WDFW lays out new rules for target shooters

Posted 3/11/21

Visitors to lands managed by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife will have to follow a new set of rules if they’re looking to do some target shooting.

WDFW’s …

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WDFW lays out new rules for target shooters

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Visitors to lands managed by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife will have to follow a new set of rules if they’re looking to do some target shooting.

WDFW’s recently-updated target shooting rules were adopted Oct. 23, 2020 and took effect Jan. 18.

Included in the new rules are restrictions on backstops, allowable targets, projectiles and what can be used to hold targets.

Specifically prohibited in the new rules are exploding targets, such as the commercially-available binary explosive Tannerite.

Allowable targets on WDFW lands include steel targets that are manufactured for the purpose of target shooting, provided that they are used between the months of Oct. 1 and May 1. Clay targets used on department lands must be biodegradable.

The rules provide restrictions on what target shooters may use to hold up or affix their targets to. Prohibited target holders include pallets, glass, explosive and incendiary items, standing or moving water, live or dead trees or other vegetation, animals or animal carcasses, gates, vehicles, machinery, signs, appliances, furniture, buildings, power stations

Recreational target shooting may only take place on department-designated recreational target shooting areas and in compliance with posted regulations; or in other areas containing an earthen backstop of at least 8 feet in height, capable of stopping the progress of and contain all projectiles, fragments and ricochets in a safe manner.

The regulations above do not apply to firearms firing projectiles smaller than .17-caliber or shot smaller than size BB. The use of incendiary or tracer ammunition is prohibited on all WDFW lands.   

Target shooting is also specifically prohibited at or near water access sites or boat launches, associated parking areas, roads, utility lines, designated trails or bodies of water or streams.

The rules also state that anyone who uses WDFW lands for target shooting must ensure they remove and dispose of any shell casings, spent shotgun hulls, ammunition packaging and targets or target debris.

Failure to do so, according to the department, constitutes littering.

For more information on the new WDFW target shooting regulations visit wdfw.wa.gov/about/wdfw-lands/recreation-planning/rule-development/target-shooting#.

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