In 1978, the Massachusetts Bowhunters Association was incorporated in Massachusetts. Through uncountable hours of time given by members, the club has a solid, great foundation that has held together through rocky times over the years.
Starting with just a handful of members, today we have nearly 400 life members and a couple of hundred annual members. The MBA, like all clubs, needs a strong membership because there is strength in numbers. A strong club has its voice heard on issues of importance to the club and it’s members. A voice that will be heard by the Division of Fish and Wildlife to help contribute to sound wildlife management through bow hunting. The Massachusetts Bowhunters has accomplished a great deal during their existence. Some pretty amazing changes have occurred. We’ve seen the lengthening of one of the shortest deer seasons in the country to now one of the longest. We have, along with the biologists in the Commonwealth, pretty much led the way in establishing one of the healthiest deer herds in the Northeast. And, this is despite the enormous growth of suburbia which has encroached on the land areas where these deer live. Through the doe permit system and the implementing of a longer season, bow hunting has become a true management tool.
We, as a group, have worked hard on the Anti-Hunter Harassment Bill, The Release Bill, the Handicapped Hunter Release Bill, a two deer season and multiple doe permits where overpopulated areas need extra harvesting. There is always new, and badly needed, legislation to work on as the population in the state grows and the land available for habitat continually diminishes.
The ambition of the club, as it moves further into the 21st century, should be ever evolving. Certainly, using a web site as the primary means of communication, going as paperless as possible with memberships, renewals and big game cards and just talking to each other through chat room formats as well as e-mail, helps the club be environmentally smart and up to date. News to and from members can be real time and time sensitive material can be distributed quickly and efficiently.
So, all you young bowhunting enthusiasts out there, please give us your input. I am 59 and started with the club when I was 24. I hope we can convince a lot of 20, 30, and 40 year old bowhunters to join and give the club the help it badly needs… the help of young minds and spirits. I know we have the “senior” bowhunting group who started hunting even before compound bows, releases, expandable broadheads, and ladder stands even existed. These elders can certainly give guidance and share knowledge from our years of experience. However it is the youth in the group that we need, with new ideas, energy, and a commanding voice at the Sportsman’s Shows and at our Banquets, Dinners and other events so we can pass this great heritage that we are so fond of to the next generation. So please, as you read this, get a young bow hunter and a friend or two to join and spread the word so the club can continue with new young blood to whom we old bowyers can pass the torch. Make the Massachusetts Bowhunters Association YOUR club.
Thanks, and Straight Arrows.
Dennis “Boomer” Hayden
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a ring at 1-800-BOWHUNT. I’d love to hear from you. Please consider becoming an Area Representative for the Massachusetts Bowhunters and help us realize our 2012 goal of doubling the membership. All you have to do is visit 5-10 clubs or shops a couple of times a year. A few minutes of time will bring in lots of new members.