a poacher, whatever, he should still be around. Man, he's so weird. Again, I've been, chasing this buck for a lot of years now.

I feel like I know him pretty well. As a three year old, he was around quite a bit. He completely disappeared as a four year old, as a five year old, I probably got the most pictures ever when he was five, but they were all nighttime. And then as a six year old, he was a little bit less frequent, but I got a few more daytime pictures of him.

And then last year he was in and out. I'd get him sometimes, not other times I feel like when I did get him, I'd get him for like several days in a row, but then he'd be [00:07:00] gone for a week or two and then he'd come back and I did have my one encounter with him. And so I'm pretty sure he is still around, just the same old story.

I don't think he actually lives on our property. I doubt at eight and a half years old, he's gonna leave whatever secure place that he has lived for so long to come, find a new home on our property no matter how much habitat and food and everything else I have. And so it's gonna be another cross your fingers.

I call him the 2% buck because I give myself a 2% chance of killing him. Yeah, he hasn't shown up yet. Got some other good bucks. It's been a lot of fun getting all these pictures and everything and just excited to see what happens this year. I think things are setting up for a really good year.

So still got a few more like little odds and end things to do. Need to change some straps out on some stands, need to level some blinds. But as far as like big changes, not too much changing from from last year to this year. Last year I was really focused on getting my blinds and feeders and stands set.

This year it's been a lot more [00:08:00] food plot, habitat just fine tuning stuff that I mentioned. So yeah, things are setting up pretty good and I think that's gonna do it for the intro. I don't know when I'm gonna be get out there. Next this weekend we're having my baby girls one year birthday party.

So we got like a inflatable unicorn water slide or something coming. I don't know. My wife my wife went absolutely crazy. I should have reined her in a little bit more, but hey, you only turn one once, so let's live it up. So anyway, that's that's enough for the intro this week. Like I mentioned at the beginning, we have a really fun episode.

We got the Bow Hunting League coming back. So this, I believe this is the third year in a row that we've had Ben and some of various guys from the Bow Hunting League on this year. He brought a couple of the Oklahoma sponsors. He brought Ryan Strickland of native ground, and then he also brought Brynn Chapman of Oak Land Bow Hunter, the an archery shop.

And yeah, just a g Good old time. Ben talks about the Bow Hunting League. Ryan and Brynn [00:09:00] talk about their companies and how they became a part of the Bow Hunting League family. We all talk about some experiences we've had. I've been a part of the league just participated in it the last two years and and plan to participate in it this year.

And so I always love having these guys on. I'm a huge supporter of the Bow Hunting League. I think it's just a really good, fun judgment free zone to come. I asked Ben a couple tough questions and one of them I asked was kinda how he feels that That this competition, could maybe negatively affect deer hunting for some people.

And he does a great job answering that question. And just a really good, informative episode. So that's what we have planned for this week. I hope you guys are ready for it. I'm gonna go help prepare for this birthday party that we got coming up. Thank you guys for listening to the episode, and I'll see y'all on the other side.

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The mission of Bravado Wireless is to keep you connected no matter where you are. Visit bravado or check them out at one of their retail locations. Bravado Wireless, the power of connection. Hey everybody. Welcome to today's show. We got a packed house today on the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast.

I'm gonna let these guys go ahead and introduce themselves one at a time. I'll point 'em out there just to keep some of the confusion down. Ben you're the guest of honor today with the Bow Hunting League. Ben, tell us a little about yourself, man, you're really setting your bar low.

I run the Bow Hunting League. It's a nationwide deer contest. It's our ninth season having the contest and give you a couple facts from last year. Last year we had right at 98,000 inches of Aler entered a little over 7 52 bucks. And these deer are across the nation. Oklahoma's one of our top states.

[00:11:00] I believe Oklahoma had the second most entries out of all the states last year. But yeah, been on here before. I think this is my third time being on the podcast with you. Appreciate you having us on and yeah, having a good time, man. Absolutely. 138 of those were mine, so You're welcome.

I'll try to bump it up this year though, all right, let's move it down the line. Let's go to Ryan, tell us a little bit about yourself. Yeah. My name is Ryan Strickland. I'm a real estate agent with Native Ground Land Company out of Oklahoma City, and I'm a title sponsor to the bow Hunting League first year last year, so Native ground being the title sponsor for the league.

And I think last year was my second time participating in the league. And just happy to be a part of the league and getting to know these guys and appreciate you having me on. Absolutely. Absolutely. And Mr. Brynn, how you doing today? How's it going guys? I'm Brynn Chapman, I own OK Land Bow Hunters in Norman, Oklahoma.

This is my second year working with the Bow Hunting [00:12:00] League. Got turned onto these guys through us, couple of the heavy hitters in Oklahoma. Man we're happy to sponsor this and work with them. We typically sponsor a couple bows a year to to the Oklahoma big buck.

And I think this year we missed the big buck, but we got on Ben, if I'm not mistaken one of the big antlers and then the King of Queens which glad to say if they're listening, BS will be in tomorrow. Awesome. Or so. Very cool. Very cool. So that's that's the group today this evening. And man, it's gonna be a wild time here, but we're gonna try to keep this somewhat on track.

And so we're gonna go back to Ben here and Ben, just in case somebody's listening to this, like you said, I think this is your third time coming on. We always love having you on. I love the Bow Hunting League myself. I've been participating. My team has never done their very good, but we're gonna change that.

I keep shifting pieces around, kicking friends [00:13:00] off and stuff. But real quick, just in case somebody's listening to this and they don't know what the Bow Hunting League is, why don't you tell everybody, alright, so first things first. You have until August 31st to sign up. Okay? It's gonna cost you absolutely nothing to do that.

Get you and two friends to sign Like Brent said, we have. Several thousand dollars in prizes to give away. All thanks. Thanks to our sponsors. We had over $50,000 in prizes last year. We're quite a bit ahead of that this year. What, how you participate is, it's you and two buddies.

It's three man teams and it's the top buck per guy for your team for the season. Ok. We try to keep things real easy, real, real relaxed. You get 10 days to enter your deer after you kill it. Lots of fun stuff, lots of good information out there on our Facebook group. We have everything's through our website, so you don't have to have social media if you don't like it.

But it definitely enriches your experience. But like I said, it's [00:14:00] free. There's no reason not to do it. If you bow, hunt, get signed up. Boning Awesome. Awesome. So free to sign up. And like you said, you got prizes. What kind of prizes are there? I know it's not just one. So tell people like all the different ways they can win.

Conveniently enough we have top buck per for Oklahoma's sponsors sitting here with us. We also, if your team finishes first and first place in the contest, you're gonna win three brand new bows, courtesy of Ryan Strickland native ground land company. He's sitting with us today. So it's one of those things I tell guys, don't worry too much about where you're gonna finish.

Just worry. Just focus on hunting. Don't worry about the contest. Get your deer down. Make sure you take a picture with your bow. We have prizes for the top 100 teams this year. Okay? So I'm mailing out 300 hundred prize packages along with top bucks per state. We don't restrict where you hunt.[00:15:00]

We tell guys, Hey, if you're in Oklahoma and you drew Kansas tag and you kill big deer in Kansas, it still counts towards your team. Don't worry about us too much. Just go hunting and we'll sortt out all the details later. But yeah, that's all they have to do is just go deer hunting like they normally do.

We don't want guys to feel like they have to kill the deer in their state that they live in, or team up with guys from different, from their state. They can team up with guys all over the country if they want to. All right. Cool. Cool. I got some more questions for you, but we'll move on and come back to you.

Ryan let's move to you. So native ground. Tell us a little bit about just your company, where all y'all service y'all's specialty. Just tell us a little bit about the company. Yeah I live in Edmond, Oklahoma I typically will service, central Oklahoma.

Up as far north as, Northern Payne County, Garfield County. And then as far south as probably Garvin County, somewhere in there. We've got 12 agents throughout the state. So we can pretty much [00:16:00] service the entire state from a real estate perspective. And our primary focus is, all types of largely land real estate country homes on acreage.

So that's, cattle ranches, horse farms, recreational property, investment property, Timberland down on the southeastern part of the state. Just really land of all types. So we've been we've been a group going on about a year and a half now. I've been in the business since 2020.

And yeah, just I'm thrilled to be thrilled to be in, in Oklahoma and continuing to be a part of the state. This is where I'm from, so being able to go out and to see the parts of the state that I maybe haven't seen growing up it's pretty fun. Pretty nice.

It's been a good time. Nice. And I'm gonna guess that you're probably a bow hunter yourself. I am. I am. Yep. Been bow hunting since about 2015. I haven't picked up a gun since the hunt, that's impressive. That's very impressive. All Mr. Brand. How you doing over there? [00:17:00] I'm doing good, guys.

Good. Good. All right. Tell me a little bit about Okie Lane bow hunting. Yeah. Okie Lane Bow Hunter started, I was in the oil field for 11 years. Before that I was been a paramedic for almost 20 years. And And Covid did me in with the oil field went back to school during that time and figured out that I could possibly make money with the bow shop.

And I'm lucky enough that my best friend owns the number one pro shop in Louisiana. I bayou land bow hunters and I'm trying to work on getting them in on the bow hunting league this for this next year. But we started out little small town shop. Nobody really knew who I was.

I've been doing this and tuning bows and working on my own stuff for the last 25 years. And so got tied in with the Bow Hunting league and man it's been great. Our business model is we are just trying to grow the sport of archery, and that's our motto.[00:18:00] Archery was dying before Covid.

Unfortunately it was going to the wayside and COVID brought out a lot of those guys that were turning away from it. So we we capitalized on it and to bend them in the bow hunting league. We get nothing out of the Hey guys, it's John Quick Editor's note here in mid-sentence, Brynn's phone dropped the call.

And so we're gonna do a quick commercial here real quick, and then when we pick back up I'll be asking Ben a question and then very soon after that, Brynn gets back on and gets to finish his train of thought. So just wanted to give you guys a quick little update and heads up that's what's going on and we'll get back to it right after this.

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Let Bravado Wireless connect you to your family, friends, and business partners all over the world. Bravado, wireless, the power of connection. Ben will jump back over to you. I think I hint at this last year. You probably don't remember, but I just found out about two weeks ago that I drew an Iowa tag.

My sister last year moved to Nebraska, married a farm boy out there. And so I'm calling this my year of the whitetail. And so I'll be hunting Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. And so let's just say things were to go right, fall in and I'd knock down, three or four nice bucks this year. Talk about what that could what that could put me into.

So at the end of the year at the actually end of the calendar year, deer season's still going on after the end of December, right? But we decided a couple years ago, Hey, we [00:20:00] wanna have a, like a grand finale. We call it the Showdown. Okay? Obviously a state has to be open pretty late for us to have a late season hunt after the end of December.

But what we do is we take the top 10 in what's called the king of tins. So the king of tins is an individual contest within our deer contest. It's your top five bucks for the year. So in that scenario, let's say you kill four solid deer more than likely you're gonna be in the top 10 in King of times.

Okay? And in that scenario, you'd get invited to that hunt. We do. We do a three day hunt. It's super laid back on public land, and I'm telling you right now, it's one of the best things that I've been a part of ever. Last year we invited 22 guys from across the nation, even into Canada. Some guys earned a invite.

One of the guys in Canada, we'll talk about him. He killed a 211 inch mule deer. Cause we, we take in account the four major subspecies of deer in the United States. You [00:21:00] got whitetail, coo, deer blacktail and mules. Okay he qualified with that giant deer right? To, to come.

We take the top bucks too. We invite, give them an invite. He drove two days from Saskatchewan to go hunt public ground in Arkansas. And hunt spikes and dos, right? But he even said himself, he's dude, this is the most fun I've ever had on a deer hunting trip. And I'm thinking, you're over here shooting 200 inch mules.

How's this? How's that compare? But when you get all these guys that come in from all different kind, all different states and backgrounds, and, we sh share that comradery with bow hunting. We, create lifelong friendships. I was telling somebody the other day, if I invited 22 people to my house that all lived in my same town, I probably couldn't get five of 'em to show up.

And that's the thing just showed you the commitment that comes with this things. But yeah, that's something you could say yourself set your yourself up in if you shoot four solid bucks. I think we had one guy. That qualified with three deer last year, but he had a one 50 [00:22:00] average with three deer.

But yeah, no that's one of the pieces of the bow hunting league. There's several different machines going on. It can, we can get real in the weeds real quick. But the thing is just hunt the way you're gonna hunt, just like you said, it's the year of the white tail, right?

This is your biggest season. You're getting caught up with all your honey dues right now to make sure you've got all your time off. And and that's the thing. If it all works out, you can, we'll see you out there in Arkansas. Awesome. Awesome. Brynn, can you hear us again? Yep. I'm back guys.

Sorry. I guess I lost service. That's all right. I just wanna make sure you get your time in. If you can remember where you at, I, my, my mind moved on, but if you can remember where you're at, take off the game. So I'll just, we opened up in 20 July of 2021. Actually we're about, 10 days out from our two year anniversary.

And I, we've been really blessed. I looked at the Metro, the Oklahoma City Metro. We needed a good boat shop around here [00:23:00] inside the metro. There's a couple on the outlines, outskirts, do a great job, but nothing really inside the metro. And that's what kind of spurred me to get the bo shop going and put the pen to paper and realized I could probably make a little bit of money at this make a living and give back to the community.

So that's what we did. And then got hooked up. Within our first year, we got hooked up with the Bow Hunting league. Really liked what I saw the first year, and decided we were gonna step it up. We were lucky enough, six months in to get a Matthews dealership, which typically takes about two years to get.

And decided, why not put it to good use? And had some opportunities, talked to my retailers and we were able to to get some bows donated and even paid for some. I know me and Ryan, we've worked on some other opportunities out there. I've had a, like Ben said, I heard what Ben was saying there towards the end, get to meet some great people.

And that's something, the bow hunting league, [00:24:00] it brought me and Ryan together, and so now me and Ryan are are working together on, on a couple different projects. And it's nice to meet people that are one like-minded, but two also have a passion for the sport of archery.

Awesome guys. Really cool. Really cool. I wanna talk a little bit about deer hunting since that's what we're all here for. Ryan, did you say this is gonna be your second year in the league? So this upcoming year, it'll be my third year in the league. Last year was my second year, okay. Gotcha. Yeah the first year, was a part of the league and just followed it. Saw what a great job, Ben and his team did with how it was run and how it was put together and how it was such a welcoming community.

Sometimes you get online and social media and people can, take shots at others and, say things and that sort of stuff. And I really never saw any of that. I think that just is a testimony to the bow hunting community as a whole, the people that are really bow [00:25:00] hunters, it's a solid group of people and everybody's been very supportive of one another.

And it's been well run. And the growth has just been astronomical. And I thought it was something that, I would just like to support, from a personal perspective as well as a business perspective. I felt I have a huge passion for bow hunting and archery and, I want to be rooted in the community especially in Oklahoma, and help grow the sport, without having a shop on my own, I wanna support the local shops like, like Brin at Okie Land and just grow the sport in the state and.

Because I'm so passionate about it, the total archery challenge has come to Oklahoma trying to get involved in that and help grow that within the state too and just, grow the whole community. Something I'm passionate about. So that's really the biggest thing for me.

And bow huntings, it encompasses just about every thought I have. If I'm not doing it, I'm thinking about it, yeah I always enjoy the the league Facebook page and I always end up feeling bad for people. Cause there's [00:26:00] a lot of people who find out about it, after it's too late to join.

Maybe they join during the season, see it, and oh gosh. I lose how many people ask, like, how do I join? And that's part of the reason we're doing this now in the summer, get the word out so people can find out about it. But anyway, so Ben, you gave me permission to ask you tough questions and so I got a tough question for you and I might ask the other guys this question afterwards, but I was listening, I don't remember who it was, but it was, a big voice in the hunting community and he was talking about how he disproves disapproves of, competitions, stuff like this.

Say it maybe puts a bad eye on hunting. What I guess what's your rebuttal to that argument? At, in the beginning I tried to get everybody right. You know what I'm saying? I tried to change people's minds on some things. There, this is gonna be a two part answer.

First part is we don't have to have everyone. Okay? And when I say that I'm not here to really change somebody's perspective on what they think is ethically right or [00:27:00] not. I know all of our guys are ethical, right? All of our guys, we're all hunting the way we're gonna hunt anyway. If we catch somebody being unethical poaching or just trying to lie, in the contest or something like that, and cheat, doing things that would be a black eye for the contest, we get rid of them, okay?

But what I've found is competition brings people together, okay, guys. Get the you have the shiny spot of the prize, and Hey, I can win a bow. I can I can win some sweet camouflage. I can win trail cameras. These things. But those things don't change our life. Okay? We're all working.

We've all got, our day our day-to-day jobs. And that's, those things don't change, right? But what's cool is a competition like this can bring you closer. Bring friends into your life. Bring new people into your life, positive people. And then those end up setting up hunts, you end up going hunting with them, even if it's virtual.

I see it all the [00:28:00] time. Like I've got all these little Facebook and Snapchat groups that I'm in. That are spinoffs of the Bow hunting league. And that just enriches my experience. Okay. Because we don't always have somebody that's gonna be close to us that's necessarily gonna be hunting with us.

Maybe we have a small permission place, we can't take anybody. This, you can virtually hunt with other guys. It's just like a big deer camp before social media. And I think a lot of these negativities and these these things have been created since social media got created.

Social media's got, it just gives everybody a platform where they can instantly be negative about something and they don't have to go through any vetting. They can just be negative. But before social media was around we didn't have telecheck, we didn't have these, we didn't, couldn't go on the internet and check Deion.

We had to check deer in a check-in station. Or something along those lines. And. Even at the check-in stations, you would, you go check your deer in, it may be open a day of gun season or just during the rut. You're there on a [00:29:00] Saturday. Most people are hunting on the weekends.

You're eating lunch at the little grocery store in town. People bring their deer in checking. You go check in a deer where you're immediately going out there and everybody's having a tailgate party, right? This is a way for us to do this virtually, because what happens is we've lost a lot of that connection, that local connection stuff.

A lot of these stores don't exist anymore, that a lot of the check-in stuff doesn't exist. It's all through our phones, through apps, through the internet. Saying that, yeah, I could see if somebody was doing the competition for the wrong reason Yeah. It's, they're not gonna get the benefit out of it that most of the guys are.

But if they are doing it for just the reason, it's, Hey, this is an add-on to my season. It's going to enrich it. And the thing is, competition brings out camaraderie. And, realistically, we all played sports. We all played baseball. Go, growing up we played basketball, football, all these things.

That's our, some of our best memories, right? When you get, when we get older, we go to go get jobs, have kids, families, all this [00:30:00] stuff, you lose a lot of that because you don't really get that connection. If you look at what Brent's got going on, he holds he holds shoots at his shop every week.

Okay? He's, guys come there, like they don't come there to win money. Some of 'em, they win most of the money. Look at Chris Hammond. He comes in there and cleans up every week he shoots. But the thing is, Chris Hammond's going there for other reasons other than just win money. You know what I'm saying?

Like he, he's going to hang out, see the guys and it gives us something that we can collect and meet and just gives us more camaraderie. So yeah, competition not always the best thing, but realistically, if you look at anything that we follow and we enjoy, a lot of times it's sports and stuff.

That's what I'm saying. What's, what's wrong with competing at a high level? Absolutely nothing. There, there's nothing wrong with competing at a high level or even just getting your name in the hat and say, Hey, I'm gonna bring it all and push yourself and, try to get some more outta the season.

Yep. [00:31:00] And it's funny you pointed at Brynn there, cause that's where my mind was going. I was gonna ask him if he sees any correlation, between that bow shop feel, people coming in, hanging out, and the bow hunting league where you got people from all over the country, not just your local area, but all over the country coming in, talking, bouncing ideas off each other.

Do you see some of that correlation, Brent? Yeah, absolutely. That was, we, I touched on wanting to open a bow shop and I grew up in shooting out of a Balan bow Hunters down in Brusard, Louisiana. And Brandon Car, he's one of my best friends. But that was, it was like the barbershop, our parents, grandparents, fathers dads, they hung out at the barbershop, and that was the.

The hangout place back in their time. The bow shop back home was the hangout spot. Everybody went, hung out, talked, showed,[00:32:00] back then we were still developing pictures out of trail cameras. Trail cameras were early, but we showed pictures and now that social media's kind of taken it by storm, we can really show a lot of pictures.

And I get that. And that's what the, I wanted to breed in our bow shop was that hometown feel. Everybody's a friend. You got, you may be a brand new deer hunter. Guess what? There's gonna be some experienced guys in here that are gonna show you what good deer looked like. And Ben touched on Chris Hammond.

We hold these shoots, Chris comes in and for those that don't know who Chris Hammond is, Chris Hammond's a professional archer. He's located in Norman, Oklahoma. And matter of fact, this past weekend made the shoot down for the a s a I'm a semi-pro archer. I'm not near on the level of Chris Hammond as far as my shooting [00:33:00] goes.

He's a lot more pinpoint, but Chris comes in, shoots in these competitions and, it's not about always winning the money. Chris is there to, he's a representative of Matthew's archery, of all his sponsors and, he's just a very genuine person. To have guys like that, that come in our shop and hang out, Ryan comes in.

I, if nobody saw the pictures of Ryan's deer this year, Jesus, he shot a monster this year in Oklahoma. And to have Ryan come in. Ryan came in and talked and couple guys recognized him and started talking to him about his deer, and the story is really a good story that he tells you about how he got that deer, so it's having that comradery and that, hey, you may be new to this, but this is where it can lead you if you stick to it, if you join it, if you embrace it, look I'm gonna admit I've [00:34:00] been on two different teams. I haven't turned a deer in yet because the deer eye shooter, they're small.

But, one of my team members this year, he actually got the turn in one that was an absolute stud for Oklahoma. A and the crazy thing is he shot it 40 yards off his back porch. In a ground blind, but he has become one of those individuals that he walked into my shop, we became friends, now we hang out all the time, and he's just a good hearted person.

And, to have guys come in and that are interested in bow hunting, I can tell you, I've been in shops, I've been in many of shops in, in 25 years of shooting bows that there are several shops I will never step footed back into. Just because of the way they treat people, I didn't want that.

I wanted you to come in my shop [00:35:00] and feel the love, feel like, Hey, you're welcome. The minute you walk in my shop I'm horrible with names, but I try to remember who you are. What's your goal? What's, what is your end result If you're coming by a bow for the first time, I'm trying to learn you and what your end goal is, or you could be like, so one of Chris Hammond's partners, Scott Langley, this guy travels all over.

I learned Scott meets Scott through the asa and we get to meet, Scott comes to me now, he buys bows from me, but i's a world champion Recurve Archer that I don't know about, cuz he's so humble. He's a humble individual. But then I meet people like Ryan, that Ryan's just started, he's only been shooting I was shocked to learn.

Ryan just started in 2015, but Ryan is, he's a good person. He's energetic [00:36:00] about bow hunting and that's the kind of people I want around us and in our shop. Because it, it promotes that bow hunting was dying before Covid. And there's no doubt if you talk to shops that were mom and pop businesses, the bow hunting was going away.

It was getting expensive. It was getting hard to hard to find a good shop. And that's what we wanted to change here in Oklahoma. And I believe we've done it. I honestly think we've spurred some other shops in other areas of Oklahoma to, to say, Hey, we need to step up and be like this shop. And, as long as we're growing the sport, that's what's important to me, I have an eight year old son that shoots, this kid's gonna go after his first deer this year with a boat. And our goal this year is to get the kid, get him on a deer and shoot a deer with his boat. [00:37:00] Here's the big question we have. Are you gonna let him on your team

who you know? I probably will. I probably will. I'm shopping for team members, I don't think one, I don't think, one of'em on, slacked. I really slack. People really have to pull the weight with me. But, and everybody understands.

I think people need to understand the sacrifice that I make as a bow shop owner. I don't get to hunt like I did Prior the year prior to me opening the bow shop, I spent every single morning in a stand, multiple afternoons in a stand. Had my best season ever shot my limit of deer in Oklahoma with a bow, all with a bow.

Now I literally sell four of my hunting bows a year. So I'm constantly rigging up a new bow and then having to go [00:38:00] out and try to shoot. I shot three deer last year with a bow, and, it's not, I don't get to go and sit in the stand as much because I'm more worried about my customers now.

I've hit this stage of my career that I want to grow bow hunters. I want to grow the sport, I want to give back to the sport, and that's where the Bow Hunting League has, I don't get any data from 'em. I don't get emails or phone numbers or things like that to text people. I do it because I want to support something that is, is a competition.

And Ben, like the original question. There's, Competition breeds you to push harder. Plain and simple. And it's why I shoot competition archery now. It helps me to be a better archer, and unfortunately where I grew up, January 30th, Bo goes in [00:39:00] the case, you don't pick it up until August 1st.

If August 1st even really is where you pick it up, it may be September, it was a, to get you to gun season and up here it's a whole different mentality. I really believe we have one of the biggest traditional archery followings in the nation. I get so many traditional archers in and we have a hunt that is traditional archery only out here, so it's about growing for me, it's about growing the sport.

Yeah. Ben, that reminded me of another question. I got a couple for you. I know I saw a couple, like traditional only teams this last year. Is that its own category? Is that just people that were, just trying to be cool and do their own thing? Or is there a separate traditional category?

So we, yeah, so we have, we're keeping a traditional only scoreboard this year, and we have prizes for the top trad team. And Bryn was saying, it's, [00:40:00] those guys are on a different level themselves. They're obsessive. They, it's like a, they have to shoot every day just to feel like they can sleep well at night or something.

Those guys are intense. But, and I'm even seeing that. Niche of bow hunting, growing a lot, where technology just keeps advancing and, things keep changing. The, you think about all the different styles of crossbows there are out there and stuff, and then you have the trad guys that are going backwards and they're making their own bows.

Now they're, that, that's a whole different art that, you know. Yeah. Saying that, we're, we keep a, we have a trad division, I think I think about 5% of our entries last year were trad. So we've got a ways to go to grow that within the bow hunting league. But it's growing.

We're gonna have, we'll have a top 10 trad this year. And the top. Trad team and the top king of, we have a king of times's trad too. So for the top five bucks kill with the trad bow. So that's a [00:41:00] stretch too. That's makes it even harder. But those guys all get an invite to the show down too.

And that's, and that was really my first Time ever hunting with traditional guys. We had several of them in camp. We even had some guy once they figured out the top track guys were coming to the showdown. Heck, we had more guys bring track bows than I expected. And they're all out there shooting in the yard and stuff and talking and it's some really neat stuff.

It's just but yeah, the trad guys they're on a different level and we, that's the thing. It is a totally different level of skill and and style and so we wanted to separate it out. Now, a trad team technically could win the top trad team and the top overall, cause we don't exclude them, exclude 'em from the overall prizes.

And then I guess if we had an an all female. Youth team that was tried only they could win the tra all four of the categories. But we break it out, man. We understand that there are limitations and hurdles and, we're [00:42:00] realistic on this stuff. It's, it's hard for for women to get in the sport.

You think about, guys who just throw some stuff together, you got buddies to shoot with or just shoot and we can just pack up and go to most random public land. We want to, no problem. Most of the time females can't do that, and kids can't do that, and so like we understand that there are There's different things they have to overcome.

So we say, you know what, we're gonna break this out. And it, what it does is it gets 'em around more hunters like themselves like the kids, it can, it's always parents that, that run the kids teams, but it's cool because they can make friends all over the country.

And just like the women, they can connect with other women across the country, doing bow hunting and stuff and it's fun. Yeah. That's, but yeah, we have tried only prizes and tried only scoreboards, so that's gonna be really interesting to watch. Yeah. I actually got a real into trad myself last year.

And excuse me, I had the goal of killing a deer with my rad bow last year, [00:43:00] actually, I think it was Ryan mentioned the total archery challenge. I actually took my rad bow to that last year. And then, but today is actually my daughter's one year birthday. I had a little girl last year, July. And drastically underestimated how much that would affect my time out in the woods.

And so when it came down to it, I always found myself grabbing that compound. But it is a goal of mine to kill a deer with the trad bow. Ryan, you've been quiet for a little bit, so I got a question for you. I wanna hear a little bit about your team. Are you going into this year with the same team as last year?

You changing it up? How'd y'all do last year? Just tell us a little bit about your team. Last year my team was different than it was the year prior. I had a couple friends that. Typically kill a buck and a pretty, pretty big buck every year on my team last year. So I felt pretty good.

And one of 'em, he has a pretty sweet lease up in Kansas and he ironically didn't hardly even hunt last year, so he threw a big old goose egg up there for me. And then[00:44:00] my other friend that Brent knows well my buddy Josh Jacobson he threw up a goose egg last year too. I would bring Brynn on my team, but I don't think he's any good either.

I don't really know what I'm gonna do. Yeah, I'll probably bring those two.

Yep. I know the feeling. I so yeah, last year was my second year in the league, and I've yet to have a single teammate. I've had four different teammates, two of the first year and two new ones last year. And I've yet to have a single one turn a buck in. I've actually thought, and I was about to ask Ben about this question, I've thought about just getting on the old Facebook page and reaching out.

I think it'd be cool to reach out to people in other states, that I've never met. And that's a good segue. I'm gonna let Ben take from there. Let's say, Ben, I'm listening to this and maybe I just don't have any friends, or maybe my friends don't bow hunt, but I still wanna participate.

Is there a good way I can get on the team still? Yeah, so we have a we have a thread pinned at the top of the Facebook group. If you [00:45:00] go find the Facebook group Boeing League, and the very top, there's a, I believe it's called free agent, or looking for a team thread. And there's over 400 comments in that thing.

And I would just recommend guys, if you don't know anybody, hop in there, post some picks up with some of the bucks you've killed or, just be honest with people, Hey, I'm hunting Oklahoma. I haven't killed a bow buck yet. I'm a hundred percent bow hunter. Just looking to join a team, have a good time, get my feet wet, and you'll have immediately have people message you and get something signed up.

The only way that you're not, the only way you can't win stuff in the Bowing League, because we're gonna have lots of free drawings for all kinds of prizes just for entering deer is by not signing up. That's really, there's, we have, we probably have over I bet we have $1,500 in stuff that's donated just during the signup period.

You're seeing some stuff coming through right now. Osteo Gear's got a $250 gift card. That's, [00:46:00] all you have to do is sign up and just comment on one of the posts. So it's it's fun, man. Just yeah that's the easiest way to get involved. If I tell people a lot of times if you're wanting to hunt other states, wanting to meet more people, wanting to get out there and, meet some other like-minded bow hunters team up with some random guys, some guys in states like, Hey, I'd like to hunt Missouri or Nebraska, or something like that.

They're, you'll see guys out there posting that stuff and like you can just message 'em, say what, what kind of area are you hunting? Do you hunt a lot public? What, just fill 'em out, see if they're open to maybe trading out or something. Because realistically out of all the limitations we have times probably our biggest limiting factor, right?

Because time's connected to our health, connected to all kinds of things that limit us as far as hunting right. And time is a consistent thing. You don't get more, you can't go backwards in time and it's gonna get here and season will be here before we know it anyway. Yeah, set up a plan, get out there.[00:47:00]

There's a threat stop of the group you can find guys to team up with. And yeah just do it. Just see what happens. Yeah. Yeah. If I can put my 2 cents there in there. And this goes for the league itself also, not just for the team signups, but don't be intimidated. You're gonna, if you get on that thread, you're gonna see some guys who, have killed some giant bucks and stuff.

But one thing I've noticed, some of those pictures are pretty old. Maybe that was the one that they got lucky on, 10 years ago or something. Be honest, be upfront. If you're new. Say you're new, you're gonna find other people who might be new, still be interested.

But then also just, as far as submitting your buck and stuff. Two years ago I submitted a buck that didn't even make Pope and young, and granted the league wasn't quite as big back then, but I think I was still in the top like 250 teams by myself. Like I said, my teammate didn't even, submit anything.

And if you got a good team, if y'all kill some decent bucks, or even if just two of you, you're not, it's not gonna be like you're finishing 1000th place. Like you're gonna, you're gonna be in there. And obviously there's gonna be [00:48:00] a few of those teams just knocking down some studs dadgum, Tyrell Roy and whatever his teammate's name, they're always like in the top 10 and stuff.

Y'all me mentioned Chris Hammond several times. He's been on the show twice. I know his team always does pretty good. Yeah, but I, and kinda like why Ben is here, Oklahoma has been representing, we've been doing really well in this thing. So it's a great time to just showcase, showcase our state.

Sometimes I wish we weren't showcasing it quite as well, but that's just part of it. So all these guys are laughing and lo they know what I'm talking about. But but yeah, there's no deer in Oklahoma, John. That's right. Oh, I say it all the time. Deer don't live here. Yeah.

My my podcast boss Dan Johnson from Iowa it seems like he goes out of his way to talk about how awesome Oklahoma is and he's never even, he's never even been here and hunted here. And once I drew that Iowa tag, I told him I was gonna finally be able to come hunt a big deer, cuz there's no big deer here in Oklahoma.

Cool guys we're coming up on an hour and I don't want to keep y'all too awful long. I wanna go back [00:49:00] down the line again, kinda like we did at the beginning. Let y'all just shout out your companies where people can find you social media, website, whatever you got.

Just if somebody listens to this and want to get, wants to get in touch with you, let 'em know where to find you. Ryan, we'll start with you. Yeah, so you can find me on social media. Facebook. It's just Ryan Strickland Instagram. It's Ryan dot Strickland 2120. The digits 2120. Our native Ground land company website is native ground land

And feel free to give us a message through the website or you can call me at (405) 578-6260. That's a real realtor, giving out his phone number on air all. Brent. Brent, what about you? Man? I don't know if I can follow that. That's a pro right there. You can find me. Ok. Lane Bow Hunters.

Our website isn't up yet. So everything's done through Facebook. You can look up Okie [00:50:00] Land Bow Hunters on Facebook. Our shop phone number is (405) 928-9934. If you wanna connect with me personally. It's Brynn, b r y n Chapman. You can't miss me. I'm wearing a Matthews jersey shooting a bow on Facebook, and if you want to connect with me on Instagram, it is actually the raging Cajun archer on Instagram.

So reach out to me if you're here in Oklahoma, man, we'd love to have your business. We'd love to show you what we can provide you as far as Beau and archery goes. If you're new experienced, it doesn't matter. Come in, see us. We'd love to, to meet you. Awesome. All right, Ben, I know you could have gone on for another 30 minutes telling people about the league and the prizes and all the competitions.

You didn't mention the one shot, king of Queens, all the other competitions. But so if somebody's [00:51:00] listening to this and want more information, where do they need to go? So I, we got a lot of bow hunting league guys that are gonna listen to this. And I, Oak Oklahoma really has grown for us a lot in the last two years.

And these two guys that are on, actually all three of you guys are pillars in the bow hunting, in the bow hunting community in Oklahoma. Just by supporting us and, and connecting different ways. So bow hunting, it's easy to find us. But I'm gonna challenge our guys that are in Oklahoma, right?

Or if you're going through Oklahoma, but mostly the guys that live in Oklahoma that are league members. We do not exist without our sponsors. Okay. We just don't exist. We can't grow without 'em, the way we rate, we've grown. We don't have prizes without these guys. And if you guys have questions about real estate or looking maybe Hey, how do I buy a farm?

Is it even feasible? Or just maybe looking to relocate, get a house with some acreage, or just buy a new house in general. Call [00:52:00] Ryan and ask him any question you have about real estate. Make him your freaking real estate agent. Just for questions. Just call him. He's gonna tell you everything he knows, he tell you what he thinks about the market, or, what a good situation is for you.

Just be, he's gonna be honest with you and help you. He's on your side, he wants to help us. Okay? Same thing for Okie land bow hunters. If you're looking at getting a new bow or, need new strings, or, want to see some different sites, whatever the situation is call Brynn. Say, Hey, this is what I'm looking at.

Or just stop in his shop. Just like he said, you're gonna be welcome. That's my challenge to the guys in Oklahoma, help these guys thrive, because if they can thrive, we thrive and we'll keep growing. And guess what? The prizes keep getting better. They came up last year and said, Hey, I wanna do this, I wanna do that.

They donated between the two of them, I think we had five I wanna say six bows donated. I came, I don't even know off the top of my head. It was a bunch. And the thing is those don't [00:53:00] happen without our sponsors. Okay. So yeah, a little peer pressure for you, but if you guys are looking at doing this stuff anyway, might as well support something that you support too, that you like and that helps us.

And just tell 'em that you're from the Bow Hunting League. Tell 'em, say, Hey, I heard about you on this and I just think it's awesome and it, makes 'em feel good. But like I said, appreciate you guys. Boeing Super. We're real easy to find. Key thing is get your two friends, sign up boeing before August 31st.

If you don't sign up for August 31st, you're out, out for the year. Get signed up. May maybe win something, make some new friends. Awesome guys. I appreciate y'all coming together and working with me here, and I hope everybody has a great season. We'll talk to y'all later. Thank you John. Appreciate, appreciate you having me.

Thanks man. I'm telling you folks, bow Hunting League, go check it out. I have really enjoyed being a part of it, competing every year. Never done that. Great. But it's a lot of fun and it's a really good community like we talked about. Special thanks to [00:54:00] Ryan with Native Ground and Brand with Okie Land Bow hunting for jumping on giving their support to the Bow Hunting league and just hunting and bow hunting and everything in general in Oklahoma.

So a huge shout to those guys. As always, thank you to Ben for coming on talking about the Bow Hunting League. And he barely scratched the surface of what the Bow Hunting League is. All the different competitions during the summer, they do the one shot competition, just a straight up archery challenge.

Within the Bow Hunting league, there's the King of Queens, which is whoever shoots the most D. There's obviously all the different buck competitions, state competitions traditional archery. In the spring, they do a Turkey hunting competition. Usually in the fall, they also have a elk competition going on.

So yes, if you are a bow hunter, Anywhere in the country. Be sure to look up the bow hunting league and get involved. So that's gonna do it for this week. Thank you guys for following along. I got a birthday party to get ready for, so I'm gonna get going. [00:55:00] Thank you guys for listening to this podcast and until next week, I will see y'all right back here on the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast.