Interview with Pro Archer Jackie Caudle
By: Tracy Breen

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Few people have spent more time on the line at archery tournaments than Jackie Caudle. Caudle is from Alabama and has been involved in competitive archery for over two decades. He never misses a tournament. Many would assume that because Caudle is so involved in competitive shooting and archery, it must be his full-time job because he wouldn’t have time for much else but that is not the case. Caudle is a serious archery competitor who maintains a day job. “I fix elevators for a living and have done so for decades. My company is very understanding and gives me the freedom to travel the country shooting archery,” Caudle explained.

Caudle didn’t get his start in the sport of archery by traveling around to tournaments. He started like many people begin, hunting whitetail deer. “A long time ago, shortly after I got married, I borrowed a bow and went deer hunting with some guys I worked with,” Caudle recalled. “On that first hunt, I killed the first deer I ever shot at with a bow. From that point on, I was hooked on bowhunting and the sport of archery.” After that hunt, Caudle bought a bow. Then his luck ran out. “After I bought my bow, I went four or five years before seeing another deer in the woods.” Persistence eventually paid off and Caudle began excelling at bowhunting. He decided to shoot competitively. He excelled at that also. Eventually, archery became a passion for his entire family. His wife and kids have all been involved in the sport.

In the mid 1980s, Caudle decided to take archery seriously. When he did, he started winning some tournaments. Since the 1980s, he has won many titles in the sport of archery including back-to-back Outdoor World Buckmaster Championships, IBO world titles and countless other titles while competing in the IBO, ASA and other organizations. One of Jackie’s fondest memories as a pro shooter is winning the ESPN Great Outdoor Games. “I won the ESPN Great Outdoor Games the first year they had the competition. It was fun and a great experience.”

Today, Jackie competes in the Senior Pro Division of the ASA and is still competing and winning tournaments. According to him, knowing how to deal with pressure is important. “Most shooters learn to block out the crowd of people watching them but have a hard time dealing with the pressure caused by the other shooters,” Caudle explained. “Archers need to remember that the self-inflicted pressure they put on themselves far outweighs the pressure from a crowd or other shooters. I focus on the target, try to have a good time, and let my bow do the rest. I have learned to tune most things out but I know that is one of the toughest things for many shooters to overcome when they get started.”

Even though Caudle loves competing in archery tournaments, he loves bowhunting even more. “I love bowhunting for whitetails. There is something about being out in God’s creation and enjoying all the animals,” Caudle explained.

Caudle’s family participates in archery which is another thing he enjoys about the sport. “I got my kids involved in the sport when they were young,” Caudle said. “I think it is important to get kids involved in the sport at a young age. However, parents shouldn’t push their kids. Let them enjoy the sport. If you push them, it won’t be any fun and they might give up the sport,” Caudle added.

Caudle hopes that he will be competing in archery for years to come. As he has aged, he believes he has a secret to success that can help the young bucks. “Old age and trickery will always outperform youth and skill,” Caudle said with a laugh.

Caudle is a great archer, great bowhunter and mentor. He is enjoyable to be around unless of course you are young. Then he is trying to use his trickery to pull one over on you!
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