FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — It’s no secret that hunting, particularly with a bow and arrow, is quite popular in Kentucky, and whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, practice makes perfect.
In early September, Kentucky Fish & Wildlife celebrated the grand opening of their beautiful new archery range.
Open to the public, it serves as a chance for anyone and everyone to practice their skills in a safe, stress-free environment.
The range is the department’s latest addition to a number of hunting and training facilities on the property, including the Salato Wildlife Education Center and two lakes stocked with fish.
Becky Bloomfield says the range serves as a perfect addition for Kentuckians, given the popularity of hunting. While many people will come here for fun, she says they plan on having a number of educational opportunities for those who visit.
“Part of the education is being able to identify your target and then practicing, knowing what your range is to effectively harvest that animal,” Bloomfield explained. “So, coming to the range and getting muscle memory down and understanding the distance that you can accurately shoot is a big part of it.”
A 2021 report by the Archery Trade Association says there are roughly more than 387,000 hunters across the state.
Of those 387,000, the report estimated that 19% use either a bow or crossbow.
So, the multi-level range aims to keep visitors sharp and, thus, everyone safe.
The range is filled with department employees who are there to teach safe hunting habits such as how to properly fire your bow or crossbow on the ground or from a tree stand, from up close, or from long range.
The hope is to also help more experienced hunters refine their technique to maximize their hunting time.
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With so many different species, from deer to elk to squirrels, each one requires a certain precision when hunting in order to harvest it humanely.
As excitement grows for hunting season, Bloomfield says it’s important to stay calm and rely on your training.
“I know it’s always really exciting to have an opportunity presented to you when an animal comes across your path and you’re in the field and you’ve practiced, you’ve been really excited for opening day, you’re ready for this moment,” Bloomfield outlined. “Just take a minute to check in with yourself, calm your nerves, make sure you can appropriately range the animal, and make sure you’re using the right pin or the right line in your sight.”
With fall hunting season now upon us as well, Fish and Wildlife hopes to dispel the notion that public hunting land is overcrowded and doesn’t have a ton of animals.
They say there is plenty to go around.
To learn more about the new archery range, you can find that information here.