AP NEWS

Talking turkey: Shooters take aim at Tri-State event

November 20, 2016 GMT

FORT MOHAVE — Clay targets by the hundreds turned tail this weekend as dozens of area competitive shooters turned out for an Amateur Trapshooting Association-governed shoot at Tri-State Shooting Park.

“Tri-State Shooting Park, Inc., hosted the Turkey Shoot as a special thank you to Wakimoto Farms and other individual, business and agency partners,” said Robbie Love, TSSPI vice president.

In conjunction with the sanctioned shoot, the event featured a swap meet as well as a bake sale to benefit the shooting park’s Tri-State Quick Shots you Scholastic Clay Target program.

SCTP is a program through Arizona Game and Fish which provides children ages 8 and older the opportunity to participate in the sports of trap, skeet and sporting clays, Love said.

“Kids can join anytime during the school year and essentially shoot for free,” he said. “The program meets two times a month and we provide everything they need to get started.”

The facility, which opened in 2013, is owned by Arizona Game and Fish Department and is run by Tri-State Shooting Park, Inc., an all-volunteer nonprofit sportsmen’s organization.

The range offers four trap fields with two skeet overlays and a five-stand field, as well as a shaded 200-yard pistol/rifle range and 50-yard range. The competition featured rifle, pistol, trap, skeet and five-stand competition for singles and doubles.

In addition to ATA-sanctioned competitions, the group hosts United States Practical Shooting Association, International Practical Shooting Confederation and Steel Challenge competitions for shooters of all levels. The shooting park also offers NRA-certified firearm safety, concealed carry, and AZGFD hunter safety courses.

The creation of Tri-State Shooting Park was the culmination of a long-term effort by the Arizona Game & Fish Department, the Bureau of Land Management and other stakeholders.

The original plans included three construction phases beginning with a trap and skeet range, a 200-yard pistol and rifle range, and a 50-yard pistol range, Love said. In just over three years since the park opened, the original construction plans for the park have been completed.

“We got electricity to the building in late 2015,” he said. “We thought that would take 5 years — the support we’ve had from Game and Fish, the NRA, and a lot of local businesses and individuals has been beyond tremendous.

In addition to regular use by members and the general public, the shooting park is frequently used by area law enforcement agencies as a practice range.

“The ground has been prepared for our future archery range and soon the city will begin construction on a new 50-yard range,” Love said. Construction is made possible by AZG&F matching grants.

Membership in the park has grown from the original 13 to nearly 900 people.

“Everything that happens at the park is because of volunteers — we can’t do any of this without them,” Love said. “We have about 50 regular volunteers now and they are great.”

For more information about Tri-State Shooting Park, go online to tristateshootingpark.com.