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October 25, 2011

Hunters, shooters to benefit

Duck hunting, youth deer hunts and pheasant hunting - that's October in Wisconsin when the autumn colors are brightest, the temperatures are invigorating.

Gun deer season is just around the corner and it's time to get the rifle out and make sure everything is in good working order this fall. That involves practice and sighting in.

So what's missing? How about a place to shoot, to practice and to have a lot of fun?

We all need a place to shoot. Whether it's recreational trap leagues or to practice and sight-in our rifles for deer season -- access to a range is critical for many hunters. We understand this need at the DNR, and we are working to increase the access you have to shooting ranges.

First of all, I am happy to report we have two large public shooting range renovation projects on the horizon that will greatly benefit hunters and shooters alike. One is the range at Yellowstone Lake Wildlife Area in Lafayette County. This facility's upgrade will start this winter. Next up will be renovations at Snacktrack Range in Iron County.

Both of these ranges will be open for use this fall for hunters to get sighted in for deer season. But to do renovations we will have to close them for a time this winter and next spring and possibly summer.

We are committed to having both open in time for hunters and shooters to begin using them late next summer.

Range access and hours can vary widely. Because of this, I want to share a resource I found very helpful: You can visit this website and search for Wisconsin ranges. The results include helpful information such as range hours, hunter sight-in times, fees, and links to the range's website.

Hunting is a great way for us to learn about -- and gain an appreciation of -- nature and the environment around us. As a result, hunters are among the nation's leading conservationists. Hunting also is a popular and time honored way to get meat for the freezer. Hunters know where their meat comes from and have a vested interest in making sure there is plenty for future generations.

Thanks to all who have demonstrated a genuine commitment to recruiting the next generation of hunters to carry on Wisconsin's heritage.

I wish you the best of luck this fall and remember we greatly appreciate your commitment to hunting. Thank you and hunt safe!

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 25, 2011

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