Archery is a great sport to build upper body strength as well as improve your coordination and mental focus. The following spots in Des Moines and the surrounding areas can be where you find your inner Katniss or Hawkeye. Yes, this isn’t a top 10 since I tried to focus on just archery spots, but I hope with this list, people will find a love of the sport and I’ll be able to eventually reach 10.
- Archery Field and Sports– located in Altoona, this is also a family owned business that offers an indoor range and an impressive outdoor field with a 20 target 3D course for paintball enthusiasts. The instructors are great with kids if you want to make this a family activity. You can pay a small rental fee if you don’t have any equipment or you can stop by their pro-shop to buy some gear. Their phone number is (515) 265-6500.
- Raccoon Ridge Archery– located in Stuart, this is a bit of a drive from Des Moines, but they offer a running deer novelty area to test your skills as well as an assortment of 3D targets. They’re open 24 hours a day and year round. Classes are offered for unlimited, limited, women, youth, cub and bare bow. This is a good spot to try out the assortment of 3D targets and to learn new methods. Their phone number is (515) 523-1351.
- Raccoon River Park Archery Facility– located in the Raccoon River park in West Des Moines,this is Iowa’s first and only public outdoor archery facility.They only require a $5 daily permit fee to practice there and offer annual permits for those who plan on being frequent users. They offer overhead “arrow curtains”, 12 shooting lanes and targets with up to 40 feet distance. Their phone number is (515) 222-3424.
- Ames Izaak Walton League– located in Ames, the league offers a 3D trail that is 10-40 yards as well as bow hunter education. The league also has a ton of outdoor activities for the entire family. This is a smaller operation for choices in archery shooting but it would be a good place to start out in the sport or learn more about the sport through their classes. They don’t list a phone number, but their website is
- Lost Arrow Archery School– located in Earlham, this school focuses on teaching young people interested in the sport and beginners of all ages. The school doesn’t charge for beginner lessons for students who are part of the National Archery in School Program (NASP). More advanced archers can certainly benefit from the school. They are open whenever you want to schedule a time for a lesson though they do ask for 2 days notice when you make your lesson time, their phone number is (515)710-8693.
- Hickory Ridge Bowhunters– located in Pella, this group is focused on promoting bow hunting as a sport so this is more for someone wanting to use archery for hunting. They offer an outdoor 3D range in the summer months by Lake Red Rock and family membership is only $60 annually. Their phone number is (641) 628- 4586.
- Bearfoot Traditions– located on Euclid Avenue, this is a wonderful after work place to practice since they’re open from 6pm to 10pm. The staff really helps you with your form and making sure you’re properly fitted to your bows. They won’t pressure you to buy items in their adjoining store unless it really will help you. Very nice and helpful all around and you’ll feel like you’re an old pro in no time here.