Interest in archery spurs expansion of target range

With the continued growth in popularity of archery, the Clark County Shooting Complex will soon open a three-mile walking course.

Crew members at the complex, 11357 N. Decatur Blvd., finished plowing the 10-foot-wide trail at the south end of the property and are awaiting the arrival of 3-D targets, which will be placed throughout the trail.

The archery range expansion demonstrates the complex’s willingness to accommodate the increased number of archers, according to staff members.

” It’s a more family-oriented atmosphere here (at the archery range),” said Ken Swierski, a certified archery instructor at the complex. “Families come here to have a good time. It’s very relaxing.”

The archery range sees 30 to 150 would-be Robin Hoods on a daily basis, Swierski said. But the numbers have more to do with modern pop culture than English folklore.

“When the ‘Hunger Games’ movie came out, all of the ladies started coming to the range,” Swierski said, ” from the little ones all the way up to the old ladies.”

Jeff Nielson, a sales associate in the Bass Pro Shops archery department, said he, too, has noticed the trend.

“We’ve seen youth archery grow tremendously in the last year,” he said. “It’s a more intimate sport.”

Nielson added that the sport’s relatively small learning curve also helps draw and retain participants, often for life.

“I always tell first-timers they’re going to hear two things when they fire an arrow for the first time,” he said. “They’ll hear the flight of the arrow and then the snap of the target … and then you’re instantly addicted.”

He added that anyone who buys the equipment should plan an hour of range time to learn the basics, which is free on the indoor, eight-lane range at Bass Pro Shops, 8200 Dean Martin Drive.

Once past the initial cost of roughly $600, the sport is relatively inexpensive, Nielson said.

At the county shooting complex, it costs $7 for all-day use of the facilities.

“It’s easier on your wallet,” Swierski said. “You’re not spending money on ammunition. Kids (17 or younger) are free. Where else can you bring the whole family for $7 ?”

The complex’s archery range is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. A bow and eight arrows can be rented for $10 an hour or $20 a day.

For more information, call 455-2000 or visit clarkcountynv.gov/shootingcomplex.

Contact Paradise/Downtown View reporter Nolan Lister at nlister@viewnews.com or 383-0492.

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