Monday, February 3, 2014

Building an Archery Range.....In My Back Yard

  My first archery range at my house was a small hay bail in the front yard that I hid behind my wooden fence that was about 20 yards.  Then I graduated to a block target when my new Mathews Reezen started to punch through that hail bail on a consistent basis and would slam into my concrete wall. For some reason concrete walls and Easton St. Axis arrows don't play well together. So as I started to move around the house I was able to get out to 35 yards if I set the targets in the corner of my property and then shot from the other side of the yard.  I don't think my neighbors knew what was going on and if they did I am sure they would not have liked it very much. Fast forward to the present day and my new home in the mountains.

I went from a 1/4 acre rental to my current spread of 4 1/2 acres. By no means huge, but it works for me and my family.  I have toyed with all sorts of lay outs for a range, a traditional firing line and then a walk around course.  But, with the possibility of the SoCal Bowhunter and the Strother Archery Rep coming up for a visit and field shoot I had to make some changes.  Then it donned on me, I did not have a good place for my Kids to shoot either. And given my last post , I Almost Gave Up Hunting, it was fitting that I made some adjustments for the others shooters in my family.

So Que the A-Team theme music, get the Honda quad and my kids in tow.

After a quick dismantling of the current setup I went to a new format of range.  A firing line-Course mixed layout. Both kids helps gather the course markets, hay bails, block targets and were cutting pads and building platforms in the new areas.  They were really keen to help, though I just think they wanted to ride atop the hay bails on the quad, and in an hours time we had ourselves an new range with positions set up at 10, 20, 30, 40, 45, 50, 65, 80 and really on out to your wildest reaches if you shot over the corral. A "Please don't shoot the Goats" sign will need to be put up though.

Best part of the day was the very end where my son and I were able to have a great father-son shoot.  And though his bow is not the greatest, do yourself a favor never by the Bear Archery Kids bows, we had a great time working and teaching the kids how to set up the range for shooting.  After the chaos subsided I was able to sight in my new HHA Optimizer XL5510, but that is for another post.

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