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101 Things To Do: A-1 Archery in Hudson

Dylan Koss, 11, from Roberts, Wis., shoots a compound bow on Dec. 23, 2018, at A-1 in Hudson. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 5
Arrows pierce one of the spot targets at the A-1 indoor range, which is used for lessons and league competition. Steve Gardiner / riverTown Multimedia2 / 5
Customers at A-1 Archery can select from a number of bows. and beginners can use equipment owned by the store to help them take lessons and join leagues. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 5
Chris Koss from Roberts, Wis., takes aim at a target at the indoor range at A-1 Archery near Hudson on Dec. 23, 2018. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 5
Cases of arrows await archers in the store at A-1 Archery east of Hudson. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 5

Editor's note: This is the latest stop in our new series, 101 Things To Do. Each week through December 2020, we will select one place or activity around the region to highlight. The stories are compiled at www.rivertown101.com.

The number of recent movies, TV shows, and commercials that feature archery in them reflects the same interest that brings more than 300 archers each week to shoot at A-1 Archery near Hudson.

"We do a ton of stuff here for women, kids, and families," said Dana Keller, events coordinator and archery promoter. "We have an indoor and an outdoor range, so we are open year-round. We have leagues, lessons, and classes."

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Keller loves to work with beginners and get them interested in the sport. "We have youth beginner classes that are held every month of the year," Keller said. "The kids don't even have to have equipment. We cover safety, range rules, eye dominance, form and technique. The kids have a blast."

Keller and the other instructors help archers analyze their shots to improve their results. She said she starts beginners very close to the target and gradually moves the target farther away as the archer gains confidence.

"Being positive is a huge factor in keeping someone in the sport," Keller said. "It can be a very mentally challenging sport. You have to focus. You have to learn to be accurate. You have to be very still. For some people, that is very hard."

She said some students, who have struggled with attention disorders in school, have found archery helped them concentrate. "Some of my best archers have OCD or ADHD," she said. "They have issues, but the cool thing is that with those unique things about them, they can become super-focused, often hyper-focused."

Keller said she has been working with a women's archery league that is one of the biggest in the nation. So many women have shown up that they have had to find other places to shoot.

"My biggest thing, obviously, is safety," Keller explained. "This is a shooting sport. These are not toy bows. This is not Nerf and it is not Wii. The main focus is safety."

People come to archery as an individual sport, as a family activity, as something to do year-round, Keller said.

"The kids just take off with archery. They love it," Keller said. "They can make a lot of friends and have a ton of fun. The archery community is very open-armed. I love the personalities that come through these doors."

If you go...

What: A-1 Archery

Where: 587 Lenertz Road, Hudson, Wis.

Phone: 715-386-1217

Website: www.a1archery.com

Email: Use the form on the website

When: Weekdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

How much: Prices for lessons, leagues, and equipment vary and are on the website

Steve Gardiner

Steve Gardiner taught high school English and journalism for 38 years in Montana and Wyoming.  He started working at the Republican Eagle in May 2018.  He focuses on features and outdoor stories.  

(651) 301-7872