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C.W. Caywood Shooting Range In Vilas County Closed Until Further Notice

Safety Concern Discovered During Recent Inspection Of Surrounding Public Lands

Contact(s): James Yach, DNR Secretary's Director- Northern Wisconsin or 608-218-0711
Contact: Brenda Von Rueden, DNR Target Range Manager or 608-228-4549

August 7, 2020 at 5:08:55 pm

WOODRUFF, Wis. - A northern Wisconsin shooting range is closed until further notice due to significant safety concerns Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff discovered during a recent inspection of public access properties in the vicinity of the range.

The C. W. Caywood Shooting Range is a state-owned range located off U.S. Highway 51 north of Woodruff in Vilas County on property within the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. The range is surrounded by public lands open to public access. The DNR has an agreement with an external group to operate the range.

DNR staff will be surveying and considering safety alternatives and control measures to ensure safe shooting operations going forward. All options will be considered to include engineering improvements to the shooting facility, range monitoring and modified hours of operations in order to re-open the shooting facility in a safe fashion as soon as possible.

"Our staff is taking measures to adequately post the correct closure signage and post alternative shooting opportunities in the vicinity as well as notifying external interests," said James Yach, DNR Secretary's Director- Northern Wisconsin.

Alternative shooting ranges in the area include:

  • Boulder Junction Range located at 10449 Nebish Lake Road in the Town of Boulder Junction. Hours of operation: Rifle and pistol range are open daily from sunrise to sunset except from noon-4:30 p.m. on Wed. and Sun.
  • The Northwoods Wildlife & Wetlands Club Shooting Range located at the Mercer Range Road and Highway 51. Hours of operation: Open daily April 1 to Nov. 30 sunrise to sunset. Website:

    For information on other shooting ranges in the area or around the state, visit the DNR website,, and search "public ranges."

  • Last Revised: Friday, August 07, 2020

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