While in Colorado Springs, Colorado searching for places to practice and release a few arrows I ran into a public archery range.
The range is located in Bear Creek Park which is in the foothills on the west side of the city. The park also boasts lots of other cool amenities like volleyball and tennis courts, horseshoe pits, horse riding trails, a community vegetable garden, and a place to release your dogs so they can cavort leashless with other dogs.
The range is an open outside structure, built in such a way to contain any errant arrows and keep other park users safe. Impaling someone’s pooch would just not be a plus for the sport…
The back line or furthest distance you can shoot, is separated into lanes by metal pipe spacers, these spacers have pipe quivers, there is a big trash barrel and the furthest shooting post is roofed, which helps with the intense Colorado sun, broadheads and crossbows are not allowed. The range rules are prominently posted.
While I was there two young archers with their new Samick Sage bows showed up as well as a father and his son. We took turns shooting far and near so dad and son could accomplish their goals and we could revel at how much more fun it is to miss from far instead of near.
There are long sections of tough black rubber that span the range width every 10 yards or so which keep any stray high arrows from exiting the range, this same rubber material is also on the face wall of the range keeping missed arrows from being impaled badly into the wood. Most just bounced off or came off very easily.
From a distance I thought the butts were made from hay bales but upon close inspection found that it was a shredded wood bale. Seemed effective but I’d be curious to see how they would hold to a fast compound bow.
While I have not read it I understand that there is an ordinance against shooting bows within the city limits, say in your backyard and so having this free public facility is a big plus, it is nice to know that when the archery budget gets stretched thin and the addiction of watching your arrows soar to their mark takes a hold of you that there is a free, safe place to go to.
I don’t know the origins of this range and how it came to be but I salute Colorado Springs for having it.