Home Ranges: Firearms and Archery

Dancerpro

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Apr 18, 2021
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61
The closest range for firearms is 30 miles away and I can't find an archery range within 50 miles. I live on 5 acres and a good bit of it is downhill with woods on 3 sides. I would like to set up ranges that give me as many shooting angles and body positions as possible. This is because from stories I've been told and the shows I've watched, very few shots are level with you. I know that firearms are completely different from archery and I know that each type of firearm (pistol, shotgun and rifle) is different from the others. As experienced hunters, how would you set up ranges? What targets would you use. What safety features would you build in or use? I am currently stripping and re-blueing my firearms, getting them ready for heavier use, because they have been neglected due to lack of use.
 

MarvB

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Apr 5, 2001
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₵tral Oar-e-gun
Archery is a back yard shooting lane out to 60yds for me terminating in a block archery target in front of multiple hay bales with a foam hi density hot tub cover squeezed in between.

Our shooting range is down the street about 10 minutes where our little community bumps up against BLM.it’s at the base of a low hill range so nobody can drop into it unexpectedly and we have a safety flag we hang out when the range is hot. Simple set up with a shooting bench, picnic table, and target stands from 15 to 100 yds. We’re going to cut another swath that will get us out to 200-225yds soon. Though we’ve only got a few acres, We abut about 45,000 acres of BLM
 

diamond hitch

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Feb 9, 2020
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Western Montana
I also needed a range. When I went to school in Fargo, the local shooting range had backstops made from used tires and dirt. I leveled an area and lay down layer of tires 4 tires deep and 8 truck tires wide. Then I filled and covered the layer with 6 inches of dirt. Then I repeated the task until I had a mound about 7 ft tall. I sloped the dirt off the ends and the back and seeded it.

The tires were free from the local tire dealer. In front I put in a post on either side and nailed a rail across the top. I hung a piece of OSB from a political sign that wasn't picked up across the rail. I have used it for 34 years. I will upgrade the OSB this year. On the opposite hill I built a shooting bench at 50 and 100 yds out of 4 posts and an assortment of used 2x8s and 2x4s.

I figure I have $50 and my time into it. If you don't have a tractor, rent a skid steer. I have room for a 300 yd shot to the same backstop but would have to clear a bunch of trees out of the way. Someday! Maybe!

I took a little fore thought and planning. And good neighbors.

Hope this helps.
 

Sytes

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Sep 25, 2009
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8,728
Location
Montana
If you're able to dig into a hillside to encompass 3 sides with high burns from the soil dug to make a lane for a minimum 50 yards... that works great for archery, pistol, and general rifle sighting with a solid gun vice.
Not sure your area though check County restrictions to make sure you're set legally to discharge firearms.

Screen to sift out rocks that may cause ricochets. Soft dirt back stop for firearms a good five feet deep.

Straw hay bales work good for archery backstops.

Meh, public query, public response.

Best to ya! At the least, archery's a cinch on 5 acres.
 

Dsnow9

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Oct 29, 2019
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1,140
Location
Colorado
I have a 60 yard archery range set up in the back yard. I use two horse stall mats hanging behind my target. They work great at stopping arrows and take up a lot less room than hay bails and I haven’t had one come close to passing through. Rifle range just depends on your property, laws, and neighbors. All the guy that have posted had good recommendations for that. When it comes to rifle and archery for that matter, being comfortable shooting from different and awkward positions is more important than up and down hill. A good angle compensating range finder can do a lot of the slope. Not being able to settle down into an uncomfortable barley stable shot is a lot harder skill to master and will be much more valuable in the field.
 

Turbo2160

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Feb 28, 2021
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10
Wood backer from 100 to 600 yards.. then 4 steel 24"×24" plates out to 1000
 

Dancerpro

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Apr 18, 2021
Messages
61
Thinking through responses, I realize that there are 2 things I forgot to mention. 1) I walk with a staff which is a bit over 5' and 2) Daizie, my service dog. With Daizie there are at least 2 things I need to think about, 1) protecting her hearing and 2) using her as a shooting platform. She has long ears, but a firearm going off around her may not be ideal for her long term hearing, so I need a method of protecting her ears. My staf hight will not allow me to add a shooing notch on top for shooting and still use it as a stabilizer for the kick back. However I may be able to add a shooting notch, like a branch on a fake Christmas tree by using a small radiator clamp with a thumb screw. I could use Daizie's back as a shooting rest, after she has hearing protection and is trained as a shooting platform. It is her job to make my life easier, but it is my responsibility to protect her in every way. I know that I will most likely be limited to squat and squalk, but you never know, I might come upon my prey on the way to the blind. Being prepaired for any shot situation should be a goal in training. I don't think I can come up with and train for every situation, but train for as many as possible and I should be able to throw something together in the moment and have decent chance of accuracy.

I really like the dry fire exercises, especially the coin on the end of the barrel while dry firing. That should teach trigger control and really kick up anyone's shooting skills. Using the 5 shot pattern to find your maximum shooting distance is a great idea and the more you practice that, the closer your pattern should get and the further you should RELIABLY be able to kill your target.

Thanks folks, I learn so much from y'all.
 

RobertD

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Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
554
Location
Southwest Georgia (GA)
Thinking through responses, I realize that there are 2 things I forgot to mention. 1) I walk with a staff which is a bit over 5' and 2) Daizie, my service dog. With Daizie there are at least 2 things I need to think about, 1) protecting her hearing and 2) using her as a shooting platform. She has long ears, but a firearm going off around her may not be ideal for her long term hearing, so I need a method of protecting her ears. My staf hight will not allow me to add a shooing notch on top for shooting and still use it as a stabilizer for the kick back. However I may be able to add a shooting notch, like a branch on a fake Christmas tree by using a small radiator clamp with a thumb screw. I could use Daizie's back as a shooting rest, after she has hearing protection and is trained as a shooting platform. It is her job to make my life easier, but it is my responsibility to protect her in every way. I know that I will most likely be limited to squat and squalk, but you never know, I might come upon my prey on the way to the blind. Being prepaired for any shot situation should be a goal in training. I don't think I can come up with and train for every situation, but train for as many as possible and I should be able to throw something together in the moment and have decent chance of accuracy.

I really like the dry fire exercises, especially the coin on the end of the barrel while dry firing. That should teach trigger control and really kick up anyone's shooting skills. Using the 5 shot pattern to find your maximum shooting distance is a great idea and the more you practice that, the closer your pattern should get and the further you should RELIABLY be able to kill your target.

Thanks folks, I learn so much from y'all.
Just spitballin here, could you tie another rod to your staff at the top and then use both for a pair of shooting sticks? A lot of guys do that, you just flex the bottoms apart like an A frame and then lay your rifle in the V at the top. May not work at all but thought I'd toss it out there.
 

Dancerpro

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Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
61
Just spitballin here, could you tie another rod to your staff at the top and then use both for a pair of shooting sticks? A lot of guys do that, you just flex the bottoms apart like an A frame and then lay your rifle in the V at the top. May not work at all but thought I'd toss it out there.
I like the idea, don't know if it'll work, but attach a rod to the bottom and use a sliding ring at the top to create the V. Thinking it through, it sounds like it might work, if the V is wide enough. Might have to use a wedge to get the V right, but if the rod is notched at the right point everything will lock together and be a solid shooting point.
 

belshawelk

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Aug 27, 2015
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Oregon
I have everything out to a mile. But 99% of my range shooting is 100 and 200 yards for rifle.I can see my errors out to 200. Beyond that sure I can hit plates but the really doesn’t make me better.
 

ElkFever2

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Mar 4, 2019
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3,168
Location
Iowa
Don’t use your dog as a shooting rest. Dogs move at the wrong times creating a safety hazard.

You can attach an extendable standing-height bipod or monopod to your firearm. However, I like the idea of incorporating your staff as mentioned above too; that’s what I’d do. I practice shooting off trekking poles configured into shooting sticks.

I used to have a small acreage like you do. In IA you can shoot firearms if you are 201 yards away or more from livestock and human dwellings. I shot from the road against a hillside 100 yards away. Archery is much easier - a target plus a secondary backstop behind it, or skip the backstop if there is 200 yards of nothing beyond your target. Some cities ban archery on private property, but I lived in the county where no such ban existed.
 

Otto Matic

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Jan 3, 2021
Messages
474
I'm on 80 acres.
When I was shooting archery, my range was the front yard. Out to 40 yards.
Right shoulder replaced and left elbow deterioration and I don't archery hunt any longer.

Forget the "uphill/downhill" thingie. Just pick a relatively level spot with at least 100 yards and a good back stop and go for it.
You can spend your lifetime setting up different shooting situations and STILL not duplicate the situation to make the shot on the trophy of a lifetime.
"In real life", hunting seldom offers shots at extreme ranges. Of the 200 (+/-) deer I've taken over the last 53 years or so, I'd wager I've only taken 10 or so over 100 yards and only 3 I can think of at +/- 200 yards.

Keep it simple!
 

Cheesehead

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Dec 6, 2017
Messages
452
I’d scrap that doggie rest idea in a hurry and then watch some Hickok45 videos on YouTube for inspiration for a fun setup. Make it fun.
For me, something every 50 yards out to 600 for rifle, and every 5 yards out to 90 with archery would be ideal.
A fun project...
 

1_pointer

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Dec 20, 2000
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Indiana
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