(Update: adding new details, video, comments from club representatives)
60-acre range was closed in December, January due to wet weather
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Recent renovations have turned a 60-acre section of the Redmond Rod & Gun Club facility into a unique outdoor archery range.
Members used to voice their frustrations with the original arrangement, so two men took it upon themselves to make a change.
"We really didn't have anything here," Archery Director Denny Morris told NewsChannel 21 Thursday evening. "We had some hay bales set up, and people were shooting and complaining about -- 'You know, I'm a member here, and you have this archery course, and it's really not worth anything.'"
Those simple words inspired Morris and Assistant Director Doug Anderson to fix that narrative.
Thanks to months of planning, those hay bales have been replaced by a state-of-the-art setup.
"People come out here and travel from all over the state to go to the sporting clays course, and we wanted to make this archery course that kind of a draw,” Morris said.
There are now five stations, 11 shooting platforms, 22 bags and 10 3-D game targets, all arranged in a way that makes the experience as realistic as possible.
The range has uneven terrain, sagebrush, volcanic rim rock and juniper trees, which mimics the ecology people would find anywhere in Central Oregon.
"Most of your public ranges are square ranges, oftentimes indoors,” Morris said. “So there's no wind, there's no light conditions that are changing, there's no rain, there's no extreme heat or extreme cold. You can come out here and shoot in all the conditions that you would actually find if you were hunting."
Weather is one thing. Target placement is another.
"(Game animals) don't just sit there and look at you,” Anderson said. “They will hide behind a tree or something."
The course covers a third of a mile. Morris said it was purposely designed to fill a void he noticed in the region.
"There's nothing set up for people to come out and shoot and shoot and shoot on the same target and learn - 'Why did I miss here? What can I do better?'" Morris said.
It costs $5 for members, and $11 for non-members to practice.
After being closed for the last two months due to wet weather, the range is ready for the public once again.
For more information: https://www.rrandgc.com/index.php/archery-discipline