Who doesn’t look forward to their state fair? This year, the North Idaho State Fairground offered an exciting new attraction for youth during their annual fair which ran from August 18-27. With the help of The NRA Foundation, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game launched an all new indoor 3-D youth archery range at the fairground. The NRA Foundation awarded the Idaho Department of Fish and Game over $9,500 to supply 6 shooting stations at the range with twenty 3-D targets, twenty-five Genesis compound youth bows and 250 arrows, as well as taxidermy and a mural to construct the scenery. In addition, the grant also helped provide spotting scopes and lead sleds at their Farragut Shooting Range Center.
Together, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the North Idaho State Fair teamed up to organize and set up the range. Designed to provide a gateway into the shooting sports for youth ages 8-17, it has quickly become the most popular attraction at the State Fair. A representative of the Panhandle Region for Idaho Department of Fish and Game explained, “Once they've had a good experience with archery, are exposed to the benefits of hunting our natural resources, and see the potential benefits of hunting for themselves, they are more likely to investigate firearm shooting sports and hunting.”
About 500 attendees get to shoot each day, with nearly 5,000 youth getting to shoot throughout the length of the fair. T.J. Ross, Regional Communications Manager of the Panhandle Region for Idaho Department of Fish and Game shared, “We are thrilled to offer this new opportunity to our community, and we have seen the eyes light up of the youth who shoot and hit a target for the first time. Countless attendees have voiced their excitement about getting their own bows and continuing down the path of archery. That’s what it’s all about - getting people excited about and engaged in hunting and shooting sports.”
Not only is this range a popular attraction at the North Idaho State Fairground, but it will also be used for various hunter education classes, school field trips, and scout activities throughout the year. T.J. concluded, “We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome, and we are incredibly grateful for the grant from The NRA Foundation and Friends of NRA.”
The NRA Foundation is proud to support projects that are investing in the next generation of shooting sports enthusiasts. To learn more and apply for an NRA Foundation grant, go to https://www.nrafoundation.org/grants/
*Photo credit: Idaho Fish and Game