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Thread: Good Spot to Shoot?

  1. #1
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    Default Good Spot to Shoot?

    I live in the Valley and wanted to just go out with my daughter today and plunk for a while. I headed north on the Parks figuring I could find a good spot when I got out of town to shoot her .22 with her and if I was lucky my .223 at 100yds. We had fun just driving the back roads looking at moose but never did find a good pit to shoot at. I've shot at Birchwood before but really don't shoot enough to spend the $300 for a season pass and don't like spending $20 a person to shoot for an hour.

    Any ideas please let me know, if you don't want to post them please shoot me a PM.

    thanks!!!

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    Birchwood is 175.00 a year... The only place I know of take zero lake road and drive all the way to the end of the road. The old impromptu range out there was cleaned up, fenced up and signs nailed to the trees saying no shootin Houston city limits.

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    I thought about zero lake when I passed it today, lol. Ended up driving out toward Deshka Landing. Thanks for the info!

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    Member Milo's Avatar
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    For what it's worth. There has been increased effort by both land owners and the troopers to crack down on illegal shooting in Mat-su. In particualr Big Lake, Willow and Deshka. This includes but is not limited to, private land trespass, littering, shooting on or across roads and good old reckless endangerment. Only passing along what I'm hearing.

    Overall I dislike many things about Birchwood, but it's safe and legal.
    Death is like an old whore in a bar--I'll buy her a drink but I won't go upstairs with her.

  5. #5
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    The pistol range in Palmer now has a 100 yd outdoor rifle range. Limited hours but much more reasonable than birch wood and lots closer. Hopefully they will get more members and will extend the hours. I plan on joining very shortly and it should work out great for load development work. Hopefully this week the last of the wood for my loading bench will be "funded" and I can start putting together some 6.8spc and 280AI loads! I grew up in the valley and had tons of places to shoot as a kid. Unfortunately the area outgrew the luxury and it was apparent by how trashed those places got it had to change.

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    When you all the way to the end of zero lake it's all state land. No houses around for a few miles. But the gravel pit out there is turning into a garbage pit. I don't shoot out there myself just drive into birchwood and shoot...

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    I think there is a "range" at the end of Maud Rd (off the Old Glenn, just south of Palmer. I know the state opened up a 100 yd cut there with a range in mind,at any rate. There is a range along the Parks, just before you get to the Talkeetna Spur - don't have any idea when they are opened. There are quite a few gravel pits along the Glenn Highway, but you have to go all the way past Mendeltna (Lake Louise area).

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    I am amazed at the lack of "informal" places to shoot in Alaska. I've just returned from a trip to Florida, where I once worked as a range safety officer for a couple of years, and found it difficult to explain to friends there that there is a lack of shooting opportunities here. It's unfathomable.

    Rabbit Creek range is reasonably priced, but their staff are the rudest bunch of jerks I've ever met at a gun range. Then there's that whole steel shot only crap, which eliminates half the range. I've never been to Birchwood, but from the vast amount of comments I've read here in regards to Birchwood, it must be a horrid place. It's $20 a day (at least as I interpret their fee schedule), which is abusive but not obscene, but the ranges in Florida run $8-10 per day (though we do have some that are $10/hr) and about $100/yr. That says a lot about Birchwood's fees when you take into consideration that land in FL is more valuable than it is AK.

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    i walk the intertie between the biglake cut off and hollywood rd often and on more than one occasion i have had bullets pass by me from recreational shooters unaware of how close they are to houses or in what direction people might be coming from. thank goodness i was not in a bad state of mind when this happened. i have had the sign shooters miss and put 22lr rounds into my shop. if you dont know where your at, no matter the expence a range its better for everybody.

  10. #10

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    $20.00 per hour to shoot a gun, outdoors? in alaska. wow. that blows me away there is no place to shoot, without hitting someones condo, or shop or paying. i have never (nor would i ever) live anywhere i couldn't shoot off my own deck. whatever blows your hair back i guess. keep living like that so, people like me can.

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    i have a 50, 100 and 200 yd range and a trap set up in my yard. i think that all the shooting i do attracts others to the area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    I am amazed at the lack of "informal" places to shoot in Alaska.
    We used to have many informal places to shoot along the road system. Google "alaska roadside rambo range" and you will find pieces of that history. People dumped their trash at these places and never bothered to clean up after themselves. And by trash I include shell casings and tons of "targets" not just the burnt up cars and appliances.

    At Reflection lake on the Knik River where the highway crosses they are still cleaning up the hazardous waste that ended up being dumped there through car burning and lead-acid battery distruction.

    Why don't you go to Birchwood, but keep driving past the gate about 100 yards to where you see a wide spot on the right side of the road just before the gate into the airport. Get out and walk back in there along the trail. That is what an "informal" Alaska shooting range looks like. I know this is not what you think of when you are talking informal shooting ranges, but this is what Alaskans do to the land when given the opportunity to blast the heII out of stuff with impunity.

    When Birchwood changed their rates this last year we had some good threads on here about it in the shooting forum down below. If you do the math it makes sense to buy an annual membership. If you plan on shooting more than 5 times a year an annual membership saves you money. If you are like most folks that only shoot their rifles once or twice before opening day then you will be just another whining socialist that wants their free cake to eat.

    With all the whining about the lack of places to shoot I have yet to see anyone offer to buy a large enough track of land near Anchorage that would support a shooting range and then open it up to anyone that wanted to use it. Who has a couple million bucks burning a hole in their pocket? Who wants to spend their free time performing house keeping duties for the AK47/AR15 Blaster crew? Who has the scratch to buy the liability insurance policy for a free for all shooting range?

    Anyone? Didn't think so. Just socialists wanting all their free stuff from the public sector.

  13. #13
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I go to my inlaws in Butte Montana for christmas and such. They have a very nice range. Schutzen house (with dual huge 1900 wood stoves). Hi power rifle range. 2 pistol ranges, 500 meter BPCR silo range, and some shotgun ranges.

    He pays $40 a year for his family to be members.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    I am amazed at the lack of "informal" places to shoot in Alaska. I've just returned from a trip to Florida, where I once worked as a range safety officer for a couple of years, and found it difficult to explain to friends there that there is a lack of shooting opportunities here. It's unfathomable.

    Rabbit Creek range is reasonably priced, but their staff are the rudest bunch of jerks I've ever met at a gun range. Then there's that whole steel shot only crap, which eliminates half the range. I've never been to Birchwood, but from the vast amount of comments I've read here in regards to Birchwood, it must be a horrid place. It's $20 a day (at least as I interpret their fee schedule), which is abusive but not obscene, but the ranges in Florida run $8-10 per day (though we do have some that are $10/hr) and about $100/yr. That says a lot about Birchwood's fees when you take into consideration that land in FL is more valuable than it is AK.
    Regarding the cost difference between Florida and Alaska, population probably has something to do with that. I don't know for a fact, but it would seem that you probably have a lot more people nearby who would be using a range in Florida than you do up here. More volume means you can charge a lower "per use" rate and be able to clear a lot more total money to offset the higher land cost. Up here, you probably have a lot of time with very few or no people shooting, so you have to make up the difference with the fewer total number of people you get. It may not cost as much at Birchwood for the land and operating expenses than Florida, but if you only have 1/10 the number of people using it, each person will have to cover more of the cost to break even.

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    There are a few decent "informal" ranges about, the reason they're still being used, and have thus far escaped being trashed is because some of us know better than to tell other folks where they are.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
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    Things just costs more in Alaska. You know... Shipping and stuff...


  17. #17

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    Hopefully you will find a place on undesignated state land, where it is still legal to shoot, that is safe and not trashed. If/when you do, shoot safely, pick up after yourself, don't fire if there is a "quiet-righter" within a half mile and follow Hippie's advice.
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    That's the price you guys pay for living in the Anchorage area, and the Valley. Too crowded, and too many people.

    I live in North Pole, about mile 14 on the Richardson Highway. Any time I want to shoot I just drive down to 9 mile Richardson Highway. The Tanana River bed is wide and open there. Across the river is an Army Impact Area, totally OFF LIMITS, so no homes or hikers to worry about. No one boats in this area it's too far from anything of interest, and too braded and shallow. We can find a nice bank to shoot into, and can back up as far as we want. My partner and I started shooting there at 100 yards. We kept working out farther and farther, we are currently shooting at 1200 yards. (338/378 Weatherby and Night Force scopes)

    During the summer a local shooting club holds Machine Gun Shoots there. It's real interesting to watch and usually if you pay for the ammo, they will let you shoot a machine gun.

    Or we can go to the Bourough Shooting Range out on South Cushman in town. It's free, the range is out near the Tanana River as well. Steel Shooting Benches, and marked off 50, 100, 200, and 300, yards and meters. The burom is 337 yards from the benches. Many times I will throw some clay targets up on the burom and shoot them with my .17HMR, and .223. Hitting the targets are easy, it's hitting the pieces that gets challenging. Keep shooting till there is nothing left to shoot at.
    Gun Control means hitting your target.
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    Quote Originally Posted by oka in ak View Post
    $20.00 per hour to shoot a gun, outdoors? in alaska. wow. that blows me away there is no place to shoot, without hitting someones condo, or shop or paying. i have never (nor would i ever) live anywhere i couldn't shoot off my own deck. whatever blows your hair back i guess. keep living like that so, people like me can.
    It's $20.00 per DAY at Birchwood when it's open to the public/non-members.

    I'm not saying that isn't exorbtant, but it's better than "per hour".

    You don't reely know what your future holds. Most folks hafta live where they find employment, and that precludes shooting off your deck in most instances.

    I'm sure that's often the case, even in Okie Land.

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  20. #20
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    I think alot has been said already on this subject but the place out Knick way that we used to go is also one of those places that became trashed! It's easy to say that its sad that their aren't more places to shoot but when you see these places become a landfill from the irresponsible it will make sense. Unfortunately there are too many that don't care and it soon becomes the end to the shooting areas we used to have and enjoy. I just go to Birchwood now although I hate to pay for it. At least its not cluttered with cars, appliances etc.........

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