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Old June 24, 2009, 06:49 PM   #1
tpareloader
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Target shooting on public land

Does anyone know the rules and regulations for target shooting on public land in Florida?

Can you shoot where ever you can hunt?

Do you have to follow hunting season regs?

I live in the Tampa bay area and there are several parks nearby where hunting is allowed and I was wondering if there are any folks out there that have solved this issue. I can't seem to get a straight answer.
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Old June 24, 2009, 11:40 PM   #2
tahitian.tedgrace
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Public lands

Have you any answers to target shooting on public lands? I can not get any good answers either.
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Old June 25, 2009, 12:32 AM   #3
Nick-Mc
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Don't know about FL but in my state (NH) as long as you are not within 300 ft of an occupied dwelling its legal, but I usually go much further away then that
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Old June 26, 2009, 10:27 PM   #4
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Same here, you're allowed to shoot on any public or forest land, as long as its safe and away from inhabited buildings. Try contacting your local dept. of fish and game, or the nearest forest service.
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Old June 27, 2009, 08:43 AM   #5
lockedcj7
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In SC, it is NOT legal to target shoot on WMAs. I don't know about National Forest land but I think I remember reading that is in also not allowed.
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Old June 27, 2009, 09:10 AM   #6
Uncle Buck
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I would contact the state conservation department and ask them. I know a lot of states do own public use firing ranges. If you are not sure who to check with ask yourself this:
Who is going to arrest me if I do it? Then contact them and get advice before you start. They may even know of approved public shooting ranges already set up.
Best of luck,

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Old June 27, 2009, 05:36 PM   #7
tpareloader
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Quote:
If you are not sure who to check with ask yourself this:
Who is going to arrest me if I do it? Then contact them and get advice before you start.
Good advice, I'll look into that. I know of a public range in Ocala, Fl that is state operated and has no range officers so its self policed but also over 200 miles away.

I just want a place that I can set up some ballistics gel targets or even just a watermelon. I'm tired of paper and I enjoy solving the age old question what would happen if I shot ____ with ____ ? You fill in the blanks.

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Old June 27, 2009, 06:27 PM   #8
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In FL. they discurage you from target shooting do to quality of hunting, But oceola M/A has a range just my 2cnts
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Old June 27, 2009, 06:38 PM   #9
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Not in a national park

In Tennessee you cannot shoot in a national park ... I bet it's the same in any national parks or reserves in Florida. The state of Tennessee does have at least 1 target range set up for us to use. It goes out to 300 yds with these big mo-hunkin posts set up every 50 yds to hang targets.... or milk jugs... or even melons I guess. Also, no shooting in state parks or reserves except during 'drawn' hunts.
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Old June 27, 2009, 06:44 PM   #10
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Much easier here in CA lots of state and National forests to shoot or hunt in.
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Old June 27, 2009, 11:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Good advice, I'll look into that. I know of a public range in Ocala, Fl that is state operated and has no range officers so its self policed but also over 200 miles away.
Living very near the forest range you're talking about, save your gas.....I went there twice......the unsafe scenarios and some of the yahoos there would preclude me from going there again

closer to you, try the Hernando Sportsmens club, near Chasshowitska right up US 19 - they even have monthly machine gun shoots

http://www.hernandosportsmansclub.com/
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Old June 28, 2009, 04:43 PM   #12
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try the Hernando Sportsmens club, near Chasshowitska right up US 19 - they even have monthly machine gun shoots
Thanks I'll check it out
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Old July 13, 2009, 02:57 PM   #13
fishcharmer
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In Texas, it is usually illegal to target practice on public hunting land. Might want to check with the proper authority in FL.
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Old July 18, 2009, 03:51 PM   #14
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Did you ever find a place in the Tampa area?

tpareloader, did you ever end up finding a place in the Tampa area to shoot outdoors? I have seen a few outdoor ranges in Ruskin and Lakeland but I have been to them yet and I don't where else to go for outdoor shooting. If you found anything I would be interested in hearing about it.

Go Bulls! (too bad we didn't have a team when I was there).
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Old July 24, 2009, 11:01 PM   #15
xplosion
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this is what I found for Florida (link below). In MI as long as it is obvious you are there for target practice state hunting areas are always an option. Does not look that way there.

http://askit.myfwc.com/cgi-bin/myfwc...i=&p_topview=1
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Old July 25, 2009, 12:01 AM   #16
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http://myfwc.com/SAFETY/Safety_hunt_safety_ranges.htm

Looks like the nearest public range to you is between Sarasota and Ft Myers.

http://myfwc.com/SAFETY/Safety_hunt_safety_ranges.htm

Good luck.
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Old July 27, 2009, 10:16 AM   #17
Tucker 2
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Bureau of Land Management.

The BLM manages more public land in the U>S>A> than all the other agencies combined. Check into B.L.M. in Florida for their regs. on target shooting. It's where I shoot in Co..
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Old July 27, 2009, 10:27 AM   #18
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One of the best outdoor ranges in the state is only about an hour away from you in eastern Manatee county. $18 for a non-member to shoot all day.
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Old July 28, 2009, 10:38 AM   #19
oneounceload
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Quote:
Bureau of Land Management.

The BLM manages more public land in the U>S>A> than all the other agencies combined. Check into B.L.M. in Florida for their regs. on target shooting. It's where I shoot in Co..
BLM only operates in the Western portion of the US; here in FL it's the Forest Service
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Old August 1, 2009, 11:37 AM   #20
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Thanks for the advice

Thanks to everyone for the advice.

Doyle, are you talking about Guncraft? I haven't been able to make it out there, but as soon as I get a chance I am going there.
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Old August 1, 2009, 10:26 PM   #21
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I shoot at a gravel pit in Northern,MI when I visit family. I called the police they gave me the go ahead. Down where I am at there are plenty of ranges
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Old October 21, 2009, 01:08 PM   #22
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No, you cannot target shoot anywhere in Florida except designated shooting ranges and private land on which you have explicit approval to do so by the owner.

I live in Broward County (SE Florida just above Miami) and the public ranges here are terrible - at least compared to what I was used to in Virginia. They are crowded so when you get there expect to wait for up to 3 hours (obviously it varies). The range masters are understandably overbearing (considering the stupidity of the uneducated shooters that frequent these ranges). And of course no ammo is sold there. If you forget to bring something you're just out of luck, and there's no point in going home and coming back since you go to the back of the line.

Even if you can stand the wait it is not a collegiate atmosphere of fellow shooting enthusiasts that trade stories and help each other if, for instance, you've got a stovepipe jam. Just because someone can't fix the gun right there on the spot doesn't mean you can't give them advice on how to fix it or at least where to get it fixed. I have helped several people that had problems with their weapons and was basicaly told by the rangemasters to stick to my own bench (???). I will never go there again.

I think most people who go there just don't know any different, but in VA the rangemasters were actually human beings that were willing to help and not intent on making your shooting experience miserable. Even the range at NRA HQ (which is pretty cool with their digital targets) is more relaxed than what I experienced down here.

I am a very safe shooter, seeing as how I don't want to accidentally shoot myself or someone else and all. I follow all the rules to the letter. You will never see me handle a weapon without first checking the chamber, or putting my finger in the trigger guard before being ready to fire, etc. You don't need to be uptight and overbearing to be safe, and I think it is an overreaction.

The worst part is the public ranges have put most rifle-rated private ranges out of business. I am just now searching for private ranges and having a pretty tough time finding one. I thought FL would be a much better place to shoot than VA but boy was I wrong. And the funny thing is I come from Northern VA which in some instances is almost as bad as the People's Republic of California. In fact, the state legislature had to force Fairfax County (where the NRA HQ is BTW) to hand out carry permits as required by law. They were essentially turning down everyone who applied except LEOs.
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Old October 21, 2009, 02:50 PM   #23
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Doyle, are you talking about Guncraft? I haven't been able to make it out there, but as soon as I get a chance I am going there.
Nope. Manatee Gun and Archery club. They have the only 1000 yd rifle range in this part of the country. I can't even see that far let alone shoot it.
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Old January 16, 2010, 05:49 PM   #24
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You are dead on correct about the lack of shooting facilities and the crappy ones we have here. I moved from Fairfax to Broward also. I wonder if there is a way to petition the state to open up the public land for target practice.

No, you cannot target shoot anywhere in Florida except designated shooting ranges and private land on which you have explicit approval to do so by the owner.

I live in Broward County (SE Florida just above Miami) and the public ranges here are terrible - at least compared to what I was used to in Virginia. They are crowded so when you get there expect to wait for up to 3 hours (obviously it varies). The range masters are understandably overbearing (considering the stupidity of the uneducated shooters that frequent these ranges). And of course no ammo is sold there. If you forget to bring something you're just out of luck, and there's no point in going home and coming back since you go to the back of the line.

Even if you can stand the wait it is not a collegiate atmosphere of fellow shooting enthusiasts that trade stories and help each other if, for instance, you've got a stovepipe jam. Just because someone can't fix the gun right there on the spot doesn't mean you can't give them advice on how to fix it or at least where to get it fixed. I have helped several people that had problems with their weapons and was basicaly told by the rangemasters to stick to my own bench (???). I will never go there again.

I think most people who go there just don't know any different, but in VA the rangemasters were actually human beings that were willing to help and not intent on making your shooting experience miserable. Even the range at NRA HQ (which is pretty cool with their digital targets) is more relaxed than what I experienced down here.

I am a very safe shooter, seeing as how I don't want to accidentally shoot myself or someone else and all. I follow all the rules to the letter. You will never see me handle a weapon without first checking the chamber, or putting my finger in the trigger guard before being ready to fire, etc. You don't need to be uptight and overbearing to be safe, and I think it is an overreaction.

The worst part is the public ranges have put most rifle-rated private ranges out of business. I am just now searching for private ranges and having a pretty tough time finding one. I thought FL would be a much better place to shoot than VA but boy was I wrong. And the funny thing is I come from Northern VA which in some instances is almost as bad as the People's Republic of California. In fact, the state legislature had to force Fairfax County (where the NRA HQ is BTW) to hand out carry permits as required by law. They were essentially turning down everyone who applied except LEOs.
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Old January 16, 2010, 07:33 PM   #25
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When you say "public lands" are you talking about federal land? National parks are of course federal and state laws do not rule, federal laws do.

In New Mexico the regulations vary by area but generally you may not shoot or even carry a loaded firearm on NP land. BLM lands allow you to shoot wherever you want. They told me "It's your land, use it but be careful."

State lands will of course vary by state.

Someone said back east BLM does not manage any land, it's the Forest Service. These are two very different agencies with controls over different types of land. The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, I know, is managed by BLM. I'm sure there is other property in south Florida that BLM manages. Call their offices and ask about a place to shoot. I have found their staff very helpful.
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