To prepare for this year's hunting season, resident Mark Taylor plans on using a new 3D archery range equipped with realistic, animal-like targets in the Backcountry Wilderness Area. “I'm pretty …
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To prepare for this year's hunting season, resident Mark Taylor plans on using a new 3D archery range equipped with realistic, animal-like targets in the Backcountry Wilderness Area.
“I'm pretty new to archery but I got into it because my son was interested and a good friend bought a bow about the same time with the intent to hunt,” said Taylor, who has lived in Highlands Ranch for 15 years. “I hunted back east when I was younger but never with a bow.”
The Backcountry Wilderness Area is 8,200 acres of land that borders the southern edge of Highlands Ranch and spans south towards Castle Rock. It's home to 20 miles of natural surface trails, vegetation and wildlife.
Owned and maintained by the Highlands Ranch Community Association, the land is used throughout the summer for recreation programs, events and camps.
A unique activity offered in the Backcountry is archery, the sport of shooting arrows at a target. Benefits of the sport include increased upper body strength, balance, focus and coordination.
One archery range, located at 11950 S. Monarch Blvd., about two miles south of Rock Canyon High School on Monarch Boulevard, offers targets at 10-yard increments from 10 to 60 yards. Another range, at the Backcountry's Basecamp, 6005 Ron King Trail, east of Sante Fe Drive, is used for lessons and summer camps.
Now open for use is a 3D archery range. Popular among hunters, the form of archery uses life-size models of game as targets.
West of the Basecamp, the 3D range is a one-mile loop through grasslands and shrubs with 28 separate shooting stations. Challenging shots at realistic targets including elk, deer, bears, goats, sheep and other predators are set at a variety of distances from 10 to 80 yards.
“The 3D range was added because 3D archery is the fastest-growing segment of archery and there are very few ranges along the Front Range,” said Mark Giebel, director of the Backcountry Wilderness Area, adding that the new range can serve more people and hold lessons at the same time.
Kevin Lewis, owner of Quick Draw Archery, 12339 Mead Way, and his team will be teaching private lessons, along with weekly and monthly classes.
Lewis was introduced to archery when his daughter, a Girl Scout at the time, tried the sport. On top of the physical and mental benefits of promoting body awareness, balance and focus, archery is a good sport for families, Lewis said.
He looks forward to testing out the new range.
“I think it adds an excellent variety of shooting opportunities,” said Lewis, a Highlands Ranch resident. “It's convenient, it's clean, it's well put together. I think it's a great addition to the area.”
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