MDC's Pleasant Hope Shooting Range remains closed

News from the region
Published Date
10/12/2021
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The unstaffed shooting range at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Pleasant Hope Conservation Area remains closed. A recent site evaluation by MDC has revealed improper public use, along with continued residential growth around the facility, are the reasons for the closure. The range has been closed since July 23.

“The results of our site evaluation indicated that significant upgrades need to be made to the shooting range in order to maintain its safe operation. Unfortunately, those upgrades just aren’t possible in its current location. In this case, adding side berms and raising the height of the backstop require a much larger footprint than the space that is currently available.,” says MDC Shooting Range Coordinator Justin McGuire. “Additionally, each alteration to the range must fit into the larger scheme of surrounding trail use, other hunting activities on the area, private residences situated adjacent to the area, and a variety of other factors. Therefore, we are going to explore other options to see if there is a better location to build an unstaffed shooting range for the public to use.”

At this time, there is no set timeline on next steps or when decisions will be made on future locations.

“We don’t want to give people a timeline when we, quite honestly, don’t know how long it will take to explore all the options,” McGuire said. “I know it’s not the answer the users of the Pleasant Hope Range want to hear, but for now, all we can say is that we apologize for the inconveniences the closure of the range is causing and we appreciate everyone’s patience.”

Shooters wanting to shoot in this area can utilize several unstaffed shooting ranges MDC operates across the state. Other MDC unstaffed ranges in southwest Missouri that have firearms opportunities include Lead Mine Conservation Area (Dallas County), Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area (Christian County), Flag Spring Conservation Area (Barry County), and Fort Crowder Conservation Area (Newton County).

In addition to these unstaffed facilities, the Andy Dalton Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center in Greene County is one of five staffed shooting ranges MDC operates in the state. Information about MDC’s staffed and unstaffed shooting ranges in the state can be found at:

https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/find/places/mdc-ranges.