Joella Ann Bates - Shooting archery and hunting are more than obsessions for me; they are an
integral part of my life. I have spent most of my life compiling an impressive list of credentials that
include 40 years of hunting and fishing experience and 17 years of archery and bowhunting. I have taken my
passion for this outdoors-lifestyle and devoted my life and career to promoting it.
Let me introduce myself. My passion for the outdoor-lifestyle started way back in my childhood.
“I’ve been blessed.”
“In the early 1980’s, I met a speaker at 4-H Wildlife Conference in Milan, Tennessee. He was an anti-
hunter. The longer he talked the more upset I got. When he opened the floor for questions, I stood to talk.
I was shaking like I had buck fever; and as I began to speak, my voice quivered and tears rolled
uncontrollably down my cheeks. Anti-hunters work on emotions and mine were certainly flowing. The
audience revolted against the speaker. Some of the kids even threw things at him. That day, I realized how
important the privilege to hunt was to me and vowed to take a stance for hunting.”
“I dreamed of being a wildlife-professional.”
“Several years later, I saw the anti-hunter impostor again. This time, he was the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Area 11 law enforcement assistant
supervisor. I had just been hired as a wildlife officer and he was my boss. We recognized each other then hugged and laughed. We both knew that his
presentation had worked. I was and still am protecting and passing on the hunting heritage.
Today, I wear many hats as I promote hunting, fishing, shooting, and outdoor adventure. I am using my education and experience from 40 plus years of
outdoor sports participation to inspire others to “grab life by the horns” and give the wild outdoors a try.
I am a freelance outdoor writer. Currently, I write the “On Target with Joella” bowhunting column for each issue of Boar Hunter and multiple articles for
each issue of Catfish NOW magazines. I have been published in RACK, Big Game Adventures, Africa Bowhunter, The Sportsman Magazine, 3-D Times, US
Archer, Inside Archery, Bowhunt America, and many newspapers.
I am constantly looking for new or unique outdoor adventures, hunting, and fishing opportunities. I began hunting with a gun at age 6. Since 1989, I have
spent most of my hunting time using a bow and arrows. In the past two years, I have been reintroduced to gun hunting. Now, I am training to compete in
1000 yard rifle shooting events; yes, that is 1000 yards. Long-range rifle hunting has added a new dimension to my hunting that offers an incredible
My passion for sharing archery with others has had me conducting many programs: motivational programs at schools and with youth groups; in-store
promotional programs, seminars and archery shooting clinics.
In late 2005, I co-hosted Freedom Outdoors that aired on Comcast Sports South-east and the Men’s Channel. In January 2005, I was inducted into the
Outdoor Channel’s Circle of Honor and featured in their television show. During second and third quarter of 2004, I co-hosted Dreams to Reality, a
bowhunting show on The Sportsman Channel. In 2003, I co-hosted a promotional video project, “Africa: Dreams to Reality,” of which I bowhunted,
videotaped, and scripted.
I have taught Hunter Education for over 27 years and also teach Bowhunter Education. I am a member of ASA, IBO, NFAA, NWTF, Buckmasters, QDMA,
and a Life member of NRA.
From 1997 until 2002, I spent many weeks on the road conducting shooting seminars, demonstrations, and providing hands-on gun and bow shooting
opportunities with the use of a 24-foot mobile DART (interactive video archery and firearms) system trailer.
Before becoming a full time professional archer and hunting promoter, I spent 13 years as a Naturalist, Wildlife Officer, Fisheries Manager, and an
Environmental Scientist. I received a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology from the University of Tennessee at Martin and a Masters of Science in
Biology (Fisheries Management) from Tennessee Technological University. I attended college on a Rifle Scholarship and was later inducted into the
University of TN at Martin Athletic Hall-of-Fame in the sport of Rifle.
I have competed in archery tournaments for 14 years at the local and regional level, and 12 years at the national level in events hosted by ASA, IBO, and
NFAA. I have shot archery professionally since 1994 and have earned over $100,000 from tournament winnings and bonuses. My most significant
achievements as a competitive archer are my five 3-D Archery World Championship titles and 1995 ASA Woman Pro Shooter-of-the-Year and 3-D and
Target Archery Woman Shooter-of-the-Year. In 1998, I joined the Mathews pro staff and that year, I compiled 13 top 3 finishes in 18 events.
I have hunted for 40 years. I began bowhunting in 1989 and have since taken well over 100 animals and 51 different species (subspecies) with a bow. In 1998,
I took an Asian Water Buffalo with a Black Max, and on May 10, 2001, I became the first woman to take African Cape Buffalo with only a bow and arrow. In
2003, I executed a green-hunt for a Rhinoceros with a bow and tranquilizer-tipped arrow. Between April 8th and May 6th, 2004, I became the first woman
to take a Turkey Grand Slam with only a bow and arrow and then the first woman to arrow the birds in a single season.
I have raised my two children, Bo and Jana Bates, to hunt, fish, and participate in outdoor adventures. My daughter, Jana, and her friends accompany me on
many outdoor adventures that she writes about for Hunteen Magazine. In 2005, we coordinated a deer hunt in Waverly, Tennessee for children of deployed