The Barnes County Wildlife Federation is searching for a new place to put an indoor archery range, which is currently located in the City Auditorium or “the Audi.”
The range, located in the basement, and includes 3-D targets and allows archers to shoot from 20 yards and 10 yards indoors. Soon, though, they’ll have to find a new place to shoot because the building is being sold by the City of Valley City.
Neil Pederson, who coordinates the archery program for the BCWF, said he’s currently looking at a few different sites to relocate but “we’re hoping to be there throughout the whole season.” The range is still open.
The Barnes County Wildlife Archery Club uses the range to offer open shooting and the Valley City Parks and Recreation offers youth archery classes for six weeks in March and April.
Pederson said he hopes that they’ll be able to stay in the Audi until then.
“It’s a real nice place down there,” Pederson said.
Although he hasn’t found a permanent place to relocate yet, Pederson has considered working with Kurt Eversman, manager of the Valley City National Fish Hatchery, on establishing a range out there.
Eversman already has plans to build a range out there, but Pederson is hoping to apply for some grants to possibly build a range with an insulated and heated room.
“It’s a possibility — something we’re going to have to sit down and talk about after the first of the year,” Pederson said.
Eversman said he has many big plans for the hatchery to get the community and surrounding area back involved with the hatchery.
“I think a real good avenue would be through archery, specific to children, but then open for their parents and sportsmen alike.
Although plans for the range are still in the works, Eversman said the BCWF can use the range for its purposes.
“If we could somehow get grant money centered around connecting kids with nature, then I think we’re headed in the right direction,” Eversman said.
The BCWF’s archery range was created at the Audi five years ago under the direction of Pederson. He asked the BCWF if the range could be affiliated with them and covered under their insurance. The program has existed since.
Pederson said the archery program still has a future, but “it might be a year in there where we might not be able to shoot until we get something else worked out.”
He thinks that the cost of rent might be the most difficult part of relocating the range, but he hopes to even have their own place someday.
Pederson said he doesn’t expect that whoever buys the building will let them stay.
“We’re looking for a different place to shoot when we have to leave the Audi. In case somebody knows something or has ideas, they can call me at 840-0173,” he said.
Valley City City Administrator David Schelkoph said the sale of the Audi has been temporarily postponed until mid-January due to issues the city is having at getting the building evaluated.
He said they’ll know more in January after a specialist comes to evaluate the building.