Archery store hits bull's eye with bowhunters NORTHWEST -- Taneytown * Union Bridge * New Windsor * Uniontown

NEIGHBORS

August 12, 1993|By MICHELLE HOFFMAN

An archer for 15 years, Shane Fitzgerald's love of the sport motivated him to open his own archery store two years ago.

The Bowhunter's Den, at 12 E. Baltimore St. in Taneytown, has grown from a small supply store to a full-service business, offering archery equipment, supplies and repair.

One wall of the store is adorned with trophies, plaques, ribbons and pins he has won in local and national shoots. A second wall displays an arrow split by another arrow. It is a public showcase of his talent.

But the store is not the only attraction at Bowhunter's Den. Look behind the counter: The store, which seems small from the street, becomes a still-target shooting range that is twice as big as the store. On a wall about 80 feet away, supported by bales of hay, hang bull's eye targets. For $3 an hour, local archers practice their aim.

Hidden behind a side door is a parallel range. It is the first three-dimensional range in Carroll County.

Here, archers can shoot at life-size animal statues. The animals replace the posters, paper forms and bull's eyes often used to practice for hunting season. Hunters may shoot close up, or from a perch in the back of the room, duplicating the effect of scouting prey from a tree stand. The 3-D hunting costs $6 per hour.

Private lessons are available.

Mr. Fitzgerald holds public shoots every Monday and Thursday evening, with singles shoots on Mondays and doubles shoots -- where teams of two participate -- on Thursdays.

From April to September, the shoots are held at an outdoor 3-D range Mr. Fitzgerald built outside Taneytown. Beginning the last week of September and running through February, shoots will be indoors at Bowhunter's Den.

A 3-D broadhead shoot will be held Sept. 5. The next regular shoot will take place Sept. 26.

Although he sells high-tech equipment with mechanisms designed for hunter comfort, Mr. Fitzgerald prefers using a traditional bow for hunting deer. He said the challenge for him is in holding the bow taut despite the pressure, and to get as close as he can to a deer before shooting.

During the past two years, the sport of archery has had a growth spurt, Mr. Fitzgerald said, with the Pipe Creek Bowhunters, a hunting group he belongs to, growing from 25 to 125 members.

Bowhunter's Den is open 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Information: Bowhunter's Den, 756-4199.

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Pipe Creek Church of the Brethren will hold its annual Peach Festival from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Kettle-fried chicken platters, and peaches and ice cream will be served.

A public sale will begin at 11 a.m.

Other activities include a bake sale and flea market, pony rides, wagon rides and a petting zoo.

Music will be provided by the Gospel Travelers and other local Christian singers from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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