Behind-the-Scenes with Lead Archery Guide Quinn Wilson

One could say Quinn Wilson’s passion is archery, but that would be an understatement.

Quinn’s first experience with a bow and arrow during Boy Scouts has blossomed into a career. Like many of our employees and most of our guests, he traveled the world before landing at The Ranch.

A Historic Past

Quinn first sought a degree in pre-modern history. One of his first jobs our of school was as an experimental archeologist. The practical application of his job was rebuilding artifacts, and using them to see how they work. He would rebuild bows and arrows to the specifications of historical methods. This fascinating glimpse into history also reignited his love of archery.

Quinn has shot a bow in USA, Egypt, UAE, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Iceland, Canada, Ecuador and Columbia.

While some people count the countries they’ve visited, Quinn counts the countries where he’s put his archery talents to good use. After two years working as a retail archery technician in downtown Seattle, he took a year abroad to practice his favorite sport around the world. He is proud to have shot a bow in 13 countries worldwide – a number that will no doubt grow throughout his life.

Through travel, Quinn has been introduced to new cultures and new forms of archery. Each culture with a history of bow sports, lays claim to their own unique traditions. His experiences led him throughout Europe as an archery tournament organizer, mounted (horseback) archery student, archery instructor, 3D course designer, and a traditional bow maker.

Quinn has been instructing our Mustang Trainer Ryon Mendoza in mounted archery. Photo by Quinn Wilson.

A Pioneer Pursuit

Quinn’s choice to come to The Ranch united his spirit of adventure, passion for archery and new love of Montana. Since starting here in 2017, he has designed our two 3-D courses placed within our native woodlands.

The new archery area in the Rod & Gun Club. Photo by Quinn Wilson.

Our courses are inspiring, even if you are not a hunter. They allow you to hone hand-eye coordination skills that are rarely used in our modern lives, and it allows you to tap into a pioneer spirit, combing the woods and hunting was a necessity for homestead settlers in Montana.

Shooting at life-sized Montana native animal targets placed in realistic positions engages the archer mentally and physically.

An Archery Destination

The Ranch has a collection of compound and traditional recurve bows for use on either course. Compound bows are great for beginners because they help you to achieve an accurate shot–some instant gratification helps when learning a new sport. Avid archers or target sports enthusiasts may prefer the recurve bow–a chance to channel our inner Robin Hood.

Quinn’s personal recurve bow on the 3D archery course. Photo by Quinn Wilson.

With his second season coming to an end, Quinn knows he would like to come back. He enjoys the creative freedom that The Ranch provides him, which allows him personal growth. He also enjoys guiding shooting sports on our five ranges. He gets satisfaction when a guest asks, What brand of bow should I buy when I get home?

A Modern Take

The Ranch strives to improve our activities every year, so new guests will find new hobbies that they can be passionate about and returning guests will enjoy a new perspective of Montana. Thanks to Quinn, Our Activities Director Patrick Little and our Lead Shooting Instructor Myron Weirich, we have added two archery-themed activities to complement our courses. In the spring of next year, we will launch archery tag, a “last man standing” game played with foam arrows by adventurers of all ages.

A young guest learns to use a compound bow.

Our other new feature of the program made its debut this summer at several barn dances. Quinn brought in an archery thrower with flying foam saucers and arrows. The goal of these new offerings is to give guests the best archery experience they could possibly have.

A Lifelong Passion

Though he describes our archery course as a “sleeper hit,” because so many guests get hooked. With almost two dozen included activities to choose from, it’s often not the first thing people inquire about. However, he’s helped make The Ranch a destination spot for archery. It has already inspired guests to be passionate about the sport.

That archery course inspired my husband to create his own course at home and teach our 12-year-old daughter. She just came in third place at a local competition. Thank you!

~ Guest of The Ranch, on Instagram

When you talk to Quinn, you can’t help but be inspired by his love for this historic sport and the way it’s brought to life in our Montana mountains.