Locavore Blog: Giving Back to the Archery and Bowhunting Community

There aren’t many people born with a bow in hand, but for Nick Despart, it’s almost the truth. Nick’s the son of Indoor and Outdoor National Archery Champion, Jim Despart, and the grandson of Ed Despart, Jr., another competitive archer. The family business is archery —Jim runs Flying Arrow Sports 2 in East Greenbush, N.Y., and Nick not only helps out in the store, but also teaches youth archery leagues on the weekends.

Due to his archery pedigree it wasn’t a surprise when Nick decided to strive for the Eagle Scout ranking, after reaching the Life Scout rank, and that his final service project would center around archery.

“Archery is a great sport, and I have been lucky enough to be a part of it for most of my life,” Nick said. “To me, it has always been about family. My dad, Jim, introduced me to archery when I was very young, and I have loved it ever since.”

Future Eagle Scout Nick Despart

Future Eagle Scout Nick Despart

Building an Outdoor Archery Range

Like any good hunter knows, creating a positive future for hunting is important. Nick’s project not only helps those currently interested in archery and bowhunting, but also paves the way for anyone who has had a possible interest in shooting a bow and arrow, but didn’t know where to begin. For Nick, bowhunting and deer hunting are his favorite activities, and this project promotes his true passions.

“Before I was even old enough to bowhunt, I would go out with my dad and just sit in the woods and watch while he hunted,” Nick said. “Many of my family members hunt, so it is another thing that I can do with them. Even during the off-season, we are always setting up tree stands, checking trail cameras, and scouting, so it’s a year round thing for us.”

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Nick’s Eagle Scout project centers upon the building and completion of an outdoor archery range for Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center in Cropseyville, N.Y. A Boy Scout since he was five years old, Nick was excited to help fill a void within the local community. According to Nick’s GoFundMe site:

A local 4-H group shoots there every summer, but currently they only have 1 target and a handful of bows that they all have to share. They have to drag the target they have now about 100 yards uphill to get it to where their range is now, and then bring it back when they are done. The range right now is small, and is also right at the base of one of their hiking trails, which makes them have to close the trail when the range is in use.

Thanks to the power of crowdfunding, Nick raised $1,190 and started work on the project last weekend.

Nick and Jim Despart pose with a few of the volunteers.

Nick and Jim Despart pose with a few of the volunteers.

Some of the archery targets ready for use.

Some of the archery targets ready for use.

Hopefully once the outdoor range is completed, it will foster continued support of archery and bowhunting within the local community and act as an example to others looking for similar projects to bring into their communities. Nick’s Eagle Scout service project really embodies the idea that following your own passion can provide the necessary creativity to make a difference.

Check out more from Nick’s dad, Jim Despart, as he shares some really great archery tips:

If you want to see more archery and bowhunting tips from Jim Despart, check out my Beginner’s Guide to Archery DVD that will be released this fall.

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