Archery Centers Build Bowhunters

Archery Centers Build Bowhunters

With hundreds of thousands of youths shooting bows in public schools, their enthusiasm is spreading to friends and families. They are all learning what many of us have known for years -- shooting bows is fun. With the rapidly growing interest in archery, and with state wildlife agencies now using some excise tax funds to build ranges, we are seeing archery parks and centers springing up all over. Here are just a few examples.

The John and Marnie Demmer Shooting Sports Education and Training Center at Michigan State University (MSU) is a 23,000-square-foot facility opening next spring. It will have 28 indoor archery shooting lanes and three outdoor archery ranges. All will be open to University students and to the public as well. The ATA had a major hand in making this $3.5 million Shooting Sports Center happen by pledging $500,000 to its development via the ArrowSport Foundation. The ATA also has pledged $50,000 for each of the next two years to implement NASP and after-school programs in schools and recreation centers near the new shooting center so kids will be ready to shoot and enjoy the center the day it opens.


Easton Archery's Sports Development Foundation has a goal of helping to build as many as 10 Archery "Centers of Excel-lence." Easton also wants to help more universities field competitive archery teams. Easton has pledged major support to the MSU Center, as well as a major archery facility to be built near Gainesville, Florida, and another facility in conjunction with the National Field Archery Association in Yankton, South Dakota.


The Illinois Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is upgrading its 15-acre Blackwell Forest Preserve archery park, and the Nebraska Game and Parks Division is developing an archery range in Lincoln. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has 13 new archery range projects planned, including the Sweetwater County Archery Park under construction on city land and the Montgomery County Shooting Complex costing $3 million. The ATA is helping with financial aid for a number of these centers.

Minnesota is building eight new archery ranges around the state. Georgia is building ranges, too. South Carolina is starting a community archery program in Charleston with aid from the County Parks folks. Arizona has new archery ranges and community archery programs as well. Alabama has a goal of building 10 archery centers around the state.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is helping Des Moines build

a 40-acre community archery park. Though not officially approved yet, it appears that this archery park will be built only five minutes from the state capitol. How neat is that?


New Jersey hopes to have a huge archery complex within two years, built within a few miles of Newark, and within 25 miles of more than two million people.

This gives you some idea of the recent growth of archery parks, centers, and ranges around the country. Any growth in archery automatically translates to a growth of the interest in bowhunting.

The neat thing about all these ranges is that they involve so many stakeholders: state wildlife agencies, local bowhunting and archery clubs, city parks people, the archery manufacturers via the ATA, universities, public schools, and others working together to promote archery. For many of us, shooting targets has been great fun, but we love bowhunting even more. Will those shooting archery at these new ranges discover bowhunting? Some will. Are these ranges good for bowhunting? Incredibly so.


States Try to Get the Lead Out
On another front, a Bismarck, North Dakota, physician X-rayed 95 packages of ground venison donated to food pantries and found some amount of lead in 53. He contacted the state Health Department, which advised against distributing venison from food pantries. Minnesota then tested 238 deer samples and found lead fragments in 76, resulting in an immediate recall of 12,000 pounds of ground venison.

Hunter groups that donate hundreds of thousands of pounds of deer meat to help feed the homeless immediately reacted. They noted that thousands of people have eaten donated deer meat for many years without a problem. No scientific data show that lead levels in humans who consume deer meat are above safe standards. However, lead in any amount is a serious toxin for humans and this "scare" precipitated North Dakota to request the federal Communicable Disease Center to test for lead in the blood of people who eat venison. Data from 738 North Dakota citizens have been collected and are being analyzed.

The wildlife and health officials in Minnesota have taken the lead in studying this issue. In June 2008, they hosted a seven-state wildlife agency meeting to develop consistent programs and recommendations for hunters and meat processors.

Even though no data show that humans have been affected by fragments of lead bullets in venison, the Humane Society of the United States has jumped on this, calling for the end to any lead ammunition. Of course, their real agenda is to stop all hunting, and they'll magnify any tiny issue to achieve their goal. The end result will be that the gun industry and hunters will continue to be pressured to move away from lead shot and lead in bullets.

What, you might ask, does this have to do with bowhunting? After all, broadheads don't leave a lot of lead fragments in deer. Well, it might not have anything to do directly with bowhunting, but, by association, it could affect venison donations by bowhunters. And it's just a chink in the hunting armor that the antis will exploit.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Canyon Ranch Bowhunt

Canyon Ranch Bowhunt

Bowhunter Equipment Editor Tony Peterson sees plenty of action while hunting whitetails and hogs in Texas.

Turkey Decoy Beatdown

Turkey Decoy Beatdown

Bowhunter contributor Matt Palmquist witnesses a hen trying to destroy one of his decoys while hunting turkeys in Kansas.

Kansas Turkey Bowhunt

Kansas Turkey Bowhunt

Bowhunter contributor Matt Palmquist sets up shop for a turkey hunt in Kansas.

2018 Bowhunter TV Episode 12: Deer Slam!

2018 Bowhunter TV Episode 12: Deer Slam!

Bowhunter Magazine Editor Curt Wells lives his life-long dream of taking all five species of North American deer.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Curt Wells and Randy Ulmer [video] explain the importance of momentum and penetration when choosing heavy vs. light arrows for bowhunting. How-To

How to Choose the Best Hunting Arrow - Heavy vs. Light

Curt Wells

Curt Wells and Randy Ulmer [video] explain the importance of momentum and penetration when...

Advances in rangefinding devices have helped bowhunters immensely. Scouting Tools

Advancements in Rangefinder Technology Through the Years

Chuck Adams

Advances in rangefinding devices have helped bowhunters immensely.

This past fall my twin daughters started kindergarten, which meant that I stopped paying for Bows

9 Top Budget Bows for 2018

Tony J. Peterson - February 20, 2018

This past fall my twin daughters started kindergarten, which meant that I stopped paying for

With May comes an opportunity to re-think turkey bowhunting strategies. Turkeys

Spring Gobbler Reset: How to Bowhunt Turkeys in May

Tony J. Peterson

With May comes an opportunity to re-think turkey bowhunting strategies.

See More Trending Articles

More Industry

Bowhunter staff acknowledges passing of longtime editor Dwight Schuh. Industry

A Bowhunting Icon, Dwight Schuh, Passes

Staff reports - February 06, 2019

Bowhunter staff acknowledges passing of longtime editor Dwight Schuh.

Well, Wyoming, I'm tapping out. It wasn't too long ago that I thought I'd draw a once-in-a-lifetime Industry

Troubling Trend For Non-Resident Hunters

Tony J. Peterson - February 05, 2018

Well, Wyoming, I'm tapping out. It wasn't too long ago that I thought I'd draw a...

Most bowhunters would take a hiatus — if not retire — from the sport if they had shoulder Industry

S3DA Numbers Continue to Grow

Emily Kantner - October 09, 2017

Most bowhunters would take a hiatus — if not retire — from the sport if they had shoulder

It seems like I waited a lifetime to hunt. It's not that I wasn't around hunting, because I was. My Industry

Slams Fall to Female Archer for the First Time

Anna Vorisek - January 27, 2017

It seems like I waited a lifetime to hunt. It's not that I wasn't around hunting, because I...

See More Industry

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Bowhunter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now