Target Shooting

Target shooting on the National Forest Lands can be an enjoyable way to safely practice shooting your firearms in preparation for the upcoming hunting season, or just to become more proficient. As you shoot please use caution and be courteous of others:

  • Have a clear sight of the target area
  • Maintain an adequate protective backdrop
  • Use approved targets. Certain forests may have specific restrictions, such as the type of targets used (i.e. cardboard targets, paper targets, clay pigeons).
  • Exploding targets are not permitted on any forest or grassland.
  • Use approved targets with a safe, bullet-proof backstop. Do not shoot at or attach your targets on trees, log decks, slash piles, fences, signs, or water tanks.
  • Practice safe gun handling by:
    • Treating every gun as if it is loaded.
    • Never letting the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you do not intend to shoot.
    • Keeping your finger off of the trigger until your sights are on the target and you are ready to shoot.
    • Making sure of your target and what is beyond.


Federal Regulations

To stay within federal regulations be aware that it is prohibited to discharge a firearm:

  • In areas closed to shooting. Please check with your local Ranger District for closed areas.
  • In or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site or occupied area. [36 CFR 261.10 (d)]
  • Across or on a National Forest System road or a body of water adjacent thereto, or in any manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result in such discharge.[36 CFR 261.10 (d)]
  • Into or within any cave. [36 CFR 261.10 (d)]
  • Using firing tracer bullets or incendiary ammunition.


Recreational Shooting Tips

This Youtube video also gives some more tips for enjoying your time recreational target shooting on the National Forest lands.