MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds all hunters and sport shooters preparing for the fall hunting seasons of a recent rule change that will impact target shooting within Columbia County.

The change regulates the use of firearms or air guns on state-owned lands in designated counties when persons are not engaged in the following: hunting during open hunting seasons, using department-designated target ranges, running permitted dog trials or permitted dog training, or approved paintball activities.

Columbia County was added to this list of counties, making it illegal to discharge firearms on state properties for target shooting purposes. Those activities now are limited to the Columbia County Shooting Range on Mud Lake Wildlife Area or other approved ranges to help ensure the safety of all public land users.

Target shooting with bows and crossbows is still allowed on state-owned lands in Columbia County.

The DNR adopted this rule change through the Wisconsin Conservation Congress 2021 Spring Hearing process. The change took effect this year, and more information can be found on page 27 of the 2022-23 Hunting Regulations Pamphlet.

The DNR seeks to provide facilities offering safe shooting opportunities for its users while respecting neighboring landowners. To find a shooting range and view a complete list of DNR shooting ranges, visit the Wisconsin Public Shooting Ranges webpage.

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