Chris Bee Bio
Chris Bee began shooting a bow when he was six years old in his back yard at old 3D targets. His dad was a bowhunter who hoped that one day Chris would follow his footsteps. After shooting in the yard for a year, bouncing arrows off of a stiff deer target with his 10-pound recurve bow, Chris' dad found a local club. They had a JOAD program, and shortly after he was seven, Chris started shooting a borrowed club recurve at 10 yards.
For his eighth birthday, Chris got a compound bow - a youth PSE Spyder. The much needed upgrade opened new doors to target archery. As the next indoor season rolled around, he shot his first state tournament and quickly was drawn to the competition world.
As the years progressed, he continued to shoot more and more competitions. His older sister, Emily, was now shooting at this point, and as a family, the Bees started to travel to national events.
When Chris was in 6th grade, his sister's 7th grade science teacher, Rob Jellison, told them about a growing program he runs at the school - NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program).
After going to a practice or two, Emily and Chris agreed NASP was not for them. Initially, they thought they would be walking backwards and downgrading to a simplistic Genesis bow with stock arrows, and only shooting at 10 and 15 yards.
They did not shoot that year and did not think they were ever going to. After several conversations with Mr. Jellison, the Bees finally decided to give NASP a try and attend tryouts for the school team. As the season progressed, Chris was quickly proven wrong about NASP, and realized there were vast opportunities and skill required to shoot the Genesis bow against thousands of archers from around the world.
Chris learned how to master the simplistic bow and made his first international team, NASP All Stars, which consisted of the top 16 girls and boys who shot at the national championships.
Shocked, but thankful to make the slot out of 12,000 archers, Chris flew to Africa to represent the U.S. as part of an organization he wanted nothing to do with a few years earlier. His NASP career continued throughout high school, and he continued to learn and place on state, national and world stages, all with such a simple bow.
The professional life
While Chris was shooting NASP in full force, he also was shooting both U.S. Archery and NFAA events. his first big archery accomplishment was making the Cadet USAT at age 14 - while still a Cub. He continued to make the top five for several years after that.
His first time at The Vegas Shoot was in 2012, competing in the youth divisions.
Two years later, when Chris was 16, he decided to bite the bullet and move into the Championship division for the first time. After the first two days, he was still clean, shooting 600/600.
After the last arrow on the second day, Chris was overwhelmed knowing that he was in a position to do big things.
On Chris' way out of the venue, Mike Luper from Hoyt Archery handed Chris a Hoyt Pro Staff jersey. Chris considers this one of the best days in his archery career, as it started his true "pro" career.
Unfortunately, Chris did not clean the last day, but he still flew home beyond stoked.
From there, the rest unfolded and Chris has been having fun ever since.
For new archers that are just getting started, Chris says, "Don't rush the process. Don't worry about scores, placing or how many sponsors you have. Enjoy the sport and work at perfecting your form and having the right mindset. The rest will come with time."
Playing to his strength
Chris' favorite indoor round is by far the Vegas round. "I love the short, 30-arrow format spread out over the three days. It gives you plenty of time to get in the grove of shooting and is short enough not to get boring." In 2017, Chris shot a perfect 900 qualification score, and advanced to the finals stage, "which I am still on cloud nine about."
For Chris, having solid form is the most important factor in being accurate and consistent. Form that he knows won’t fall apart under pressure.
"Once you have the ground work, putting reps behind the bow and creating that muscle memory is super important. It is also important not to shoot so much that your arms fall off, finding your happy medium to keep pushing yourself to be better without pushing yourself over the edge."
The archery hunter's life
Chris is "super big into hunting." That is actually the reason why he started in archery.
The 2017 hunting season was Chris' most successful yet. He was fortunate to travel to four states, and capture his craziest season yet on film which, is found in his series, "The Bee Season," on his YouTube channel.
Chris tries to stay fit for archery by working out and running. When he is shooting his best, "I find myself running a lot, several miles every few days. It not only makes you stronger, but it increases your endurance making it easier spending long days in the sun on a FITA round or walking on a rigorous field course."
Chris' first archery video was uploaded on July 1, 2014, called “A Day In The Life." That kicked off his YouTube channel. It went "semi-viral,” with over 19,000 views.
Chris never had plans to upload consistently for several years, YouTube was just a creative outlet to express his creativity. When he had a video idea, he would throw it together and hope to make people laugh or share what he was doing. As he gained more of a following, he started to realize the impact his videos have.
Today, he still has a similar focus, but he strives for a bigger goal. "The outdoors and archery have done so much for me that I want to share with my followers how awesome it is. Archery and hunting are awesome, and I am going to show the world that it is."