If you're an archery enthusiast and also like to spend time at Flathead Lake, don't forget to pack your equipment.

Two months ago we reported that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks was accepting public comments on a proposed new archery range on the lake's west shore. That apparently was received with favorable input, as the Big Arm Unit of Flathead Lake State Park is about to have a new addition to the area's recreation opportunities.

The archery range will be located on a parcel of Big Arm that is located on the west side of US Highway 93 directly across from the Park’s main entrance. Open to the public, the range should be a valuable amenity in Lake County and the Polson area, as there are currently no public archery ranges in that area. The nearest public range is located 41 miles north at Lone Pine State Park.

What promises to be a state-of-the-art facility will feature an entry kiosk with informational and regulatory signage, a precast vault latrine, a 30’ x 15’ covered firing line, and lockable storage for archer lessons and practice. An archery range trail with up to twelve shooting stations will also be developed within the project area. One shooting station would include an elevated shooting platform. Shooting stations will be located to ensure safe backdrops and distances from park boundaries. A gravel parking lot will also be included.

Montana FWP has park staff who are certified National Archery in the Schools Program  instructors. Thus, one of the goals of the archery range is to provide excellent opportunity for archery programs for children and adults.

Montana has a growing number of schools participating in the National Archery in the Schools Program. More than 70 schools are now enrolled statewide, with northwest Montana boasting 18 schools currently included in that number.

The FWP Public Notice release did not include a projected opening date for the Big Arm facility.

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