The Hunger Game ignites interest in archery in Loveland (video)

Here’s a great article on Dennis Hansen, director of the archery range at Lon Hagler Reservoir and BTB Board Member!

Read it on the Reporter-Herald website “The Hunger Games ignites interest in archery in Loveland“.

Loveland man recognized for nearly three decades of volunteer work at Lon Hagler archery range

Big Thompson Bowhunter’s very¬†own Dennis Hansen recognized with dedication of The Dennis Hansen Archery Range. Originally printed in the Loveland Reporter-Herald on August 4, 2011

LON HAGLER RESERVOIR — When Dennis Hansen and his sons pulled up to the archery range west of Loveland to target shoot, he was shocked to see a crowd of family and friends.

“Dude, what’s going on?” the former Marine asked Jeff Lampe, president of the Big Thompson Bowhunters.

He asked the same question a few more times Tuesday night until his friends removed a big tarp from the sign leading into the archery range to reveal its new name: The Dennis Hansen Archery Range.

The tough, but kind and humble man sat on the base of his sign and wiped tears from his eyes.

“This is just overwhelming,” said Hansen, who helped launch the range in 1983 and now nearly single-handedly maintains it.

Dennis Hansen, center, speaks during an event Tuesday evening at Lon Hagler Reservoir after he learned that the archery range was named in his honor by the Big Thompson Bowhunters and the Division of Wildlife. (Steve Stoner/Reporter-Herald) ( Steve Stoner )

As a child, Hansen rarely spent time with his father, a farmer who worked in the fields from sunup to sundown.

As a young adult, the Loveland man vowed he would not be the same.

He spent as much time as he could, much of it outdoors shooting, fishing and camping, with his own sons, their friends and now his grandchildren. He also has devoted hours upon hours every year to helping other youngsters with archery through scouts, Colorado Youth Outdoors and other programs.

Much of his spare time is devoted to the archery range at Lon Hagler, located on County Road 21 south of West First Street. Hansen and two other men, who founded Big Thompson Bowhunters, created the archery range in the early 1980s on land donated by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Hansen agreed to be the range superintendent and care for it temporarily until someone else stepped up; 28 years later, he is still the primary person caring for the range, cleaning it, mowing the grass, building obstacles and even planting dead sticks in the ground to simulate real shooting conditions.

Lampe believes that all the hours every other volunteer has spent at the range combined do not add up to those of Hansen alone.

“This range is a group effort,” Hansen disputed. “It’s not just me.”

“Yeah,” interjected Mike Fiscus, vice president of the Big Thompson Bowhunters. “Ninety-nine percent you and 1 percent others.”

“Every spare moment he has, he’s out here,” said his wife, Denna Hansen. “This is his love, his passion.”

When he’s not at the range, he is often helping the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado Youth Outdoors or other organizations teach archery to children or collecting sticks and wood to enhance the range. He spent a big chunk of Monday hauling targets to Swift Ponds near Fort Collins then teaching children about archery with bows and arrows paid for by the Big Thompson Bowhunters club.

“I’ve devoted most of my adult life trying to help kids have the experiences I didn’t have,” he said.

“It’s a great way to spend a life.”

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Pamela Dickman can be reached at 669-5050, ext. 526, or

If You Go
What: The Dennis Hansen Archery Range.
When: Open every day year round for the entire community.
Where: Lon Hagler State Wildlife Area, on County Road 21 south of West First Street.
Cost: Free.