Archery in 3D makes its bow at Scioto Grove

Scioto Grove Manager Geoff Hamilton shoots at the 3D archery course.

A new facility for the Robin Hoods and archers among us has just opened at Scioto Grove Metro Park.

The new feature is actually two separate archery courses. The first is what you would call a static, or traditional course, and we’ll get to that shortly. The truly exciting addition is a 3D course, with full-size animals made of a special foam. The foam closes up after an arrow is retrieved from it. The course provides a great simulation for bow hunters of all levels and experience, and even for people new to archery.

The 3D course is accessed via a newly created trail through the woods. When you reach the course you’ll find 12 targets to test your archery skills. The first six are a little easier and suited for traditional or beginning archers. There are two deer, a turkey, a coyote, a wild boar and a raccoon in this section of the course.

Moving on to the more difficult targets—which anyone can try, but which are designed to challenge more experienced archers—you’ll find an elk, an antelope, a doe, a turkey, a bear and a deer. All but a couple of the targets are full size.

The course is spread out over 0.6 miles, with designated shooting points marked for each target. The targets themselves are positioned well away from the trail, so there is no danger posed to hikers.

The static, or traditional course, includes eight targets, each with four circular target points. They are spread out at shooting distances of 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards, to offer a progressive challenge.

The target area to shoot at the elk is in one of the more challenging spots, up a hill shooting down into a valley.

The arrows you use at both courses must be arrows with field tips (no broadheads allowed). But you can use any kind of bow: compound, crossbow, recurve or long bow.

On the opening day of the archery range (June 30) we encountered possibly the first shooter on the course, Columbus Police Officer Andrew Francis. Andrew is an experienced gun hunter but has never done bow hunting before. He saw one of our flyers at a local hunting shop, Fisherman’s Warehouse, and decided he just had to try it early on opening day. It gave him plenty of time to experience the course before his shift started at 2pm.

Andrew says, “It’s great to have something like this in the area. It’s a really good simulation for bow hunters. And it’s free.” He intends to use the course frequently, and to bring friends.

We hope that many of you archers out there will bring your own friends and experience this wonderful new feature for yourselves.

The course is open when the park is open, but no shooting after dark. When you enter the park, follow the road signs to the archery range.

We also have some great hiking trails at Scioto Grove, a modern kids playground, canoe and kayak access to the Scioto River, and fishing. In addition, we have backpacking, which is free but by reservation only. It’s available mid-April to the end of October each year. It’s great for people just getting into backpacking and also for experienced backpackers who want a quick overnight without having to drive for several hours. To make a backpacking reservation, call 614.949.1078.

Later this year we will open an 18-hole disc golf course, as this, our newest Metro Park, continues developing into something special.