Desert shooting in AZ

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Troymn, May 13, 2014.

  1. Troymn

    Troymn Active Member

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    My understanding in the rural Scottsdale area you can shoot unless posted closed. I have family that lives there, I live in MN. We tried to find a good SAFE area to shoot 400-1000 yards but could not really come up with any nice spots. Are the shooting spots kinda like fishing spots, can't tell you it's a secret... Are there some well know safe spots to shoot that type of distance ? I only have one steel target down there, kinda a pain to hike it in, but would prefer to only have to hike in the target or shooting gear not both. That could take a couple trips. I have shot long range practice at Ben Avery with the Dersert Sharp Shooters, but I like the idea of actual desert shooting. Also there are no practices for the second week in June.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated! Happy to shoot with other members if you have the time.
    Thanks
    Troy
     
  2. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

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    Troy, finding a desert spot is tricky. You need a map of city boundaries for all cities in the Scottsdale area. There are many cases where shooters have been either cited or warned for shooting within the city limits which is a code violation in all cities in the valley of the sun. Many times hikers and unseen homeowners will turn you in. If you are shooting in June just drive north to cooler areas and find a good spot there. Winter you must watch city limits closely. I had a 1000+ yard spot for 20 years until the city of Goodyear annexed all the area for another 12 miles. We were not cited but the Officer was not too polite either. We are driving an extra 15 miles to get to our new spot. Good luck
     

  3. azgutpile

    azgutpile Well-Known Member

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    You have to be outside of the city limits and know what type of public land you are on.

    State Trust Land doesn't allow target shooting

    BLM & Forest Service ... Allows target shooting is allowed, but we currently have fire restrictions in place, which means no target shooting.
     
  4. CC268

    CC268 Well-Known Member

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    It is tough to find a nice spot in the Phoenix area...I have yet to find a spot good for longer range (300+ yards)...Flagstaff is a different story.
     
  5. Troymn

    Troymn Active Member

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    I just checked the Tonto national forest info, and looks like the fire ban is on until Aug. So that means no shooting, right?
    We are up by Rio Verde, so Flagstaff is not too far. Anything half way up?
    I use a topo map to see what type of land we are on, I thought I even had an app that tells you .
     
  6. danj

    danj Well-Known Member

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    No target shooting until the monsoons come usually by mid to late july before they lift the ban.
     
  7. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

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    Troy, there is a 300 yard range a couple miles south of Payson run by the local gun club. I was there as a guest of a member and it is a nice range. Also a lot cooler than Rio Verde in June.
     
  8. CC268

    CC268 Well-Known Member

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    Yea unfortunately there isn't as much as you would think..I have been thinking about going out and trying to find some long range target spots out in the desert sometime this summer myself.

    I love Ben Avery for sporting clays shooting and anything shotgun related, but the main range is pretty blah, since your only shooting from a bench and the furthest you can shoot is 200 yards. Not to mention, while I have never had trouble out there, quite a few of the range masters are complete a-holes. I have seen them bug a couple of army and marine veterans or current service men practicing some techniques that were perfectly safe and get a mouth full from the range masters just because it "isn't how they do things around here". Many other stories other than that as well.

    I have seen videos of Cowtown's long range shooting ranges and that place seems awesome. It is also only about 25 minutes from me, but I think you have to be a member or you have to pay a good amount to reserve the range for a group of people.

    Short story: I would love to find some good long range target shooting spots myself (at least here in the Valley).
     
  9. dig

    dig Well-Known Member

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    You are not target shooting. You are carrying a valid AZ hunting license and "hunting" coyotes. You are allowed hunting access to much state trust land. This is his we legally shoot.
     
  10. CC268

    CC268 Well-Known Member

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    ?? Wait what...
     
  11. Speedygoss

    Speedygoss Well-Known Member

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    I am currently working on the start of Cowtown long range. Currently Cowtown is a private gun range not open to the public. It will never be a public walk up and shoot range. I and two others have been laying out a new division for Cowtown to allow long range shooting clubs access. Were in the early stages of bylaws and fee structures but you should be seeing everything laid out and the first event around Oct. 2014. The first public announcement was made yesterday on CowTown's Facebook page.

    https://www.facebook.com/CowtownRange

    We are very excited to be involved with CowTown in creating the absolute best long range shooting facility around.
     
  12. azsugarbear

    azsugarbear Well-Known Member

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    Phoenix residents tend to be more active outdoors and that puts a lot of pressure on the natural land resources. As shooters, we tend to be outnumbered by other recreationalists that aren't comfortable around guns and gunfire.

    The desert north of Scottsdale used to be a great place to shoot, but there were too many hikers, mountain bikers, horesemen, motorcyclists, nature lovers, tourists, etc. complaining about the 'random' gunfire. Scottsdale solved the problem by annexing all the land north, right up to the Tonto NF. Since the land was now within Scottsdale city limits, existing laws prevailed such as no discharge of firearms. Pretty clever, right?

    Even some BLM land (such as Table Top Mesa) has been posted as 'no shooting' due to high recreational use.

    But there are still some good, safe places to go shoot. You just have to go a little further to get off the beaten path. Take a look at this thread on LRH from a couple years back:

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f45/where-shoot-az-68833/

    Good luck.
     
  13. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Speedygoss

    I will be staying in the area just north of Phoenix for a month in March-April, 2015.

    This is exactly what I am looking for while out there!