MDC’s Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area shooting range gets new staff, schedule

News from the region
Published Date

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announces new hours of operation and staffing at Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area shooting range.

The shooting range will close to the public June 21–22. Beginning June 23, on-site range safety and maintenance technicians will actively monitor and manage the shooting range during hours of operation. The range will be open for public use according to the following seasonal schedule:

  • Summer hours:
    12 p.m.–6 p.m.
  • Winter hours:
    10 a.m.–4 p.m.

The range will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. MDC has installed a new entrance gate to the range which will remain locked when the range is closed, beginning June 21.

Due to increased popularity and use of the range, and to ensure a safe and positive experience for all area users, MDC has implemented previous infrastructure upgrades to the range and will move forward with the new schedule and staffing.

“Safety is the number-one priority for any activity involving firearms,” said MDC Hunter Education and Shooting Range Program Coordinator Justin McGuire. “With the increased popularity of recreational shooting at Rocky Fork, the changes that are being implemented will allow MDC to ensure that staff are always available during hours of operation. These staff will help maintain a safe environment, answer questions, and will be a helpful point of contact for the public who enjoy safe, responsible shooting.”

Incidents of misuse in recent years have generated safety concerns at the shooting range. MDC’s move to new hours and staffing reflect the agency’s commitment to helping Missourians safely discover nature, and maintaining this valued local resource.   

Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area, located in Boone County, just six miles north of Columbia, offers recreational opportunities for birdwatching, fishing, hiking, hunting, outdoor photography, and wildlife viewing. In addition to the ADA-accessible shooting range, the area offers access to more than 60 ponds and lakes, and a boat ramp and ADA-accessible fishing dock on the largest (50-acres) lake. The area contains historic cemeteries, and diverse habitat and geographic features. Learn more about Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area and plan your next visit at