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Published on: Aug. 29, 2011

Dutch-oven cooking courses for the whole family. The staffed ranges offer hundreds of shooting programs each year including classes in basic shotgun and handgun, archery, trap and skeet shooting, home firearms safety and advanced wing shooting for hunters.

In addition to regular programming, staffed shooting ranges and outdoor education centers host special events. For example, this year Andy Dalton Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center organized its eighth annual “A Day at the Range” and Outdoor Adventure Fair, a free event open to people with disabilities and their families and friends.

“‘A Day at the Range’ is an opportunity for people with disabilities to enjoy nature and learn shooting and outdoor skills at their own ability levels,” said Michael Brooks, outdoor education center supervisor at Andy Dalton Shooting Range. About 600 participants in 2011 attended the event to shoot pellet guns and .22 rifles, practice archery and fishing, and participate in assisted shotgun shooting.

According to Brooks, the outdoor education center also organizes a youth and women’s dove hunt, a youth waterfowl hunt, managed deer and turkey hunts, and a deer hunt for people with disabilities. All staffed ranges and outdoor education centers support programming and events for people of different ages and backgrounds and whole families.

“The staffed shooting ranges and outdoor education centers are able to take people from the novice level and, through training, to real hunting experience in the field, which is quite an accomplishment for all involved,” Legg said, noting the importance of training proficient, responsible hunters.

“With hunting comes responsibility,” said Jeff Cockerham, MDC Outreach & Education supervisor for the Central Region and frequent hunter-education instructor. “This responsibility includes being safe, being respectful of the animals and being respectful of other hunters. That’s what we teach at these programs.”

Safety First

Staffed shooting ranges provide a safe place for Missourians to practice shooting skills. Safety considerations include handling equipment properly, using proper eye and ear protection, and considering the welfare of fellow hunters and trail companions.

“Safety is our main priority,” Haley said. “The ranges demonstrate that with every program they have, from fishing to shooting shotguns.”

Outdoor education center supervisors at each range receive training from the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) Range Development and Operations Conference and conduct training for outdoor education center staff along with the NRA’s Range Safety Officer course for all staff. They enforce safety measures such as muzzle control,

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