Thursday, August 17, 2017

Tom Mitchell

tom_mitchell1_smlTom Mitchell - Adminsitrator, Measurer and Bowhunter

Invited on his first bowhunting trip back in 1972, Tom had no idea that 38 years later he would be inducted into the Australian Arcjeru Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport.

Thomas Herbert Mitchell’s love of the outdoors and outdoor pursuits was the primary reason for his taking up the bow and arrow in December of 1972 when he was invited to go on his first bowhunting trip. Tom loved the adventure as it required bush knowledge and sporting prowess to achieve the end result and so began his 38 year history of contribution to our sport.

He joined the fledgling Australian Bowhunters Association at its inception (member number 56) and has held continuous membership ever since. Not a person to sit back and wait for things to happen, Tom set about forming the Cairns Bowhunters Club along with three friends. He has been and remains a stalwart of the Club of which he is a foundation member having held the position of Club Representative since Cairns Bowhunters became an ABA affiliate Club in late 1970 through to today. Additionally he held various other positions with the Club including Secretary for eight years and Treasurer for six. With the exception of two years, Tom took out the Club Bowhunter of the year award since the commencement of the Cairns Club until the award was discontinued in 1994.

In 1979 Tom widened his administrative horizons when he was elected to the position of Zone (Branch) B Controller a position he held through to 1981. Following his time as Branch Controller he was elected to the position of Chairman of Trophy Bowhunters of Australia (1983 to 1987) and in 1984 was also elected ABA National Measurer, a position he held continuously through to his retirement from office in 2003.

Tom’s administrative work at the National level saw him become a fixture at bi-monthly Executive meetings and AGM’s of the Association as well as at National Safari from 1979 to 2003 (with the exception of one year) where he was involved with the running of the bowhunting activities at these events as well as the production of the National Bowhunting trophies.

In the early 90’s he was awarded the Bob Patten Memorial Trophy in recognition of his contribution to bowhunting.

Tom was instrumental in the production of the initial and rewrites of the National Measuring Manual and received (jointly) the National President’s award for his outstanding contribution to the production of the National Measuring Manual.

In conjunction with Eric Creighton produced and published the Trophy Bowhunters International Recording and Measuring System and Handbook.

In 1990 Tom attended the World Bowhunting Association Congress (Vienna, Austria) as the South Pacific Region representative to push for the adoption of the Mitchell/Creighton International Game Measuring System. Additionally Tom served on the Election, Bowhunter Education and the Ethical Committees of the WoBA.

The 1994 Congress Meeting of the WoBA saw the adoption of the Trophy Bowhunters International Measuring and Game Recording System which was developed and produced jointly by Tom and Eric Creighton. Tom also assisted with the production of two leather bound editions of the WoBA, Trophy Bowhunters International Record Book over the following eight years which were based on the system of game measurement developed by he and Eric. Tom was appointed to the position of International Recording and Measuring officer of the Trophy Bowhunters International in 1990. Tom’s contribution to the WoBA and its Code of Ethics was substantial.

As a bowhunter Tom’s record of achievements is second to none having received five National Best of Species awards; held two records of Australian bowshot game; won the Australian Champion Bowhunter three times; received the Master Bowhunter award on eight occasions; the Trophy Bowhunter award three times and the Bowhunter award on nine occasions. Tom has taken Trophy Class or better in seven separate species and has currently recorded 227 Trophy Class claims having earned him the Bowhunter Royal, Imperial and Supreme awards as well as two Ishi patches.

Tom has spent a generation as an ambassador to the Australian Bowhunters Association and recreational bowhunting and on his retirement from the position of National Measurer in 2003 he was awarded Life Membership of the ABA for the outstanding service he has provided to the Association and its sport.

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