Pawnee National Grassland busy this fall, especially with shooters

Last weekend one law enforcement officer on the Pawnee National Grassland (PNG) made nearly 150 public contacts, mostly with shooters and many from the Denver area.

This time of year, hunters often use the PNG as a place to site in rifles. Unfortunately, many shooters were doing this in congested areas and not always using approved targets. Also this time of year, there is an increase in shooters using pumpkins for targets. This is prohibited on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland.

Hunters should follow all regulations and be aware of others, including cattle, in your area. Shooting is allowed on approximately 99 percent of the PNG, so hunters are encouraged spread out. There is a closure area for shooting located in Township 8 North, Range 76 West, Section 7. The area is closed for one-quarter mile south of Weld County Road 96 and one-quarter mile west of County Road 63.

Information is available on the web at www.fs.usda.gov/arp (quick links box on the right) or by calling the district office at 970-346-5000.

Below are the basic target shooting regulations:

• Make sure you are further than 150 yards from a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation area (including bird tour signs), or occupied area.

• Do not shoot across or on Forest Service Roads (including administrative roads) or adjacent to a body of water.

• Do not shoot in a manner or place where any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge.

• Hunters may not possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage while discharging a firearm.

Remember to also use safe backstops and do not attach targets to trees, fences, water tanks, or other improvements on the PNG.

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