ELKO — Youth group members looking to sharpen their aim, learn about guns or shoot a firearm for the first time in a safe arena are in luck.
The Elko County Shooting Range is working toward adding a just-for-youth area on the south end of the shooting range.
The primary reason to segment off a section for youth is for safety. Having a youth area would also free up use at the range for adult patrons.
“It will give us a better opportunity to shoot in a safer environment and keep the kids away from stray lead,” said Rick Highland, volunteer 4-H instructor. The youth area also will be far enough away from the loud gunshots from the adult area that instructors will have an easier time teaching the youth.
“We won’t have people wandering into our area or our guys wandering in theirs. It will keep things more organized,” Highland said.
Each year, county 4-H members interested in shooting begin with training and safety in Janurary, then in February begin hands-on practice at the range. In August, the members can participate in a competition with any or all of the firearms of their choice, including rifle, muzzleloader or air pistol, as well as archery.
Blue ribbon winners of the county competition are invited to compete in a statewide 4-H shooting event, and winners of that go to a national competition, Highland said.
The addition will help youth learn, practice and then compete.
To accomplish this goal, the shooting range is asking for volunteers and donations.
Elko County donated $15,000 out of its recreation fund to build a restroom facility at the range for the youth. The shooting range also received about $1,000 from Mound Valley 4-H out of Jiggs, according to Randy Brown, Elko County assistant manager.
The opening date of the youth facility will depend on the volunteer response.
“We’ll try to get as much done as we can this winter,” Brown said.
Before the facility is ready, a fence that already exists at the range needs to be moved west about 300 feet, and a 14-foot high berm that runs about 350 feet long will be added, according to Brown.
The youth area will be closed off to the general public. Youth groups such as 4-H, and Boy and Girl Scouts and hunter safety classes will be able to use the area.
For information or to make a donation, call Brown at 738-6816 or 777-6824.