“If you do something long enough, and you’re passionate about it, something good is probably going to come from it.”
That’s how Mathews pro Chris Bee describes his rise from National Archery in the Schools Program all-star, to Team USA member, to professional archer and social-media influencer.
Bee, 22, of Howell, Michigan, is a well-recognized competitive archer and bowhunter, thanks to his YouTube channel with over 68,000 subscribers, and his Instagram account with over 41,000 followers.
He’s a five-time national champion who shot a perfect 900 as a pro at The Vegas Shoot in 2017, and his shooting resume lists several national and international podium finishes.
Bee took up archery as a boy, shooting arrows from a fiberglass recurve in the yard with his dad. “I just couldn’t get enough of it,” he said. “I wanted to shoot all the time.”
Before age 8, Bee joined the Livingston Conservation & Sports Association’s Junior Olympic Archery Development program. “I shot that for a year with borrowed gear,” he said. “On my eighth birthday, I got my first compound bow.”
Bee competed at age 10 in his first state indoor tournament, hosted by the Michigan Archery Association, placing third in the Bowman class while shooting a bowhunter setup. “That’s also the year I shot my first deer with the same bow,” he said.
While he kept shooting his compound bow in local tournaments, Bee joined the Hartland Consolidated Schools NASP team in middle school, where he competed with NASP gear: a Genesis compound bow shot with fingers, and no sight.
Bee was a NASP superstar. He made four national all-star teams, which consists of the country’s top 16 archers. He traveled to international competitions as far away as South Africa.
At the same time he gained experience while succeeding with an open compound bow setup at USA Archery events. He competed as a junior at age 18 in the Youth World Championships in Yankton, South Dakota, where he won a silver medal on the male team and a bronze medal in the mixed-team competition.
“I liked the competition,” Bee said. “Archery was my sport. I didn’t do anything else. I liked how it was an individual thing. There was always something to work on.”
While in high school, Bee discovered he enjoyed making videos. He started a YouTube channel where he posted funny archery videos. “I just wanted to make these videos and post them where my friends could see them,” he said.
Bee posted his first YouTube video in 2014. It’s called “A Day in the Life,” and has the seeds of what became his signature Vlog style. Bee talks simply, and humorously, in the video about his life as an archer, while showing clips of himself shooting at home. The video has over 27,000 views.
Bee posted more vlog-style videos in 2015, tracking his bowhunts and competitions. In August 2015, Bee posted the video “Archery Stereotypes,” which he modeled after the stereotype videos of the Dude Perfect crew, who exaggerate common behaviors in specific fields for humor.
“That’s the first video I did that really blew up,” Bee said.
Bee and his friends used the video to demonstrate behaviors that archers often display at tournaments, such as “Super Exaggerated Form Guy,” “Mr. Know it All,” “The Parent Coach,” and many more. It’s been viewed over 633,000 times.
The only video Bee produced with more views than “Archery Stereotypes” was also inspired by Dude Perfect, with Bee shooting a target 350 yards away. The video has been viewed over 661,000 times since he posted it in May 2018.
Bee went to Michigan State University, where he competed four years on the archery team. During that time, he also shot in all USA Archery team competitions, such as the Arizona Cup, Gator Cup, Buckeye Classic and SoCal Showdown.
Bee said the 2015 Gator Cup stands out for him because, while competing as a junior, he advanced to the elimination rounds against the Senior Men’s Open archers. The field included top U.S. professionals.
Bee defeated Hoyt and Easton pro Steve Anderson in the elimination matches. “That was one of my first big-time wins against one of the big pros,” he said.
Beating Anderson advanced Bee to a semifinal match against pro Reo Wilde. Coincidentally, that was the first national event that USA Archery filmed for broadcast. On a windy field, the baby-faced Bee competed against one of the world’s best archers. Bee lost, 143-140, but learned he could compete with the world’s best archers.
“I would say the future looks bright for Chris Bee,” said one announcer during the match.
Bee achieved one of his biggest accomplishments to date at age 19 by shooting a perfect 900 at The Vegas Shoot in the Freestyle Men’s Championship division, which features the world’s best pros. That score earned Bee a spot in the final shoot-off with 15 other pros. Many consider that event archery’s Super Bowl.
“Unbelievable,” Bee said of making the Vegas finals. “There’s nothing else like it that I’ve ever done.”
Now backed by several sponsors, Bee produces videos that track his autumn bowhunts, and his target competitions in winter, spring and summer. He continues shooting his bow, producing videos and earning a living.
“I kind of figured I’d be doing something like this someday, but you never know what it’s going to look like until it happens,” he said.