TROY, N.C. (May 28, 2014) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, along with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the National Rifle Association (NRA), held an open house with a ribbon cutting on Friday to celebrate the grand re-opening of the popular Flintlock Valley Shooting Range on the Uwharrie National Forest in Montgomery County.
Flintlock Valley, one of the few public shooting ranges in the Piedmont region, closed in 2010 because of safety concerns. Wildlife Commission and USFS personnel initiated a partnership last year that enabled them to redesign and upgrade the facility, as well as incorporate additional safeguards. To make the range safer, staff moved the berm for the pistol range closer to the firing line, raised the height of the berm for the rifle range, and redesigned the shelter to reduce the risk of stray bullets leaving the range.
The range offers an opportunity for competition shoots, hunter preparation and general target shooting. Deborah Walker, Uwharrie district ranger, hopes to offer safety training in the future.
“I am excited to see this facility back in operation and to provide a place for shooting enthusiasts to practice their skills,” Walker said.
Cutting the ceremonial green ribbon were Kristin Bail of the USFS, Brian Hyder of the NRA, Erik Christofferson, chief of the Commission’s Division of Engineering and Lands Management, and 7-year-old Gavin Yarboro of Mt. Gilead, who represented the future of shooting sports in North Carolina.
“Providing public shooting ranges is a very important component of the Wildlife Commission’s mission to recruit and retain hunters and shooters of all ages,” Christofferson said. “We are very grateful for the support of the National Rifle Association as well as the opportunity to partner with the U.S. Forest Service to redesign and upgrade this very popular shooting facility.”
Ceremony attendees were given the opportunity to receive firearms safety training from Commission Law Enforcement Officers before testing the new range with service rifles.
The Wildlife Commission spent $250,000 for the facility’s renovations and safety upgrades while the NRA provided a $30,000 grant through its Public Range Fund, which was established in 2009 to provide funding for the construction of public ranges across the country.
The Commission is providing personnel to staff the facility, with the Forest Service collecting user fees to support the Commission’s staffing of the range. User fees are $3 per person, per day, or $30 for an annual pass. Passes are available at the district office or from local convenience stores.
The Flintlock Valley Shooting Range is located on the Uwharrie National Forest on 1359 Moccasin Creek Road. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day. After Labor Day, the range’s hours will change to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.