New location, new activities. Bill’s Outdoor Sports has opened a second location on 1322 S. Van Buren.
The new location features archery, with a range and a small retail space with gear and accessories. An adult archery league meets on Thursdays, and several summer camps are running throughout July for kids 6 years and up.
Brian Lamoreaux, owner of Bill’s Outdoor Sports, said interest in archery surged after the movie “Hunger Games” was released. He hopes to have an after-school program set up soon.
The camp runs three days a week, run by archery director Grant Gungoll. The first two days are spent helping campers with form and practicing, and the third day is a tournament, Gungoll said. Six- through 9-year-olds participate 9 a.m. to noon, and 10 and up 1-4 p.m. The last camp session is scheduled for July 23-25. There are about eight spots open.
Gungoll said teaching kids can be a challenge, but most have “been willing to learn” and “really done well.” Working for Outdoor Sports is his full-time job. He helps at archery league practices and gives private lessons.
“I lucked into this — making my hobby a full-time job,” Gungoll said.
Archery isn’t the only focus. The building also has a classroom for concealed carry and women’s classes.
A simulator will be available to help with firearm training. This simulator has been used for police and military training and helps prepare someone for various situations. Using a “branching scenario” method, the computerized simulator will change the course depending on the user’s actions. Using laser guns, users can learn how to react and be more prepared if, for example, someone broke into their house.
“Every time you go through it, it doesn’t end the same, based on your response,” Lamoreaux said.
With the simulator and other firearms classes, Lamoreaux hopes to offer “a chance for people to educate themselves.” He said he has seen an increase in gun sales, for reasons from interest in self-defense to concern over gun control legislation.
“The thing I saw was a need for education,” Lamoreaux said.
There will be an open house for anyone curious about the new location 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday with a free lunch, free archery shooting and a drawing for a Mission Rally bow, valued at $499. Bill’s Outdoor Sports shares the new space with Lamoreaux’s separate home theater business, Technology Control Group.
Memberships can be purchased on a monthly or yearly basis, or a daily fee is available for occasional shooters. The new location will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.