ATA Day Three: Notes and Quotes

INDIANAPOLIS — Here is our collection of notes and quotes from Day Three on the 2008 ATA show floor.

2008 ATA Trade Show Facts

    • Some 494 exhibitors rented a record-setting 159,250-square feet of booth space.
    • That amount surpasses the previous record of 155,000-square feet of booth space rented for the 2006 ATA Show in Atlanta.
    • The average size booth at the ATA Trade Show covers 322.4 square feet of space.
    • To visit each of the exhibitors during the three day long, 27 hour show that occurred between Thursday and Saturday, visitors had to limit booth visits to just 3 minutes and 12 seconds.
    • First day walk up traffic of previously unregistered attendees at this year's show included 468 dealers, buyers, and distributors. "These numbers prove once again that in this industry, all roads lead to Indy," said ATA Trade Show manager Cindy Brophy.
    • The 2009 ATA Trade Show, scheduled for Jan. 8-10 a year from now, returns to the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

HSO World Champions Crowned

A boisterous crowd cheered Tim Gillingham of Provo, Utah and Amanda Sission of Clover Dam, Ore. to the inaugural world titles in the first World Championship Finals of the Hunting Simulation Organization.

Held on Thursday night, Jan. 10, the finals were held in the Sagamore Ballroom of the Indiana Convention Center, site of the 2008 ATA Trade Show.

Gillingham took home the men's title by knocking off Robert Workman of Hector, Ark. by a final score of 106-94.

Sission took the women's crown with a win over Mariea Palmer of Sarcoxie, Mo.

The unique archery competition uses 11 motion targets that are driven by a computer target system to create a realistic hunting experience.

Ross Archery's Harley Given Away in ATA Great Giveaway

On Friday night, Jan. 11, Ross Archery owner Andy Ross revved up his Realtree-trimmed Harley-Davidson for a final time, before shutting it down and stepping aside.

As he did, a crowd of nearly 3,000 ATA Trade Show attendees packed into the Sagamore Ballroom of the Indiana Convention Center held their collective breath as the ATA Great Giveaway reached its pinnacle moment.

Worth $30,000, the grand prize bike in the ATA Great Giveaway campaign was raffled off and won by Richard Millunchick, CEO of Roscoby Riser Cam in Ann Arbor, Mich.

"I'm just one lucky guy like anyone else in this room," Millunchick told the crowd, according to an ATA news release.

"This is our company's first year at the show, so it's incredible to win something like this."

While the Ross Archery Harley Davidson was the biggest prize of the night, it was by no means the only prize given away. By night's end, nearly 100 prizes — worth more than $200,000 in cash, merchandise, and hunting trips — had been given away to the event's attendees.

"This event has proven to be a fun, spectacular evening for everyone involved," said Jay McAninch, the CEO and president of the ATA.

"It's safe to say that almost every dealer, exhibitor, distributor, buyer or store employee who's at this show was also on the floor of the Great Giveaway.

"Besides having fun, everyone there should take pride in knowing funds raised at this event will provide a great source of revenue for projects that help us grow archery and support bowhunting programs nationwide."

Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland, Mossy Oak

"We had Tim Sylvia here [in the Mossy Oak booth], the five-time UFC heavyweight champ. He's a huge hunter and he was sitting here signing pictures and one guy said 'Can I have my picture made with you?' He [Sylvia] said 'Yes.' Then [the other guy] said 'Well, I want you to put me in a headlock.' He [Sylvia] said 'OK.' So he grabs the guy and then he leans back. Well, this [other] guy is about to pass out. His buddies were just rolling on the floor."

Talking about Mossy Oak's trip to the 2008 ATA Trade Show: "It's been fantastic for us because we introduced a new pattern called Treestand. You know, bowhunters are all about treestands. This is one pattern we developed, you know, basically looking from the ground up, what a deer will see. In the past, our stuff has kind of been dull, kind of universal. We have different patterns for things like waterfowl. But we felt like this one was specifically for the bowhunter."

Tim Fisher, Wilderness Athlete

"(Outdoor athletes), they are the original athletes. If you couldn't hunt, you couldn't fish, you were bait."

Commenting on 'Project Oasis,' a program that Wilderness Athlete is involved in to help combat dehydration-caused deaths among children in various parts of the world: "Our Hydro-Max, a phenomenal product, we send that throughout the world. It costs us a nickel to get it, because we're working with the people involved in the actual production [of it] in Southern California. [Working with] Doctors Without Borders, Franklin Graham Ministries, St. Jude Medical, we can get that out and save a life for a nickel."

Jeremy Eldredge, Hoyt

Commenting on the role that outdoor celebrities play in the sale of bows and archery gear: "Celebrities play a big part. You watch TV and you love these guys. When we have autograph signings for people like Michael Waddell or [whomever], people line up to get their autograph. They love them. I think they love them because they are down to earth [guys]. I mean Michael Waddell, if you've ever spent two minutes with him, he's just like you and I — he just wants to hunt. He loves hunting."

David Blanton, Realtree Outdoors

When asked about the 2007 Realtree Outdoors' hunting campaign: "Every year is an awesome year, I don't care if you kill one deer or six deer or 12 deer, every year is an awesome year. We're so blessed to do what we do. But we killed some big deer this year. We killed a 204 typical [whitetail] on camera. My buddy Al Krause from Wyoming killed [it], it was awesome. Bill [Jordan] took a really nice deer with his bow in Kansas. Tyler [Jordan] killed a 160 class deer in Georgia this year. Michael [Waddell] smoked a 190 inch mule deer, so it was really good."

On the family reunion atmosphere that exists at the annual ATA Trade Show: "I think archers, or bowhunters, have a close knit relationship with one another. We all know each other very well, we are like family. We love to see each other at this time of year and finally catch up and see how everybody's hunting season was. It's a lot of fun to be here."

On his favorite memory from this past hunting season: "Without a doubt, filming my oldest son Harmon shooting his first buck with his bow. We were in Texas and I was running camera when he killed a nine-pointer that will score somewhere between 125 and 130. But it was just an incredible experience to be there with him. To sit there with him, that was awesome."