ORLANDO, Fla. — Field & Stream, the largest and best known outdoor publication in the world, is looking for the best-of-the-best anglers and hunters of the U.S. — men and women — for its fifth annual Total Outdoorsman Challenge, presented by partner Mobil 1.
The competition includes a free qualifier on Saturday, May 10th in Orlando for those who think they have what it takes as an overall outdoorsperson to beat competitors on time and accuracy in bait casting, archery and air rifle skills.
"The more you know about the outdoors the more fun you can have," said Anthony Licata, editor of Field & Stream. "We're looking for the person who lives for the outdoors; the kind of person who enjoys all four seasons because they enjoy fishing, hunting, camping and everything that comes with it."
Free to enter
It's open to the first 21 registrants at Bass Pro Shops, 5156 International Dr, Orlando, beginning at 8 to 9 a.m. Competition begins at 9 till11:30 a.m.
The event is part of the nationwide competition of 24 local qualifiers and six regional events leading up to the finale in September where the top finisher will be awarded $25,000 in cash and prizes as part of a $50,000 purse.
The top finishers from the qualifier will advance to that afternoon's regional to compete against other men and women from qualifiers previously held in March and April in Pearl, Miss.; Macon, Ga., and Myrtle Beach, S.C. The regional contest in Orlando runs from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a fourth skill challenge of fly casting added to the mix for the contenders.
From Orlando, the top two finishers will then advance to the national championship in Springfield, Mo., September 5-7 with 16 competitors facing off — top two each from the six regions, the top three finishers from the 2007 national tournament and one wildcard selection by the editors of Field & Stream. There the competitors will go head-to-head in seven outdoor skill challenges including fly casting, bait casting, shotgun, rifle, archery, endurance skills and ATV handling.
Last year a Florida man, Thomas Cooprider of Pembroke Pines, finished third in the national competition and has an automatic entry into the 2008 finals.
For more information on the Orlando event, call the Bass Pro Shop at (407) 563-5200. A complete list of participating sites across the nation is posted with phone numbers event times, dates, official rules and more at www.FieldandStream.com/totaloutdoorsman.
Those hopefuls who can't make it to a local qualifier but think they have what it takes to capture the title can apply online at the same Web site for the special wildcard spot Field & Stream editors strongly suggest online applications include video and/or photos.
Partners, sponsors and fun spectator activities
Mobil 1 is partnering with Field & Stream for the 2008 Total Outdoorsman Challenge. Sponsors also include: Bass Pro Shops, Toyota, Wolverine, BowTech, the 2008 CMA Music Festival, Repel Insect Repellant, Dinty Moore, and The National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Orlando as well as the other five regional sites will feature a sponsor village for spectators and participants with a number of fun activities and prizes from the sponsors, including free archery lessons and archery range time at the BowTech truck, a challenging casting pools at the Wolverine exhibit and Toyota exhibits plus Toyota's Tundra Ride & Drive and much more. There will be a number of prize giveaways throughout Saturday.
Each local participant receives a gift bag with a $10 Bass Pro gift card and gifts from Field & Stream, Toyota, Wolverine and BowTech and more.
At the regional level each competitor receives a gift bag worth more that $250 which include a free pair of Wolverine boots and fishing shirts, a Bass Pro gift card and a subscription to Field & Stream in addition to many other prizes.
The top two regional finishers will advance to the final and each receives a $150 travel voucher. Though it may not pay for the entire trip, all competitors at the final will receive cash prizes of at least $600 (last place). The winner will receive $25,000 in cash, plus additional prizes and a spread in Field & Stream magazine, extensive coverage on FieldandStream.com and the "Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge" television show. The current May issue featured two-time champ Paul Thompson of Marion, N.C. who will be back for more. The second place finalist receives $2,500 and third place $2,000.
In addition, at the finals, all 16 competitors will receive gift bags worth more than $400 with great sponsor gear.
Field & Stream, the world's leading outdoors magazine, is the country's largest special-interest title and most-recognized outdoor publication. Devoted to the complete outdoor experience and lifestyle, Field & Stream gives its readers the knowledge and inspiration to pursue the sports they love. It celebrates the outdoor experience with great stories, compelling photography and sound advice, while honoring the traditions hunters and fishermen have passed down for generations. Established in 1895, Field & Stream is published 11 times per year by the Bonnier Corporation.