By Kevin Tate/Outdoors Writer
Some awards honor the people who receive them, but in some cases, it’s the award’s honor to be associated with the recipient.
Through the Professional Outdoor Media Association and the Archery Trade Association, media professionals and industry leaders recognize those whose careers and commitments have done the most to secure and promote our traditions with the Fred Bear Archery and Bowhunting Communicator Award. Past winners include Jim Dougherty, Dwight Schuh and Chuck Adams.
For nearly four decades, the late Bill Krenz, this year’s Bear honoree, was an energetic defender and communicator of all that is right about archery and bowhunting. Businessman, writer, speaker, video and television personality and grassroots bowhunter and archer, Bill demonstrated an unwavering vision and commitment to promoting archery and bowhunting worldwide.
His career included 20 years in the industry with PSE, Hoyt and Bear, and a lifetime as a journalist and communicator, sharing the excitement and the passion found in our world’s wild places, and in the gear that goes there with us.
He and his wife Sherry founded Zebra Publishing in 1998. Their titles, “Inside Archery,” “Bowhunt America” and the ATA Show Guide continue their mission today.
The people who drive the archery industry, people who dedicate their minds to their business and their hearts to the outdoors, who combine their lives with their livelihood and pour everything they have into a cause they love, those people give to life far more than they could ever receive, and far more to our industry than we could ever return.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but that’s not always so. More than showing us how things are or how things were, the right words can show us how things could be. The enthusiasm of a dedicated archer describing something truly new and exciting: the satisfaction of a deep breath at nightfall on a day spent hunting big game high in the hills, the warmth of a simple campfire and the fellowship of the friends who share it with us, those images shine on in the words of a master craftsman, in the words of a master like Bill.
Legendary archer Gene Wensel once said bows and arrows aren’t tools, they aren’t weapons and they aren’t gear, they’re friends. They’re friends that ride with us and hike with us, that work with us, suffer with us and rejoice with us. They’re friends that are always with us.
The communicators who’ve given everything they had to share what they loved about the magic this industry touches every day, they’re friends who’ll always be with us, too.
I know that holds true for Bill Krenz.
Kevin Tate is V.P. of Media Productions for Mossy Oak in West Point.