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.
  • Broken Arrow
    It has been 13 months since the announcement of a proposed "state of the art"archery range being built at Strawtown Koteewi Park. The DNR has granted three-quarters of the $715.000 cost in 2013, yet park director Al Petterson and Tony Gert of Gert's Archery can't seem to get on target. s a resident of Cicero for most of my life; I drive by daily on my way to work & see nothing in the works.I was very excited to see a archery range for the residents of Hamilton County since most of Hamilton county's "city ordinances" ban the shooting of projectiles of any kind within their city limits. As an avid 3-D archer & bowhunter for over 25yrs it was great news that I wouldn't need to drive great distances to hone my skills. My son's and their children; who by the way are also into archery and hunting where also were looking forward to having a range in their "backyard". Maybe if the designers of the range propose installing a couple of "round about's" on the course, Hamilton County leaders might get out of their "tree stands" and start building this range! We all know how much they like their "round about's" on their county roads!
  • Get Er Done
    My grand son is a developing young archer. He and fellow archers really need a first rate facility for instruction and practice. The park would be perfect environment for all interested to develop their skills.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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