By T.B. Yerden
Wyoming is an avid sportsman and woman state with unmatched fishing and hunting opportunities. So it should come as no surprise that the state is a haven for archers. Whether you’re into bow hunting bison and elk or you’re just into practicing your shot, equipping yourself with the right gear is essential. Here are the best archery outfitters in the state.
Approaching its 20th year, in terms of archery, Absolute is a well-oiled machine. Absolute is tops when it comes to providing top-notch equipment and expert instruction. The beginner and veteran alike will find professional-quality gear, from necessities (bows, sights, strings) to luxurious upgrades. A passionate but approachable staff are avid archers and bow hunters, and happy to dispense knowledge, be it in-store or during a one-on-one lesson. And this shop manages to still maintain a community-centric and down-to-earth mentality amidst a fully stocked and big-city-quality one-stop shop.
As the name implies, Altitude Outdoors is all about hunting in the rugged backcountry. And their MO: providing high-quality gear and pro service to ensure a successful hunt. With a history in serving sportsmen and sharing a wealth of hunting experience, the staff are icing on an archery-shop cake. The inventory here is comparably impressive, leaning more towards accessories (only a handful of bows are in stock), but this includes optics, broadheads, and the like.
Rock Springs is prime country for shootin’ arrows. It’s not densely populated, it’s relatively barren and sports an open sky that rivals Montana. Bowlab takes full advantage, focusing on two fine-tuned spheres of the sport: ranges and custom strings. For one, this full-service shooting range features a well-stocked pro shop. This operation has well-trained staff with plenty of expertise, both on the range and in-store. And amateurs needn’t be intimidated: the excellent service makes for an approachable and downright informative experience. Veterans will be equally impressed with the craftsmanship of homemade strings, arrows and customizable accessories.
For over four decades, this family-run sports shop provides a one-stop outdoor sports oasis at the feet of the Bighorn Mountains. Parts, repairs and new gear for cyclists, backpackers and fishermen hangs alongside bows & arrows, quivers and all other mandatory, handcrafted and fine-made archery appurtenances. The staff rounds everything out with a willingness to educate and assist, offering repairs and innovative gear for veterans, or plug-and-play packages for newcomers. And if the impressive selection, experienced service staff and local institution status aren’t enough to persuade, the Sports Lure has the, well, remedy: rent some equipment, try it out.
This shop is a great local operation, with gear, an archery range, and an album’s worth of happy customers, bow in one hand, trophy in the other. This fully-stocked warehouse is made successful by an attention to quality archery brands and a friendly staff happy to oblige a tour of the facility or answer any number of questions. And the in-house range provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy a lesson, try out a new bow, or knock the rust off. At Bullseye, local doesn’t mean “small:” there’s simply a huge selection of bows, and a massive amount of collective wisdom from the staff.
In the fishing world, West Laramie Fly is a great go-to, near both university traffic and the beckoning outdoors. But that fish-focus doesn’t mean they haven’t a few archery items in stock. Being a river-centric institution, this shop offers great gear for bow fishing. Arrows, bows, line and stabilizers are all here (for good prices!) alongside a host of apparel and boots for any occasion (outside, of course). And, conveniently, this store is a great place to fuel-up and get a hunting license.
Working within, Herb Meland is a professional, full-time bow-maker (or bowyer). And he’s the real deal. He sculpts from his own lumber, treated in-house, with a wealth of love, dedication, and the wisdom carved into well-worn hands. In other words, he’s a sword maker for today’s sports samurai.
The town of Etna is tiny: less than 200 permanent residents. But this fact, and its proximity to inimitable panoramas, makes for good hunting. And the wilderness around the area is chock-full of bow & arrow opportunities. Officially 10 years-old, the Archery Unlimited shop is a welcomed entanglement of ungulate horn racks, displaying some gorgeous, custom bows and accessories (guns & ammo as well). A large cabin of a store, this husband and wife-run operation provides some excellent, down-to-earth service, happily sharing accrued knowledge (and passion!), charming trials & tribulations included. All the name brands are in stock, as are hunting licenses for any season.
RM Discount Sports is statewide. All locations are fully-stocked, with excellent gear for outdoor expeditions of many kinds: fishing, hunting, camping…Any outdoors lover will find the necessities. Being a larger, statewide institution, the store inventory is more breadth than depth, offering something for any sport. The essentials are here, as are last-minute, must-have accessories. And an in-house archery range is useful and fun. This is the best stop for an eclectic group of sports-lovers, be they archers, fishermen, or backpackers.