Archery in the schools about to be heating up

The National Wild Turkey Federation LeFlore County Longbeard Banquet will be March 8 at the Bob Lee Kidd Civic Center. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m.To purchase tickets, call Russell Barber at (918) 647-8681, Don Chitwood at (918) 649-7470 or myself at (918) 647-7928.— — —Though Oklahoma's popular archery hunting seasons for species like deer, black bear and antelope are done for the 2011-12 season, some might say the state is still in the thick of archery season — at least if you are involved with the Oklahoma National Archery in the Schools Program.The program, operated by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and often referred to as OKNASP, is hosting regional shoots across Oklahoma throughout February in which 2,500 students are competing for a spot in the upcoming annual state shoot.Three regional shoots have already taken place in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and two more are scheduled before the end of the month — one of them will be on Feb. 29 at the McAlester Expo Center. Several Wister students will be there competing.Last year, Colton Woolbright was one of our most successful students at both the state and national level. He was a state champion and seventh at nationals. As for Wister Schools, it was regional champion and was third at state. Last year, five Lady Wildcats — Gretta Hill, Jessie Bullard, Candace Yochum, Paige Steichen and Katie Bullard — were five of the top six girls at the regional shoot.We hope to get some more top-ranking students this year.Those that advance from the regional shoots will be invited to the State Fair Park in Oklahoma City for the state shoot March 28, where an estimated 1,200 students from across Oklahoma will shoot for prizes and awards. More than 310 schools across Oklahoma participate in OKNASP, which features in-class curriculum and a season of practice and competition in their respective schools.Students in grades four through 12 who are currently participating in OKNASP at their schools are eligible to participate in an essay contest coordinated by the Wildlife Department in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Five winners will be selected, and they will receive a free Oklahoma lifetime combination hunting and fishing license courtesy of Oklahoma Archery, which will be presented at this year's state shoot.Log on to for full details.— — —E-mail questions or comments to