Rinehart Targets Names New President and Other Industry News

Rinehart Targets names new president, first Pope and Young Field Judging Championship, and finding new deer hunters in under-represented communities.

Rinehart Targets Names New President and Other Industry News
Tanja Washburn
Tanja Washburn

Rinehart Targets Names Tanja Washburn as New President

Rinehart Targets recently announced that Tanja Washburn has been promoted from vice president to president.

“Tanja is an extraordinary leader and has played a key role in the company’s many milestones of success over that past seven years of her employment with us,” said James McGovern, owner of Rinehart Targets. “This promotion is well deserved. With her hard work and vision for success at the helm, we are confident that she will lead us to even greater levels of future accomplishments. It has been a privilege to work alongside her all these years.”

As a competitive shooter since the age of 15 (and former member of the Texas A&M National Champion Aggie Archers), archery is in Washburn’s blood. In fact, her deep passion for the sport has fueled her career path.

Prior to joining Rinehart in 2015, she held several roles in the archery and outdoor industry, including director of marketing for New Archery Products. Washburn also worked for the Arizona Game & Fish Department as an archery educator, giving back to the community that helped shape her. While at Arizona Game & Fish, her main focus was to develop the sport of archery within the state, including a heavy focus on the NASP program, fostering a community archery partnership with the ATA and archery ranges, as well as partnering with various non-governmental organizations and manufactures to accomplish the department’s mission. She was also elected to the Employee Association as president and sat on many employee engagement committees.

“I am truly honored and excited to take on this new role at a company I have called home for the past seven years,” said Washburn. “I look forward to working with our entire team to continue to enhance the Rinehart Targets product lines and deliver the most lifelike, durable and long-lasting archery targets on the market to our valued customers.”


Pope and Young Field Judging Championship

The first Pope and Young Field Judging Championship was recently announced; it will take place during the Pope and Young Inter-Mountain Bowhunters Bash With BAKCOU in Ogden, Utah, at the Bakcou Center – Weber County Archery Park on May 14, 2022. Field judging will start at 10 a.m. and conclude at 6 p.m., just prior to dinner at the Bash. This first-of-its-kind event gives big game enthusiasts a chance to field judge and test their abilities to judge an animal on the hoof.

Each contestant will have the chance to field judge different animals representing five different species (taxidermy mounts). Cost is $5 per species, or $20 for all five. Contestants will have a set amount of time to judge each animal from varying distances of 50-100 yards away. The “Rent Guns and Gears” optics observation deck will provide multiple tripods with spotting scopes and binoculars. Each animal will be scored from the optics platform, with contestants providing a net score. Additionally, each entrant will guess the gross score and outside width for tie breaking purposes.

The top three contestants in each species will be recognized; first place will receive 5 points, second place will receive 3 points, and third place will receive 1 point. The person with the most accumulative points will be the overall event winner. The winners of each species category plus the overall event winner will advance into the National Championship round at the upcoming 2023 Pope and Young Convention. Participants will also be entered into the Field Judging Raffle for a chance to win various prizes. Winners and prizes will be announced following the live auction at the Bash.

“Folks are always arguing about who’s the best at judging animals in the field, well now you can put your skills to the test,” said Dylan Ray of Pope and Young. “Some guys spend months behind glass looking at animals, and now you get to prove just how good you are with a good set of optics.”

Everyone is invited to be a part of the inaugural Pope and Young Field Judging Championship.


Finding New Deer Hunters in Under-Represented Communities

The National Deer Association (NDA) recently released a video documentary (below) of a groundbreaking Field to Fork hunter-recruitment event held last year aimed at diversifying deer hunting, providing equitable access to underrepresented communities, and shoring up conservation funding.

According to a national survey that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducts every five years, the number of people who participate in hunting has been declining since the 1980s, even as the human population continues to rise. The same data show that of the approximately 11.5 million licensed hunters in the United States, 90% are male and 97% are Caucasian.

This trajectory and imbalance are problematic because the country's entire wildlife conservation system is heavily dependent on sportsmen and women for funding. Money generated from license fees and excise taxes provides more than 60% of the funding for state wildlife agencies like the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, which manage most of the wildlife in the United States. Thus, losing hunters equates to a crisis for all wildlife.

To reverse this trend and help save conservation-funding, there is a growing movement in the outdoor industry to provide equitable access to underrepresented communities and diversify hunting.

In November 2021, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), New York Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Hunters of Color, New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the National Deer Association came together to host a Field to Fork mentored hunting event for aspiring hunters from the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) community.

“We wanted to make sure this program was specific, and having groups that target and work with underrepresented communities was critical,” said Paul Gallery, TNC steward coordinator.

The event was hosted on TNC’s Hannacroix Preserve, roughly 30 minutes outside Albany, and financial support was provided by the NSSF Hunting Heritage Trust grant program. Participants ranged in age from 34-62 and were given the opportunity to go through New York Hunter Education, learn about deer biology and behavior through NDA’s Deer Hunting 101 online course, gain experience shooting, go on multiple hunts with an experienced mentor by their side, and enjoy the fellowship and camaraderie found in many New York deer camps each fall under a safe and welcoming environment.

“I estimated that it would have been at least two years before I would even venture out to go hunting,” said Avery Toledo, one of the hunt participants who is featured in the new video. “On the route that I was going before, studying and reading, you have all these questions, but you’re confined to what you’re reading and don’t have someone to ask. I was able to ask those questions, get immediate feedback and not only that, after I leave here, we’re going to stay connected.”

“It’s totally possible to teach yourself how to hunt, but these programs are so important because you’re learning from experts, you’re learning from people who want you to be there as well,” said Lydia Parker, executive director and co-founder of Hunters of Color. “So, we call it creating a surrogate family at Hunters of Color.”

Plans are underway for more events that will help lower barriers to women and minorities and increase deer hunting participation through representation.


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