cheyenne mountain shooting complex
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Local officials celebrated the addition of two trap-and-skeet ranges at the Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex on Thursday. Gazette file photo.

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With shotguns sounding and clay pigeons flying, local officials celebrated the addition of two trap-and-skeet ranges at the Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex on Thursday.

The ranges, which open to the public Friday, allow users to shoot 16 to 27 feet from their target. Each lane has voice-activated machinery that fires out the targets on demand.

The complex, just outside of Fort Carson, will cater not only to people looking to fine-tune their rifle and pistol shooting skills, but also competitive shooters and bird hunters.

Complex Manager Rob Rohren called it “a huge day for the range.”

“You’ve got a different class of people who shoot guns,” Rohren said.

The facility plans to start trap and skeet leagues this fall.

Over the next few years, officials hope to open three more lanes for trap and skeet shooting.

Rohren said he constantly fields calls and questions from residents and visitors looking for a place to practice the disciplines.

The Pikes Peak Gun Club also offers trap and skeet, but visitors have to pay an extra fee if they aren’t members, Rohren said.

“When you look around the area, there’s not too many of these facilities here,” said Col. Ron Fitch, Fort Carson’s garrison commander, during a brief ceremony.

The project funding included a $110,000 grant from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, more than $263,000 in Colorado Lottery proceeds and $300,000 of in-kind donations from Fort Carson. The 615th Engineer Company, 4th Engineer Battalion, did grading and surfacing to prep the site as part of a training project, Fitch said.

Fitch and all five El Paso County commissioners marked the opening of the range with a ceremonial volley.

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.

The addition has been planned since the complex was established in 2013 to provide the public with a place to safely and legally shoot. The U.S. Forest Service had closed the South Rampart Shooting Range four years earlier after an accident that left one man dead.

The new ranges are open on a first-come, first-served basis, Rohren said. People can pay a daily fee or buy a punch-card pass for multiple visits.

Contact the writer: 636-0108

Contact the writer: 636-0108

County Government Reporter

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