Archery range, sportsman shop open in Evart

EVART – Doctor’s say Arthur Kunitzer will never be able to play full-contact sports.

But they never said anything about archery.

Born with a congenital heart defect, the 12 year old has undergone three open heart surgeries to re-route blood and increase flow through his weak heart.

Though playing football or basketball is too much work for Arthur’s heart to handle, not all sports are out of reach for the sixth grader.

“I told the doctor when he was born, there’s always hunting and fishing,” said Arthur’s dad, Paul.

After realizing the need for a sports shop in his hometown and getting his wife, Kelly, on board with the idea, Paul Kunitzer opened a business in Evart, named to celebrate his son’s ability.

Arthur’s Archery and More, a 20-acre 3D archery range and sporting goods store, located at 6437 70th Ave. in Evart, opened May 4. The store stocks Precision Shooting Equipment brand bows and arrows and fishing equipment, along with offering custom bow service and repair and specialty arrow-cutting.

“Everybody said, we need to get a (sports shop) in Evart, so here we are,” Paul said.

The business will hold its grand opening on July 14, inviting hunters and hobby archers of all ages to come test the range

with new bows.

“Our PSE rep is going to be here, so he will bring the full line of bows.” Kelly said. “He will let people shoot and test out the bows to see what they like.”

The range, located in the trees next to the store, offers 20 target locations for sportsman to practice their aim and a half-mile walk to complete the course. For 7$, individuals can shoot the whole course and $50 will buy 10 rounds of the course.

Target animals from bears to raccoons are set up at least 15 yards from each shooting location. Paul often moves the targets so shooters who want to use the range frequently can have a new experience each time.

“It’s no fun if they can come here and shoot a deer at 15 yards and then come back and do (the same thing) again,” Paul

said.

The range is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. for any individuals or groups wanting to practice shooting their bow.

“After baseball season is over, there’s nothing for the kids really to do,” Paul said. “July would be the ideal time to get into archery to get ready for the fall season, so they can have three months of practice before they go out and start hunting.”

Designed as a family-friendly activity, the Kunitzer family is the first to enjoy the new business together.

Along with Paul’s long-time love for archery, Arthur and his siblings Virginia, 14, and Jessie, 4, also like to shoot a bow and arrow.

“Jessie was shooting bows when (the PSE rep) was here (May 4) with all of his bows. She was loving it,” Kelly said. “She wants one.”

The Arthur’s Archery and More shop is a 30- by 30-foot renovated portion of the family’s garage.

The business’ humble beginning is similar to the way Jay Poet of Jays Sporting Goods began his business, which has now expanded to two stores in Michigan, stocking a large variety of outdoor adventure gear.

“When Jay Poet started out in 1971, he started in the back of his garage,” Paul said. “And his garage was only a 20-foot by 20-foot garage.”

Though the range will always be for archery, the Kunitzers plan to have firearms for sale by fall. Paul also plans to get a hunter safety teaching certification and hold hunter safety classes.

In five years, the Kunitzer’s plan to build a new building on the property which will house indoor shooting and start a league for high-school aged kids.