Compound, crossbows grew industry |

TRAVERSE CITY – Archery has been around for so long that it’s difficult to pinpoint its origins.

The earliest evidence of archery, according to World Archery, dates back to around 10,000 BC. Other websites, such as the Flint Bowmen Club, state that “archery probably dates back to the Stone Age – around 20,000 BC. Chr. “.

Jim Gauthier, former owner of Gauthier’s Archery in Traverse City, said the archery retail industry has seen two major spurts in his 41 years of business.

The Archery Trade Association reported total sales of nearly $ 100 million in 1974. Thirty years later, the industry was $ 535 million.

Gauthier’s Archery opened on July 22, 1980.

“It got bigger and bigger as we walked,” said Gauthier.

“In the rapid growth phase of bow hunting and 3-D archery, bow dealers recorded significant increases in sales from 1985 to 1995”, according to the ATA report from spring 2005.

Gauthier said crossbows changed the archery market in Michigan in 2010. Often controversial for increasing the distances archers could shoot, Gauthier said it expanded the options for younger and older hunters, some of whom had difficulty withdrawing compound bows.

“It was like a blast for business,” said Gauthier. “It really breathed new life into a lot of businesses – big time – and it has been like that ever since.”

The National Sporting Goods Association Participation Survey reports that the archery segment grew “107.2% from 2003 to 2017,” according to Shooting

Sales stagnated from 2017-19, but 2020 was by far the best year for Gauthier in 2020.

A 2020 report by Shooting predicted that “The archery equipment market, including equipment for competition, recreational shooting, and archery, has held up in recent years, with some analysts growing up to 8.5% forecast until 2022 “.

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