Copyright ©1998 Spring Creek Communications
Hunting News From Ten Years Ago
There’s a lot of shootin’ going on in Idaho, thanks to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the shooters and hunters whose tax dollars provide funding for shooting range construction.
Shooting Ranges Readied
The department has coordinated the development of six public shooting ranges in the state since 1974, for a total investment of $312,050 in federal funds. Among the western states, only Colorado, at $750,000 has spent more than Idaho. Nevada has spent $200,000; and Arizona, $300,000. Other western states did not report any expenditures of federal hunter education money for shooting ranges in a survey by Idaho Hunter Education Coordinator Dan Papp.
Idaho has developed shooting ranges in Lewiston, Marsing, Nampa, Boise, Jerome and Montpelier, with another project underway in Sandpoint and one in the planning states in Pocatello. In each case, the Department of Fish and Game worked with a local outdoor club which provided matching materials or labor equal to one-fourth of the total project cost.
Federal funds for hunter education, called Pittman-Robertson or "P-R" dollars, are raised from the shooting public through a tax on sporting arms and ammunition, including archery equipment. They are distributed under a formula which takes into account land area of the state, population, and number of previous-year hunting license sales. As an example, Idaho is roughly fifteen times the size of Florida but has only one-tenth the population. The license sales are roughly a quarter-million in both states, but Florida received $600,000 in P-R funds, compared to Idaho’s $200,000. Fish and Game, which manages the hunter education program, has spent an average of $26,000 of the federal funds on range development each year since 1974.
The most recently completed Idaho project is an archery and small-caliber firearms range at Nampa, developed in cooperation with the Nampa Bow Chiefs and Nampa Rod and Gun Club beginning in 1985. The project was the first archery-firearm range in the nation developed with federal funds, and also the first dual-group project. More than $100,000 in P-R funds was secured by Fish and Game for the facility, which also has meeting rooms for hunter education classes.
Dan Mitchell’s Clay Target & Wing Shooting School