By mid-summer, the exhilarating memories of hunting cagey mountain Merriam’s turkeys during April have started to fade and thoughts of fall hunts begin creeping into the psyche of hunters everywhere. One of the best ways to scratch that itch is to visit the local gun club or public range and start blowing the dust off of latent shooting skills.
Shooting trap is perhaps one of the easiest ways for both experienced and novice upland game hunters (and others) to get back in the swing of swinging a shotgun. Clay targets are launched from a single machine. The targets usually move up and away from the shooter before gliding down to the ground. This is the simplest form of clay shooting and probably the best for working on basic shooting mechanics. Read more
The Chaffee County Shooting Range
A shooter takes aim at the Chaffee County Shooting Range. All photos by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW
“Don’t tell anyone about this place,” said the target shooter as the smell from the rifle rounds he just shot hung in the air. “This place is great and I don’t want it to get too crowded.”
“Sorry, but telling people about this place is why I’m here,” I replied, smiling.
“This place” is the Chaffee County Shooting Range, or “the best, nonfee, public range in the state,” as Jim Aragon, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) area wildlife manager for Area 13, proudly stated. And from my tour of the range, I would enthusiastically agree. While I understand the shooter’s worry, with the range covering more than 55 acres, I think there is room for more visitors. Read more
A clay pigeon and a hand-held thrower. Photo by David Lien.
As the reverberating gobbles of spring turkey hunting fade into summer and thoughts slowly turn toward fall, many hunters frequent local shooting ranges and gun clubs to prepare for goose and waterfowl seasons, along with upland-game and big-game hunting. One of the more enjoyable ways to spend a sunny summer afternoon honing hunting skills is trapshooting (i.e., shooting clay pigeons).
During my formative years growing up in northern Minnesota, we rarely shot at a range or club but, instead, used nearby sandpits or other shooting locales on the outskirts of town. Nowadays, there aren’t as many convenient places to shoot safely (or legally), and most of us end up practicing our rifle and shotgun skills at public or private ranges and clubs.
One such club is not far from my home in Colorado Springs: the Pikes Peak Gun Club (PPGC), run by the Izaak Walton League of America (Pikes Peak Chapter 34). The chapter’s website includes information on the club’s Sporting Clays and trap ranges, and it features a schedule of upcoming shooting activities and competitions. The club is open to both members and the public for shotgun shooting sports. Read more