McIvor Facility is officially open

Published 4:31 pm Wednesday, April 10, 2019

News Release

Representatives from the primary organizations involved in creating the McIvor Shooting Facility in Sardis gathered to celebrate the culmination of six years of hard work last week at a dedication ceremony that featured Gov. Phil Bryant.

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“You take a young man or young woman hunting and bring them to a shooting- sports (facility), they’re going to learn discipline,” Bryant told attendees. “They’re going to learn teamwork. They’re going to learn life skills. So, you see, this (facility) is a workforce development center. It’s going to teach those life skills that are so desperately needed for the young men and women that are entering the new economy in Mississippi.”

The facility, which officially opened to the public on April 6, spans more than 300 acres on the Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area. Visitors can shoot sporting clays, as well as pistol and rifle targets, in multiple settings. Situated along the Interstate 55 corridor, the range is located approximately 30 miles from both Oxford and the Hernando-Southaven area of DeSoto County, two of northern Mississippi’s largest population centers.

“As we were turning dirt over on Aug. 30, 2016…I never would have imagined that after that day that this facility would have turned out the way it did,” said Winchester president Brett Flaugher. “It far exceeded my expectations and anything that we envisioned, and I think that says a lot to everybody involved.”

McIvor, like the agency’s other two public shooting facilities, was constructed and is operated through Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration funds, which originate from taxes on hunting and shooting equipment and license revenue. Required matching funds from private organizations help get the projects completed. Winchester, which operates a rimfire cartridge manufacturing facility nearby in Oxford, and the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Foundation provided the matching funds to build McIvor.

“Personally, I’ve been doing economic development –  public-private partnerships – for 25 years in Mississippi, and this project is an example like I’ve never really seen,” said Foundation co-treasurer Chris Gouras. “We’ve got the Agency, we’ve got our Foundation, we’ve got the executive branch through our governor, we’ve got U.S. Fish and Wildlife partnering with us, we’ve got Panola County, and we’ve got the private sector–most importantly Winchester. …They gave us $1.4 million to get this project going.”

With dozens of positions for practicing long-distance rifle, skeet, pistol, and archery, the McIvor Range is a versatile, high-capacity facility designed to meet the wide range of interests for Mississippi’s sportsmen and women. Rifle enthusiasts can take advantage of three dedicated long-gun ranges ideal for target practice and sighting- in scopes. The first range is fixed at 300 yards with steel targets located down range at the berm, while a pair of 100-yard ranges seat 20 shooters each. The seats swivel to accommodate left- or right-handed shooters and the low roofline baffle gives visitors the added safety of a “no blue sky” experience.