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THE GREAT OUTDOORS — Utah offers several hunts throughout the year and if you have plans to get a permit, you’ll need to practice shooting first. There are several great outdoor, public shooting ranges throughout the state where you can get ready for the big hunt.
The Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range is a free, public range run by the non-profit group, Southern Utah Practical Shooters LLC, according to president Ken Nelson. The range is open every day, but during the winter has limited hours of 9 a.m. to dusk, Nelson said. However, the range has lights available for people who want to shoot after dark.
The range has 26 private shooting bays and provides paper and steel targets, Nelson said. There are 25 to 100 yard ranges available for pistol, .22 and muzzleloader shooting. A new skeet and trap range also recently opened for shotgun shooting, complete with an automatic trap thrower that wobbles to simulate a live target.
The shooting range is well-known for its events and shooting matches. It holds pistol, .22 rifle and multi-gun tactical matches for locals on Tuesday evenings and Saturdays. The shooting bays are limited to the public on those days, Nelson said. It also holds regional and national shooting competitions.
The range also offers free training classes for beginner and advanced shooters. The classes are held each Wednesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and are free, but donations are welcomed, Nelson said.
“We strive very hard to provide a safe environment, but not an overbearing or controlling one,” Nelson said. “We want you to be safe and we brief you and we help you, but then we let you do your thing.”
Location: 1384 Regional Park Road, Hurricane. (Adjacent to the Washington County Fair Grounds.)
Located near Price, this shooting range offers a variety of public venues for different types of firearms. Public restrooms and a pavillion are also available.
The Castle Gate Town venue is a cowboy action shooting facility that has props and buildings reminiscent of an “old western town,” according to the website. There are over 200 steel targets placed from 3 to 50 yards for pistol caliber and .22 long rifle firearms.
Buffalo Canyon is another venue that offers long range shooting with steel targets set from 25 to 400 yards and a 3-foot steel buffalo target set at 775 yards.
The Trap Range has five concrete shooting stations at 16 yards for shooting clay pigeons. The range uses a single, electric trap thrower with a 50-target capacity. The thrower has the ability to wobble up and down and can move left to right, 45 degrees, to simulate a real bird hunt.
The North Springs Shooting Range also offers 12 separate pistol shooting bays at 80 and 100 yards. The bays are located under a covered canopy and include a retrieving target system. For those wanting more long-range shooting, a separate enclosed area offers 1000 and 600 yard ranges with radiant heater. .50 caliber rifles can be used on the 1000 yard range and golf carts are available for transportation to and from the targets.
Location: Along North Spring Canyon Road near Price
The Cache Valley Shooting Range is a full-service, public range owned and operated by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. It offers outdoor and indoor ranges, but ranges can be reserved so check before you go to make sure there is one available.
Trap, skeet and five-stand sporting clay ranges are available for shotgun shooting. Four rifle and pistol ranges are available that include 50-foot, indoor .22 lanes, 5 to 50 feet outdoor pistol lanes, 25 to 50 yard outdoor lanes and 100, 200 and 300 yard outdoor lanes, according to the DWR website.
There are also two archery ranges available. The indoor archery range has 10 20-yard lanes and the outdoor range offers targets at 90 meters. All of the rifle, pistol and archery ranges have paper targets.
From April to October, the range is open from 3-8 p.m., Wednesday to Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. From November to March, the range is open from 3-7 p.m., Wednesday to Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Location: 2851 W. 200 North, Logan
This range is a full-service public range that is also owned and operated by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. It operates seven outdoor ranges that are open year-round. The range offers cowboy action shooting, hunter education classes, shooting for handguns, rifle, muzzleloader, shotgun, archery and various shooting clinics, according to the DWR website.
However, due to a fire at the Lee Kay Center, the pistol range is temporarily closed and it’s unclear when it will be reopened to shooters. All the other ranges are still open and accommodations are being made for pistol shooters, the website said.
The range is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Location: 6000 West and 2100 South, Salt Lake City
This shooting range is open 24 hours a day to the public and is free to use. There are several 25, 50 and 100 meter pistol ranges available, but you must bring your own target for these ranges. Long distance 600 and 1000 meter ranges are also available that offer metal animal targets.
Location: Along 500 North, about 5 miles west of Vernal Avenue