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Thread: Daniel Boone National Forest, carrying and shooting

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    Regular Member ZXguy's Avatar
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    Daniel Boone National Forest, carrying and shooting

    I know this has been discussed a few times over the last five years (I've gone through all threads several times to digest the information)...and I didn't want to revive an old thread.

    I'm curious about OC and target shooting in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Red River Gorge, Clifty Wilderness, etc.

    Based on this alone ( http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/prog.../welcome.shtml ) it appears that carrying *and* shooting is just fine in the DBNF as long as I'm not near anything and not hurting anyone (obviously). Still, as much time as I've spent in Clifty Wilderness and Red River Gorge, I don't think I've ever seen or heard anyone shooting, so I'm a little concerned. Additionally, I've asked lots of people and everyone seems terrified at the thought of shooting in DBNF (but they can't tell me why exactly lol).

    Specifically, I'm interested in several different areas such as the national forest between Irvine and Clay City and Stanton (such as this area http://goo.gl/maps/817Tv ) and also interested about regions in and around Red River Gorge.

    After a week or so reading and researching, I simply can't find any reason for concern. It looks like it's perfectly fine to target shoot in safe, responsible areas.

    I saw the long thread from last year ( Encounter While Camping ) and it appears not all the rangers are really aware that it might be legal.

    I just wrote the ranger station in Winchester to get their opinion on this, though I may visit them in person this week to get a final word.

    I guess I'm writing you all to get a final opinion or so before I take to the hills with my friend to go target shooting. I'm most likely to go into the hills between Irvine and Clay City (as it's the closest to Lexington) and I just want to be properly prepared about any potential restrictions.

    Opinions? Thanks in advance!

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    Re: Daniel Boone National Forest, carrying and shooting

    Emailing the ranger isn't advised. It is a perfectly legal activity whether a ranger thinks so or not. You do have to be a certain distance from trails and buildings...100ft maybe? I don't believe you can shoot across water. Obviously a good backstop is needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZXguy View Post
    I know this has been discussed a few times over the last five years (I've gone through all threads several times to digest the information)...and I didn't want to revive an old thread.

    I'm curious about OC and target shooting in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Red River Gorge, Clifty Wilderness, etc.

    Based on this alone ( http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/prog.../welcome.shtml ) it appears that carrying *and* shooting is just fine in the DBNF as long as I'm not near anything and not hurting anyone (obviously). Still, as much time as I've spent in Clifty Wilderness and Red River Gorge, I don't think I've ever seen or heard anyone shooting, so I'm a little concerned. Additionally, I've asked lots of people and everyone seems terrified at the thought of shooting in DBNF (but they can't tell me why exactly lol).

    Specifically, I'm interested in several different areas such as the national forest between Irvine and Clay City and Stanton (such as this area http://goo.gl/maps/817Tv ) and also interested about regions in and around Red River Gorge.

    After a week or so reading and researching, I simply can't find any reason for concern. It looks like it's perfectly fine to target shoot in safe, responsible areas.

    I saw the long thread from last year ( Encounter While Camping ) and it appears not all the rangers are really aware that it might be legal.

    I just wrote the ranger station in Winchester to get their opinion on this, though I may visit them in person this week to get a final word.

    I guess I'm writing you all to get a final opinion or so before I take to the hills with my friend to go target shooting. I'm most likely to go into the hills between Irvine and Clay City (as it's the closest to Lexington) and I just want to be properly prepared about any potential restrictions.

    Opinions? Thanks in advance!
    My opinion is to never ask a ranger or leo about the law and/or the legality of an activity. In my experience I have realized most leo's or anyone of the sort is ignorant of the law. If you look at the training requirements to become an leo in the state of KY, then you will realize they do not spend much time at all on weapons. The majority of their training is in DV, elderly issues and such. Read the law for yourself or ask around here and always ask for a cite before you do what someone says. It seems to me you have researched it enough to know what the law says, so you are good to go.
    "I never in my life seen a Kentuckian without a gun..."-Andrew Jackson

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    Regular Member ZXguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KYGlockster View Post
    My opinion is to never ask a ranger or leo about the law and/or the legality of an activity. In my experience I have realized most leo's or anyone of the sort is ignorant of the law. If you look at the training requirements to become an leo in the state of KY, then you will realize they do not spend much time at all on weapons. The majority of their training is in DV, elderly issues and such. Read the law for yourself or ask around here and always ask for a cite before you do what someone says. It seems to me you have researched it enough to know what the law says, so you are good to go.
    Yep, I tend to agree. However, I've been reading the laws for like two weeks and based on my (limited) understanding, I see no legal issues. My email to the ranger station made the assumption that it was legal and, if for whatever reason there was a restriction, that it be provided and explained. When/if I get an answer from the district station, I can always choose to check and verify the info (especially if it sounds untrustworthy)....and that's what I'm likely to do. Likewise, I shouldn't just assume ignorance on the part of the rangers -- I'm sure some are both honest and informed. I don't really want to assume the worst without giving them a chance. I also don't want to assume they have absolute authority in the matter. I simply want to use them as yet another resource which might point me to solid, indisputable answers.

    Whatever the case, since looking into this over the past couple of weeks, I've found quite a few people who can't really confirm or deny legality -- even here as evidenced on some of the other threads. If I were to be placing bets, though, I'd wager that there is no law prohibiting target shooting in DBNF. Before I go target shooting and possibly have an unfortunate encounter with ranger or someone else, I'd like to be properly informed of the law so that I don't find myself wasting time in an uninformed debate. I'm actually a bit surprised that the answer to this is uncommon knowledge.

    If I wanted to get a 100% solid and official answer to this question, who would you suggest contacting?

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    Regular Member ZXguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by langzaiguy View Post
    Emailing the ranger isn't advised. It is a perfectly legal activity whether a ranger thinks so or not. You do have to be a certain distance from trails and buildings...100ft maybe? I don't believe you can shoot across water. Obviously a good backstop is needed.

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    Thanks for the info. I think I'm in 100% agreement with you. As I mentioned, I've yet to find anything suggesting that it's illegal and, based on that one website entry, it seems like it might be "welcomed." That's awesome actually.

    I am curious if there are some local restrictions such as within Clifty Wilderness, however.

    As I mentioned above, most answers I've received on this have been very uncertain and, in many cases, answered with a bit of nervousness. I'm surprised so many are spooked at the idea of shooting or carrying there.

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    Re: Daniel Boone National Forest, carrying and shooting

    You'd have to hire a lawyer. No one else is qualified to give you legal advice. Youre not going to find a law that says you CAN do something. Since this is legal, you aren't going to find a law that says you can't do it. I don't know if you'll be truly satisfied with an answer. And youre right to not take anyones word on this.

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    As for Red River Gorge, which of course is in DBNF, the rules can be found here:
    http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_...rdb5270145.pdf

    There are other prohibitions to shooting which I did not mention. Also, the distance in shoot is 150 yards, not 100 ft as previous mentioned.

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    Regular Member ZXguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by langzaiguy View Post
    You'd have to hire a lawyer. No one else is qualified to give you legal advice. Youre not going to find a law that says you CAN do something. Since this is legal, you aren't going to find a law that says you can't do it. I don't know if you'll be truly satisfied with an answer. And youre right to not take anyones word on this.

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    Yep, you're right. I won't ever find a law saying I *can* do something. Thankfully it doesn't work that way

    Because I'm a little new handguns, I'm just doing my homework and researching the topic thoroughly to make sure I've not missed anything. The side benefit to this (and part of the fun for me) is that I'm simultaneously learning other aspects of the law while finding my answers. In a sense, answering this question is just a vehicle to learn more about the law and to build my confidence. Thanks for the help. It's appreciated.

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    Regular Member ZXguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by langzaiguy View Post
    As for Red River Gorge, which of course is in DBNF, the rules can be found here:
    http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_...rdb5270145.pdf

    There are other prohibitions to shooting which I did not mention. Also, the distance in shoot is 150 yards, not 100 ft as previous mentioned.

    This is perfect - thanks! I'll keep the pdf on my phone. This is much better than the website I mentioned in my initial post.

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    Daniel Boone National Forest, carrying and shooting

    Last time a was at red river gorge, one sign posted on all trail head information board states there is not shooting within 150 feet of established trails(I could be wrong in the distance), no shooting across open water, or roads.
    In other words, follow the rules and you're, in a legal perspective, just fine.

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    Regular Member ZXguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnburns15 View Post
    Last time a was at red river gorge, one sign posted on all trail head information board states there is not shooting within 150 feet of established trails(I could be wrong in the distance), no shooting across open water, or roads.
    In other words, follow the rules and you're, in a legal perspective, just fine.


    +1 thanks!

    I'll probably head up that way this week

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    You are correct when you state no one seems to know the laws. The majority of people believe everything someone has told them, and will refuse to believe otherwise. I used to work with a couple of guys that laid their hand on the Bible and said it is illegal to keep a gun in your vehicle, that an Leo could arrest for doing so, and that an Leo can search you or your vehicle without a warrant or RAS. Keep in mind they didn't know what RAS was until I informed them. I even brought a copy of the law and they said that, "The law can be ignored if an officer wants!" This was coming from people who "knew about firearms and the law!?" It got to the point where I just gave up. There was an attorney that taught classes that told everyone we could not keep firearms in our vehicle at work and again, that it was illegal to carry anyways. I tried correcting him in front of probably 30 people, and just because he had a law degree, they believed every word he said. After I threatened to call the Ky Bar Ass. he retracted what he said in class to me in writing. But, he never told the others that he was an attorney giving people incorrect legal advice I'm sure. The point? We can't trust someone just because of their title or name, which I'm sure you have figured out.
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    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined."-Patrick Henry; speaking of protecting the rights of an armed citizenry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KYGlockster View Post
    You are correct when you state no one seems to know the laws. The majority of people believe everything someone has told them, and will refuse to believe otherwise. I used to work with a couple of guys that laid their hand on the Bible and said it is illegal to keep a gun in your vehicle, that an Leo could arrest for doing so, and that an Leo can search you or your vehicle without a warrant or RAS. Keep in mind they didn't know what RAS was until I informed them. I even brought a copy of the law and they said that, "The law can be ignored if an officer wants!" This was coming from people who "knew about firearms and the law!?" It got to the point where I just gave up. There was an attorney that taught classes that told everyone we could not keep firearms in our vehicle at work and again, that it was illegal to carry anyways. I tried correcting him in front of probably 30 people, and just because he had a law degree, they believed every word he said. After I threatened to call the Ky Bar Ass. he retracted what he said in class to me in writing. But, he never told the others that he was an attorney giving people incorrect legal advice I'm sure. The point? We can't trust someone just because of their title or name, which I'm sure you have figured out.

    Yep, this is actually a little frustrating as well. Because I am new to all of this and am trying to thoroughly understand the law, I have been leaning a bit on the experience of others whom I believed to be knowledgeable to help guide me. When I saw the blank stares on their faces and their irrational replies to what should be easy questions (at least easy for people who have been hunting and shooting for 20-40 years or even former cops), I realized such common knowledge isn't so common. This is what got me to start questioning all my assumptions on what I've been told and what I *thought* to be true. As noted above, getting clarification about DBNF, for me, wasn't so much because I just had an irrational craving to specifically shoot in the forest. Rather, it was a handy question through which I could learn so much more by researching. While researching this single question, I was able to confirm the lack of knowledge of layman and experts on this topic, find this great website (and a few others), find the appropriate KRS info and read and re-read them to become familiar with the legalese so I can better interpret, etc. Often a great way to learn is to just dive in with a few questions and an awesome side-effect is that you learn tons more.

    At this point, based on my own initial suspicion, my interpretation of the written law, *and* the opinions of many on this site, I believe I'm good to go for DBNF. In fact, I'm heading that way with my dad today for a totally different reason and figure I'll do some target shooting this afternoon.

    My excuse for ignorance of gun law in the past is primarily that I've not, until recently, had guns and therefore had little need to be familiar with the law. I guess this makes me realize that I'm likely just as ignorant on other legal issues as this one. It's an eye-opener. Even though I am kinda new to this area, I'm so disturbed by the lack of knowledge of the law, I almost feel compelled to help spread the word as I learn. Maybe I need a blog or something so that at least I can point some family and friends in the right direction.

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    Regular Member Johnburns15's Avatar
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    Daniel Boone National Forest, carrying and shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by ZXguy View Post
    +1 thanks!

    I'll probably head up that way this week
    If you plan on going there anytime soon let me know, I've been dying to go back down there but have been tied up at work.

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    I should be down there the weekend of the 22nd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by langzaiguy View Post
    I should be down there the weekend of the 22nd.
    Dang...I was actually there yesterday. Do you live in Lex?

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    PM sent.

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    Daniel Boone National Forest, carrying and shooting

    If you're going down there the weekend of the 22nd I'll probably go myself.

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    So let me get this straight, in DBNF you're allowed to go out into the woods, put up a target and shoot as long as you're doing in away from trails and in a safe direction? Awesome. Good to know since I rock climb down there all the time and have time to kill (pun not intended) on down days.

    Also does the part "Displaying a firearm within a developed recreation site except for cleaning and or transporting to and from vehicle." actually mean to say "Brandishing" instead of "displaying" i'm guessing OC is ok even in developed sites.
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    Daniel Boone National Forest, carrying and shooting

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroC View Post
    So let me get this straight, in DBNF you're allowed to go out into the woods, put up a target and shoot as long as you're doing in away from trails and in a safe direction? Awesome. Good to know since I rock climb down there all the time and have time to kill (pun not intended) on down days.

    Also does the part "Displaying a firearm within a developed recreation site except for cleaning and or transporting to and from vehicle." actually mean to say "Brandishing" instead of "displaying" i'm guessing OC is ok even in developed sites.
    I took the it as "brandishing" and open carried the entire time I was in the campground, even while talking to several of the property managers. The owner being from out of state asked me a few questions about the legality of open carrying in Kentucky and said he was going to start after doing a little research of his own

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    Regular Member ZXguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroC View Post
    So let me get this straight, in DBNF you're allowed to go out into the woods, put up a target and shoot as long as you're doing in away from trails and in a safe direction? Awesome. Good to know since I rock climb down there all the time and have time to kill (pun not intended) on down days.

    This is also my understanding. I feel very legal doing what you're suggesting. I went once without issue (of course there was no one around to cause issue). On the other hand, I don't have total faith that a ranger or LEO would comprehend the law on this and I wouldn't not be surprised by an encounter.
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    Ok.

    Quote Originally Posted by KYGlockster View Post
    My opinion is to never ask a ranger or leo about the law and/or the legality of an activity. In my experience I have realized most leo's or anyone of the sort is ignorant of the law. If you look at the training requirements to become an leo in the state of KY, then you will realize they do not spend much time at all on weapons. The majority of their training is in DV, elderly issues and such. Read the law for yourself or ask around here and always ask for a cite before you do what someone says. It seems to me you have researched it enough to know what the law says, so you are good to go.
    Because your 2 hours weapons Class gave you so much more training than theme in firearms , and criminal justice lol. 2-4 years CJ plus 7 month living at the Academy in training. So on average 3 to 5 years in ky in most cases.
    Most of these officers have college degrees in CJ. Testify in court on a regular basis and handle criminal investigations. Where is your education in law coming from ? Let me guess, YouTube ? The Internet ? This is the prime example of someone who shouldn't have a gun.
    There is also no "elderly " training at the Academy lol . And there is a Tom of fire arms training and qualifying.
    Last edited by Joejoe111; 12-26-2015 at 05:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joejoe111 View Post
    Because your 2 hours weapons Class gave you so much more training than theme in firearms , and criminal justice lol. 2-4 years CJ plus 7 month living at the Academy in training. So on average 3 to 5 years in ky in most cases.
    Most of these officers have college degrees in CJ. Testify in court on a regular basis and handle criminal investigations. Where is your education in law coming from ? Let me guess, YouTube ? The Internet ? This is the prime example of someone who shouldn't have a gun.
    First post and you're insulting a member that has been here for years? One that states he's a peace officer? Not a great start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcbrad98 View Post
    First post and you're insulting a member that has been here for years? One that states he's a peace officer? Not a great start.
    not a first to raise a dead 2yo thread nor a first to start off insulting folk...but i do believe it is a record to do both on the same post...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joejoe111 View Post
    Because your 2 hours weapons Class gave you so much more training than theme in firearms , and criminal justice lol. 2-4 years CJ plus 7 month living at the Academy in training. So on average 3 to 5 years in ky in most cases.
    Most of these officers have college degrees in CJ. Testify in court on a regular basis and handle criminal investigations. Where is your education in law coming from ? Let me guess, YouTube ? The Internet ? This is the prime example of someone who shouldn't have a gun.
    There is also no "elderly " training at the Academy lol . And there is a Tom of fire arms training and qualifying.
    Welcome to the forum, Joejoe.

    Now if I may be so bold, OCDO is an excellent source for referenced/cited information as much has been vented by experts, including attorneys, in various fields. Opinions are just that....opinions and we don't put much stock in them in and of themselves.

    To make something clear - I am not anti LEO. I give and ask for equal respect. I am not one to prevaricate/lie and I do not like that an officer can lie in the course of consensual/investigative stop - that bothers me greatly.

    More to the point - the average citizen is every bit as good as the trained officer and in some instances considerably better. Many police officers do not go to the range or train regularly and only fire again when time to requalify.

    Having a college degree (even in law), testifying in court, or driving a neat car w/flashing lights does not make you a better shot. Seems you would deprive a young mother of defending her brood if she didn't qualify expert. The right to defend one self and loved ones is considered a natural right - not to be trivialized.

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