The family members involved in Coyote Creek Gun & Archery are, from left,  Craig Reichel, Anna Krahn and Luke Reichel.
DAVID PHILLIPS/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE The family members involved in Coyote Creek Gun & Archery are, from left, Craig Reichel, Anna Krahn and Luke Reichel.
Rural Spring Valley resident Anna Krahn feels at home on the range.

Her range, though, is indoors — part of a recently expanded family business in Rochester.

“I skipped lunch the other day to shoot on the range,” said Krahn, telling about how she spends her days taking aim at targets inside the new gun range and training center at Coyote Creek Gun & Archery. The 10,000-square-foot addition to the gun and archery shop — completed this January — is quite a notable venue, as the now-26,000-square-foot shop’s beginnings were most certainly humble.

Stewartville native Anna Reichel Krahn is married to Rhett Krahn and the two are parents of two boys who attend Kingsland schools, a place she found work while the children were younger.

“I love being able to work with my family,” said Krahn. “I worked there 10 years ago, but when we had kids, I came home for a while and worked at Kingsland’s preschool until our boys were a little older. My whole family is into hunting or being around firearms, and it’s very exciting to get this going.”

Coyote Creek is a family-based business that began in 1959 when her great uncle, Dale Griebenow, opened it as Dale’s Gun Shop in his garage at 3915 18th Avenue Southwest.

“My mom, Brenda Griebenow, married my dad, Craig Reichel, and in 2006, my dad purchased the shop from Dale because his health was failing,” said Krahn. “That’s when he relocated it to a new place on the frontage road in southeast Rochester and it became Coyote Creek Gun & Archery. We started the archery part shortly after we moved in 2006 – we’re one of the largest archery dealers in southeast Minnesota. We sell a full line of firearms, have a reloading center and extensive firearm services, have 35 employees and two full-time gunsmiths, but this year in January, we added an indoor gun range.”

Krahn said the family chose to invest in such a large addition to their well-known and established business because there is no other indoor gun range in the area. It is state of the art, she added, with all the OSHA filtration systems put in.

“It’s something we needed in the area because it’s Minnesota and you can’t always go outside to shoot,” she noted.

The Coyote Creek indoor gun range features 12 lanes with sound-dampening technology to reduce decibel levels, a touch-screen control panel and a target system that rotates 360 degrees for enhanced practice scenarios and programmable target movement, and the range’s lanes are rifle capable. The range’s lanes are 25 yards in length, have air ventilation with filtration, a bullet-resistant glass viewing area for guests to watch shooting, consistent base lighting to provide illumination of paper targets, and six standard shooting lanes and six premium shooting lanes that feature a Mancom target retrieval system that allows shooters to choose from several different shooting scenarios.

Not only is Krahn able to spend an occasional lunch hour at the range when she’s not assisting customers, she gets to work with her family. Her brother, Luke, works there full-time, as does Krahn, and her father, who has another company, oversees this operation.

The expansion has been six years in the works – getting permits and City Council approval.

“Getting everything approved is a big process,” she said. “We also wanted to do it right and not cut corners, make sure that everything is up to code and do this right. We purchased the range through Action Target. They travel the world installing ranges, and this is the best range we could get.”

Having the best range in the area is a great asset to Coyote Creek, but also, as owners, understanding that safety training is ultimately what makes using the range enjoyable means that the Reichels offer education to anyone who wishes to use the range.

“Education is something we focus on. We have a range safety officer at all times…we want to be safe and educate people about firearms and safety,” said Krahn.

The training center allows staff to train individuals, departments and teams. Coyote Creek has a classroom with audiovisual equipment and room for up to 32 students, and Krahn outlined that the shop holds permit to carry classes, a handgun cleaning seminar, a youth introduction to firearms course, a family firearms safety class, basic pistol training, women’s-only seminars offered to women 16 years of age or older, the Your Right to Live program for women who wish to learn how to keep themselves safe, and The Prepared Armed Woman — a presentation on personal, family and home protection for women and how to defend oneself, one’s family and home effectively.

“I find it exciting how all the women who have never shot before are excited about shooting. Sixty percent of one of the classes was women,” said Krahn. “And, we train kids, too; we allow kids 10 and older to shoot with a parent on the range, and it’s good, especially if they’ve never been exposed to it, if they come across a firearm and don’t know what to do or to get an adult.”

Coyote Creek held the grand opening of its gun range just a few weeks ago, and during that event, the Reichels hosted Walther and Springfield representatives.

“We’ll be offering leagues this summer for men and women, doing ‘date night Friday’ so that people can have date night,” she said. “People are amazed when they come into the store because they’re not aware of all the indoor range has to offer. And it’s not just for the avid shooter or someone who hunts. It’s for everybody. They’re welcome to come up and check it out.”

For more information, Krahn invited interested persons to stop in at Coyote Creek at 3600 South Broadway, Rochester, to call 507-289-8308, to log onto the Coyote Creek website at www.coyotecreekoutdoors.com, or to e-mail at info@coyotecreekoutdoors.com.