St. CHARLES, Mo.—The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) held a ground breaking ceremony for its new August A. Busch Memorial Shooting Range and Education Center in St. Charles on May 26. The event kicked off phase II of the construction of the range.
Attending the event were MDC Director Robert L. Ziehmer, along with Conservation Commissioners Marilynn J. Bradford, David W. Murphy, and James T. Blair. Also present were Conservation Commissioners Emeriti Don Johnson and Steve Bradford.
“This is an amazing investment in conservation that’s going to serve Missouri well for another 40 plus years,” Ziehmer said of the new range during the opening remarks. “The Department’s staffed shooting ranges serve many roles that include making hunting safer, outdoor skills classes, and much more.”
After the opening remarks, Ziehmer and the commissioners performed a ceremonial groundbreaking to officially begin the construction of the new shooting range and education center.
The renovation project began in early 2015 with Phase I, which included demolition of the old range, prepping and regrading the site, and extensive lead reclamation efforts. The previous Busch Shooting Range was decommissioned in December 2014 after 40 years of service.
When completed, the new Busch Range and Education Center will feature a 20 position, 100-yard shooting range and a 15 position, 50-yard range for both rifle and pistol shooting. It will also offer five trap/skeet overlay ranges with electronic controls, and two shotgun patterning ranges. There will be a dedicated education building on the premises with a 60-person classroom to host educational programs. Handicap-accessible booths, improved lighting, sound reduction guards, full lead containment measures, and public restrooms headline a host of other improvements that will offer visitors a premier shooting experience.
MDC has installed two webcams on the site to monitor the construction. Those interested in viewing the progress of the new range in real time can go to http://short.mdc.mo.gov/Zk2. The easy-to-navigate control panel allows viewers to choose between the two cameras, zoom in and scroll around the image, enlarge to fill the screen, and even change the date and time of the images displayed. There’s also a “time lapse” feature that allows playback showing progression of the site over time.
The new Busch Shooting Range will be located on the same site as the previous one, approximately five miles west of Highway 94 on Route D in St. Charles.