- Associated Press - Saturday, September 20, 2014

SOUTH HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - Bow-hunting for deer appears to be growing in popularity in Kansas, and one expert thinks Hollywood may have something to do with it.

The deer archery season opened Sept. 15 and lasts until Dec. 31, making it the longest of Kansas’ many deer seasons. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reported issuing 14,396 archery-alone permits already have been issued to hunters, and the agency expects the number to rise as the season continues.

Last year, Kansas issued 18,950 archery-only permits during the entire deer-archery season.

Evan Theis, head archery technician at Heartland Outdoor in South Hutchinson, attributes bow-hunting’s growth partly to advancements in the equipment, archery instruction in physical education programs, and TV hunting shows.

But he credits popular films like “The Hunger Games” and “The Avengers,” which both feature archers as main characters, for really bringing archery into the forefront of popular culture, The Hutchinson News reported (https://bit.ly/1o9xhm7 ).

“It really makes me happy to see the sport growing,” Theis said. “It’s something you can do at any age.”

Theis said Heartland Outdoor sells five to seven new bows in a good week - mostly compound bows, followed closely by crossbows. The store also provides bow tune-ups or restringing, and Theis estimated he had done about 100 of those in the past several weeks as the deer-archery season approached.

J.C. Stroup of Great Bend took his compound bow to the shop recently for a tune-up. Stroup said he hasn’t had the opportunity to hunt for several years, but is excited to get back out in the field.

“It just takes time if you’re going to do it right,” he said. “You just get a thrill with the animal being about 10 yards away.”

Stroup plans to hunt this year in Stafford County. He grew up rifle hunting, but switched in high school and prefers bowhunting.

“It gets your heart rate going more,” he said.

Kansas residents have also been issued about 27,000 any-season deer permits. Holders those permits may hunt deer during any of the specified seasons provided they use the designated weapon.


Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, https://www.hutchnews.com

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