Missoula County commissioners green-light archery range at Big Sky Park
Hellgate Hunters and Anglers, Kit Fischer, 406-241-3121
Missoula County, John Stegmaier, 258-3458
A proposal to build an archery range at Big Sky Park in Missoula was approved by the Board of Missoula County Commissioners at a recent public hearing. The Missoula County Parks, Trails & Open Lands Program and Hellgate Hunters and Anglers (HHA) will partner in developing what will be known as the Hellgate Archery Range, offering a safe, easy-access opportunity to pursue a popular and growing activity.
The range will be sited on an unoccupied section of Big Sky Park near the intersection of Tower Street and Spurgin Road. HHA will work to ensure future generations experience similar, if not better, outdoor opportunities than currently exist. As a result, HHA proposed this project in response to a County-issued request for proposals for use of the site.
“The past 10 years have seen a significant increase in the number of archers in the Missoula area,” HHA President, Kit Fischer, said. “The need for a safe and convenient place to practice, but also introduce more folks to the sport, is essential.”
Missoula County is pleased to see the vacant site become a valuable recreation asset to the community and is excited about the partnership with HHA.
”This partnership will be a wonderful asset to our community,” Commissioner Jean Curtiss said. “We look forward to generations of use at the Hellgate Archery Range.”
The facility is still in the preliminary design stage, but archers can expect a simple yet high-quality shooting range with targets positioned at distances from 20 to 60 yards. The range will be built according to National Field Archery Association design standards. The use of broadheads will be prohibited for safety reasons.
HHA will be responsible for the majority of project funding. The organization plans to apply for a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks shooting range grant in 2018 to fund the initial project phase. Missoula County’s Parks, Trails and Open Lands Program will assist with design and other planning work.
“We couldn’t be more excited to work with our members and volunteers to get the archery range up and running,” Fischer said. “While it won’t be ready in time for the upcoming hunting season, we hope to make it free and available to the public by next summer.”
Upon the project’s completion, Hellgate Hunters & Anglers will oversee management and safety practices on the range. For more information and to support the project visit www.hellgatehuntersandanglers.org/archery_range.