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City archery range to reopen with limits, shifted targets


Question: What is the status of the Kapiolani Park archery range, which the city closed indefinitely on April 24 after an arrow was found on a nearby tennis court?

Answer: The archery range at Queen Kapiolani Regional Park will be reopened, but the city will restrict the types of bows archers can use at the range and firing lines and targets will be relocated, said Jim Fulton, a spokesman for the mayor's office. A reopening date has not been set.

"We have spoken to the archery community and the recommendation provided (was) to discontinue the use of compound and other high powered bows" with a pull strength of more than 50 pounds, Gary Cabato, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, said in an email from the mayor's office.

Signs will be put up around the range informing archers that equipment is limited to recurve, longbow and compound bows with a draw strength of up to 50 pounds. The city said a violation could result in the loss of privileges to use the range.

The range will be shifted south toward Diamond Head Lookout, enlarging the buffer zone between the range and the tennis courts to 300 yards from 152 yards. Targets will be staggered and placed no more than 50 yards from the archers' firing area.

"Safety and security is always an issue and over the years things have changed," Fulton said. "Safety and security is our major priority."

Cabato added, "The Department of Parks and Recreation incorporates archery programs at some parks depending upon community interests. We do this to mainstream archery as a recreational activity for beginners only."

On April 24, Mike Stelmach, who was playing tennis at Kapiolani Park, found an arrow on a tennis court near the archery range.

Stelmach said a novice archer using a powerful, 75-pound hunting bow had accidentally shot the arrow while drawing it skyward. The arrow landed more than 500 feet from the range.

Citing safety concerns, Cabato closed the range indefinitely.

Comments from the public prompted the department to hold a public hearing about the range in July.

Three other archery facilities are available on Oahu — at the Koko Head Shooting Complex in Hawaii Kai, Central Oahu Regional Park in Waipio and the Kapolei Archery Range at Fort Barrette.

This update was written by Marcie Kagawa. Suggest a topic for “Whatever Happened To …” by writing Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210, Honolulu 96813; call 529-4747; or email

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