Governor Gianforte Celebrates Opening of Public Archery Range in Big Arm
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: April 24, 2024

BIG ARM, Mont. – Today, Governor Greg Gianforte and Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) Director Dustin Temple celebrated the formal opening of a new public archery range at Flathead Lake State Park in Big Arm.

“Since taking office, we’ve made access to our public lands and recreational opportunities a top priority,” Gov. Gianforte said. “As a strong defender of the Second Amendment, I am always looking to protect our way of life and our shooting heritage. Hunting and shooting sports are deeply rooted in our Montana heritage, and we need to practice. That’s why this new archery range is so important.”

FWP developed the range to increase public shooting sports opportunities, including archery programs and educational events for children and adults.

“Since the beginning, hunters and anglers have carried the torch for wildlife conservation in not just Montana, but across North America. But in recent times, recreational shooters have contributed significantly to wildlife conservation in terms of our public range funding,” Dir. Temple said. “This is a little bit of those funds coming back to recreational shooters and yet another facility for us to help develop safe and ethical bow hunters.”

Joining the governor for the celebration and to shoot the inaugural arrow at the practice range were members of the Dayton Elementary archery team.

“Archery allows students to commit to an activity, work on their focus, constantly grow, build their confidence, and enjoy the outdoors,” said Dayton Elementary Principal Brycen Ek. “Having this range so close to our community gives our students more opportunity to practice archery and do what they love.”

This public range features a covered shooting line and a trail system with 12 shooting stations spread across approximately 35 acres overlooking Flathead Lake and across U.S. Highway 93 from the state campground.

Increasing public access to public lands is a top priority for the governor. Since the governor took office, Montanans gained access to new Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in the Big Snowy Mountains and Bad Rock Canyon, expanded access at Mount Haggin, and a new state park at Somers Beach. And, in February, the governor celebrated the purchase of the 328-acre North Wildcat Coulee WMA along the Yellowstone River.

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