Columbia County's first public shooting range to open in June - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Columbia County's first public shooting range to open in June

Posted: Updated:

COLUMBIA COUNTY (WKOW) -- Hunters and gun owners in southcentral Wisconsin will soon have a free, public place for target practice.

A new shooting range in Lowville is a project 20 years in the making in Columbia County. A few years ago, neighbors were worried about flying bullets and disturbances, when people were finding their own, makeshift spots to shoot.

"People want to go someplace to shoot their guns and they're going on public hunting grounds and irritating neighboring people because it was just too much," said Jim Watson. "There was nights where it was just constant, repetitive gunfire, late at night even."

Watson is the secretary of Columbia County Sporting Alliance and has spent the past two decades working with DNR officials to find the right location for a shooting range in the county. 

The new range, on King Road, is expected to open next month at a site DNR officials and the community found to be most suitable. The range is surrounded by grassy berms to stop bullets from getting out of the area and will have limited hours to avoid disturbing neighbors. 

"It's safe and it's so much better than what was being done before," Watson told 27 News.

So far, testing at the range hasn't bothered Fred Huber, whose farm is just down the road from the site. 

"It's better, there's a place that everybody can go and shoot at that's set up for that shooting, so you got backstops and everything should work out alright," he told 27 News. 

Huber says as a hunter, he'll likely use the site once it opens. Watson expects it to be very popular, especially leading up to hunting season. Watson says it's the only shooting range of its kind in southcentral Wisconsin. 

DNR officials say people are excited for it to open and they've taken a number of calls. Opening had to be delayed from April because the sod has not yet set on the berms. The DNR plans to make an announcement as soon as the range is ready, likely in late June. 

Powered by Frankly