Straight Talk - Randy Oitker By Frank Addington, Jr
Jun 2, 2007 - 5:48:17 AM
FA: Randy, when and where were you born?
I was born in Oklahoma City,OK. on March,2 1987.
FA: Tell us a little about your family. Any brothers or sisters?
I have a sister named Tiffany who is 13 and I have a deceased brother, David, who was killed in an auto accident in 1990 at the age of 19.
Randy with sister Tiff's buck.
FA: I know your parents are heavily involved in your archery career. How involved are they?
My dad, Randy Oitker,Sr. is my cameraman and sets up all of my archery equipment for shows and for hunting. My mom, Darla handles my booking and Public Relations.
FA: When did you pick up your first bow?
I was 8 years old.
Randy at age 9 with his many trophies.
FA: Did your parents also hunt?
Only my dad, he was a small game gun hunter.
FA: How did you get into exhibition shooting?
After I had won several National archery tournaments, I was asked to perform an archery shooting demonstration. I wanted to make it entertaining, so , I tried shooting different types of shots to make it more interesting.
FA: What's your proudest accomplishment in archery?
Being able to travel across this great country and introduce new people to archery.
FA: What about hunts? Have a favorite?
I guess that my favorite hunt, although I love every hunt that I have been on, was when I shot my 160 class buck in my home state of IL. in 2005.
This 10 pt, 160 class buck fell to Randy's to Muzzy.
FA: What came first, exhibition shooting or Bowhunting?
Actually, target shooting was first, then bowhunting and then exhibition shooting.
FA: You are a young guy, only 20, but how many exhibitions are you doing per year?
I travel about 26 weekends a year , by truck because I have too much to take for my show set-up to fly. Some of the shows that I do are 4 day events, some are 3 day but most are 2 day events. My largest show every year is the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, that lasts 9 days with 3 shows per day.
Another trick shot.
FA: What has been your toughest shot as an exhibition shooter?
Shooting the 4 lifesavers at a distance of 41 feet with one shot 4 arrows was the hardest shot that I have done so far.
Loaded, 4 arrows for trick shot.
FA: Did you ever have "one of those days" when you missed and couldn't seem to hit anything? What did you do?
The biggest problem that I have, is when I am performing outside in the wind. Shooting multiple arrows and trying to hit lifesavers in the wind is a big challenge but I always tell the crowd, I will shoot until I hit them as long as they want to stay and watch.
FA: Young people are our future. How do young people respond to your shows? The young girls must be excited to see you up there on stage. Have a fan club yet?
I think that the young crowd relates to me because I am young also. I work with NRA youth camps, X-Treme Jakes Events (NWTF) and guide kids on youth hunts. The kids from the camps always look forward to seeing me each year. I am still looking for that special girl!
Randy helping at an NRA Youth Camp.
FA: You also put on shows for some of the major outdoor retailers. Can you tell us about them?
I am on Pro-Staff for Cabela's retail stores. I perform at Cabela's Spring and Fall Expos and Grand Openings of new stores. I will be performing at the grand opening of the new Cabela's in Hazelwood, MO. on April 28 and May 5.
FA: With all the traveling you do, how did you find time for school?
I was home schooled for my high school years.
FA: Are you planning on attending college?
Not currently, but I have a partial scholarship to use in the future.
FA: What career path if you are?
I would like to study taxidermy as a hobby but not as a career. I want to continue exhibition shooting as my career choice and making hunting videos for now and in my future.
FA: What are your present and future plans involving the sport of archery?
To have my own TV show.
FA: You've had a lot of help from the industry. Any you would like to mention or thank for their support?
Yes, my loyal sponsors, who have helped get me where I am today. Yamaha Motor Company, Cabela's Muzzy Products, Jordan Outdoor Enterprises ( Realtree), Mathews,Inc., Nikon Sport Optics, Walker's Game Ear, Easton Arrows, Bohning Archery Products, Turbo Nocks, Sims Vibration Laboratories, Scent-Lok, ITP Tires, Memphis Car Audio, Fulmer Helmets and Camoclad.
Randy with Dave Watson and Ted Nugent.
FA: I know you also do some writing. Who do/have you written for?
I write for National Bowhunter magazine, www.realtree.com, www.bowhunting.net, U.S. International Archer magazine, Adventure Sports Outdoors and Heartland Sportsman's Authority.
Randy with astronaut Gen. Joe Engle.
FA: Do you have any videos available? What about a website?
I currently sell my videos at my shows. They will soon be available on my website, www.randyoitker.com.
Randy helping two up and coming shooters at Harrisburgh Show.
FA: Who are your archery heroes or role models?
Randy Ulmer, Michael Waddell and Ted Nugent. They have all been good friends for many years and gave me advice when I needed it.
FA: What's next for you?
Hunting in Africa next year and hunting in Alaska in the future.