Specialist Jonathan Wagner has used a compound bow to hunt moose and elk in Alaska, but until last week, he didn’t know there was an archery range at Fort Campbell.
That’s because the old archery stands were in the woods near a bike path. This week a new archery range opened near the skeet range and RV park at 6657 11th Airborne Division Road.
The Nov. 6 grand opening also means the old range behind the Fort Campbell Fish and Wildlife center is closed so Fort Campbell Morale, Welfare and Recreation can focus on monitoring, maintaining and helping customers at the new site, more centrally located near other outdoor recreation activities, said Victor Guzman, supervisory recreation assistant for MWR who oversees paintball, archery, skeet, outdoor recreation trips, challenge course and Warrior Adventure Quest.
“We knew we wanted to relocate it so it could have a dedicated staff to do the maintenance, get new targets and new fencing,” Guzman said.
Wagner, B Co., 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and several others from his unit spent a while Oct. 30 shooting new targets at the range after participating in archery tag and paintball at the nearby Warrior Adventure Quest.
A steady rain didn’t stop them from taking aim at the new rubber infused targets that Guzman said were needed to replace old carpeted targets.
“I didn’t even know this was out here,” said Staff Sgt. Johnathan Olson, B Co., 1-327th Inf. Regt. “I’ve been here a combined total of six years now.”
Olson could see the target range coming in handy, especially to sight his bow, he said.
Guzman said the relocation should bring more attention to archery and also to the adjacent skeet range. Because there are no gates to pass through, the range and other nearby outdoor MWR activities are not only open to the military, but anyone who wants to visit, he said.
“We wanted to provide [Soldiers and Families] with an ideal place, a better place,” to shoot, Guzman said. “I’m hoping to draw more attention to archery because of the better conditions and also bring in a crowd for skeet because not a lot of people know it is here.”
Anyone interested in archery, skeet or the other offerings should stop by to see the new range.
“They just need to introduce themselves to staff, get a rundown of the location, a safety briefing, pay fees and get started,” Guzman said.
The range fee is $5. Bows can be rented for $10. Paper targets and arrows also are available for purchase.
Skeet is $6.75 per game and users can bring their own shells or buy them on site. Those who bring their own shotguns must go to the Visitor Control Center at T.C. Freeman Gate to register the weapon because the ranges are part of Fort Campbell, Guzman said.
The skeet range is used by a local club and another group is interested in starting an archery club, Guzman said.
“Hopefully in the future, we can also use it for Warrior Adventure Quest,” he said.
Guzman said he has heard comments from many people who said they didn’t know about many of the offerings. He hopes to change that and to get more people involved in archery.
“Especially for Soldiers, it’s a great activity for them to mitigate adrenaline-seeking behavior they might have,” he said. “Just getting out of the barracks and doing something fun and recreational.”
Archery is a “skilled activity,” and not easy, Guzman said. “To be able to shoot an arrow, where you aim is not where it’s going to go.”
The archery range has five lanes that can be positioned at 25 yards or pushed back further.
“Just come and see us and try us out,” Guzman said. For more information, call 270-412-7854.