Roughrider Archers make shooting a family-fun activity for decades to come
Dickinson Archery Club passes old sport on to new generation
DICKINSON — The badlands wilderness is a hunting hot spot for the silent archer stalking his target. But for Roughrider Archers members, target shooting and hunting on the Western Edge isn’t just a passion. It’s a lifestyle and an avenue to community and mentorship.
The Roughrider Archers are a Dickinson archery club that welcomes members of any age and any experience level. The group was founded in the 1980s and consists of more than 180 members today. The club hosts three big shooting events every year including the Spring Outdoor Fun Shoot, the Indoor 3D Shoot and the Badlands Classic.
Club President Greg Morel was introduced to the Roughrider Archers when he was a child because his father was an active member of the club. Growing up, Morel had a bow and arrow in hand at 2 years old. He was most attracted to the serenity of going out to shoot in nature.
“Archery is a great sport because anyone can do it,” Morel said. “My kids also started when they were 2 or 3. What I really like about it, is if you spend a week practicing, at the end of the week, you are noticeably better than you were at the start… It’s really satisfying and rewarding.”
According to Morel, archery adds a level of intimacy and challenge to hunting. He prefers hunting with a bow and arrow instead of a rifle because it allows him to get closer to the animal. Archery has helped him learn to be patient, calm and focused when he is waiting for his shot, whether it’s an animal or a non-living target.
Club Secretary Adrienne Arndt also introduced her children to the art of archery when they were young.
“They love it as much as we do,” Arndt said. “We love to see all the smiles and family interaction, people showing their youngsters their skills and passing this wonderful hobby on to the younger generation.”
Arndt joined the club three years ago and has been practicing archery with her husband Kelly for 25 years. Arndt said that Roughrider Archers have access to one of the best indoor 3D shoots in the state. To her, the club is like a second family.
Yearly Roughrider Archers membership can be purchased for $75, which allows 24/7 access to the outdoor range. Indoor range access is also available to Roughrider Archers at an additional cost.
Steve Berger, vice president of the club, noted that people can shoot archery even if they aren’t hunters. The club has plenty of non-living targets and foam animals for target shooting.
Berger became an archer in 1990 when he was 20 years old. He enjoys attending North Dakota Bow Hunters Association shooting events. Since joining the Roughrider Archers, he has held every office in the club at least once.
“It’s fun to get out into the open country and see if you can outsmart the animal before they hear you or see you,” Berger said. “I haven’t shot one for a few years because I’m too picky, I want to get a big one.”
The Roughrider Archers have partnered with the North Dakota Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers to host the upcoming Badlands Classic Aug. 13 and 14 west of Medora, south on Exit 23 on West River Road. The event will feature a 25-target extreme course and a 25-target standard course on Little Missouri National Grasslands.
For more information about Roughrider Archers, or to sign up for a membership, visit Mondak Sports Center & Pawn at 219 First St. E., in Dickinson.