With the groundbreaking ceremony taking place today, trap and skeet enthusiasts will have a new range to visit when the Union County Trap Range is completed, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wildlife Resources Division.
Speaking at today’s event, Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division Director Rusty Garrison said, “The shooting sports are safe, high-quality activities for families to enjoy and we are thrilled to be part of the development of this new range that is sure to help cultivate a life-long love of shooting for generations to come.”
This range, which consists of three Amateur Trap Association (ATA) regulation trap fields is one of 19 shooting ranges (firearm or shotgun) currently available on public land in Georgia. Funding for the range comes from the Federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program funds, Union County SPLOST funds, Union County 4-H and the National Rifle Association.
“While it has taken a while to get to this point, we are so excited that soon we will be able to begin construction of this wonderful facility,” said Lamar Paris, Union County Commissioner. “It has been a true collaboration and without the assistance of DNR and our local 4-H Shooting Club coaches and advisors, this facility would not have been possible so I give a special thanks to all involved.”
“Hunting and shooting have long been a strong part of our American tradition and Georgia 4-H believes the S.A.F.E. (Shooting, Awareness, Fun, and Education) Program helps continue this tradition by involving the whole family,” said Timothy Jennings, County Extension Coordinator. “Thanks to this facility, young people will learn safe, ethical and responsible interaction with firearms. Plus, the interactions between youth, parents and certified coaches will help our kids develop self-confidence, personal discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship, all important life skills needed to become contributing members of our community.”
“This project is a great example of what can be done when people and organizations work together,” said Scott Carter, Chairman of the Union County Development Authority. “We appreciate the support and collaboration of DNR, the County, the Extension Service and the Union 4-H Trap Team coaches, kids and parents who have all worked together to create a facility that both residents and visitors will enjoy for many years to come.”
The Union County Trap Range, expected to be operational by the summer of 2017, is located on GA Highway 515/76, five miles west of the City of Blairsville. While range hours of operation and usage fees are not yet solidified, organizers expect it to be open five days a week for six hours a day. Details will be publicized prior to the official opening of the range.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the shooting sports generate more than $478 million dollars in economic impact and more than 1,700 jobs in Georgia.
For more information on Georgia’s public ranges (archery, firearms, shotgun), visit www.georgiawildlife.com/hunting/archery-shooting-ranges.