Target Practice

The Lyon County Conservation Board recently purchased a number of 3D archery targets. The targets — which include a whitetail buck, razorback boar, grizzly bear, turkey, velociraptor, skunk, squirrel and stegosaurus — were purchased through the company Rinehart Targets and will be kept at Lake Pahoja Recreation Area.

“We don’t have a specific (archery) course yet, but maybe in the future we will. But for now these 3D targets are nice because we can take them and move them around, and we can put them inside and out of the weather so they don’t deteriorate,” said Emily Ostrander, who works as a naturalist for Lyon County Conservation. “It’s nice because they don’t always have to be used at Pahoja. We can take them and set them up anywhere in the county.”

Lyon County Conservation purchased the targets using grant money from the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation received this spring. “I think these targets will enhance the experience of shooting because I think it’s a lot more fun to shoot at an animal target than it is to shoot at just a bullseye on a target,” explained Ostrander.

She said she plans to use the targets primarily for various camps and special events at Lake Pahoja. The targets will arrive at the lake the week of May 8, and a public event is planned for May 16. “We’re having an event out at the lake May 16. These events are free and open to the public. It starts at 6 p.m. for ages 9 and up,” said Ostrander.

Anyone interested in trying out his or her archery skills can register by calling Emily at 712-472-2217 or by emailing her at lccbnaturalist@lyoncountyiowa.com. Registration closes at noon May 15. “We ask people to sign up just so we can know how many people to plan for,” said Ostrander. A second event is tentatively planned for May 23 at Locker Park in George.

Ostrander said archery has proven to be a pretty popular activity for groups that come out to Lake Pahoja. “The great thing about archery is that everyone is kind of on an even playing field. You don’t need to be athletic or really fast or anything like that. It can be really fun for people and many people find they can excel at archery even if they aren’t involved in a lot of other sports.”

She added that several local 4-H clubs have expressed interest in using the new 3D archery targets for club activities, and she anticipates a busy summer ahead.

The targets range anywhere from 15 inches tall to 5 feet tall. The grizzly bear and the velociraptor are among the taller targets, while the deer and several of the other targets are more or less similar to the actual size of those animals.

“Archery is a really neat sport that can be a really good confidence-builder for someone who might not be good at other sports, and it’s something everybody can do well at, so we’re really looking forward to getting these targets and we’re excited for our first event,” said Ostrander.

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