Shooting range to open March

Published 4:34 pm Monday, December 3, 2018

By Myra Bean

The McIvor Creek Shooting Facility located in the Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area  is in the last stages of construction and should be open in March of next year, according to facility manager Cpt. Scottie Jones.

Groundbreaking was held Aug. 29, 2016 at the property at the end of Davis Chapel Rd. outside Sardis. The 15-station sporting clay range (two skeet ranges with a trap range overlaid in each) 5-stand range, pistol range, 100 and 300- yard rifle ranges and the 3D archery range are almost complete.

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The final areas needing asphalt were completed in late October, along with the necessary striping. Getting workers in place and each one understanding their roles is the last phase before the state of the art shooting facility is opened to the public, Jones said.

Some signage has not been finished and will be the final touch for the large facility.

The sporting clay trail is laid and is 1.2 miles long. It wraps around the shotgun sports on the north end. It has the 5-stand venue with nine different throwers. “Five different people can stand up there and shoot,” Jones said.

“We are very excited. This is not only huge for the state of Mississippi and the Department of Wildlife, but huge for north Mississippi. To be able to have a facility of this magnitude is definitely an asset to this part of the world. Winchester, being a big contributor, is only going to contribute more in the future. I want to see it succeed,” he said.

All the turnouts are set for the shooting stations. Those who shoot will check in at the main building to get a card which looks like a credit card. The cards will insert into each machine. Each time a user pushes the button,  a target will be thrown and recorded on the card. The card is returned to the main building and it will tell them how many targets were thrown and charge by the number of targets.

Each target will cost 25 cents. Jones said a good day is about $20 worth of targets for children and adults to practice. On this range, each person supplies their own weapon, shotgun, rifle or pistol.

After the shotgun range, are the skeet shoot and trap houses. There are two skeet houses and the targets will be crossing each other.

Jones said the facility was designed with safety as the number one concern. A person won’t be allowed load their weapon until he/she is in the stand. On the shotgun range, a person has only so much distance to swing back and forth.

The facility has pistol and rifle ranges on the back side. There is the 300-yard range with a backstop as the target. There is also a 200-yard designation if someone wants to shoot a shorter distance.

The 300-yard range can accommodate up to 20 shooters. Each station will provide target stands but the customer has to bring their own target, or buy targets at the station. The shooting benches will accommodate left and right handed shooters.

“What’s really neat the way we designed these buildings is a parent can sit really close to a child or an instructor can sit there and teach classes,” Jones said.

The Tri-Range has a pistol range and two 100-yard ranges. The pistol has seven, 15 and 25-yard ranges in which everybody shoots from the same position. “Each facility would have a range officer manning it to make sure everybody is doing what they are supposed to do,” Jones said, adding to the security and safety of the facility.

The facility will be open year around with closures on some state holidays. The range will be open Thursdays through Sundays, closing each of those days at 5 p.m. in the winter and 6 p.m. in the summer.

During some weekend tournaments, the range will be closed to the general public. They are still trying to decide on the fee schedule. There will be hourly rates and daily rates.