WHIPPLE - Not every day does a hunter from Washington County get to walk into the woods and take aim at a cheetah, elk or alligator.
But all those critters are fair game as part of a 30-target archery range at Magnum, Get Your Shot On on Hartline Road in Whipple.
The business, which opened June 9, offers archery and shooting ranges, a children's room and shop with accessories needed for the sport.
Photo by Kevin Pierson
Felicia Nonnenmacher, 19, fires a handgun at a zombie target at Magnum, Get Your Shot On on Hartline Road in Whipple. The business opened June 9 and offers an archery and firearm range and a shop with ammunition and accessories.
"It's always been a dream for me to have a gun shop," said Chuck Nonnenmacher, owner of Magnum.
Along with the gun shop, which offers rifles, bows, arrows and ammunition, the store features an indoor archery range and multiple outdoor shooting ranges.
Gun ranges vary from five to 500 yards, with one of them featuring four lanes with a retrieval system. The goal, Nonnenmacher explained, is to promote safety while enjoying the competitive shooting sports or simply sighting in a new gun.
"Everything is set up so nobody is down range," he said.
Safety is one of the aspects of Magnum that particularly impressed Timothy Dye, 26, of Marietta, who has used the firearms range.
Dye said he also appreciated the quality of the facility, which has the 100-yard range situated in a carved out bunker roughly 80 feet wide. A 200, 300 and 500-yard range is also available.
"I thought it was set up pretty well," Dye said. "I was impressed with some of their steel targets they have out there."
While the business features the typical shooting ranges, the 30-target archery course gives it a very unique experience, Nonnenmacher said.
Using McKenzie 3D products, which are used in professional shoots, the archery course was designed to replicate the actual hunting experience while using top of the line targets.
"There are $20,000 worth of targets out here in the woods," Nonnenmacher said. "It was very expensive to put this range in."
One of the targets on the course is an alligator, which is actually crawling into a pond for added realism. There is also a bear climbing a tree and a raccoon hiding in grape vines.
The concept for the range was based on feedback from local hunters, Nonnenmacher said, particularly where the animals are located.
"One of the big things they said was shade," Nonnenmacher said. "They wanted one where they could shoot with shade."
The 3D course was one of the appeals for Lori Lehman, of Marietta, who brought her two sons Grant, 15, and Garrett, 13, to the range last week.
"It's nice to have something like that nearby," Lehman said. "The 3D course was challenging."
Lehman said she was also impressed by the selection in the shop as she begins looking into home defense.
Already this year Lehman said she has had someone break into her car at Phillips Elementary School and into property she owns on Glendale Road, so having a place nearby that offers concealed carry courses as well as safety classes is appealing.
Along with the firearms and archery ranges, there is also an airsoft range setup inside, where children can begin learning about gun safety, Nonnenmacher explained.
Airsoft is similar to paintball, but the guns are more realistic and shoot small plastic BB pellets.
The facility will be available for parties for young children.
"I think that'll be great for kids," Lehman said.
Open for just longer than a week, the business has already seen several hundred people through the doors, and expects to continue growing.
"I think it's starting out good. I think they're going to have a lot more in the future," Dye said.