“Master of the Longbow” Byron Ferguson to make special guest appearance
Alabama’s fifth community archery park is set to open on June 28, 2012 in Point Mallard Park in Decatur. The Decatur/Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Decatur Parks and Recreation, and the City of Decatur will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. to officially open and introduce residents to the city’s newest recreational venue, the Decatur Community Archery Park. On hand for the special occasion will be trick archery expert and Morgan County native Byron Ferguson who will perform at the conclusion of the ribbon cutting ceremony.
The Decatur Community Archery Park features 40 targets, including an eight-target adult range from 15 to 50 yards; an eight-target youth range of 5 to 20 yards; a four-target range of 10 to 40 yards with a 12-foot platform, and a 20-target walking course. The Decatur Community Archery Park will be host to competitive tournaments, outdoor educational programming, and day recreation.
According to Stuart Goldsby, Regional Hunter Education Coordinator for the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, the park will be open to the public 365 days a year during daylight hours for recreational shooting, preparation for fall hunting seasons, and archery tournaments. Day use of the park is free for those under 16 years of age or over 65 years of age not requiring a hunting license. Residents between 16 and 65 years old without a hunting license or fishing license may purchase a $10 annual Wildlife Heritage License for admittance. For non-Alabama residents, a $16 annual Wildlife Management Area license is required. All activities including school and park and recreation archery activities will enjoy free use of the park by permit under Point Mallard authorized programming.
Top bowhunter and trick archery expert, Byron Ferguson will be demonstrating the skills that have placed him in the international spotlight following the ribbon cutting ceremony. Ferguson performs all over the world in countries such as France, Japan, Chile, Italy, Spain, Canada, and Sweden drawing crowds of over 100,000 people to witness his longbow skills. He has also appeared on numerous television shows including the Jay Leno Show, American Shooter on the Outdoors Channel, Shooting USA, and Impossible Shots, and has served as host and producer on TNN’s “Everything Outdoors,” the world’s first “how-to” outdoor television program. He is also the author of Become The Arrow, a paperback instructional book on bare bow shooting as well as the video of the same title and other archery related videos. He currently resides in Hartselle, Ala. with his wife, Wanda.
The Decatur Community Archery Park has been made possible by the following sponsors: Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries; TVA; U.S. Fish and wildlife Service/Wheeler Wildlife Refuge; Archery Trade Association; and the City of Decatur. The community archery park is located next to the west entrance of the Aquatic Center in Point Mallard Park.
The Decatur park is the fifth park of its kind in Alabama constructed over the last six years. Parks are currently in operation in Athens, Cullman, Dothan, and Demopolis; and three more in Ozark, Heflin, and Lincoln are currently under construction. The series of parks are being developed by the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries in partnership with Park and Recreation agencies and the Archery Trade Association. The parks are one component of a Community Archery Strategy in which the life skill of archery becomes as recognized as baseball, football, soccer and others as a mainstream activity.
For more information, contact Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Tom Chappell at 256.341.4930.