Archery in Idaho had its beginning during World War II. Essentially any material of a sporting nature was going to the war effort. Necessarily, rifles and sporting ammunition were very difficult to obtain.
These shortages, coupled with the publicity of the period from the adventures of Art Young, Saxton Pope, and Howard Hill generated an interest in archery as a sporting activity in several Idaho communities, principally Boise, Rupert, Pocatello, and Rexburg.
The Upper Snake River Bowmen (USRB) of the Rexburg area was organized in the summer of 1946. The first club outing was to be the 2nd Idaho Archery only hunt in the Minidoka National Forest in 1946. This club hunt continued in the Minidoka Forest for several years until other areas opened up to archery in the 1950’s. In 1951, USRB hosted the third Idaho State Archery Championship held at the Bear Gulch ski area.
Over the years, the USRB promoted archery by maintaining archery ranges in several locations: Mill Hollow, Moody Creek, Rocky Hollow, and finally the current archery range seven miles east of Rexburg in a canyon of the lower Moody Creek drainage.
During the seventies and eighties, many bowhunter competitions were held at the current range, including the 2nd Idaho State Bowhunter Jamboree and an annual hog shoot that fed over 800 people. In the late 70’s we were the leading bowhunting club in the state by harvest figures thru ISB.
One of the USRB’s activities for many years was a club project. These included building a club house, play ground, water system, storage building, road gravel, parking lot, and maintaining two 14 target ranges.
In the summer of 1996 the USRB board of directors dedicated the USRB archery range as “The Charles Beesley Memorial Range” in memory of Charles Beesley and the other early area sportsmen who pioneered the sport of hunting big game with a bow and arrow. Currently the USRB archery range is free to paid member and their guests.
Recent club projects have purchased enough of the expensive long lasting Rinehart 3-D targets to provide for the several club shoots. The club also has purchased two large enclosed trailers to transport and protect this investment.
Historically the USRB club has strengthened, waned, and strengthened again. Currently the USRB is strong and active with membership of over 400.