Bowhunting enthusiasts from across Missouri and surrounding states are enjoying a weekend filled with product showcases, informative seminars and networking at the United Bowhunters of Missouri (UBM) 27th Annual Festival in Lake Ozark. The festival began Friday and continues through today.
For many years, UBM has held an annual festival in Jefferson City. However, according to UBM President Darren Haverstick, many factors played into prompting the organization to give the Country Club Hotel and Spa in Lake Ozark a try for this year's event.
"One of the reasons we moved is to give a few more options for families to enjoy if attending the weekend festival from out of town," he said. "We are excited to hold our annual event here at the Country Club Hotel and at Lake of the Ozarks. So far, we have received very positive feedback."
UBM members primarily attend the festival. However, the event is open to the public, with the event normally getting 300 to 400 attendees, Haverstick said. The event is held as a way for bowhunters and UBM members to stock up on their supplies in between deer season, with bow season ending on Jan. 15, and spring turkey season.
"Most (UBM) members use traditional archery and do not use compound bows, which puts us in about 5 percent of most bowhunters. So it is often difficult to find the equipment and supplies we need by just going down to a local archery or sporting goods store," Haverstick said. "This provides a gathering where those specializing in traditional archery equipment and supplies showcase their goods and (UBM) members and bowhunters to get the products they need."
Outside of a variety of vendors, UBM members and event guests could attend a variety of seminars over the three-day festival, including a "beginner's guide" to archery leatherwork presented by Haverstick. Additional seminars included Don and Lori Thomas on outdoor photography, Hunter Watson on Georgia hogs and Texas javelinas, Bob Burns on high country backpacking, and the Missouri Department of Conservation's Joe DeBold on managing your local deer herd.
Guests could bid on more than 250 different archery-related silent auction items and more in a special live auction, and enter and cast their votes in the annual photography contest, which had five categories for winners.
On Saturday evening, a banquet was held, and Don Thomas, a well-known outdoor author and co-editor of Traditional Bowhunter magazine, entertained guests. The festival ended with a church service this morning.
For more information about UBM, contact Haverstick at 417-693-5304, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website, www.unitedbowhunters.com.