By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax shooting range, owned by Dunn County but managed and maintained by the Colfax Sportsmen’s Club, has experienced a 78 percent increase in trap shooting between 2016 and 2017.
The increase does not include use by the scholastic pistol team/trap team, said George Richards, president of the Colfax Sportsmen’s Club, during his report to the Dunn County facilities committee March 7.
The Colfax Sportsmen’s Club plans to add another night of trap shooting, he said.
[emember_protected] The club has had trap shooting on Monday nights but now plans to add another night of trap shooting on Tuesdays, Richards said.
Richards reported a variety of statistics to the committee.
In 2017, the Colfax shooting range logged 3,427 range officer hours, along with 621 volunteer hours, and 2,337 people were signed in to shoot, which did not include visitors and spectators, Richards said.
Last year, the shooting range accommodated Boy Scouts, hunter safety classes, other kinds of classes and conservation meetings, he said.
The scholastic rifle, pistol and trap teams used the shooting range for practices and then competed at state and national events, Richards said.
The rifle team, for example, took first at the state competition and third in the nation, he noted.
All together, the middle school and high school students on the scholastic teams used the shooting range for 250 hours of practice, Richards said.
In 2017, the Colfax Sportsmen’s Club made improvements to the shooting range, including improvements to the parking lot and making a safer approach for the driveway ($4,500); installing a 300-yard berm ($1,200); building a storage shed ($3,300); and increasing the target inventory ($3,700).
The Colfax Sportsmen’s Club also has plans for improvements at the shooting range this year, including expanding the shooting bays ($7,800); increasing the target inventory ($2,000); and building a 32-foot by 32-foot club house addition that will be started at the end of this year or early next year.
People are regularly coming from Iowa and Minnesota for matches at the Colfax Shooting Range, said Jim Kraft, also of the Colfax Sportsmen’s Club.
Through the Colfax Sportsmen’s Club matches, people can be ranked nationally, he said.
Another project in the works at the Colfax shooting range is thinning or clear-cutting trees.
The area on the west side needs to be clear cut to make more room on the range, and the area on the east side needs to be selectively cut, Kraft said.
Members of the Dunn County Board’s facilities committee noted once an estimate has been established for the amount of lumber at the shooting range, the county plans to advertise for bids.
The consensus of committee members was to move forward with the timber cutting project.
The Colfax shooting range is a 40-acre parcel, and about 20 acres of the parcel contains trees.
Committee members noted Menomin Park, 22-Mile Ford Park and the hill along state Highways 12/29 between the community services building and judicial center also have trees that need to be thinned.
In addition to the Colfax shooting range south of Colfax and east of state Highway 40 on 810th Avenue, Dunn County has shooting ranges east of Menomonie on 510th Avenue and in Boyceville on Range Road. [/emember_protected]