Hamilton County targeting growing sport of archery

June 26, 2013
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Hamilton County’s parks department is building a state-of-the-art archery range east of Cicero in hopes of hosting major competitions—possibly including Olympic trials.

Plans call for more than 100 shooting stations, including a so-called 3D archery trail featuring variable-distance targets that look like deer, turkeys and the like.

Site work has started at Strawtown Koteewi Park, 750 acres of prairie and wetlands hugging the banks of the White River near East 234th Street. The county park also has trails (for people and horses), a canoe launch and a natural history center.

The archery range has been in the works for years, county parks Director Al Patterson said, but the project gained momentum last year thanks to grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources that covered nearly three-quarters of the $715,000 cost.

Hollywood also helped. Recent box-office hits like “The Hunger Games” and “Brave” have fired up participation in the sport nationwide, and Patterson said local interest also is high.

“We’ve gotten so many calls already, it’s absolutely amazing,” he said. “Once we got going, it took off at a fever pace.”

The range is designed to attract large-scale archery tournaments, Patterson said, and engineers have taken pains to ensure it would meet the requirements for Olympic trials.

Construction should start soon on a 5,000-square-foot building that will house a pro shop, some classroom space and the range manager.

County officials solicited bids from private vendors interested in operating the range and are finalizing a deal with Anderson-based Girt Archery.

If everything goes off without a hitch, Patterson said the facility could open this fall.

What do you think of Hamilton County’s plans? Are they on target? (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.)

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  • Exact Target...couldn't resist either!
    I have loved archery for years and am happy that the range is underway. I'm definitely and amature, and I like the mechanics of it - breathing, focus, etc. You have to "clear the mechanism" as Kevin Costner said in "For Love of the Game"...be right there, in the moment. I've been wanting to invest in good equipment, and have not due to the lack of an area to practice. Looking forward to honing my skills!
  • archery
    I love the idea and I will for sure support archery any way I can im looking forward to it.
  • Fantastic
    I've wanted to learn archery for years and the closest facility was WAY west from the East Fishers area. I think this is fantastic!
  • missed-opportunity for Anderson?
    It's unfortunate that Anderson's Girt Archery and Madison County officials and economic developers couldn't have implemented this worthwhile concept. Perhaps they've been distracted with the plan for a destructive dam and reservoir. Or perhaps they have succumbed to the too-willful-will condition which Eugene Heregel admonishes in his Zen in the Art of Archery.
  • Target range
    I used to shoot competition archery in Wausau WI for several years. I shoot a 60in full recurve 25# Black Widow. Would like some place to practice again.

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

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