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Bowfest starts Thursday at Mont du Lac

Sixth-annual event runs July 28-31 with archery and rock music.

bowhunter shooting at 3D target
A bowhunter takes aim at a 3D archery target at a past Bowfest event. The sixth annual Bowfest runs July 28-31 at Mont Du Lac Resort just outside Duluth.
Contributed / Bowfest
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SUPERIOR — The sixth-annual Bowfest is set for July 28-31 at Mont du Lac Resort.

Bowfest is billed as the largest outdoor 3D archery shoot in the region, aimed at bow hunters who want to test their skills in conditions that mimic real-life hunting situations. Mont du Lac is located along Highway 23 just south of Duluth's Fond du Lac neighborhood, but on the Wisconsin side of the St. Louis River.

The event is also a celebration of the outdoors and rock music, with concerts, food, camping, a waterpark and a weekend of archery experts, manufacturers and cable TV outdoor show celebrities.

After focusing on country music in past years, music headliners this year include Hairball, an arena rock tribute band, on Thursday night; Mr. Speed, a Kiss tribute band, on Friday night; and One, a Metallica tribute band, on Saturday night.

Four-day passes are $99.99 per person, including six 3D archery courses, all concerts, Vendor Village, practice range, waterpark, summer slides, river tubing, canoeing, kayaking and chairlift rides.


3D elk archery target
A bowhunter walks up to check his shots at a 3D archery target at Mont du Lac Resort. Bowfest runs July 28-31.
Steve Kuchera / 2018 file / Duluth News Tribune

Mont du Lac is a ski and snowboarding hill in winter that's transformed into more than 400 acres of archery fun with four courses with 60 realistic archery shots available at life-like Rinehart targets. Archers can walk through the steep hills and valleys at Mont du Lac and shoot from either beginner, hunter or pro stakes — like tees on a golf course — at each target. Be prepared to walk through and shoot from challenging terrain, including in deep woods, down and up steep slopes and across ravines. Each course takes between two and three hours to complete.
The event also includes hosts from several bowhunting television shows, including Tim Wells of "Relentless Pursuit," Pat & Nicole Reeve of "Driven TV," Melissa Bachman of "Winchester Deadly Passion," Brent & Nicole Larson of "Field of Dreams TV," Michael Waddell, Nate Hosie, Shane Indrebo and Randy Birdsong.

Bowfest started in 2017, the idea of Larry Pulkrabek, who owns Mont du Lac and whose bowhunting businesses have marketed popular archery products such as the Ravin crossbow and Field Logic targets. He has since sold those companies but remains active in the industry. The first Bowfest event attracted about 300 people. Organizers are hoping for 10,000 people over four days this year.

Limited parking is available on-site for $30 per vehicle per day. All other parking will be off-site. All off-site parking is $10. Free shuttle service will be available to/from off-site parking.

Discounted tickets are available for children 12 and younger. For more information, camping reservations or to buy tickets online, go to bowfest.com or call 218-626-3797.

Hometown Heroes Outdoors has offered nearly 2,200 outdoor excursions — all of them free — to more than 3,000 people in 26 states.

John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at jmyers@duluthnews.com.
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