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Thread: OC/ Shooting in National Forest

  1. #1
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    OC/ Shooting in National Forest

    Hey everybody! I'm staying in Loveland CO for a month while I attend UXO school. I have heard that it is OK to shoot anywhere within the National forest as long as you are smart about it, ie. shoot into a backstop, clean up, dont damage anything. I've been searching for "rules" or "laws" that say this, but can't find any. Is this true? If so do any of y'all have any tips of good spots to shoot? I'm staying at an RV park off of hwy 34. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    This is incorrect. All the national forests have maps that show where you can and can not shoot. There are issues, including fire restrictions.

  3. #3
    Regular Member DinFreemont's Avatar
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    Is it Legal to Carry a Weapon in Colorado National Forests?

    While visiting National Forests in Colorado, you may carry a weapon. However, in addition to state laws, you must comply with Federal Regulations pertaining to the use of a firearm on National Forest System lands.

    A firearm may not be discharged in the following National Forest areas:

    Within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, or occupied area; or
    Across or on a Forest Development road or an adjacent body of water, or in any manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge; or
    Into or within any cave. [36 CFR 261.10 (d)]
    Some forest or distrcits have additional restrictions on discharging a firearm. You are advised to check with the authorities in the areas you will be visiting.
    http://csp.state.co.us/faq_Guns.html

    Regulations for shooting on public land differ from agency to agency and area to area based on recreational uses, environmental concerns, agricultural interests and many other factors. For more information on the rules in a specific area, contact the appropriate agency office.
    http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/...ndShooting.htm

    Hope that helps...
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  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    You could call the US Forest Service. Of the five Forest Rangers I've talked to about where to go, two were helpful, while other three sounded like they were being intentionally evasive. (shrugs)

    Perhaps visiting the nearest ranger station might work better.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  5. #5
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    The National Forest web pages all have information. Here's a link to the Roosevelt National Forest page about shooting: http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fs...2520Recreation

  6. #6
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    Thank you!

    Thanks for all y'alls input and advice! I havent had the chance to shoot yet due to classes, but I do plan to soon. (just gotta find out when I get a day off from classes) It seems that i will most likely call and talk with the rangers. Most of my questions were answered with the websites, I just have a few that i'm not 100% sure I understand.


    Again, Thanks!

  7. #7
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    There are many places to shoot in the NF, provided you clean up and don't damage the trees. Exception to the rule is when it is posted as no shooting. Various sections of the same NF have different restrictions. The Rampart Range area of Pike NF is off limits to shooting unless you are hunting valid game with the proper license. For that reason I go over to the Buffale Creek area of Pike NF, where the rules are that you have to be at least 150 yds from any road or improved campsite (one with a fire ring) and not shooting in the vicinity of others hiking ect. I have been there several times when Jefferson County Sherrif has been through, one guy stopped and asked what I was shooting, My AR-15-22 into plywood target with hill behind me. He was kinda impressed with the little .22 and thanked me for allowing him to even shoot a couple rounds. Do your research, be considerate of others and you should have a good time shooting. Pick up your brass and trash...
    Last edited by ColoradoFlyer; 04-09-2011 at 12:21 AM.

  8. #8
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    The rules for shooting in any national forest are the same: Be safe, considerate, and sure of your backstop. When you are done, if you brought it in, take it out.

    Think about what is written: No shooting along or across a road? Makes safety sense? You bet. Don't shoot around buildings and campgrounds. Makes safety sense? You bet. Skip a bullet on a lake??? not very safe I would think. Don't damage property...consider it yours, if it was your property would you shoot there?

    A little common sense goes a very long way. Just think before you shoot... and yes, there are some special areas, but they will be plainly marked, and usually have a common sense reason.

  9. #9
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    aosailer,

    I have plinked on many National Forests in the west. I have received honest information from rangers every time. Usually, I go to the ranger station for the district that I wish to visit. They have maps and usually know where abandoned rock quarries and the like are. The quaries make good plinking sites as they usually have a good back-stop and flat ground at the base of the cliff.

    As for shooting from, or near roads, I have found that the Forest Service interprets their regulations to mean that you must be off the road to shoot. A clearance of 150 yards is for campgrounds, buildings, and the like; not roads. Otherwise, in some National Forests, you could not shoot as roads can be closer than 300 yards from each other.

    This summer I will be on the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. We are going to spend an afternoon plinking there. We will visit a ranger station before we find a plinking spot.

    On one occasion, a Forest Service LEO stopped by and said hello. He knew who we were and what were doing as he had talked with the ranger station. It was a nice visit. He was bored and wanted to talk about guns and hunting.

    Here is something to think about:

    Civil and criminal jurisdiction
    The jurisdiction, both civil and criminal,
    over persons within national forests shall
    not be affected or changed by reason of
    their existence, except so far as the
    punishment of offenses against the United
    States therein is concerned; the intent and
    meaning of this provision being that the
    State wherein any such national forest is
    situated shall not, by reason of the
    establishment thereof, lose its jurisdiction,
    nor the inhabitants thereof their rights and
    privileges as citizens, or be absolved from
    their duties as citizens of the State. (16
    U.S.C. 480)


    The state of Colorado has civil an criminal jurisdiction on NF lands!!

    markm

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