Archery store opens in Humboldt

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
An arrow shot from the bow of Steve Reese, of Fort Dodge, flies through the air inside the Center X Archery shooting range recently.

HUMBOLDT — Center X Archery has found its mark in downtown Humboldt.

The archery store and shooting range opened at 632 Sumner Ave. on Dec. 1.

Steve Reese, of Fort Dodge, and Ross Kunert, of Humboldt, are the owners.

They came up with the business idea, in part, because they wanted a place to go during the winter months.

“We were looking for a place where we could just shoot,” Reese said.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Steve Reese, of Fort Dodge, left, and Ross Kunert, of Humboldt, pose with their bows inside Center X Archery in Humboldt recently. Reese and Kunert are the owners of the business, which opened Dec. 1.

“Where we didn’t have to worry about getting kicked out or closing down,” Kunert added.

Eventually they found their spot along Humboldt’s main street.

The pair began remodeling the space a little more than year ago. It used to be home to H&R Block, according to Kunert.

“It was a massive amount of construction,” Kunert said. “It took some doing.”

According to Reese, the space was gutted to make room for the shooting range.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Ross Kunert, of Humboldt, and Steve Reese, of Fort Dodge, recently opened Center X Archery at 632 Sumner Ave. in Humboldt.

“About everything except for the outside walls,” Reese said.

The range features six lanes.

“12 can shoot at a time,” Reese said. “You stagger it.”

New carpet and lighting was also added.

The shop sells PSE, Bowtech, and Diamond, brand bows.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Score sheets and some arrows are displayed on the back table in the shooting range at Center X Archery in Humboldt.

“You can use traditional bows or go to these compounds, which is what a majority of it is anymore,” Reese said. “The only difference between a hunting bow and a target bow — the target bow is set up more for forgiveness and not speed like hunting bows.”

Reese and Kunert also repair equipment.

“We are a full-service pro shop,” Kunert said. “We will replace strings and cables, fletching arrows, all the way to complete bow breakdowns.”

“We can set timings on everything,” Reese said. “We have a balancer.”

The idea behind the name of the shop is quite simple, according to Kunert.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
The Center X Archery logo is displayed on a t-shirt that hangs on the wall of the Humboldt shop.

“You’re always trying to hit center x on targets, so it just made sense,” Kunert said.

Kunert and Reese started trying to hit the center x years ago when they got involved in target archery.

Perhaps, unsurprisingly, that’s how the two met.

“We met at shoots,” Kunert said. “We have become family.”

Kunert’s interest in archery began when he started hunting.

“It was initially deer meat for meat in the freezer,” Kunert said. “A way to sustain my family without being so costly. I wanted to be the best archer I could be hunting wise, to be a good ethical hunter. It just kind of blossomed from there and I shoot constantly.”

Reese said he’s been shooting for more than 30 years.

“I started back in early 1980s bowhunting wise, here and there,” Reese said. “But didn’t get serious until early 1990s. Basically put the guns down. Don’t even pick up guns anymore.”

Kunert said he likes the sport of archery and the type of people it typically attracts.

“It’s few and far between you ever find a bad apple at an archery tournament,” Kunert said. “Everyone wants to chit-chat and who wouldnt’ want that. We got the 4-H kids coming up. Getting the youth involved is something we are driven about too.”

Both said they enjoy seeing others enthused about archery.

“There’s nothing quite like seeing a little kid hit that bullseye for the first time,” Kunert said.

“Or setting up balloons down there, and that they see they can actually do it,” Reese said.

Reese said the sport relaxes him.

“It’s just a good way to clear your mind,” Reese said.

“Some people like golf,” Kunert added. “We like archery. We could come here and shoot all day.”

When not at the shop, Rees works at Van Diest Supply Co. in Webster City. Kunert works at Precision Tanking in Humboldt.

Archery is inclusive, according to Kunert.

“You don’t have to be a fully atheltic person to be involved in it and there’s plenty of people with disabilities who do it too,” Kunert said. “It’s not such a a strain on you as some contact sports.”

Kunert said many downtowns in north central Iowa are having to look at new ways to attract people to main street.

He hopes others will stop in to get out of the cold and pick up a bow.

“We are very happy to be part of bringing people to the downtown Humboldt area,” Kunert said.

Store hours are 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

“If you drive by and see the lights on we are here,” Kunert said. “We are easy going guys. We love shooting bows and talking hunting, so whoever wants to stop in and talk with us we are always game.”

Leagues at the shop start Jan. 9. Cost is $50 for eight weeks.

For more information contact Center X Archery at 515-332-7916.