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There is a public range within a 10 minutes drive of AgoraFest this year, which means that I’m planning the first Unofficial AgoraFest Shoot.

I say planning because I have been unable to find much information regarding this range other than a posting on the Wisconsin DNR’s website, a news story about the range applying for funds to make improvements, and satellite images on Google Maps (at least we know it’s there). All I know for certain is that it is referred to as a public range by the DNR and the news story and that it has at several distances available.

How will this work? I will arrive at AgoraFest on 22nd (Thursday). Before arriving I will head to the range to scope it out to determine if it will fit our needs and what fees, if any, will need to be paid to use the range. From what I have been able to gather I’m fairly confident that the range will be available to us.

On the 23rd (Friday) I will host a shooter’s meeting at the lodge after lunch. This meeting will serve as a go/no-go notice. If the range isn’t available to us the shoot will be called off. If the range is available to us we will determine logistics (transportation to the range) as well as go over safety rules.

What will you need? Hearing and eye protection first and foremost. Guns, ammunition, and paper targets (I don’t know what targets are permitted so I’m playing it safe but saying paper only) second. There appears to be both pistol and rifle ranges available so feel free to bring handguns and long guns. There is also a trap range so you might want to consider bringing your shotgun, thrower, and clays (with the understanding that it might not be available to us even if the rest of the range is).

I will have at least one 9mm handgun and one AR-15 rifle chambered in .223/5.56. If you would like to shoot them please contact me. I will not have much extra ammunition so you will need to buy some (I’ll fill you in on the details related to that if you contact me).

I have experience at running ranges and so far nobody has been hurt under my watch. I’d like to keep it that way. To that end, there will be a few rules:

1. All shooters must be sober. If you’re obviously impaired you will not be allowed to shoot.

2. Hearing and eye protection will be required for all shooters.

3. Anybody under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian.

4. Before going downrange to check and change targets all weapons will be unloaded and placed on the shooting tables or back into their cases.

5. Nobody will be allowed to touch any firearms until everybody downrange has returned.

6. All shooters will be expected to be excellent to each other as well as non-event goers at the range (since it’s a public range there’s a good chance other people will be there as well). Adult language will certainly be used but for the most part I want to keep this event family friendly.

In other words, you will be expected to use common sense. Beyond that we’ll figure out what people want to do and try to divvy up the range accordingly. I’m sure some people will want to practice defensive shooting while others will want to sight in their rifles. There may be some new shooters who will want to receive instructions. If we work together I’m sure we can accommodate everybody.

Speaking of new shooters, if you’ve never shot a firearm before and would like to try please post a comment below or contact me directly. I’ve taught many people how to shoot and if I know there will be new shooters I’ll try to bring a decent introductory firearm.

If you’re interested in going to this event let me know and/or show up to the shooters meeting after lunch on Friday. If you have firearms that you’re willing to allow other people to shoot feel free to post a comment saying so here (as well as the caliber of the weapon if you will require people to purchase their own ammunition ahead of time).