Hit the bullseye at the Archery Club
By Cynthia Griggs, 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 20, 2018
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Fred Bear, a forefather of American bow hunting once said, “The history of the bow and arrow is the history of mankind.”
Hill Air Force Base’s Archery Club is the place to go to become part of a sport that has been around for thousands of years.
“We are a hidden gem in the corner of the base,” said Robert Tracy, president of the club. “We know there are people out there that shoot or would like to learn how and they have no idea we even exist.”
The club started as part of the base’s Rod and Gun Club. In 2011, they branched off on their own and have built it up to include a clubhouse that houses a 20-yard indoor range. There are also four outdoor ranges.
The outdoor ranges consist of a lighted 20-60 yard range, a 70-100 yard long-distance range, a broadhead target range, and a 13-acre 3D range consisting of life-size targets that test archers’ skills in a realistic setting.
Archery is an activity that can be done year-around said club vice-president Terry Smoot. It is beneficial physically, increasing strength and coordination, and also beneficial mentally, increasing focus and building character and confidence.
“It’s a mental and physical sport,” said Tracy. “Archery is always a mental game. You have to keep your head in the game and you can always better your last score.”
Besides having access to the club and ranges 24/7, members also participate in several archery events throughout the year.
During the winter months, there is a weekly league event consisting of a National Field Archery Association three-spot target shoot. The participants are planning on competing in the Las Vegas Shoot this February.
Club member Jake Bublitz enjoys the camaraderie during these league events. “Everybody’s equal here. Ranks, jobs, ages, it doesn’t matter. It’s a good time,” he said.
The club will also hold family game night leagues starting in February, and outdoor 3D course shoots during spring and summer. In addition, every summer the club holds a youth clinic, a one-day event to introduce archery to the next generation of shooters.
The yearly fees to join the club are $50 for single membership and $75 for a family membership. Members are also required to volunteer their time throughout the year, 5 hours for single memberships and 10 hours for family memberships.
The club is run by volunteers through elected positions. Another way to volunteer is to become a certified instructor offering free lessons to other members. Members can also bring in drinks and snacks throughout the year in exchange for hours.
Future plans for the club include establishing a Junior Olympic Archery Development program for the youth.
“We are also reaching out to local veteran groups inviting wounded warriors and their families to join the club to help those who have served our nation,” said Tracy.
This past September, the club hosted a U.S. Paralympic Archery camp that was held exclusively for wounded warriors interested in becoming part of the U.S. Paralympic Archery team.
The membership fees are paid to Outdoor Recreation and go towards building and range maintenance and for new targets and equipment. Call Outdoor Recreation for more information at 801-777-9666.