Fall is around the corner, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has the perfect outdoor activity for you and your family! If you haven’t visited one of DNR’s archery and shooting ranges located all over Georgia, you’re missing out.

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Me with an instructor at the archery range.

I’m Mishay Allen, and I’m the new intern at our Wildlife Resources Division. Last week, I had the opportunity to go out and experience the archery and shotgun ranges at the Clybel Wildlife Management Area, located in the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield.  This is DNR’s largest range, and even knowing that, it exceeded my expectations. The range boasts multiple archery and shooting range setups, including an archery trail with 32 3-D targets and an archery tower with tree stand stations where you can practice climbing in and out of a tree stand. There is a 50- yard range for rifles and pistols, a 100-yard range for rifles and a shotgun range with skeet, trap and 5-stand shooting.

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One of the 3D targets on the archery trail.
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A group of friends shooting clays at the Clybel range.

All of DNR’s ranges provide
a safe environment for recreational shooters of all skill levels. DNR’s Hunter Development Program offers a Family Day at the Range that includes a variety of firearm training courses on firearm safety and proper shooting technique. Courses cover firearm introductions—including rifles, handguns, shotguns and muzzle-loading firearms. Dates will be released September 1, 2016. For more information and how to sign up go to http://www.georgiawildlife.com/FDR.

Federal funding allows our ranges to operate and charge only very small fees.  Rangers just require everyone ages 16 to 64 to have a Georgia Outdoor Recreational Pass (GORP) or other qualifying license. An annual individual pass will cost you $19, and if you’re just looking for a weekend activity you can purchase a 3-day pass for just $3.50 plus additional fees. You can easily purchase these online at https://www.gooutdoorsgeorgia.com.

What can you expect to find at a range? Ranges provide target stands with cardboard backing. Make sure to bring your own eye and ear protection, firearm or bow and ammunition or arrows. The Visitor’s Center at Charlie Elliott does sell some shotgun shells, targets and credits for running the clay equipment. Ranges themselves do not have registers or sell equipment. For most ranges, you will need to bring your own targets and a way to attach them to the cardboard if you don’t want to use the range-provided stapler.

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Taking aim at the 100-yard rifle range.

The Wildlife Resource Division has 14 shooting ranges dispersed throughout Georgia for everyone to have access to. A day at the range can be a great opportunity to get together with friends, practice your aim, go on a date or to take time for yourself. The most-used ranges include the one in Mansfield, the one in Savannah, and in Gainesville. However, you can be almost anywhere in Georgia and have access to one of our ranges. Join over 10,000 people who are already taking advantage of this great resource every year!

For a list of all of the archery and shooting range locations, please visit http://www.georgiawildlife.com/hunting/archery-shooting-ranges.

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