PUTNAMVILLE – Gov. Eric Holcomb and First Lady Janet Holcomb yesterday helped dedicate Indiana's newest target shooting range at Deer Creek Fish & Wildlife Area.
The First Lady, who is a certified firearms instructor, took the ceremonial first shot, after which the range was opened to the public for a free target-shooting session.
"Shooting sports are an important recreational pursuit for many Hoosiers, and Janet and I are delighted to kick off the opening of this modern facility that provides a safe, attractive environment for enthusiasts," Holcomb said.
The new range is on a 44-acre parcel in the southeast corner of Deer Creek FWA off State Road 243. It features 33 shooting stations at distances of 10, 25, 50 or 100 yards, plus a four-station shotgun range. A building houses range staff, retail space for associated shooting supplies and restrooms. The entire facility meets accessibility standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are 49 parking spaces.
The project cost $2.8 million and was paid for by a combination of funds from the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The Service covered 75 percent through the federal Wildlife Restoration Program, often referred to as the Pittman-Robertson Fund. In its 80th year, the federal program has shared almost $10 billion with states for on-the-ground projects like the Deer Creek shooting range.
"This new range adds to our growing inventory of modern shooting facilities at DNR Fish & Wildlife Areas," DNR director Cameron Clark said. "Like ranges at Atterbury, Kingsbury, Roush Lake, and Willow Slough, this facility gives target shooters and hunters another quality venue polish their skills."
Deer Creek FWA was acquired in 2010 when the Department of Correction transferred 1,962 acres of the Putnamville Correctional Facility to the DNR. The property has expanded since to 2,162 acres under management of the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. Primary activities include hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
Deer Creek comprises rolling interspersed agriculture and mature oak-hickory woods. A 4-acre pond in the north section offers fishing for bass, bluegill and catfish. Its namesake stream – Deer Creek – winds through the south section of the property. A smaller, unnamed creek crosses the north section.
Planning for the public shooting range started in 2013, with construction starting in 2016.
A concessionaire will manage the range for DNR. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.
For more information, visit deercreekrange.org or call (765) 267-3032.
To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov
Media contact: Phil Bloom, Department of Natural Resources, (317) 232-4003 or (317) 502-1683.