Cutting Edge Archery Bow hunter opens new business

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Dave Fulks
Dave Fulks, St. Olaf, stands at the end of his indoor archery range showing were he hit a deer decoy. Fulks recently opened his business in Elkader.

By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

A St. Olaf man is one of the few lucky people who’ve been able to turn a passion into a promising business.

Dave Fulks recently opened Cutting Edge Archery in Elkader, a move that came after health issues including the need for a pacemaker made it impossible to continue his work with heavy equipment and industrial magnets.
“I started bow hunting in 2009, and I really like the exercise and solitude that go with it,” Fulks said. “And now that I live in the mecca for bow hunting, an indoor archery range plus retail space seemed liked a good idea.”
If the numbers at his grand opening are any indication, Fulks has tapped into an underserved market.

“The response was overwhelming,” he said. “It was wall-to-wall people in here. I’m guessing 200 attended.”
Cutting Edge Archery is located in the heart of Elkader’s retail area in the former Elkader Carpet and Design building. Fulks scouted locations for two years before finding a place that suited his needs.
“I had this vision and as soon as I walked in here, I just knew this was the place,” he said.

From closing on the sale of the building to the store’s grand opening was just over two weeks. Fulks and a dedicated crew of helpers worked day and night to transform the former furniture showroom into an elevated indoor range. The space inside the main entrance where home décor and accessories were previously sold now showcases bows, arrows and other items needed by bow hunters.

“The retail end of the business is important to me, especially when it comes to selling someone a new bow,” he said. “I take a lot of time to make sure a new bow fits so my customer can actually use it when he leaves here.”
Fulks and his wife, Heather, a nurse in Prairie du Chien, have lived in St. Olaf since 2012. The couple moved to Northeast Iowa from Waterloo because they wanted the small town living experience for their two children. Aiden, 12, and Katelyn, 6. There was nothing random about the selection of their new hometown, however. Heather grew up in the area. “Driveway to driveway, from my house to my in-laws is two miles,” said Fulks. Heather’s parents are Chuck and Judy Reimer.
All members of Fulks immediate family, including his two kids, know how to shoot.

Fulks’ indoor archery range can accommodate 14 shooters at a time. When its in use, Fulks patrols the area closely to make sure everyone is following his safety rules. The far end of the range can be set with a variety of targets like deer, turkey, rabbits or “bull’s eye” targets. The range is handicap accessible, which makes the sport ideal for all hunters. Fulks said youngsters as young as 5 or 6 can learn from kids’ bows. He knows archers in their 70s and 80s who still shoot.
Though the range, retail shop and repair work keep Fulks pretty busy, he’s constantly thinking about new events for novice and experienced shooters like a virtual hunt and shooting competitions.
“This is just a really great year-round activity,” he added. “It’s ramping up now with deer season coming but it really is something that can be enjoyed all of the time.”

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