Tennessee is Building Firing Range in Yanahli WMA

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The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is building a six-station rifle range on Yanahli Wildlife Management Area in Maury County. TWRA believes it will help curb random target practice and concentrate sportsmen into one area where they can safely sight-in their hunting rifles.

"This new range will provide hunters in southern Middle Tennessee with a public range much closer to them than what they have now and we believe it will help cut down on the illegal target shooting on and around Yanahli WMA," said Steve Patrick, the manager of TWRA's Region II.

By most range standards the Yanahli range is small with only six shooting benches that will be available at any one time. Known as a tube range, a shooter must sit on a bench and take aim through a long steel tube at a target in front of a 14-foot high earthen berm.

"The range has an excellent safety design,” said Patrick. "Shooters will be sitting on benches and the steel tube tightly constricts their shooting span at targets that are 50 to 100 yards downrange. What they see through the tube is as wide as they can shoot."

The Yanahli range is being built with funds collected from the annual Tennessee Governor's One Shot Turkey Hunt held each April in southern Middle Tennessee. Money from the hunt also helps with various other projects to benefit sportsmen.

It is located just off of Highway 50 in Columbia and if all goes well with construction plans, the agency wants to have it open for shooters by early fall. The range is built on land once used by the Tennessee Valley Authority as a borrow pit.

"For many years target shooting around here has occurred on public roads, near hiking and horse trails, and even near private dwellings," noted Tommy Edwards, the manager of Yanahli WMA. "This will help us contain shooting to one area that we will police on a regular basis."

The TWRA has not decided what the hours of operation will be or established the permitting system for the new range, but shooting hours will be limited through the week and there will be a charge to use it, similar to other agency ranges.

As the range progresses, sportsmen can obtain more information about it on this Web site along with information about other ranges across the state. http://www.state.tn.us/twra/firingranges.html