April 08, 2004 11:00 pm
LEFT: Jeff Cusumano takes aim at a target at the indoor range. (Photo by Dick Mason).
LEFT: Jeff Cusumano takes aim at a target at the indoor range. (Photo by Dick Mason).

ISLAND CITY — You will not find many botanists in this greenhouse.

However, people with an appreciation of the subtleties of nature and wildlife will soon be flocking to this mecca for archers — an indoor range being developed by the Eagle Cap Traditional Archers. The range, a converted greenhouse, is at Integrity Automotive, 10301 E. First St., Island City.

"It allows us to have a place to shoot constantly," said Butch Boettcher of the club. "The opportunity here is excellent.''

Boettcher is among about 50 members, many of them hunters, who specialize in using long and recurve bows.

Work continues at the range. Eventually it will feature about seven lanes for targets fired at from a distance of 20 yards.

The range has a dirt floor. Wood chips will later be laid on to prevent dust from being kicked up when there is a lot of traffic, said Tom McReynolds of the archers' group.

Plans call for more improvements. For example, an area for people to congregate when they are not shooting will be set up, a large bulletin board will be installed on a partition wall, a locker will be set up for the storage of loaner bows and much more.

Although the range is a work in progress, it is open to the public from 8 to 9 a.m. Saturdays and from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays. People who use the range are encouraged to make a small donation. Only long and recurve bows are allowed.

Club members, meanwhile, can use the range at any


Club members who plan to frequently use the range include Dick Weigel of Island City.

"It's a fun place to practice. I'm only four blocks way,'' Weigel said.

Much of the work on the indoor range has been led by Ted Harris, chairman of the club's Indoor Range Committee.

The greenhouse has a heater and a fan. The fan is proving effective at cooling the building this spring, said Mark Penninger, who is also a


The greenhouse is being provided free of charge by Mike and Kathleen McCall, the owners of Integrity Automotive. Mike McCall said that he decided to provide the greenhouse since he was not using it and because he knows members of the archers' group.

Penninger noted that since the club was founded in August of 2001, its leaders have stressed the importance of shooting year round. This keeps an archer's muscles and hand-eye coordination in good form for hunting.

"We owe it to the game animals we hunt to practice and become proficient with our weapon,'' Penninger said.

He said that the new indoor range will now make it much easier to practice year round.

"We will no longer be at the mercy of the weather,'' Penninger said.