In the early 1970's while setting around a fire in a deer camp a group composed of 5 bowhunters from the Tulsa area felt the need for an organization to encourage and perpetuate the sport of bowhunting and hunting related sports in Oklahoma. In 1972 they formed a coalition of sportsman's groups called the Bowhunting and Sportsman's Council of Oklahoma. In 1974 the organization became the Bowhunting Council of Oklahoma who's purpose was to promote and encourage the sport of bowhunting in the state of Oklahoma. The original make-up included elected officers and member clubs dedicated to the sport of bowhunting with each club having one vote regardless of size of membership.
In 1978 the Council was reorganized with a membership of clubs and individuals. The individual members elect the officers who serve two year terms. The day to day operation of the Council is the responsibility of a Board composed of the elected officers, committee chairman and representatives from member clubs. The format is basically the same today. In 1997 the Council was incorporated and is now known as the Bowhunting Council of Oklahoma, Inc.
Since it's inception the Council has worked hard for the sport of bowhunting in Oklahoma. The Council has developed a good working relationship with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and has been called on many times by the ODWC for support of programs that not only benefit bowhunters but all sportsmen in Oklahoma. Working with the ODWC and sportsman's groups in Oklahoma the Council has been instrumental in many areas that have benefited the Oklahoma bowhunter. These include but are not limited to:
- A concurrent deer and turkey season.
- Allowing the bow and arrow to be a legal weapon during gun and muzzleloading seasons
- Keeping tail waters of some lakes open to bowfishing and getting others reopened to bowfishing.
- Assisted in defeating legislation and petitions to close parts of the state to doe deer hunting.
- Assisted to help defeat imposition of state regulations on archery ranges.
- Assisted to defeat Federal sell-off of public lands to hunting.
- Donated funds to Oklahoma Non-game Wildlife Fund and, Operation Game Thief.
- Sponsor and with volunteer instructors conduct the International Bowhunter Education Program.
- Developed and published a Council member Record Book for game taken with a bow and arrow.
Additional historical information, see Herb Hale Award