"The Indiana Bowhunter Association was the first state bowhunting organization I joined. That was way back in the 1960s, when I was launching my bowhunting career and active in National Field Archery Association tournaments. I'd gotten to know Jack Brock and other IBA founders, and I admired their efforts to form an organization where target archery competition was secondary to fostering, expanding, and perpetuating Indiana bowhunting. In fact, the very first issue of Bowhunter magazine, published in 1971, contained a feature article I wrote about the IBA and its involvement in policing, protecting, and promoting our sport.
"Though I later moved out-of-state, I always kept in touch with IBA members and watched the organization mature and become involved in work with Indiana legislators, wildlife professionals, and conservation officers to represent the best interests of Indiana bowhunters and the game they pursue. When I retired and returned 'home' again to settle in southern Indiana, I began attending IBA meetings and offering monetary and moral support to assist the IBA's ongoing efforts. I encourage every Indiana bowhunter to check out the IBA and consider joining this fine group of dedicated individuals. They continue to pursue the basic principles which IBA founders established and shoulder a work load that benefits all Hoosier hunters. Why not lend your support and a helping hand?"
M. R. James, Founder of BowhunterMagazine, Past President Pope and Young Club, President & Member Archery Hall of Fame
The Indiana Bowhunter Association was established in 1965 by a small group of bowhunters with a vision for the future of our sport. From their ideas and concepts about how bowhunting would be best nurtured for the benefit of future bowhunters, the IBA has grown to become one of the most effective statewide sportsmen's organizations in the country.
Back in 1965, that small group of bowhunters, which included visionaries like Jack Brock, G. Fred Asbell, Dennis James, M.R. James and others, quickly established the foundation and Goals from which the IBA still operates today. The Mission was simple - they wanted to Preserve our Bowhunting heritage and Protect this great sport for the generations of bowhunters yet unborn.
The Purpose of the IBA as included in the organziations By-Laws:
a. To foster, expand, perpetuate and educate the practice of bowhunting and conservation of Natural Resources in the State of Indiana.
b. To foster and perpetuate a spirit of good fellowship among all bowhunters.
c. To encourage and educate the use of the bow and arrow in the hunting of all legal game and predators; to improve,
increase and protect the privileges of bowhunters.
d. To co-operate and assist the state governments and sportsmen in the conservation of game and it's natural habitat, the forest and fields
e. To propose or support legislation which will enhance the sport of bowhunting in the state of Indiana.
Since those early days the IBA has continued to be an effective force in accomplishing those goals as set forth by our founders. Our successes are measured in many ways, but we like to think that our success is best measured by the continued successes of our bowhunting opportunities.
-Worked to establish the Late Archery Season for whitetail
-Worked to establish hunting as the preferred method for controlling whitetail deer overpopulation in our State Parks and eventually the use of bowhunting as a means to control overpopulation of whitetail deer in these parks.
-Have held our Ray Minton Camp for Kids each year since 1986, with hundreds of kids having been introduced to the outdoors through this camp
Creation of a "Bowhunters of Indiana" series of fundraising archery events to raise money for Riley Hospital for Children (over $200,000 has been donated over the years)
-Assisting with the WIld Game Cookout at the Indiana State Fair each summer, at which thousands of people have had the opportunity to try various wild game recipes and understand one of the reasons why we hunt.
-Sponsorship of the Indiana Bowhunter Education Program classes of the National Bowhunter Education Foundation.
-Participation in the Indiana Sportsmans Roundtable
We are also very proud of our accomplishments which benefit all Indiana residents. The IBA was one of the organizations which donated money towards the purchase of the Splinter Ridge Fish & Wildlife area in Switzerland County, which today is one of the premier public hunting spots for hunters in that part of the state. We are also proud to be one of the contributors to the purchase of the Goose Pond area in west-central Indiana, which once finalized became one of the largest publicly owned wetlands habitats in the midwest.
Our efforts have been recognized by many of our peers over the years. We are very proud to have been awarded the very prestigious Buffalo Riders Indiana Conservation Organization of the Year, and especially proud to have been selected by the Pope & Young Club to receive their first ever Stewardship Award back in 1994. Both of these awards are evidence of the respect that the IBA has earned from our peers in the conservation world.
As you can see, our accomplishments are many, and our goals are lofty. But we feel that our children and grandchildren deserve no less that our best efforts. We thank you for visiting our website, and look forward to welcoming you to our circle of membership.
As Fred Bear often closed,
The IBA Board
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