When I’m looking to practice archery, I always look for the best ranges to take my bow. The right practice always starts with the right shooting range.
Illinois has some of the most welcoming communities of archers and sportsmen you’ll ever meet. They’re all willing to help you out in any way they can, even in fast-paced cities like Chicago.
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Hosting multiple lanes ranging between 20 and 30 yards, Chicago Archery in Wood Dale, provides classes and private lessons to new shooters. Unlike many indoor ranges, Chicago Archery allows the use of crossbows so long as they have an 18-inch bolt.
Shooting passes are available for $12 each or five for $42. These passes function as punch-cards, allowing you to use the ranges without paying for each hour. However, paying per hour is available for walk-ins and guests for the same price. The range offers equipment rentals for an additional $15, so don’t worry if you haven’t invested in your own gear. Pass holders are able to shoot for as long as they want when the range is not particularly busy. If the range is busy, pass holders are restricted to an hour on the range.
Classes start at $35, private events can be booked, and discounts are available on their website. Chicago Archery is dedicated to providing you with the best possible experience for your money and I recommend it to anyone just starting out in the sport.
Located in Tolono, Bowmentum is a one-stop-shop for all things archery. Bowmentum offers a 24-hour indoor range and in-house bow servicing. The range has 10 reservable lanes at 20 yards each, providing archers with a comfortable space to practice simple shots. Pricing for the range starts at $10 per hour but as you use the range, you can earn free hours.
The range features several unique offers that, if utilized, can land you free or discounted shooting time. On varying days and times, Bowmentum hosts an alcohol-free happy hour in which hourly pricing is half-off. You also get a free hour of range time when you opt for a range card, which can be loaded up with pre-paid hours and used anytime with no expiration. But that’s not all. You will earn additional free hours on the range for every five hours of shooting and if you come in on your birthday.
You won’t have to do all five hours consecutively either. Whether it's a day, a week, or even a year between shootings, as long as you reach five hours you’ll get an extra hour for free. That’s why Bowmentum is the perfect place for anyone intending to invest long-term.
Archery Custom Shop
I love opting for small businesses whenever possible. They’re usually full of kind and genuine people who actually want to help. The Archery Custom Shop in Forest Park is a superb example of a small business with just the right amount of love. Much like other shops in Illinois, they feature a 20-yard range with two lanes. The shop is rarely crowded and the employees are willing to work hard to help you improve your shooting skills. It’s the perfect location if you’re looking for somewhere quiet and homey to practice.
The range only accepts cash, so be prepared before heading out. Rates start at $10 per hour with your own equipment or $15 with rental costs included. Small shops like this are rare, so show some love if you’re in town.
Fox Valley Archery
Fox Valley Archery in West Dundee is the best shop for expert advice. The staff is courteous and knowledgeable, and their facility adheres to safety with gusto. The range is cash only, like other small businesses nearby, and has had to make adjustments due to COVID-19, by no longer allowing equipment rentals.
Their professional and high-quality archery services give new and returning shooters the best chance of honing themselves to perfection. Fox Valley Archery is a cut above the rest with the sheer number of services they offer archers. But make sure that you are equipped before heading out.
Archery is my favorite sport to partake in, and if you live in Illinois, I can’t recommend these ranges enough. Especially Archery Custom in Forest Park, where you’ll meet pleasant people and unprecedented care. Supporting your local businesses is the duty of a community. However, if you’re looking for professional quality then Fox Valley and Bowmentum are high-quality pro shops to try your hand at.