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Sporting goods store opens bow range

PROCTORVILLE — Bow hunters in the Tri-State area now have an indoor facility for practice place. Todd’s Sporting Goods in Proctorville has opened an indoor archery range.

The range is 20 yards with 16 lanes.

Owner Todd Gillespie said so far the interest in the range has been high.

“It seems like it’s going to be really good,” Gillespie said.

The storeowner expects the fall season will be busy, as hunters prepare for bow season.

Bow enthusiasts who are over the age of 16 or accompanied by an adult can shoot for $5 an hour. They can also have a membership for $100 for the year.

Gillespie plans to rent out the space for parties and have archery league events there.

“Bow season in this part of the region is big,” he said, adding that the sport is growing. “It’s not just for men, it’s for women and kids. We’ve had several women down here.”

Gillespie started the sporting goods business out of his house in 2005. It moved to its current location at 116 State St. in Proctorville in 2006. The store sells just about anything that has to do with hunting as well as some fishing supplies.

Gillespie said opening the archery range had been a goal of his since he opened the store.

“I’ve always wanted to do it since there’s no where around here that has a bow range this nice,” he said.

A church had been using the basement area of the store. When it recently moved to its own building, Gillespie decided to put in the range.

Because it’s indoors, the range can be used year-round without consideration for the weather.

“You don’t have to fight the bugs in the summer and the cold in the winter,” Gillespie said.

With the help of some friends, Gillespie did the work himself.

Brian Cole, who owns his own wallpapering and painting company, helped with the project voluntarily.

“I did it on a volunteer basis,” he said. “I expect nothing out of it because it will benefit so many people.

“It’s good for the community.”

The project took about a month to complete.

“It’s a lot of work,” Gillespie said.

Cole, who has been a bow hunter for 13 years, and his friends will be some of the ones who frequent the range.

“There’s a group of us that’s been shooting for a while that enjoys each other’s camaraderie,” Cole said. “What better place to be than somewhere you like.”

The range accepts walk-ins and will take reservations as well. For more information, contact the store at (740) 886-2666.