P&Y's future?
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
Catscratch 25-Feb-21
Bou'bound 25-Feb-21
Missouribreaks 25-Feb-21
sticksender 25-Feb-21
Pat Lefemine 25-Feb-21
Jims 25-Feb-21
SBH 25-Feb-21
WI Shedhead 25-Feb-21
Missouribreaks 25-Feb-21
SDHNTR(home) 25-Feb-21
Glunt@work 25-Feb-21
Scoot 25-Feb-21
Teeton 25-Feb-21
P&Y400 25-Feb-21
Ken Moody Safaris 25-Feb-21
midwest 25-Feb-21
JohnMC 25-Feb-21
Drnaln 25-Feb-21
LBshooter 25-Feb-21
Drnaln 25-Feb-21
P&Y400 25-Feb-21
LBshooter 25-Feb-21
wildwilderness 25-Feb-21
pav 25-Feb-21
P&Y400 25-Feb-21
Drnaln 25-Feb-21
Scoot 25-Feb-21
P&Y400 25-Feb-21
LBshooter 25-Feb-21
LBshooter 25-Feb-21
P&Y400 25-Feb-21
midwest 25-Feb-21
Spiral Horn 25-Feb-21
Orion 25-Feb-21
keepemsharp 25-Feb-21
JohnMC 25-Feb-21
Predeter 25-Feb-21
Owl 25-Feb-21
Ollie 25-Feb-21
Tonybear61 25-Feb-21
Realwarrior 25-Feb-21
Missouribreaks 26-Feb-21
Catscratch 26-Feb-21
Capra 26-Feb-21
Scooby-doo 26-Feb-21
Matt 26-Feb-21
StickFlicker 27-Feb-21
From: Catscratch
25-Feb-21
What's in store for their future? Reading several recent posts indicates that the vertical bowhunting population is declining quickly. Best guess from looking at various posted state data is that vertical bowhunters are approximately 50% of what they were 10 years ago.

Will P&Y be able to survive and continue their hunting and education programs as this decline happens? What drives their funding; is it membership, donations, fees, etc? I really don't know much about how the operation functions other than they do a lot of good things for the grassroots of archery. Just was curious as to how they will manage to address this shift?

From: Bou'bound
25-Feb-21
the model works and they will continue to do good work and make a difference. They will change and thrive as will all successful entities. there will always be a place for conservation and groups that have the right intentions.

25-Feb-21
Like any business, they will have to evolve to be sustainable and hopefully grow. No business can survive long term when the potential audience and membership is in such a steep decline. Hopefully there are some business minded individuals leading the charge. Business leadership is not the place for emotional decisions, and those set in their ways. They are a good organization, but right before them is a huge mountain to climb.

From: sticksender
25-Feb-21
First I just wanted to mention that there's no such thing as "vertical bowhunting". Pope & Young guys are bowhunters. From what I've seen, only crossbow pushers use that term.

That aside, IMO the P&Y Club will be just fine. If you know anything about the membership and leadership of this organization, you know the quality & enthusiasm & dedication of the people involved, and I don't see that ending anytime soon.

From: Pat Lefemine
25-Feb-21
I’m sure the cancellation of their summer jamboree and now the postponement of the spring convention due to Covid has strained the club’s finances. Every org I support is hurting this year. Membership is probably down across the board but these orgs make most of their revenue from the conventions so this has been a painful period for all hunting orgs.

From: Jims
25-Feb-21
I'm aware that P&Y does a lot for the sport of bowhunting but when I think of P&Y I think of an organization with listings of big game animals. P&Y is a great group but looking from the outside in, as a nonmember, I've never really gotten very excited about it since they have such low standard minimum scores to qualify.

B&C is to the other extreme and takes amazing critters to qualify. I would be more tempted to enter a great scoring animal I harvest in the B&C books rather than P&Y due to the fact that it takes a special, mature animal to qualify! Most hunters likely won't harvest a B&C animal in their lifetime, however; just about every MATURE buck, bull, ram, etc harvested will qualify for P&Y. That may or may not be important? Although every animal harvested with bow should be considered a "trophy" it would be nice if standards were lifted a bit.

From: SBH
25-Feb-21
Jims, You should consider being a member...even if you don't agree on the standards for size. It's not really about that. They are fighting for you're ability to keep bowhunting and conserve what we still have. Putting your animals in the book (to me) is just another way to donate funds and help track what is being taken. With all the data they have they are able to tell if the quality of animals is increasing or decreasing. Its invaluable information they provide a history and a track record. Its not too expensive and they do great work.

From: WI Shedhead
25-Feb-21
After being a member for 25 years I see it the other way. I see the conservation and education programs as the first thing from the club and the records program as the second important function. I don’t see the membership in steep decline as the members are the core of bow hunting values and won’t waiver from this. As far as the potential audience for membership, it is smaller. But those people weren’t really people that were involved or potential members anyway. They just needed a crutch and excuse to do things the Easy way. I’m still waiting for cash from a crossguns organization to start funding projects like the club does. Crickets

25-Feb-21
Longer term ( but not real long), there still has to be a plan to replace those who die out, or otherwise become obsolescent.

From: SDHNTR(home)
25-Feb-21
Is there seriously that much interest in crossbows? I find it hard to believe. I know dozens, if not hundreds of hunters, and the only ones that I know who ever used a crossbow or just a very small few when recovering from an injury. I just don’t see there being much interest to begin with.

From: Glunt@work
25-Feb-21
In midwest states, bowhunting shrinks by more than 50% a decade or so after inclusion.

Guys who switch to crossbows aren't likely prospective P&Y members. The issue is as bowhunting shrinks, less kids and beginner adults get exposed to bows and get that initial spark.

From: Scoot
25-Feb-21
Jims, I echo what SBH said. There's far more to P&Y than entering an animal. If you love bowhunting, I believe you should be a member. No organization will support and defend your interests (and your kids, grandkids, etc. interest) like P&Y will.

From: Teeton
25-Feb-21
P&Y is going to have to make changes to survive. As much as some of us would hate to see it, Xbows may just have to be part of it. I don't know how many new member P&Y get's from folks that are entering new animals as compared to folk that just join with out having an animal to enter. And of the new folks that join because of a new animal how many rejoin after their first year membership is up. Hand bows are just going to be less and less each year and that's a fact. To survive P&Y needs to be run like a business. They need to start making changes now, not 5 or 10 years from now. That will be to late. I don't know if there's a, Call it a P&Y club for xbows. But if one gets started before P&Y does make changes, I believe it will put P&Y out of business. 30+ year P&Y member Ed

From: P&Y400
25-Feb-21
In my opinion anyone who is passionate about their archery season’s future would be well served to go to the Pope & Young website and view their position statements, study their history, educate yourself about the club and encourage you to join.

25-Feb-21
We are Gold Sponsors of Pope & Young and support their mission. Good people there making a difference.

From: midwest
25-Feb-21
I'm guessing damn few bowhunters who switched to xbows were P&Y members to begin with.

From: JohnMC
25-Feb-21
There is a podcast from P&Y that talks about what they do. It is worth a listen for those that mostly see it as a record keeping group. I have an appt to get to, but if someone does not post it I'll try and find it this afternoon.

From: Drnaln
25-Feb-21
The quarterly magazine & the thought of doing a small part to promote archery would be worth the $45.00 a year to me. Always look at the critter entries in the magazine to see if I know any of the hunters & where the recent animals are being taken. P & Y and B & C both put out nice quarterly magazines.

From: LBshooter
25-Feb-21
P&Y will have to change as the hunting community changes, period. When a majority of hunters are using xbows they will change and allow xbow trophies in. If not, then P&Y will fad away just like the compound bows are doing each and every year. If Im Not mistaken, P&Y did not allow trophies to be entered if the bow used had more than 65% let off, then 80 was fine and now I don't see any restriction listed, maybe I missed it. I hear there is a compound bow coming out or out that has 100% let off, I guess that's why there is no rule? Again I could be wrong, maybe I missed it, but one thing is clear the majority of hunters are going towards the xbow, because it's easier and that exactly why the compound caught on so well. Time will tell but I'd bet the organization will change to stay alive, most do.

From: Drnaln
25-Feb-21
Let Off vs Cross Bow.....Tough to compare that for me....No matter what let off you still have to draw the bow back.

From: P&Y400
25-Feb-21
To imply that the P&Y club will ever have anything to do with x-bows is to not understand what the word archery means and what the Pope and Young Club was put into existence for in the first place.

From: LBshooter
25-Feb-21
My point Drnalin, which you obviously missed is that P&Y will change the rules as they need to in order to keep members and to continue their mission. Without members they will lack funding. The future is xbows in the bow and arrow community, and I was comparing how the compound bow took off from traditional as is the xbow from compounds, not let off or drawing.

25-Feb-21
Pope and Young could really do a lot to increase membership with the younger generations.

The website is ancient.

It can be completely revamped to allow a better experience with the Organization. For most people that is the only interaction with P&Y.

The awards program is a way to attract new members. It could be used as a marketing tool.

The “Customer Service” is greatly lacking!!! I have tried on many occasions to ask P&Y questions, regarding species boundaries, scoring questions etc. via email or phone. More often than not I don’t get a response, or it’s a very curt answer, or they don’t even know.

I get much better and quicker answers here on BS.

I hate to say it but the example how G$CO has rebranded itself is something P&Y could have done years ago and have absolutely dominated!!!

P&Y needs to absolutely adapt and change the OLD culture and ways to be successful. Too much “Good Ol Boys” ingrained. I hope it happens sooner than later...

From: pav
25-Feb-21
First, P&Y is a non-profit club. But just like any business, as revenues fall...budgets must be adjusted accordingly. Our state bowhunting organization remains viable despite a significant drop in membership. We've simply had to cut back on spending. For instance, back in our heyday, we annually bought and donated a robo-deer to the IDNR Division of Law Enforcement. That was then, this is now.

From: P&Y400
25-Feb-21
No the future is not in the x-bow because I believe most archers would say that one of the most enjoyable aspects of archery is the challenge of the hunt. Those that are always looking for the easy way of getting something done probably would have never stuck with archery anyway.

From: Drnaln
25-Feb-21
LB...I realized what your point was but the jump to compounds or 65% or 80% or 100% is an entirely different move then accepting xbows into P & Y. If P & Y votes to accept xbows & allows them into the same categories as vertical bows I believe some members would quit the club. Xbows are too different from any vertical bow. By the way....I also don't believe anyone born a male should compete in girls sports! I guess I'm just not evolving with the times?

From: Scoot
25-Feb-21
"I'm guessing damn few bowhunters who switched to xbows were P&Y members to begin with."

I'd love to see some data on that, but I'll bet a case of beer Midwest is right!

From: P&Y400
25-Feb-21
I’m guessing LBshooter means long bow shooter? Did you trade your long bow in for a x-bow?

From: LBshooter
25-Feb-21
P&y 400 no I didn't, I actually chucked the compound to go back to how I learned archery, traditional, Nor would I get rid of my trad gear. As you mentioned in an earlier post, it's all about the challenge of the hunt. No greater challenge than to get within 20 yards of a mature whitetail and score. The higher the technology the easier it becomes. To me , any whitetail I take is a trophy, beit a doe or buck. I hunt public land in Illinois and I am the only one hunting with a longbow, recurve, everyone else is carrying a crossbow. Compounds are as rare as trad gear in the public grounds I hunt. The future of bow hunting is xbows, as the older hunters slowdown/quit hunting the young guys will come in, they are being brought up on xbows. If you doubt me, pick up a bass pro shop catalog and see how many compounds are advertised vs crossbows. P&Y doesn't have to change and they will cease to remain relevant .

From: LBshooter
25-Feb-21
P&y 400 no I didn't, I actually chucked the compound to go back to how I learned archery, traditional, Nor would I get rid of my trad gear. As you mentioned in an earlier post, it's all about the challenge of the hunt. No greater challenge than to get within 20 yards of a mature whitetail and score. The higher the technology the easier it becomes. To me , any whitetail I take is a trophy, beit a doe or buck. I hunt public land in Illinois and I am the only one hunting with a longbow, recurve, everyone else is carrying a crossbow. Compounds are as rare as trad gear in the public grounds I hunt. The future of bow hunting is xbows, as the older hunters slowdown/quit hunting the young guys will come in, they are being brought up on xbows. If you doubt me, pick up a bass pro shop catalog and see how many compounds are advertised vs crossbows. P&Y doesn't have to change and they will cease to remain relevant .

From: P&Y400
25-Feb-21
Well good to hear you haven’t traded down to a x-bow. I still don’t believe that the real hand drawn bows or the P&Y club will become obsolete. The bow hunting fraternity is just too big and strong and we need to invest our money in Clubs like the P&Y to help protect our passions and seasons. Quit just depending on everyone else to invest in protecting it for ya. Get involved, join, and teach your kids the way of the bow and arrow.

From: midwest
25-Feb-21
Compounds are the new trad. ;-)

From: Spiral Horn
25-Feb-21
I personally have nothing against P&Y and some of its better known members seem to be well intentioned and people dedicated to the sport.

However, to an outsider looking in P&Y sends many mixed signals. Know the tag line is to promote the tradition of bowhunting. Maybe there are P&Y conservation and education efforts but they certainly aren’t well known. Today, most non-members are likely more familiar with what the club stands against than what it stands for.

Together with a few friends we founded a hunting non-profit that was primarily focused on bowhunting. But we made a decision up front that we would welcome all hunters whether or not they bowhunted. It was a great decision as we’ve grown a lot and everyone supports one another as fellow hunters. We’ve also had quite a few of our members take up bowhunting after joining us. They first joined because they felt welcomed as fellow hunters. If we demanded they conformed to some kind of orthodoxy up front or they take some kind of auxiliary membership until they could shoot a bow it probably wouldn’t have happened. In my experience they best way to create a bowhunter is to first welcome a fellow hunter into your midst. Then let them know if they are interested in bowhunting (or in our case bow or xbow) you’re willing to help them get started.

From: Orion
25-Feb-21
They really need to up their social media game their house Instagram and Facebook is pathetic. They haven't done much to reach the younger demographic

From: keepemsharp
25-Feb-21
I can shoot my bow both horizontal and vertical, what's the issue? :)

From: JohnMC
25-Feb-21

JohnMC's Link
Here is a list to their podcast. There are two or three that take about what P&Y does.

From: Predeter
25-Feb-21
They will definitely need to adapt moving forward but I do not believe it will involve accepting crossbow entries. IMO the day they do that is the day the club dies. It would alienate their core and there is no way they would get a large enough influx from crossbow hunters to make up for it. The average crossbow hunter isn't the hard-core, "live for it" type of hunter that's going to support P&Y.

What they NEED to do is rebrand! There are tons of very active young guys out there that don't even know what the club is. The image of the club is still "old men". To grow they are going to have to get on the social media bandwagon and tap into the "influencer" stream (I know, yuk). Hunting Public, HUSH, BRO, Snyder, Brian Call, Mtn Ops, etc. All these brands are booming in the young hunter crowd (not using crossbows either) and I don't know if I've heard mention of P&Y by any of them except in regards to score. There are plenty of things not to like about the above brands but they are bringing the younger audience to bowhunting.

From: Owl
25-Feb-21
P&Y will continue to represent a small percentage of bowhunters and continue to wane in the near term. Then, sometime in the foreseeable future, their star will rise again. None of us will be happy about it, though, because it will be an echo of restrictive firearm activity.

And, as much as I am an advocate of crossbows for those who want to use them, I don't believe P&Y should allow them for entries. P&Y is a historical society of sorts and should stick with their identity as a touchstone.

From: Ollie
25-Feb-21
P&Y lost me as a member when it became apparent that they would sell out to most any corporate sponsor as a means of raising revenue. Archery World promotes crossbows. So why does P&Y let them be a sponsor? Ozonics? Hardly seems to fit in with P&Y ethics.

From: Tonybear61
25-Feb-21
So what is wrong with a multi-season, multi-weapon hunter? Say for instance someone hunts with archery til firearms opens up, if not successful might try muzzle loader, then return back to archery to finish off the season. If successful with archery qualifies for P & Y, if really successful witheh firearm qualifies for B &C. Or gulp uses a crossbow during a firearms season cause why still want to see the arrow/bolt fly and utilize a different weapon. That could be claimed as a B &C, couldn't it? The issue is folks trying to claim crossbow or firearms kill as P & Y (hand held, hand drawn and released in the presence of game). Otherwise North American Crossbow Federation scoring, trophy program would take off on its own merits as there is a lot of interest in hunting with crossbows, right??

If I have said it once I have said it hundred times, method of take does count. Just ask any flyfisherman who think its just OK to use bait, or even spear, trap, net, harpoon trout on the stream they helped protect for "their" sport.

From: Realwarrior
25-Feb-21

Realwarrior's Link
According to actual research and not anecdotal evidence the archery industry and vertical bows are in an upward trend worldwide.

26-Feb-21
Nationwide, bow and arrow hunting is on the decline, scoped crossbow hunting is on the increase. And, this is especially so east of the Mississippi.

From: Catscratch
26-Feb-21
Thanks everyone for your input. I appreciate the thoughtfulness put into your answers.

From: Capra
26-Feb-21
I believe in many of the things P&Y does and their mission.

HOWEVER, They made really poor decisions 20-30 years ago when guys like me were young and wanted to be members. Kill 3 small animals to qualify and then, We were just waiting for guys to die and standing in line for those few slots.

Guys like me moved on kept hunting and largely forgot about the club. Unfortunately we are now at a place where the club needs membership. Looking forward to the future has never been the clubs strong point.

The record keeping component is useless as well, I know more bow hunters who do not enter animals than do and many of those animals are beyond exceptional.

They will always be part of the sport and I wish them well.

From: Scooby-doo
26-Feb-21
No problem with the P&Y club I think as has been said that unless they start appealing to a younger crowd they will struggle. That is true of our entire sport, recruitment is our biggest issue. As far as theri standards being low, that is just not so. There are hundreds of thousands of bowhunters that will never even get the opportunity to harvest an animal that qualifies for their record books. Some animals may be easier than others but to say the standards are low just makes no sense ecsp coming from someone who is not a member. I myself am not a member but I also do not intend to enter any of my animals, unless I kill a 400" elk or a 200" whitetail, than I may just to say I did. Shawn

From: Matt
26-Feb-21
So many guys trying to pick the fly $#!+ out of the pepper. Not surprising, but disappointing nonetheless.

From: StickFlicker
27-Feb-21
Just to clear-up a couple of things that, based on some of the comments above, may not be entirely clear to all:

1. You don't have to be a member of either P&Y or B&C to enter an animal to the record book of each organization.

2. B&C will accept an animal taken with any weapon, and in fact, will take a picked-up dead-head as well (as long as it wasn't killed illegally).

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