FORT PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Gun enthusiasts will be pleased to see the final product-once work is complete on the new Oahe Downstream Shooting Complex near Oahe Dam. That’s the assessment of officials with South Dakota’s Game, Fish and Parks Department. The new range replaces a previous shooting facility that was constructed more than 50 years ago. The old range could only handle about five shooters. The new range being constructed within a quarter mile of the old range holds places for about five times that amount-according to Oahe Downstream District Supervisor Pat Buscher.
Buscher says the future complex will have separate pods for shooting rifles and pistols and an area just for shotguns.
Buscher says discussion started in 2005 on developing a new range and detailed planning began in 2009. The property for the range is managed by the state but is owned by the federal government, so several entities have been involved in its development. Buscher says a number of steps had to be followed in taking out the old range and constructing the new one.
Most of the $210,000 project is being funded by federal grant money. Funds are also being provided by the National Rifle Association and Friends of the NRA, in addition to private donations.
Jordon Kitts, Federal Aid Coordinator for the Game, Fish and Parks Department’s Division of Wildlife says the new range will join two other ranges of similar size already located in South Dakota.
Construction is ongoing at the site, as concrete work needs to be placed, canopies added and benches need to be set. An official opening date for the new range has not yet been determined.
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