By Darrel Belisle
Way back in 1952, in the back room of a small café, a few dedicated archers wanted to get an archery deer season established in North Dakota. The first goal that these want-to-be-bowhunters needed to accomplish was to establish a coalition which could represent their interests at the state legislative assembly. Through this meeting, a group of interested archers and other sportsmen were organized.
This new group was to be called the North Dakota Bowhunters Association (NDBA) and quickly prepared their arguments, approached the legislators, and successfully created North Dakota’s first archery season. Being there was not a deer hunting season at all in 1953, the very first archery deer season was held in 1954. In the years that followed, the NDBA has been successful in creating archery opportunities for all our North Dakota hunting seasons via the largest and most powerful archery and bowhunting club in the state.
The NDBA is not only about lobbying for bowhunting opportunities, it is also largely responsible for developing the North Dakota National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). This great program, now managed by the North Dakota Game & Fish Department (NDG&F), has been an impactful achievement, working to bring thousands of new archers to local archery clubs, events and outdoor opportunities. As a result of NASP and those efforts related to the program, archery has taken a huge step forward in the last ten years.
For many years, NDBA has helped many of its chartered clubs establish themselves by utilizing a grant program. NDBA member dollars are made available to help qualifying clubs as needed for projects and improvements. The NDBA also works to promote archery and bowhunting through media publications, sport show activity, and in any other area it can. The more people who can be made aware of the bowhunting and archery opportunities in our state, benefits the bottom line of all, especially our chartered clubs.
What does a NDBA membership do for you? Your NDBA membership joins you with the ranks of those working to preserve, promote, and protect our North Dakota archery and bowhunting opportunities. Your membership strengthens the voice the NDBA has for the archery and bowhunting enthusiasts throughout North Dakota. I hope this helps shed a little light on what NDBA does and has done for hunters, the bowhunting heritage and our outdoor opportunities in the state.
Darrel Belisle is a Dakota Edge Outdoors contributing writer and a Past President of NDBA.
Featured Photo: NDBA has helped establish and advance bow hunting opportunities in North Dakota since the organization first began working to establish an archery deer hunting season in the state 70 years ago. DEO Photo by NDA.