Archery may be an ancient art, but it is still being mastered by thousands of Oklahoma youth today, many of whom participated March 28 in the annual Oklahoma National Archery in the Schools State Shoot.

More than 1,100 students from schools across Oklahoma turned out at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in Oklahoma City March 28 for the state shoot. The event brought students together after a season of practice and competition in their respective schools as part of the Oklahoma National Archery in the Schools Program (OKNASP), administered by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

To help manage the sheer number of students participating in this growing program (about 310 schools statewide participate in the program), the Wildlife Department held regional shoots across the state to establish which teams and individual shooters would qualify for the state shoot.

Teachers interested in learning more about the OKNASP program or in starting the program at their school should contact Justin Marschall, OKNASP coordinator for the Wildlife Department, at (405) 522-4572 or jmarschall@odwc.state.ok.us or contact Colin Berg, information and education supervisor for the Wildlife Department, at (918) 299-2334 or cberg02@sbcglobal.net.

Coordinated by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, OKNASP is part of the National Archery in the Schools program. The program partners state wildlife agencies, schools and the nation’s archery industry to introduce students to the sport of archery. The Archery in the Schools curriculum is designed for 4th-12th graders and covers archery history, safety, techniques, equipment, mental concentration and self-improvement.

The top three shooters in each category at the state shoot received medals and prizes. First place winners received a new Genesis bow, second place winners received a new set of Alpen binoculars and third place winners took home a new bow carrying case. The overall top boy and girl shooters received Morrell archery targets and a Genesis trophy bow, and the overall top shooter received a trophy. In addition, top shooters and teams automatically qualified for the national shoot to be held in Louisville, Ky.

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