National huntress finalist
Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012 12:00 pm
Bates was a member of the University of Tennessee at Martin’s rifle team from 1979-1983 and graduted from UTM with a degree in natural resources management with an emphasis in wildlife biology. She was inducted into UTM’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.
Bates has been a hunter since she was 6, but a home burglary in the spring of 1983 resulted in all of her hunting guns being stolen. Her dad bought her a used 31-inch draw compound bow that bruised her arm and ego.
In 1989, Bates was invited by a co-worker with TWRA to try bowhunting. She decided to buy herself a bow that fit and prepare to hunt with it. In 1989, with a new bow, Joella took to the woods and found that hitting the target in the back yard and being successful at arrowing a deer were not necessarily one-in-the-same.
Buck fever caused by the massive rush of adrenaline in her veins was uncontrollable for her; her first 5 shot opportunities missed their target. But with renewed determination, Bates kept practicing and improving her archery skills. She succeeded at arrowing her first deer, a 7-point buck that fall.
The rest is history, and today Bates continues to make history.
In July of 1990, while a graduate student studying Fisheries Management at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Bates then an environmental scientist with the Tennessee Valley Authority, shot her first archery competition in Cleveland, Tenn.
Finishing last in the women’s bowhunter class was an eye-opener, but since she had never even seen a 3-D target before that day, Bates took it as a challenge that she intended to master.
And master she did.
Bates began traveling all over the valley, where she successfully competed against both women and men archers. After overhearing some of the men discussing competing in the world championship, Bates became determined to do just that.
In the spring of 1993, Bates graduated from Tennessee Tech with a M.S. in biology with emphasis in fisheries management. A few months later, Bates won her first national and world championship as an amateur competitor with the Archery Shooter’s Association and the International Bowhunter Organization.
In 1994, Bates moved to Columbia, where she won four more 3-D archery world championships.
Bates worked out at Harvey’s Gym on the square in Columbia under the supervision of personal trainer Andy Harvey. While living and training in Columbia, Bates dominated the 3-D archery women’s pro classes in 1994 and 1995, winning two ASA and two IBO world championships. In 1995, she was named ASA Woman Pro Shooter of the Year and 3-D Archery Magazine Woman Shooter of the Year.
Today, the former TWRA wildlife officer and fisheries biologist and TVA environmental scientist lives in Waverly, where she was born.
Bates continues to make her mark by leaving an outdoors legacy: teaching and coaching archery, doing seminars and motivational programs, freelance outdoor writing and contributing to outdoor TV and radio.
Bates is a 5 time 3-D Archery World Champion Woman Pro, accomplished bow-huntress and Legends of the Outdoors National Hall of Fame member. She uses her outdoor accolades to challenge, motivate and inspire others, especially women and children to think and act “outside the box.”
Archery is increasing in popularity among youth and women since the onslaught of movies from Hollywood featuring arrow-flinging heroines. Bates seeks to introduce the sports of archery and hunting to more Tennesseans, particularly women and children.
Bates was recently selected as a finalist for the Prois Award and for Tahoe Films’ Extreme Huntress Contest. She wrote essays for both contests, which were scored by panels of celebrity judges and the top 12 finalists for the 2012 Prois Award and top 10 finalists in the 4th annual Extreme Huntress Contest were announced.
The public is invited to cast their vote online for their favorite contestant. The woman from each contest who receives the highest overall score (judges scoring plus online public voting) will be the winner.
These contests occur to create positive role models for other woman who may be interested in the hunting or shooting sports. Most kids are typically introduced to hunting through a father, uncle or other male family member.
But with divorce rates at 50 percent and the 2010 Census stating 41 percent of children in the USA are born out of wedlock, more children will join the hunting and shooting sports if more woman get into hunting. These contests are about promoting hunting and women who hunt.
Voting for the Prios Award ended Sunday, and a winner is to be announced soon.
Voting for the Extreme Huntress Contest continues online until midnight Jan. 1. To vote, go to <http://tahoefilms.com/contests/extreme-huntress-contest-2>.
The next Extreme Huntress will be introduced at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas in January 2013. Published in The WCP 12.20.12