Places to Shoot Near Boulder
One of the biggest questions for shooters in the Boulder County area is, “Where can I shoot?” Unfortunately the only official range in the county is the Boulder Rifle Club, a private club with a membership waiting list nearly a decade long, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nowhere for local residents to get out and shoot in the area.
While the Boulder Rifle Club is a private organization typically only accessible to members and their guests, they do still provide some range time open to the public. The first full weekend of the month from April to August are public range days, in addition to every full weekend September through October. From April-August the cost is only $10 per shooter for the day, though during the fall months the price is per firearm. Access is first-come, first-serve so a spot isn’t guaranteed, especially during the busiest time of year surrounding the various hunting seasons from September through October. While dedicated rifle ranges often have nice facilities, such as indoor setups and benches or target boards, they also have significant limitations. Indoor ranges often restrict the calibers you may use, and even Boulder Rifle Club’s outdoor range has no options beyond 200 yards. For those who prefer guaranteed availability, free access, and longer ranges to shoot at public lands may be your best bet.
One of the many advantages of living in Colorado is the huge amount of land dedicated to national forests and grasslands that is freely available to the public. These lands are public and belong to every citizen, with many areas being free to use for shooting. It’s important to note, however, that there are still rules and regulations that go along with shooting on any public land (where allowed):
- You may not shoot within 150 yards of a residence, campsite, building, or other occupied area
- You may not shoot across National Forest roads or bodies of water
- You may not shoot in a manner where a person or property may become injured or damaged
- You may not shoot into a cave
- You may not shoot incendiary or tracer ammunition
- You may not have open containers of alcohol while shooting
- You may not shoot explosive targets such as tannerite
The main thing to pay attention to, when selecting a location to shoot, is local shooting closures . As an example, many locations were closed due to the flooding in 2012 and many other locations have been temporarily closed during periods of large fire danger. Shooting closures can also happen for other reasons, however, such as complaints from residents and litter or garbage left behind by shooters. While the weather and complaints are difficult or impossible for shooter to control, it is important that shooters act responsibly and pick up their casings, targets, and other waste generated during their shooting activities. When using standard targets made from paper or steel the cleanup is very minimal, and the use of inappropriate targets such as computers, televisions, and furniture is the very reason for many garbage-related shooting closures. One poorly behaved shooter reflects negatively on everyone in the shooting community, so please do your best to take care of your own mess and any mess you see left behind by others. Several areas have been suggested for designation as recreational shooting areas in Boulder County. These locations are the Bunce School Road area, Beaver Reservoir Road, and Ruby Gulch. An map of these locations man be found by CLICKING HERE, but please do note that the Allenspark Dump Area noted on this map is currently closed to recreational shooting. Since these are already being considered as designated recreational shooting areas, they would make for perfect spots to go out and utilize safely and responsibly. Below you can see a current map of shooting closures in the Boulder area on national forest lands:
Here’s a list of some other resources to learn more about shooting on public lands. Make sure to click as each of these are links.