On Saturday evening, September 22, several hundred devoted archers and bowhunters assembled at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World’s White River Conference Center in Springfield, Missouri, to honor and welcome four new inductees, two archery pioneers who were formally recognized as the class of 2016, and a well-known husband and wife team of competitive archers recognized as the class of 2017.
The 30th Archery Hall of Fame Induction, which was emceed by Bowhunter Magazine Founder and Archery Hall of Fame member M.R. James, resulted from an extensive nominating and voting process conducted by the Hall’s electorate of prominent members of the archery and bowhunting community. Without a doubt, this 30th Induction perfectly represented the Hall’s mission to “preserve the history and tradition of Archery and Bowhunting for future generations.”
Entering the Hall in the Class of 2016 were archery pioneers Owen Jeffery of South Carolina and Dick Mauch of Nebraska.
Owen Jeffery, who enters the Hall posthumously, was celebrated for his over 60 years of service to the sport of archery as both a “Bowhunter and Contributor of the Sport.” He was a renowned traditional bow designer who pioneered early recurve bows, including the respected and immensely popular bows in Bear Archery’s ’68 line, as well as a developer of stabilizers for Earl Hoyt.
Owen Jeffery was not only an avid and successful bowhunter, he was also a PAA Master Coach who performed literally thousands of archery demonstrations from the 1950s to the turn of the millennium. His contributions had been previously recognized by the South Carolina Archery Hall of Fame. Tom Jeffery presented and Sharon Moreau graciously accepted on behalf of her father.
Dick Mauch, the second inductee in the Class of 2016, was easily the best supported from the standpoint of drawing a large contingent of friends and loved ones who made the drive from Nebraska to be there when he accepted his well-deserved honor. Also recognized for his over 60 years of service to the sport of Archery and as both a Bowhunter and Contributor to the sport, Dick Mauch was a long-time friend, hunting partner, and business associate of the legendary Fred Bear.
Over Dick’s long career he served in numerous leadership capacities for the Nebraska Bowhunters, Pope and Young Club, Bowhunter Education, and as President of the Archery Manufacturers Organization during the 1980s when Bowhunting became popularly known as the fastest growing hunting sport. Fellow Nebraska bowhunting legend Dick Turpin presented the honor and his aging and quiet-voiced friend humbly accepted the honor by heaping his own praise upon his family, bowhunting friends, and industry partners.
Entering the Hall in the Class of 2017 were Michelle Ragsdale and Terry Ragsdale, both of whom were inducted as Competitors.
From the mid-1970s to late ‘90s, Terry Ragsdale was a dominant competitive archer, both on outside and inside ranges. A PSE shooter, Terry won numerous championships, beginning with the NFAA Field Freestyle Open in ’75, Vegas Compound Unlimited in ’78, ’79, and ’85; International Field Championships in ’84, ’88, ’90, and ’92; NFAA Outdoor Championships in ’81, ’83, ’84, and ’88; PAA Indoor Unlimited Freestyle Championships in ‘’92 and ’95, an NFAA Indoor National Freestyle championship in ’96; and he was a key contributor to World FITA Team Titles in ’97 and ’99.
And then there’s Michelle, whose archery championships began in ’81 with her first NFAA Field Outdoor Championship, followed by an IFAA World Championship in ’87, and then World FITA and assorted target championships in ’94, ’96, and ’98. She was the 2001 World Games Compound Champion, NFAA Field Outdoor Champion again in ’93, ’97, ’98, ’99, and 2001. She was the PAA Indoor Pro Compound Champion in ’92 and Outdoor Freestyle Pro Champion in ’95. Michelle reigned as the NFAA Pro Indoor National Champion from 2000-’03.
Without a doubt, the Ragsdales competed with style and grace, representing themselves, the sport of Archery, and their industry partners with upmost class. PSE’s own Pete Shepley, an archery industry icon, presented the very special honors to Michelle and Terry.
Special thanks for an amazing Hall of Fame Weekend goes to the Archery Hall of Fame & Museum, Inc., Members, Board of Directors, and especially to President Rick McKinney, Vice President Joe St. Charles, Executive Director Diane Miller, and to all those archers and bowhunters who support on-going efforts of the Hall to celebrate and memorialize the great contributors and contributions to the sport of Archery. For more information, go to www.archeryhalloffame.com. And lastly, if you have never visited Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Springfield, Missouri, it is an absolute must-see.