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Here is an aerial view of the rifle and pistol range at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s new August A. Busch Memorial Shooting Range in St. Charles, Missouri. The range is opening this weekend and a kiosk system will soon be installed to benefit users of the facility.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announced it will slightly increase user fees at its five staffed shooting ranges this summer.

Justin McGuire, hunter education and shooting range coordinator, said the agency will be raising prices from $3 to $4 per round or hour.

The current fee at all staffed shooting ranges is $3 per hour on the rifle, handgun, patterning or archery ranges and $3 per round on the trap/skeet ranges. The fees will increase to $4 per round or hour starting on July 1.

This is the first increase in price at the shooting ranges in 20 years.

The price increase will apply to the following locations:

Andy Dalton Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center in Greene County

August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center in Saint Charles County

Jay Henges Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center in Saint Louis County

Lake City Range in Jackson County

Parma Woods Range and Training Center in Platte County

McGuire said public use of the shooting ranges for rifle, handgun, shotgun and archery shooting has increased significantly over the years. There are around 200,000 shooters that use the ranges annually.

He said shooting ranges provide safe places to practice shooting and archery skills for Missouri residents. The facilities and programs emphasize proper handling of equipment, eye and ear protection and consideration for fellow hunters.

“While the ranges were primarily constructed for hunters to prepare for hunting seasons, the public’s use for recreational target shooting and self-defense has increased significantly,” McGuire said. “Operation costs, maintenance costs and supply costs have also significantly increased over the years.”

Missouri is also a national leader in providing free, publicly-owned shooting ranges with MDC maintaining 70 unstaffed and five staffed shooting ranges around the state. The department maintains the free facilities but they offer less infrastructure for the shooting sports.

For more information on the state’s shooting ranges, visit https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/conservation-area-classification/shooting-ranges.