Bow hunting is a tradition as old as mankind, so it may be a bit ambitious to dub the Pennsylvania Bowhunters Festival “the oldest gathering of bow hunters in the world”, but it may very well be the best. Held annually since 1957, this festival certainly earns points for authenticity and enthusiasm. This is the type of festival where the festival queen is judged and crowned in terms of bow skill and shooting prowess. Targets shooting ranges, a whole series of seminars and clinics, and near fifty vendors make this festival an archer’s Mecca.
Everything the serious hunter needs to prepare for the season is at the Bowhunters Festival. Okay, so there are rustic charms the likes of chainsaw carvings, but this is definitely not an arts and craft show. This festival has nearly fifty vendors advertising services and selling bonafide hunting equipment. Long bows and compounds, carbon-tipped arrow heads, fletching materials, utilities like scent blocks and skinning knives; all are for sale and at competitive prices. Being prepared is as much the knowledge as the material. Therefore, visitors can spend all weekend at various seminars and clinics designed to beef up experience and training. Visitors are highly encouraged to make way for the Saturday lunchtime chicken roast. There is a great breakfast both Saturday and Sunday too.
Any festival celebrating sport must then be replete in contest. This is certainly true of the Bowhunters Festival. Individuals and teams can register for competitions in The 5 person competition is a decathlon style event where every shooting gallery is attempted and scored; a traditional style competition in team or individual format; a children’s target competition. All events are recreational – not sanctioned competition. For an unconstrained experience, archers can shoot recreationally There are certainly plenty of opportunities and a variety of formats. There are challenging moving targets such as the mechanical bear, pop-ups, small game, and the famous Forksville Running Deer target. Stationary targets at variable distances and timed clay pigeons are also thrown in the mix.
The festival is three days long, with most activities held on Saturday. Admission costs vary and parking is free.