Enhancing Safety and the User Experience at Shooting Ranges

Partnerships and thoughtful engineering yield positive results

Author: NCWRC blogger/Tuesday, September 13, 2022/Categories: Blog, Conservation, Game Lands, Hunter Education, Hunting

Enhancing Safety and the User Experience at Shooting Ranges

In less than 10 years, the Wildlife Commission has acquired, renovated or built 13 shooting ranges in North Carolina, creating safe access to target shooting and limitless educational opportunities. Prior to these secure areas to shoot, target shooting was typically done on game lands, resulting in safety concerns and damage to natural resources.

Annual visitation to the ranges hovers around 58,000, and fees to users are free to minimal. The agency’s goal is to provide a safe shooting opportunity within a 50-mile radius of every North Carolinian. This initiative requires collaboration with municipalities, state and federal agencies, and financial support from partners where grant dollars and other resources may fall short.

Davidson’s, a shooting sports wholesaler, is a great example of partner funding to enhance our facilities. Safety being a top priority, it was identified that the R. Wayne Bailey – Caswell Shooting Range in Yanceyville needed an upgrade to its safety communication system. A generous $10,000 gift from Davidson’s, matched with an estimated $40,830 in grant funding, will secure a new safety lighting system for the range’s 100-yard and 25-yard shelters. The lighting system will provide a visual signal to users of a range’s hot and cold status, as the lights are distributed across the length of the shooting shelter.

“Dedication to safety in shooting sports has always been at the core of Davidsons’s values,” stated Davidson’s Marketing Manager, Bill Bennet. “This lighting system is important to the R. Wayne Bailey-Caswell Shooting Range and we are proud to contribute towards its inception.”

This upgrade at the Caswell Shooting Range will bring it inline with updated engineering standards implemented at newer ranges. Facility designs now feature baffles, controlled access points, acoustical panels for noise reduction, shoot tubes and adjustable seats. Lead reclamation is also an important initiative. About 91,000 pounds of lead has been removed from our ranges over the years – that’s an estimated 5.5 million rounds! Safety is top priority at our shooting facilities, as well as an excellent user experience. We hope you’ll give us a shot, whether you’re a sportsperson or recreational shooter.

View Wildlife Commission Shooting Ranges in North Carolina

Pictured (L to R): Josh Jernigan (Shooting Range Manager), Gary Gardner (Chief, Engineering Division), Jamie Hall (Digital Marketing Manager), Bill Bennet (Senior Marketing Manager, Davidson's), Travis Casper (Chief, Education Division) and Steven Bailey (Facilities Construction Engineer).

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