Finding a place to shoot your bow can be challenging if you don’t know where to look. Not everyone has the luxury of backyard shooting or the convenience of archery shops within driving distance. Some fish and wildlife agencies recognize those challenges, and are providing more recreational shooting opportunities by building and staffing ranges across their state.
The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, for example, has partnered with communities, the Archery Trade Association, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to build 15 archery parks statewide. These public archery parks offer a variety of shooting distances and targets, and are open to everyone 16 and older. Resident shooters must have a current hunting, heritage, fishing or WMA license, while nonresidents must have a valid WMA license. The Alabama WFFD also provides maps and information on the archery parks’ locations, and specifics on shooting distances, range regulations, and more.
Nebraska Game and Parks adopted a similar strategy, and built seven education centers around the state. Visitors enjoy the state’s shooting ranges, equipment demonstrations, and educational clinics about archery and firearm safety. The complexes can be rented for birthday parties, corporate outings and other private events. If you’re unsure which education center fits you best, check out each complex’s profile that includes their hours, monthly events and range information.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources stations trained staff at seven shooting ranges statewide to ensure safe, welcoming shooting experiences. Visit each area’s website to learn essential range rules and updates, and to download handy, printable targets. Because Michigan DNR staff work at the ranges, you’ll receive helpful advice to ensure you get the most from your visit.
Alabama, Nebraska and Michigan are just three examples of what many state agencies do to increase opportunities for shooting enthusiasts. Similar opportunities can be found in nearly every state, so be sure to contact your state’s fish and wildlife agency for up-to-date information about places to shoot nearby.