Archery range opens up near Mina

Katherine Grandstrand

Area archers have a new place for target practice, just over the county line near Mina.

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks opened the range just north of state Highway 12, north of the spillway, on the east side of Nesbit Drive, earlier this month.

It was the brainchild of conservation officer Jenna Capper, who has worked for Game, Fish and Parks in Brown County for two years.

“I’ve been bowhunting pretty much my entire life,” Capper said. “They didn’t really have anything like that around here, so I thought that would be a great thing that the public could get out and do and have that area to use.”

There are archery ranges in the area, but they’re club based and require a membership. Archers wanting to use the new Mina range don’t even need to have a state park pass.

While she was an early advocate for the public range — there’s no fee to use the facility and users must follow some common sense rules — Capper said she was only one person of many that helped get it set up.

“I just had the idea and so many other people put all their time and effort into it too,” Capper said. “It was definitely not a me thing, it was everybody doing it.”

They looked at several locations in the area before settling on the Mina Lake spot, Capper said. It was already state-owned land and the prairie views are spectacular.

“The habitat guys and the supervisors were like, ‘This is the best area to put it,’” Capper said.

This was not an overnight occurrence, Capper said. Once a location was selected, there was still a lot of work that went into finishing the space.

It was completed with funds through a grant, Capper said.

The Mina range is for archery only, and those using it should use target tips only, Capper said.

“Don’t litter on the range and leave all your trash there,” Capper said.

She recommends bringing an arrow puller, as the new targets have very little give, Capper said.

“Once they get shot at a couple times, it should get easier,” Capper said.

The new archery range at Mina has targets ranging from 20 to 70 yards away. Courtesy photo