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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"Virtual Reality Archery" now in Cherokee

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Bow and arrow know-how - Roy Howard has been the owner and operator of Roy's Archery since 2001, and has seen the interest in archery throughout the area grow. Photo by Dan Whitney.
Roy's Archery draws people to town with unique DART System

Archers and potential archers from Northwest Iowa are excited about a new shooting activity now available at Roy's Archery , located at 1613 510th Street in Cherokee. Owner Roy Howard, with help from many customers, has constructed a new tunnel for archers to use the DART Digital Shooting System (DSS), which Howard describes as "virtual reality archery."

Choose your game - The menu for the DART System at Roy's Archery in Cherokee gives people quite a range of game from which to choose. Photo by Dan Whitney.
The DSS allows archers to choose, via a software program, a type of animal, everything from chipmunks to moose, to attempt to shoot.

Don't shoot holes in the screen! - These special tips need to be placed on the archer's arrow tip for two reasons - to avoid holes in the screen, and to register scores. Photo by Dan Whitney.
The computer is connected to a large screen in the new tunnel, and the archers can see the game they chose moving across the screen in their natural habitat, complete with appropriate sounds of nature. The archers, using their own bows and arrows, but with special tips for the arrows provided by Howard, shoot at the game on the screen, and how they did is registered immediately on the screen.

The results are also available to Howard on his computer hard drive, which is important, because a 26-member league has formed in the month he has had the DSS. Members of the league come from Storm Lake, Danbury, Marcus, Peterson, Sutherland, LeMars, and Paullina, as well as Cherokee, as word of the DART System has spread rapidly. Howard said that around 150 people have used the system already, in just a month. The archers stand at "The 20-yard line" to shoot at the screen.

Howard worked for Fareway Food Stores for 30 years, then operated a custom woodworking business for 15 years. He has been an archer for nine years, and started Roy's Archery in 2001. He no longer has the woodworking business, because he said "The archery business just took off."

Howard was aware of the DART Shooting System for awhile, and wished he could purchase one, but the cost was prohibitive. When he discovered that a woman in St. Joseph, Mo. was going out of the archery business, and had a 3-4 year-old DART System for sale at a considerably reduced price, he seized the opportunity to bring the DART experience to Cherokee - one of just a few systems in the state of Iowa.

Roy Howard worked for Fareway Food Stores, and did custom woodworking, before the archery bug bit him. Photo by Dan Whitney [Click to enlarge]
Howard says it's been quite an experience hearing the archers "whooping it up" and having a great time in the shooting tunnel while he's at the computer in his office. People of all ages can use the system, as he has a smaller bow which youngsters can use (see photo at top of article)

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