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Q&A with Randy Ulmer

One of the world's foremost bowhunting and competitive archery authorities, Randy Ulmer shares his thoughts on the all-new Hoyt Maxxis, his recent hunts, and his decorated career. Get to know one of Team Hoyt's most successful shooters!

HOYT: How long have you been on Hoyt's Pro Staff? How has the relationship with Hoyt helped your bowhunting career?
RANDY: I’ve been on the Hoyt Pro Staff for around 12 years. This may sound over-simplified, but it is true: My relationship with Hoyt has helped my bowhunting career by making it easier to hit the animals I shoot at. I don’t miss as much as I used to and that’s a big plus, because you don’t get many second chances.

HOYT: Give us an overview of the Maxxis. What features do you like most about it?

RANDY: The Maxxis is a great-shooting bow. It is beautiful to look at, ultra-smooth, quiet, accurate, light-weight, it holds like a rock and it's fast. Every year the engineers at Hoyt surprise me. Each year after the hunting season, I swear I won't let go of that year's bow - I get very attached - and each year after shooting the new model all spring and summer, I have a brand new all-time favorite.

I shoot one bow all season, beginning with the mule deer hunting in August. So when the new models come out in the fall, I play with them a little bit, but I hunt with what I know. Once the season is over with, I get serious about the new stuff. I love the Maxxis so far and if my preliminary findings hold out - and I’m sure they will - it will once again be my new favorite hunting bow of all-time!

HOYT: Tell us about your favorite/most memorable hunts from this past fall.

RANDY: Well, the highlights of this fall's hunts were my 13-year-old son Jake's first antelope and my 10 year old son Levi's first elk. They both drew good tags and shot great animals. As for their old man, I shot a couple of mulies, an elk, an antelope, a brown bear and a cougar.

HOYT: What hunts are you planning for next fall? Any new destinations?

RANDY: I always have to wait for the draws to answer that question. Now that my boys are old enough to hunt, we get more chances in the draw, so I'm optimistic. I do have a hunt booked for woodland caribou in October.

HOYT: You're a decorated competitive shooter as well as a diehard bowhunter. Tell us about your most memorable target victories.

RANDY: Winning Vegas was definitely a high point because I had lost three shoot-offs in previous years before I finally won the tournament. However, winning the FITA World Championship was phenomenal. It was the first FITA Compound World Championship, so there was a tremendous amount of fanfare. The people in Europe and the rest of the world take their World Championships very seriously, and they treat the winners like royalty. I felt as though I had won the Olympics.

The ASA and IBO World Championships mean the most to me because, I believe, after having competed in nearly all the disciplines in archery, that it takes more skill and intellect to win at 3-D than any other format.

HOYT: Do you still actively compete in target competition?

RANDY: My wife and I made a conscious decision that when our boys became of school age I would quit traveling so much for competitive archery and focus on the family. I had shot nearly every tournament there was to shoot, so it wasn't much of a sacrifice to me. I do miss it deeply, though. As soon as the boys don't like hanging around with dad so much, I'll be back!

HOYT: You're a Bowhunting Hall of Fame inductee. What was it like to receive such an honor?

RANDY: I was inducted in 1999. To be honest, at that time, I did not feel I had earned it. I was deeply honored, but also a little embarrassed. I was very young and there were many bowhunters who I looked up to that deserved it much more than I did. With that being said, I am very thankful to have been voted in and it will always be one of the greatest honors of my life.

HOYT: You're also a prolific outdoor writer and popular television personality. How do find time to balance it all?

RANDY: My wife keeps me in line. If I get too caught up in the whole outdoor world, she reels me in and reminds me what is important.

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