There’s nothing more Idaho than walking dirt trails with the wind in your face, the sagebrush at your feet and the sound of a compound bow releasing an arrow into the foam flesh of a 3D moose.
If you visit Boise’s new archery range that’s exactly what you’ll get.
Archer and Idahoan Chris Melink has visited the range several times since its opening. He says he keeps coming back because of the high-quality target shooting practice this type of range provides to hunters like himself.
“The cool thing about this course is that the targets are all assembled in realistic hunting-type shots where it’s downhill, uphill, in the bushes, all different types of environments,” Melink said.
The mile-long course offers compound and traditional bow hunters 20 different targets and each one is a unique three-dimensional animal you might actually come across in the Idaho wilderness.
“It actually feels like you’re out there hunting for an animal—a lot of people choose archery because it’s more a primitive and you’re more one with nature,” Melink said.
The range is located about a mile up the East Highland Valley road off of Idaho 21 about 9 miles miles from Interstate 84 off Exit 57. Click here for directions: https://goo.gl/maps/XR9dkWdkVcuZhxWSA
It’s came about as a collaboration between a number of groups and agencies including Idaho Fish and Game, Back Country Hunters and Anglers, the Idaho State Bowhunters, the Treasure Valley Bowhunters, the Idaho Traditional Bowhunters and the City of Boise.
This is the first range of its kind in the Treasure Valley and archers are thrilled to have it.
“It’s not something you can wake up hunting season day one and go out and shoot, it takes a lot of practice,” Melink said.
“It’s similar to like fly fishing compared to rod fishing. You’re spending a lot of time tuning your arrows, you’re getting your broadheads tuned. You’re spending a lot of time practicing with your bow,” he said.
The range is totally free to use and was built with archers of all ages and experience levels in mind. The range will be open from sunup to sundown from May 1 to Nov. 15 as long as weather permits.
There’s not much shade at the archery range so if you plan on heading out that way you’ll definitely want to bring a hat and sunscreen. Also, if you visit mid-summer it’s likely going to be very hot with a few uphill climbs, so grab a bottle of water on your way. Another thing to be aware of are rattlesnakes. Wear sturdy shoes and keep an eye out for snakes as well as unexpected ruts in the ground.
Dogs are allowed at the range but must be kept on-leash. Also, it’s important to note that there is no garbage service nor restroom facilities. So remember to pack your garbage out and use the bathroom before visiting.
And for those of you who aren’t archers, the range is still worth a visit to check out the impressive targets and to watch the hunters practice for opening day. Plus, it’s a pretty drive and beautiful Idaho countryside.