Archery is named official sport of Missouri thanks to legislator – News-Leader


Archery is now Missouri’s official state sport, thanks to special legislation from Tim Taylor.
As a Republican representative for District 48, Taylor said he woke one morning this past fall with an idea that had him immediately reaching for his phone. He had to look up what Missouri’s official sport was. Finding out there was none, he set out on a mission to fill that open spot with archery.
Taylor accomplished that goal, and the legislation takes effect later this month.
While at Bass Pro Shops’ Archery Hall of Fame for a ceremony commemorating the occasion, Taylor recounted his own love of archery.
Taylor’s father gave him a recurve bow when he was just 10 years old and he immediately started shooting. Once Taylor became a father himself, he started his own son with archery even earlier, albeit it was with a stick with string and a “little cheap arrow.”
These days, Taylor continues teaching archery and hopes this latest legislation will continue putting Missouri on the map. He even joked that the next time a trivia question asks: “What’s the official sport of Missouri?,” folks will know the answer.
“I don’t know what it’s going to do,” Taylor told a crowd of dozens Monday. “I don’t know if it’s gonna bring economic development to our state, but I know that the recognition — this is where I get emotional — the recognition of what it can do to kids and help them along the way, it’s worth every effort.”
Archery has been a popular activity for both sport and hunting, and there’s a direct connection to the state with the compound bow, which was designed by a Missouri man.
Holless Wilbur Allen Jr., who lived in Kansas City and later in Billings, added pulleys and extra cables to the limbs of the bow, and created a type of bow that revolutionized the archery industry throughout the world, according to Missouri Department of Conservation. 
The Hoyt Archery Company has also added to Missouri’s archery traditions, MDC says. The company started in 1931 in St. Louis and earned a reputation for building high-quality cedar arrows and remarkably straight-shooting stickbows. 
Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program, or MoNASP, is a partnership between MDC and the Conservation Federation of Missouri with more than 70,000 students from 553 schools.
Missouri’s first official archery season was in 1946 in only one county, Crawford, with 88 archers participating, according to MDC. Although they didn’t harvest any deer that season, the practice has grown to more than 202,000 archers participating in the fall bowhunting season and harvesting almost 60,000 deer on an annual basis.
“Most Missourians can participate and the equipment doesn’t have to be that costly,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “It doesn’t matter how athletic you are, anybody can participate in the sport and we’ve seen by the fact that the MoNASP program has grown so very quickly is that kids are really responding to it. It is an athletic sport, but it doesn’t have the barriers that many other sports have.”
Sara Karnes is an Outdoors Reporter with the Springfield News-Leader. Follow along with her adventures on Twitter and Instagram @Sara_Karnes. Got a story to tell? Email her at


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *