Club makes range accessible for all

Posted: Friday, July 02, 2010

Members of the Juneau archery community gathered Monday for the Juneau Archery Club's ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the reopening of their outdoor shooting trail and new handicap-accessible range, which was renovated this spring.

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Libby Sterling / Juneau Empire
Libby Sterling / Juneau Empire

Rowdy Dowdy, the chairman of the club, said though the ceremony was short, they had a good showing of people who came out to support the range.

"We want to show the people of Juneau that Montana Creek is a viable place for recreation, and that there's a lot of people who come back here and use it," he said.

Built in the mid-eighties, the trail consists of roughly two miles of boardwalk and thirty targets situated in various locations throughout the muskeg and in the woods adjacent to Montana Creek. The targets are spaced along the path at intervals and angles designed to keep shooters safe from one another while on the range.

The recent renovation is the first since the trail opened in 1988. Besides replacing nearly all of the boardwalk, Dowdy said the club has revamped the target brackets, which hold the targets up, and rebuilt the roof-housings that keep them dry in the Southeast climate.

The renovation also includes the addition of a handicap-accessible range, built to ADA standards. Directly connected to Montana Creek Rd., the range is roughly 3 yards wide and 60 yards long, and is set in the woods similarly to the targets on the shooting trail, but with an additional feature: Packed gravel so wheelchair-bound shooters can roll out to check the target themselves after a round.

Dowdy said there are between 65-70 members in the Juneau Archery Club, and the club's indoor range is a solid draw for folks that are new to the sport.

"There's a lot that come in to check out the sport and they end up staying," he said.

But access to the indoor range is limited, and it costs money.

"The outdoor range is open anytime," said Dowdy, "So whenever anyone wants to go and shoot they're more than welcome to do so."

He expects that between the renovated trail and the new ADA-accessible range, the archery community in Juneau is set to grow.

"We'll be doing reach out in the fall with the National Archery in the Schools Program, once school comes back in August," he said, "and we'll also have a kids night on Friday nights; we usually get a really good turn out for that. We encourage anybody to come out and shoot or learn how to shoot."

Currently, the indoor range is open from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and costs $2 if you're a club member, $5 if you're not. The outdoor shooting trail is located just off Montana Creek Rd. Use of the range is free and open to the public.

• Contact news clerk Tyler Preson at

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