After three years of building and planning, the Sportsmen’s Club of Urbana will open their shotgun and pistol target-only shooting range on Oct. 2.
The shooting range will be open from 9 a.m. to one hour before sundown as long as the weather is decent. The Club continues their no hunting on grounds policy.
The Club closed their shooting range, which had been a part of the club for 25 to 30 years, due to a noise complaint. Neighbors to the east and west of the Club grounds are members, and excited about the addition.
The Sportsmen’s Club of Urbana offers the Mahomet community with a 53-spot campground, fishing facilities, weekly social gatherings and discounts on rental facilities. They’ve also added four archery targets.
Bow-hunting season begins Oct. 1.
The revived shooting range is something nostalgic Club members have asked for over the years. The Club also hopes to bring in new members.
“Being a sportsmen’s club, it was missing what they used to offer in the past,” Grounds Caretaker Linda Mullvian said. “There’s a lot of call for it and very little range.”
Foosland Sportsman Club and St. Joe Sportsman Club also offer shooting ranges with membership.
All Club members who want to shoot will be required to take a two-hour safety course, and wear earplugs and eye protection. The class reviews common sense and Club rules and regulations.
The shooting range area will be supervised by a Range Safety Officer (RSO) at all times. An extensive, hands-on, two-hour RSO class is also available through the Club for people who want more responsibility at the range.
The Club will also host Concealed Carry classes taught by retired police officer and National Rifle Association (NRA) certified Rick Noble. A member of the Club, Noble approached the board about the possibility earlier this year.
Noble’s course has been approved by the Illinois State Police. The first Club offering will be Oct. 26 and 27.
“It’s high in demand and hard to find,” Mullvain said.
Noble, along with several other NRA experts examined the range site for safety.
“We paid particular attention to safety at all cost,” Lee Fancher said. “The way things are today, you can’t be too safe. A lot of what was done was modeled after the state police headquarters in Pesotum.”
The shooting range design includes four to seven-feet high berms behind each target, along with surrounding wings which will keep the shells in a small area. Each shooting station includes a pea gravel-filled connector and front wall to protect shooters.
The Club hopes to draw youth and women to the range. They are also working to make the shooting range handicap accessible, although they are not there yet.
With the shooting range in place, the Club would like to host a Turkey Shoot in November. Participants will shoot at a printed turkey target for a chance to win a holiday turkey.
The shooting range will be closed over the holidays, including the Fourth of July due to high volume camping.