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Trap and skeet likely coming to Fort Carson shooting range

July 5, 2017 Updated: July 5, 2017 at 6:01 pm
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El Paso County and Fort Carson are working together to add trap and skeet ranges to the Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex. The complex, located on the post, opened in 2013. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) Photo by CHRISTIAN MURDOCK, THE GAZETTE

El Paso County is moving forward with long-awaited additions to the Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex that will make it a "one-stop shop" for recreational shooters, a Fort Carson official said.

Trap and skeet ranges are slated for completion within the on-base public complex late this fall, said Tim Wolken, the county's director of community services.

At their June 29 meeting, county commissioners unanimously approved a proffer letter addressed to Fort Carson commander Maj. Gen. Ryan Gonsalves that commits $442,000 to help pay for the roughly $740,000 project and affirms the county's partnership with the post to run the shooting complex.

With the letter, the post will seek approval from the secretary of the Army to begin work on the expansion, which will include the development of up to five more ranges: three combination trap and skeet and two trap only. Renovations will also include additional parking and the construction of trap and skeet houses and concrete shooting stations, Wolken said. Trap and skeet are two disciplines of competitive clay target shooting. In trap shooting, a target is launched from a "house," or machine, away from the shooter. In skeet shooting, targets are fired from two houses in trajectories that intersect in front of the shooter.

County and post officials hope the ranges will attract more people to the complex, which is currently host to seven ranges for shooters and archers and sees more than 30,000 visitors a year.

At least one other private shooting complex in the county, the Pikes Peak Gun Club, has trap and skeet ranges that non-members can use for a fee.

The new ranges would offer "another level of the shooting operation for customers," said Frank Jacobson, business division chief for the Fort Carson Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

The expansion would also boost complex revenues and create a public venue for competitions, leagues and youth programs.

"We're getting phone calls on a daily basis asking when it's going to open," Jacobson said.

It's been a part of development plans since the complex was established in 2013 to provide the public with a place to safely and legally shoot after the U.S. Forest Service closed the South Rampart Shooting Range four years earlier following an accident that left one man dead.

When the complex opened, it was hailed as Colorado's largest public shooting range. It's since helped to cut down on illegal shooting in county parks, said county spokesman Matt Steiner.

Funding for the trap and skeet project includes a $300,000 in-kind contribution from Fort Carson, a $110,000 grant from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, more than $263,000 in Colorado Lottery proceeds and $68,500 from the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.

For the complex's third and final development phase, officials hope to build a clubhouse, but a timeline for its completion has yet to be established, Jacobson said.

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Contact Rachel Riley: 636-0108

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