New pitch to bow hunters: Shoot like you’re the ‘The Hunger Games’ heroine

I’m a sucker for a good sales pitch. Let’s get that out of the way right off the bat.

And since I receive dozens of press releases a week — each of them, essentially, at sales pitch that’s designed to make me stop and pay attention — I’ve come to appreciate a nifty new approach.

Misspell the first word in your press release, and I’ll likely grumble. Don’t include a date for an event that you’re begging me to publicize and I’ll gripe. But tell me that taking up turkey hunting can make me more like the star character in the immensely popular movie “The Hunger Games,” and I’ll sit up straight and read carefully.

That was the tack taken by the National Wild Turkey Federation earlier this week, when they sent out a release headlined: “Group teaches skills highlighted in ‘The Hunger Games.'”

I’m not ashamed to say that I read ‘The Hunger Games” trilogy, and loved the books. I don’t imagine that 47-year-old suburban outdoor writers was the target demographic, but I just don’t worry about stuff like that. (For the record, I also loved all of the Harry Potter books, and enjoyed the “Twilight” saga … I’m just a book nerd).

But when the NWTF told me that I — ME! — could learn some “Hunger Games” skills, I was a bit worried.

Spoiler alert: There’s a lot of killing that goes on in “The Hunger Games.” In fact, practically everybody dies at one point or another. And they die horrible, gruesome deaths.

As it turns out, the NWTF wasn’t talking about those kinds of skills. Whew.

They were, however, talking about the skills displayed by our heroine, Katniss Everdeen, who is one mean girl with a bow and arrow.

Katniss can shoot the eyes out of a squirrel (or a turkey, apparently) at 40 paces. She, in the words of the NWTF “survives in the post-apocalyptic movie thanks in part to her archery training.”

And the best part: “Learning to shoot a bow like Katniss is well within the reach of most people.”

Now a quick disclaimer that the NWTF didn’t provide: When you learn to shoot a bow like Katniss, you will also learn how to do so safely, and will not be expected to save the post-apocalyptic world.

NWTF’s point: through its JAKES program — Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship — and through Becoming an Outdoors Woman programs, the organization has introduced the sport of archery to thousands who might otherwise never have been exposed to it.

Many choose to utilize their new skills while hunting. Many others simply find target archery to be a great way to spend time with friends and family.

If you’re looking for more information about local programs and instructors, you can get in touch with John Brasier at, or by calling 1-800-THE-NTFF.

Or you can find out more about the National Wild Turkey Federation at

And before long (if you practice and practice and practice you may be shooting better Katniss Everdeen.

Not a bad goal for the summer, I figure.




John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.