SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Frequent visitors to the Schriever Air Force Base archery range will notice a few changes next time they step to their marks.
New static and 3-D targets are now in place, including a highly requested 3-D elk target.
“We received some quality of life funds and bought some new targets,” said Seth Cannello, Schriever Fitness Center director. “The majority of the targets are new. A lot of people requested an elk target, so we made sure to get one of those.”
Victor Gardner, 3rd Space Operations Squadron, has been using the range since it opened nearly four years ago and said the inclusion of the 3-D target helps him prepare for hunting season.
“You really get to visualize what you’re aiming at,” he said. “Having 3-D targets is really cool. They’re not really affordable for individuals, so it’s good to be able to come out here and shoot.”
“The elk target makes you concentrate more,” Cannello said. “The first time I shot at it I was all over the place. When you’re off, it makes you realize you have to take your time.”
The range, situated approximately 300 yards east of Building 810 on the base's south side, features a 25-foot high protective berm and heavy-duty, permanent targets at 10, 20, 30 and 40 yards from the shooting line.
“The static targets are different (from the previous targets),” Cannello said. “They can be turned around once the front is blown out. It gives them more longevity.”
Gardner said the annual archery tournament held at the range is a big event for the regular users.
“There was a core group of us Seth invited out to the range right away,” Gardner said. “We look forward to the archery tournament every year to get bragging rights. Winning the tournament is the second best thing to getting an elk.”
Avid hunters and bowmen aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the range. The Schriever School Age Care program launched an Archery Club during the summer thanks, in part, to a 4-H grant.
“The SAC received a grant of $1,900 from 4-H which supplied all the bows, arrows, guards, cases and equipment,” said Vicki Rygiel, SAC coordinator. “The sport of archery challenges youth to develop cognitive, physical and disciplinary skills. This grant has enhanced our curriculum and our youth’s personal development.”
Part of the grant also allowed SAC staff to attend a three-day training course.
“Je’Mahl Ray is a certified 4-H Youth Archery Instructor (and) is able to go to the U.S. Air Force Academy, Peterson (Air Force Base) or any other military 4-H club to teach archery,” Rygiel said. “His goal is to form an archery team at Schriever.”
Team or not, the range is open to all Team Schriever members.
Archers are required to notify the fitness center prior to using the range. Users must first take the Schriever archery orientation class, held at noon Tuesdays, before using the range. The fitness center has bows and arrows ready for check out for those who don't have their own.
“We’ve had over 300 people take the orientation since the range opened,” Cannello said.
Cannello said the fitness center has compound and recurve bows available for use, but he cautioned everyone to make sure and follow all of the rules when using the range, including:
-All individuals must first take the SAFB archery orientation class before using the archery range.
-Know and obey all range rules. Failure to follow all rules and procedures is grounds for forfeiture of range privileges.
-Children need not attend the orientation but must be with an adult who has been certified at all times.
-The range is open dawn to dusk and only when the Main Fitness Center is open. Main Fitness Center hours of operation are 5 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Monday - Friday and 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Holidays.
-You must always check in with the Main Fitness Center by calling 567-6628 before shooting, and you must raise the red flag near the parking lot signifying the range is in use. You must lower the flag when you leave (assuming there are not other archers on the range).
-When approaching or leaving the archery range, please drive between Buildings 805 and 810. Never drive on the north side of the Building 810.
-Crossbows are not allowed.
-Only field or target points are allowed. No broadheads or other hunting tips are authorized.
-Keep your arrows in arrow holder or your quiver until you are ready to shoot.
-Always keep your arrows pointed down or towards the target.
-Always be absolutely sure that the path to the target and beyond is clear.
-Only release the bow string at full draw when there is an arrow on the string. “Dry firing” may cause damage to the bow, and is dangerous.
-Secure all loose clothing; remove bracelets, necklaces etc, and tie hair back.
-Always treat your archery equipment with respect.
-Always treat your fellow archers with respect.
-Please keep talking to a minimum while archers are on the line.
-After everyone is done shooting, an all clear must be given by all shooters before retrieving your arrows.
-After securing your arrows, return to the firing line and wait until everyone is ready to shoot. Never nock an arrow or shoot when others are retrieving their arrows.
-Never drink alcohol or use any drug before shooting.
-Always stay as far south on the path from Building 810 to the range and back as possible. Never approach the range from the north/Enoch Rd.
-Always park your vehicle behind Building 810.
-Do not wander off designated areas.
-Take sunscreen, sunglasses and possibly a hat, insect repellant, snacks and water with you.
-Ensure to dress appropriately for cold weather situations. Dress in layers. Use many thin, warm layers rather than a few thick layers. It will insulate better and allow you to strip off layers if the temperature climbs.
-Be aware of wildlife; especially, snakes during prime sunning periods. Do not shoot at live animals while at the range.
-Remove all trash as to leave no trace.
-No shooting when lightning is within five miles. If you see lightning, leave the course immediately even if a weather warning has not been issued.
For more information about the range's location, rules, safety or available equipment, contact the fitness center at 567-6628.