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NCBA History

Founded in 1975

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The North Carolina Bowhunter’s Association was first conceived in 1970 and incorporated as a non-profit organization on March 14, 1973 in Monroe, N.C.
The original founders and directors of the North Carolina Bowhunters Association were: Jerry Rushing of Monroe; J.V. Golightly of Morganton; Jim Hogan of Monroe; Steve Morgan of Indian Trail; and Cecil Musselwhite of Monroe. Rushing, Hogan and Musselwhite are listed on the Incorporation Charter as the "Incorporators."
The "NCBA", in it’s infancy, was initially very similar to many of our present day "Local Chapter Clubs."  Many of the activities were centered around "club shoots" and hunts.   This is in stark contrast to today’s "NCBA" which concentrates on legislative action, conservation and the "Bowhunter" image, in general.
In the early years, the "NCBA" built it’s membership up to about 100 members when it was at it’s peak.   Then,  about 1974-1975,  there was a sharp decline in the interest and participation of members in the activities of those days.
Initially, NCBA officers met at Sherwood Bow Club in Monroe, NC. That was a bow shop and range that Jerry Rushing owned.  They had a clubhouse and a 28 target course, and also an indoor archery course with 10 shooting lanes. We met once a month for a while, then we realized we couldn’t do anything because, as Jerry says, “We wasn’t smart enough, or just didn’t know which way to go to get anything done.”

NCBA founder, Jerry Elijah Rushing, took the first Black Bear officially recorded taken with bow & arrow in North Carolina from Yancey County in 1970. It officially scored 18 6/16” and is recorded with the Pope and Young Club in their records. 

pic Jerry Rushing (1973 with a wild turkey he harvested with a bow and arrow)

Then, Jack Smith got involved a couple years later, about 1974-75, and he’s the one that really got it going. Jerry said, “We really didn’t know what we were doing, but Jack was organized and he put it all back together and got it reorganized.”  Jack had been a member of the NCBA since its inception in 1972. Jack probably knows as much about the “old days” of the NCBA as anyone. He can recall when NCBA grew from it’s beginnings to what it is today because he was there from the beginning. He assumed control of NCBA from Jerry Rushing a couple years after he and a few others (Jim Duncan; Cecil Musselwhite, J.V. Golightly and Jim Hogan) founded the association. Jerry Rushing told me, Ramon Bell, (on 11-11-2012) that he and the others that founded the NCBA simply did not know what to do, or the next steps to take to get NCBA reorganized and functional.  Jerry asked Bob Bowling, then Jack Smith if they would take control of the association and help get it reorganized. Jack agreed, and assumed the presidency of NCBA in 1975 and held that office until 1977, when Bill Litaker was named President.

 Bill Litaker was Secretary/Treasurer from 1975-77. In his acceptance article in 1975,  he commented that he appreciated Danny Adams and Brushy Mountain Bowhunters hosting the first annual meeting.  At that meeting, the first donation to the Poacher Fund came from Ben Southard, owner of Loc-On Tree Stands.

Jerry Rushing is best known for being the person that the TV series, “Dukes of Hazard” was fashioned afterRushing was born into a family business making illegal whiskey. As a young man he became a delivery driver, (often known as a “Moonrunner”) This was a job requiring late-night high-speed driving, often without headlights; for this he used a modified 1958 Chrysler 300D capable of speeds of 140 mph, easily more than most police vehicles, which he nicknamed “Traveler” (one L), after Robert E. Lee’s favorite horse favorite horse, Traveller (two Ls). The car was eventually abandoned when it ran out of gas during a chase. It was sold from a police impound into the private collector's market, and has since been restored by Laurence Wolfel.  Rushing eventually turned to a career in stock car racing. Among the drivers he raced against were Junior Johnson, himself a former moonrunner, and Wendell Scott, the first black (African-American) NASCAR driver.  Rushing allegedly invented or perfected maneuvers known to stunt drivers today as the "bootleg" or "180", which requires defeating the emergency brake ratchets in order to lock the wheels for a spin.
In the early 1970s, while doing research for an upcoming movie, producer Gy Waldron obtained an oral history from Rushing. Waldron would later use these interviews, along with his own experiences growing up in Kentucky as material for the 1975 B-Movie, Moonrunners, which would go on to be reworked as the basis for the TV series, The Dukes of Hazard production of which began in late 1978 (first broadcast in January 1979).  Rushing was not credited for the biographical details he claims were recreated in both works, and sued for royalties, receiving an undisclosed settlement.
Rushing claims thirteen characters from the film or series were modeled on himself or people he knew, including:

  • He was the inspiration for Bo Duke.
  • His car Traveler was the inspiration for the General Lee (indeed, a car named Traveler is seen in Moonrunners, and the name for the General Lee in pre-production was also Traveler)

Rushing performed stunt work and appeared uncredited as Jake Rainey's bodyguard in Moonrunners. He also had a guest role in a very early episode of the TV Dukes series, as crooked used car salesman Ace Parker in the episode "Repo Men".  Rushing had understood the performance to be the start of a recurring role, return in part for his supplying creative material from his experiences, but it was the only time the character was ever seen or mentioned. This appearance led to a career as a minor character actor, mainly playing rednecks, sheriffs, and truckers. With the release of the Dukes of Hazard movie, Rushing has stepped up marketing for a self-produced documentary called Traveler.
He also had minor roles in movies such as: “Murder in Coweta County” (1983) with Andy Griffith & Johnny Cash; “Living Legend”  (with Roy Orbison, Earl Owensby) and starring Jerry Rushing and David Allen Coe (1982); He played a Blacksmith in Young Daniel Boone, a TV series starring Rick Moses; and “The Night the Lights went out in Georgia”, starring Dennis Quaid; Don Stroud and Christy McNichols.


Jerry said, “I knew Jack Smith for years, and I just asked him to help with it. I could see he was interested, so he said he’d take it and try to do something with it. So, after a while, he got the charter renewed and got it going again.”
Then, Dennis Allman and some others got involved, and they were the ones, along with Jack Smith, that really rebuilt it and got it going the way it is today. 
The NCBA charter was suspended September 19, 1975 and was reinstated May 4, 1976 to Charles “Jack” Smith. This charter was recorded in the Union County Register of Deeds and certified by Thad Eure, Secretary of State of North Carolina.
Jack Smith,  who also serves as the Secretary of the "Professional Bowhunter’s Society" (PBS),  assumed leadership of the association in 1975 as President and began reorganizing the "NCBA" into what it basically is today.   There were only 19 names on the roster and only four were paid up members at the time.   For the most part, the association was "defunct."   Jack was able to procure the basic (Incorporated) name and membership list at that time.   Several other people joined him in rewriting the by-laws and reorganizing the Association in general.   The "NCBA",  as it is today,  in reality was begun in 1975.    Jack says his thoughts and reasons for hunting have changed.   The number and size of animals he takes are no longer important to him.    He has one Boone & Crockett,   two Pope & Young and several NCBA animals that are not recorded.   In 1992, Jack stated, "My hunts have become more personal and I have enjoyed it more than ever in my life."

The first issue of the "North Carolina Bowhunter Magazine" was mailed in April / May 1975.    Only one of the original "Charter" members remains on today's membership list.    He is Dennis Allman,  of Morganton, N.C.    He remains active in Association activities as an official NCBA Measurer.   Dennis has held every elected office in the "NCBA" at one time or another, and has been very instrumental in the successful evolution of the Association into today’s 1,200 – 1,500 member organization.     Dennis Allman was 6th person inducted into the "NCBA Hall of Fame" on February 21,  1998 at the NCBA Annual Awards Banquet in Rocky Mount,  N.C.
Bill Litaker is named president. Then, Dennis Allman assumed the office after that.
*James (Jim) Hogan, Jr. was one of the founders of NCBA.    He’d moved in recent years to Chesapeake, VA, but kept in contact with friend, Jerry Rushing, another co-founder of NCBA.   Jerry says, "Hoag" was the first man to travel to Raleigh and speak up for bowhunter’s rights at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission meetings.   Jerry remembers "Hoag" wearing his denim hat everywhere he went in the early days and was still wearing it on his last visit shortly before his death in April, 1996.   Jerry said, "He loved that hat."
"Hoag" carried the original paperwork to an attorney to incorporate NCBA.   He and Jerry spent many days in the woods bowhunting together and walked miles of river bank shooting carp and gar.
"Hoag" got to play roles in some of the movies Jerry starred in during the early 1970’s.   Jerry Rushing’s life was portrayed in "The Dukes of Hazard" TV series.   Key actors in the series represented and were patterned after events in earlier years of Jerry Rushing’s life.
Jerry says he will never forget "Hoag’s" flat denim hat and the times "Hoag" spent plucking his banjo around the campfires.    Jerry says, "No, I’ll never forget him."   And, neither will NCBA.

1978 article by Joe Dias president of Massachusetts Bowhunters, Assoc. Their organization was formed in  January and was modeled after NCBA.  He asked for Massachusetts Bowhunters and NCBA members to support their efforts.

1979 NCBA Annual meeting was hosted by Guilford Bowhunters. Ernie Shue designed a NCBA/Guilford Bowhunter patch.  
1979-NCBA had a record program as previously stated by Jack Smith, Rick Goins took over as director.

NCBA held first Big Game Measuring Clinic. Robert Butler had his big buck scored. It was this first state record under this program.  It measured 137 5/8.   Contact person for entries into the records system was Bill Litaker

In Precision News (national publication) owner Pete Shepley described NCBA’s anti poacher program.

During the 1980's,  Dennis Allman was the most prominent and instrumental individual figure in the growth of the NCBA.  He is personally responsible for the formation of the "NCBA Bowhunter Defense Fund."  Dennis served in every official capacity and position possible in the NCBA.  His contributions to NCBA and Bowhunting are too countless to enumerate.
Ramon Bell was appointed NCBA "Records Chairman" in 1982 by President, Dennis Allman and filled that position until February,  2004.  Ramon assumed the position from Rick Poe.  The record system grew from it's start in 1975 to be the only officially recognized hunting record system in North Carolina at his retirement.  Two record books were published during his tenure as Records Chairman in 1992 and 2002.   A team of official NCBA Measurers were trained and certified that assist in scoring animals across the state.   Many continue to travel to Raleigh each year also to help score deer at the annual "Dixie Deer Classic" event sponsored by the "Wake County Wildlife Club."  Joey Thompson was appointed “Records Chairman” in 2005 and was sill holding this position as of December, 2012.

Dayne Welbornis responsible for organizing the first NCBA Banquet,  which was held at "Kepley's Barn" in Greensboro, NC on February 21, 1987.  Bowhunter Magazine comic writer, "Maggie" McGee was the featured entertainment and speaker.  The event was interrupted by a little "scuffle" in the rear when some "late-comers" to the event took the seats of others who were in the buffet line at the time.  When they returned to their seats,  the confrontation,   which evolved into a mini-food fight.. erupted.  The altercation was quickly halted by Guilford Bowhunters member and NCBA officer,  Steve Greeson, who promptly picked up the trouble-makers by the "scruff" of their necks and physically carried them to the door and tossed them out.  Never a dull moment!

NCBA Official Measurers began assisting the Wake County Wildlife Club in their scoring area with measuring deer heads at the annual Dixie Deer Classic in Raleigh, N.C. Each year about 600-700 deer heads are scored at the DDC. NCBA provides approximately 40 measurers to assist with this function. The Records Chairman uses this event to help train new official measurers for the NCBA.

First Edition NCBA Record Book published by Ramon Bell, Records Chairman.

The North Carolina Bowhunter "Hall of Fame" was also established as a result of a proposal presented to the NCBA Executive Council  by Ramon Bell in 1994. 

Ramon also chaired two important events at the "Classic" in the years 1999 and 2000.  This was the "Carolina Hunter Showcase" which was held in the Dorton Arena,  next door to the Graham Building.  Subsequently,  the Wake County Wildlife Club took over the management of that building and added it as an "annex" to the "Classic."   NCBA continues to help by operating a 3-D Indoor Archery Shoot and Archery Alley in Dorton Arena.   NCBA's volunteer's assist with these activities at the "Classic" each year and the association reaps a significant monetary donation for our efforts which helps support association activities and projects throughout the year.

Gary W. Evers tenure as President featured the beginning of the "computer age" for NCBA.   Gary published the first NCBA website,  www.ncbowhunter.com . 

Gary W. Evers made history by being the first person to give a "spotlight" power-point presentation to the NC Wildlife Resources Commissioners at a monthly meeting in Raleigh, NC on March 7, 2001.   The focus of his presentation was a proposal to revise the bow draw weight regulations to reduce the minimum from 45 pounds to 35 pounds for compound bows.  The proposal passed and allows many more women,  youths and physically challenged persons to participate in the sport of Bowhunting.

Second Edition NCBA Record Book published by Ramon Bell, Records Chairman.

The NCBA “Bowhunter Certification and Referral Service” (“BCRS” Program) was proposed by Ramon Bell and approved by the executive council on April 2, 2005.  As of November, 2012, it has over 200 certified bowhunters and over a dozen active contracts with private landowners, gated communities, etc., across the state
At a special meeting of the Executive Council in October of 2005, the “Land Acquisition Fund” was created as a result of a motion made by Ramon Bell. The primary purpose of the fund is to purchase land in the area of the Butner-Falls of the Neuse Gamelands. The land will be utilized for a camping and educational facility for use by NCBA to hold bowhunts and archery / bowhunting educational classes for youths and adults. It will also be available for use by NCBA members throughout the year for a family camping, fishing and bowhunting facility.  

Ramon ran for the office of President in 2006 and was elected.  This is the first elected office Ramon ever held in NCBA.  Some highlights of his first term was the legalization of bowhunting during muzzle-loader season on private properties and the first revision and update of the bylaws since the NCBA was founded in 1975.  Ramon was re-elected President in 2008, 2010 and 2012.  He ran unopposed. Ramon suffered a stroke on January 3, 2012. His intent is to finish out this term of office as president, which ends in March of 2014.

The NCBA J.R. Wright Memorial Bowhunter Education Fund was formed on March 31, 2007 at the suggestion of NCBA member C. Victor French after the untimely death of J.R. Wright, a long time NCBA member and owner of JR’s Archery of Eden, N.C. on January 19, 2007.

The NCBA Memorial Fund was formed  in 2008 as a result of a motion to the Executive Council by Ramon Bell.
The annual NCBA Convention and Awards Banquet was moved to the N.C. State Fairgrounds (Kerr-Scott Building) in 2007 and 2008 by Ramon Bell.   It was named the NC BOWHUNTER EXPO those first two years.   It was held the last weekend in March. 

The NCBA “Deer Donation Registry” was formed in 2009 by the NCBA Executive Council at the recommendation and motion made by Ramon Bell.

In 2009,  the NCBA Convention and Annual Awards Banquet returned to the Kerr-Scott Building the same weekend as the Dixie Deer Classic in 2009 and 2010, and will become a permanent part of the Dixie Deer Classic per an agreement between NCBA and the Wake County Wildlife Club.  NCBA will continue to operate the Dixie Deer Classic 3-D Shoot for the Wake County Wildlife Club and the Dixie Deer Classic  in the Dorton Arena.  NCBA and Guilford Bowhunters also operate “Archery Alley” adjacent to the 3-D Shoot. Mickey Strader, Russell Poole, William Newton and other Guiford Bowhunter members work “Archery Alley.”  Ron Hayes, members of Gooch’s Mill Archery Club, Tar River Archery Club and NCBA volunteers team up to operate the 3-D Shoot.
NCBA volunteers will also continue to assist with scoring deer heads at the DDC.

*NOTE:  If you have any information relating to NCBA "History",  email us with your input.. THANKS!

Link to History Album

Link to History of Officers

| 12.27.2012 |