In West Virginia, that growth is probably more likely to happen. Krista Snodgrass, who administers the state's AIS program, said many of the strongest programs are in schools where bowhunting is part of everyday culture.
"At schools like Ripley, Cabell Midland and Chapmanville, a lot of the kids who participate in the school program are involved in bowhunting as well as target archery," Snodgrass said.
The purpose of AIS, she added, is to teach students a life skill.
"We hope that as they get older, they can buy a license and start hunting, or that they participate in field archery, 3-D archery or some other archery discipline."
DNR officials haven't yet drawn a correlation between participation in the AIS program and sales of archery equipment later on. Snodgrass said it's a subject "that needs to be studied."
"We're hoping to see a rise in archery sales by people in a younger age group," she added. "We don't have that data yet, but it's something we really would like to have."
Taylor said the most important statistic is that West Virginians are embracing archery more than ever.
"West Virginia gets blasted for being at or near the bottom for so many things," he said. "Well by golly, we lead the country in archery participation. And as far as I'm concerned, that's the main thing folks need to know."
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.