Target Shooting Regulations and Restrictions


Recreational shooting has been a longtime use of the National Forests and Grasslands. There are no designated shooting areas on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland.

According to the Code of Federal Regulations (title 36), recreational shooting can take place on the National Forests and Grasslands, as long as:

1.   You are at least 150 yards from a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation area or occupied area.

2.   You are not shooting across or on a National Forest System Road or adjacent body of water.

3.   You are not shooting in any manner or place where any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge.

4.   You are not firing any tracer bullet or incendiary ammunition.



Regional Restriction

  • Rocky Mountain Region Closure Order: R02-2014-03 prohibits using an explosive, including  exploding targets. An explosive is defined as any chemical compound, mixture, or device, the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion.

Forest and Grassland-wide Restrictions

  • On the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland you may only shoot at cardboard targets, paper targets, self-healing targets, manufactured metallic targets (metal targets specifically designed for firearms), or manufactured thrown-type clay targets (clay pigeons). (Forest Order 10-00-2011-01)  Please note:exploding targets are not permitted.
  • Additionally, You may not possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage while discharging a firearm. (Forest Order 10-00-2011-01)

In other words, only use the approved targets named above with a safe backstopRemember- a safe backstop is one that will stop a bullet. Make sure not to attach your targets on trees, log decks, slash piles, fences, water tanks, or other improvements.  Be aware of:

  • Other people recreating in the area and take extra precaution to avoid recreators when shooting
  • Livestock in the area and take extra precaution to avoid cattle when shooting

Local Closures

Make sure that you are not in an area specifically closed to shooting.  See District Specific Pages for more information: