South Platte Recreational Shooting

If you are looking for a place to target shoot on the local national forests and grasslands, here are some helpful hints to make your experience safe and enjoyable.

Please be aware:

  • 36 CFR 261.10(d) Prohibits discharging a firearm or any other implement capable of taking human life, causing injury, or damaging property as follows:
  1. In or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, or occupied area; or
  2. Across or on a National Forest System road or a body of water adjacent thereto, or in any manner or place whereby any peron or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge.
  3. Into or within any cave.

Areas closed to target shooting on the South Platte Ranger District of the Pike National Forest include:

  • For a printable shooting brochure, with rules, regulations, and local closures, click here.

Think before you shoot:

  • Please consider using non-toxic, biodegradable clay pigeons. They decompose on contact with water (i.e. rain and snow). Fiber wad shot shells are a good idea, too.
  • Please pick up all litter including spent shells and take them home with you.
  • Don't shoot trees or cause resource damage.
  • Watch for livestock.
  • Pick a safe spot with a good backstop.

Rampart Range Road recreational shooting closure

Recreational shooting had been an ongoing problem for many years in the Rampart Range Recreation Area of the South Platte Ranger District.  The area receives a tremendous amount of use with OHV and dispersed recreation at Devil's Head.  Though most recreational shooting enthusiasts choose their sites wisely, some do not.

In 2001, the Forest Supervisor of the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands signed a closure order for recreational shooting in and around the Rampart Range Recreation Area due to the increased risk to public safety, regular occurrence of vandalism, and rise in public concerns. This closure remains in effect.

Please review the map of effected areas.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding shooting in the South Platte Ranger District, please call our office at (303) 275-5610.

Exceptions: Persons hunting with a valid Colorado hunting license.

Slaughterhouse Gulch recreational shooting closure

On Dec. 3, 2004, the Forest Supervisor of the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands issued an order prohibiting the shooting of firearms in the Slaughterhouse Gulch area of the Pike National Forest, between Bailey and Harris Park, CO. The closure order was initiated as a result of an increasing number of complaints of unsafe shooting practices that posed a risk to life and property.

The closure was implemented following the receipt of numerous individual citizen complaints; U.S. Forest Service and County law enforcement observations of unsafe shooting practices; and discussions between U.S. Forest Service officials, area residents and County officials during a Nov. 17 Park County Commission work session. The Park County Commission lent its full support to the U.S. Forest Service immediately enacting the shooting closure.

The closure order makes it unlawful to discharge a firearm, air rifle or gas gun in the closure area. Exceptions include any person possessing a current and valid Colorado State hunting license and who is actively involved in hunting during an open season, and any person discharging a gas-operated paint ball gun. Also exempt are Federal, State, or local law enforcement officers in the performance of an official duty.

Slaughterhouse Gulch Road and Forest Service Road 101, that help define the 6,900-acre closure area, are roughly north-south running roads that are generally within one-half mile of private land  (see map). The impacted area boasts several miles of all-terrain-vehicle, motorcycle and four-wheel drive accessible roads; horseback riding and hiking activities; and numerous residences that surround this area. *NOTE: On July 29, 2009, the order was rewritten to include the area extending from Slaughterhouse Gulch around to Harris Park. See map for details.

Violations of the closure order prohibitions are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. (16 U.S.C. 551 and 18 U.S.C.3559 and 3571).