In medieval times, people used bows and arrows for hunting and in combat. Armies with archers were feared in wars.
Today, archery is both a competitive sport as well as a hobby that anyone can enjoy. Everyone, regardless of age, gender, and ability, can learn and master the skill of handling a bow and arrow.
Many establishments have set up venues for people to take part in this unique activity. Here are some of the best ranges in Alaska for professionals, enthusiasts, and beginners.
Northwest Archers, Anchorage
The non-profit organization manages several grounds. Its 10 to 80-yard practice range is open to the public. Members have access to three 14-target fields and one 14-target bag site.
The management has been sponsoring the annual State Field Shoot in Kincaid Park for over 27 years. Now, it’s offering blind children shooting lessons taught by Certified Instructors.
Full Curl Archery, Anchorage
Full Curl Archery is locally-owned and has been operating since 2010. Their facility caters to people of different abilities, from youths to experienced hunters.
Their ten and 20-yard indoor range is family-friendly and has 11 lanes with adjustable targets for varying skill levels.
Children from the age of 6 can participate in shooting practice as long as an adult accompanies them. They must also adhere to safety rules.
Participants don’t need to own a bow as they can rent them. A big plus is that there isn’t any fixed duration. Archers can shoot for as long as they like. They can even leave and resume later.
Screaming Eagle Archery, Wasilla
Screaming Eagle Archery’s site has twenty 20-yard lanes, including 3-D bullseyes. For close-range shooting, it has four movable targets.
The facility also offers lessons to help people practice and improve their bowman skills. With an innovative approach to teaching, the classes appeal to a broad group of enthusiasts aged 6 to 100.
Beginners learn about:
- the parts of archery equipment and how to handle it the right way;
- safety when on the range and using the bow and arrows; and
- proper shooting technique.
Those who wish to take their skills to a higher level can take advanced lessons.
Juneau Archery Club (JAC)
The non-profit volunteer organization was founded in 1987. The club’s purpose is to promote archery as a sport.
The JAC has both indoor and outdoor ranges that offer different shooting experiences. The latter has varied distance markers and obstacles to challenge those with varying levels of skill.
Certified National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) instructors conduct classes for newbies. Children who take part need to have an adult with them.
All guests and members can use the equipment provided, including arm guards, 3D and paper targets, gloves, and bows.
Black Sheep Bowmen Archery Club, Anchorage
Located on Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, the Black Sheep Bowmen Archery Club is also a non-profit organization. Its purpose is to:
- expand the practice of target and 3D shooting;
- foster the spirit of goodwill among all bowmen;
- encourage the use of the bow in legalized hunting;
- work together with the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) to improve conditions and privileges for archers; and
- cooperate with conservation organizations in propagating and conserving game.
The facility includes indoor and outdoor ranges.
Active members can bring guests. Both military personnel and civilians can apply for membership.
The Best Archery Range in Alaska
We’ve seen that every club and organization mentioned above share the same goals of introducing the activity to the public. Every one of them offers lessons taught by professionals besides the ranges for practice purposes.
It’s up to us as individuals to decide which is the best. It’ll likely be the one closest to where we live.