1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Atterbury public shooting range to close

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Atterburyshootin, Dec 28, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Atterburyshootin

    Atterburyshootin TS Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Atterbury Public Shooting Range To Close

    BY SARAH MICHALOS
    Staff writer Daily Journal, Johnson County, Indiana

    Portions © 2009 Daily Journal, Johnson County, Indiana


    Even after a face-lift in 2007 that more than doubled the size of the range near Camp Atterbury, the number of shooters per month has dropped 30 percent to 40 percent this year, current manager Ron Mason said.

    Now, 200 to 300 people a month hone their skills at the trap and skeet fields, shotgun range and pistol and rifle range.

    Raising the hourly rate from $1 per hour in late 2007 and reducing hours this fall hasn't done enough to make up for the decline in shooters, Mason said. For the past two months, the range has been open on only Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    "I've just lost too much money, and then I'm going to be done," said Mason, who has managed the range for three years.

    The range has helped produce a national championship team of clay target shooters, Mason said. Now he's not sure where the team will practice.

    The Atterbury shooting range opened in the mid-1970s, originally with about 30 open-air firing stations and no supervision.

    Today, after a $4.7 million renovation in spring of 2008, the range boasts four trap and skeet fields, a long shotgun shooting area and a pistol and rifle range with 66 stations. It's the only facility of its kind in the county, Mason said.

    "I hope that whoever takes it over is successful," he said. "It's a fantastic facility, and it's a shame to let ($4.7 million) go to waste of the sportsmen's money."

    The renovation was funded by the state using primarily money from a federal excise tax on sporting and firearms, Schuyler said.

    Although a new manager won't start by Jan. 1, the department doesn't want the range to stay idle long.

    One option is reopening the range early next year and staffing it with Department of Natural Resources employees, Schuyler said. The range would be open only a couple of days per week.

    "We obviously would like to see it stay open," Schuyler said. "That's why we built it, to promote the shooting sports."

    The following is a Copy of Email sent to Pass Holders (Members) of the Range:


    Subject: Termination of Concessionaire Contract @ Atterbury Shooting Range


    To All:


    Since announcing the termination of my contract with the DNR's Fish and Wildlife Division for the Atterbury Shooting Range, I have been inundated with questions regarding "Who will be taking over the range when I leave?" My answer has been and continues to be, I have no idea!.

    It would be a travesty to let this $4.2 million dollar state of the art facility go un-used. I am sure that the DNR does not want to answer to the patrons of the range who call this their home range. I would also imagine that the FEDS that supplied most of the funding for the construction of the range would be questioning why the range was not in use as well.

    With that in mind, below is a list of names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers and addresses of parties to address your concerns:


    Cary Schuyler, Property Mgr. Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area
    7970 S Rowe St., PO Box 3000
    Edinburgh, IN 46124
    812-526-2051 office 812-350-5457 cell
    CSchuyler@dnr.in.gov



    Mark Reiter, Director of Fish and Wildlife Division
    402 W Washington St
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
    317-797-1579
    mreiter@dnr.in.gov



    Robert E Carter, Jr, Director of Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources
    402 W Washington ST
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
    317-232-4200 or 877-463-6367
    www.in.gov/dnr/3246.htm



    Mitch Daniels, Jr, Governor, State of Indiana
    200 W Washington St
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
    317-232-4567
    ASK MITCH
    www.in.gov/gov/2631.htm



    Regards,



    Ron Mason
    Concessionaire, Atterbury Shooting Range
     
  2. rtclark21

    rtclark21 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    112
    A special thanks goes out to both Mark and Ron for doing a great job managing the facility and providing excellent targets. Hopefully the State will get their affairs in order and re-open the doors quickly - it's too nice of a facility to set idle for any length of time.
     
  3. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    190
    Thank You for your kind words.

    I am very disappointed but I understand why Ron has pulled out of his contract with the state.

    With a facility of this type and with the State unable (or unwilling) to provide any further financial support but Ron still had to conform to the terms of the contract, expenses were too much to overcome in these economic times.

    Use of the range was way down from 2008 but Expenses kept growing. There was only one way out before Ron would have had to declare personal bankruptcy.

    I suppose that if he had untold thousands of dollars to spend on and keep an inventory of quality guns and reloading supplies for sale, it might have made a difference. He tried for a time to keep reloading supplies but was not able to keep the inventory or buy in the quantities required to make it profitable.

    Mark
     
  4. trappair

    trappair Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    107
    Roger, I agree. He will never know how many shooters he lost with that remark.
    mike R
     
  5. Virgil

    Virgil Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    45
    I agree that the facility should be kept open. Due to distance, I have shot at the facility only once. It doesn't seem to get a lot of publicity around here other than a reference to it in the Indiana Hunting Guide. I am basically a sporting clays shooter and the facility isn't a real good fit for me. BTW, I'm not sure what the two preceding posts are in reference to. I do know that when I go someplace to shoot, I want to be treated just like anyone else regardless of my approach to shooting, my equipment, my affiliation and so on. I feel that this should be particularly true at a state owned facility. This may not have been an issue at Atterbury but the above posts seem to imply otherwise.
     
  6. rtclark21

    rtclark21 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    112
    A201 - please check your PM...thanks.
     
  7. crusha

    crusha TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,762
    It sounds like the contract was negotiated in better times, and all the downside risk of decreasing volume was on the operator's shoulders. Apparently the State's payback calculations presumed the collection of a fixed fee from an operator over a long period of time, with no upside/downside risk to the state.


    If the state wants this place open to utilize their investment, they either need to figure out a more friendly contract structure that shares risk and opportunity more equitably...or else just have a property manager operate the place as a salary employee, and take all the risk off their hands for sake of continuity. Shooting ranges are not a super high-margin business, and I doubt that any operator has enough "cushion" in that situation to ride out all the ups and downs.


    "Trying out" one contract operator after another, changing hands every 3~5 years trying to find the magic combination, just seems like it hasn't worked out at other places. Hopefully the State of Indiana won't go that route, because they spent a lot of money on the place and it's too nice a facility to be doomed by the revolving-door-operator situation and the attendant uncertainties.


    As an aside, I don't like "bad attitude" business operators more than anyone else. However, if there are people out there with $50,000 trucks and $10,000 guns who think a round of trap should still cost what it did in 1972...maybe that's part of the situation that needs to change also. You simply cannot expect a place like this to charge the same prices as shit-hole two trap clubs that operate with a large amount of volunteer labor. I love those places and I mean no disrespect whatsoever - but the cost structures are not the same.
     
  8. battuedave

    battuedave Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    317
    This was poorly managed from the start, Traps and voice calls not out and ready for bussiness an hour or more after opening sometimes not at all, even when someone was waiting to shoot.
    Hope it will reopen with a better attitude.As I shot 3-4 days a week the first year or so.
    David
     
  9. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    190
    David C:

    I am truly sorry that you felt you had no other recourse than to vent your frustrations, as you did on this forum thread.

    I never knew that you were unhappy with the times that I set, or offer to set up, the field for wobble trap so you could practice with targets as close to your sporting clays as we could throw here at ASR.

    Why could you have not come to me first?

    Atterbury Shooting Range, as general policy guideline, did not set up all four fields unless there were people there, or have the anticipation of people coming to shoot, in order to justify opening all or extra fields. This was especially true during slow days of the week, or with rain, snow or very gusty winds. So in that respect, you were 100% correct in saying some of the fields were “opening sometimes not at all”. This, unfortunately, is a simple unpleasant fact in trying to control cost of a shooting range.

    To go along with that guideline, if there were a several Trapshooters waiting and only very few skeet shooters, I would turn one of the skeet fields into a trap field or visa versa. It all comes down to using the best judgment that Ron and I could muster at the time.

    No reasonable businessperson would deliberately choose to make less money by serving fewer people if he could efficiently do otherwise.


    Again, I am very sorry if we did not meet your expectations.

    Say hello to you wife for me....

    Mark
     
  10. 320090T

    320090T Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,353
    Location:
    Indiana
    FYI, Ron didn't make that remark about $50,000 trucks, etc.
     
  11. battuedave

    battuedave Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    317
    Mark
    It is you and Rons business to run not mine.

    I did not want to Drive a half hour each way and sit and wait for a field of any kind to be sit up.
    You open at 10 am so why would I drive in at 11 or after and no fields at all set up but both of you were there doing nothing ?

    I thought this tread was questioning what went wrong ?
    Sorry if I misunderstood
     
  12. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    190
    Buzz-gun:

    You hit the nail square on the head concerning the contract.

    Your assessment of the $50,000 truck shooting a $10,000 shotgun is also correct. Mr. A201 was directly comparing our target prices with one of those small, all volunteer help clubs and complained as much on this forum.

    I tried to brush off the criticism with a funny joke type reply (being the horse’s a$$ that I am) and it came off as insulting. I still have the complete reply that I wrote and I’m sure that thread of September 2007 is in a Trapshooters.com archive somewhere.

    Yes, I was the one who made the statement to the effect that the ONLY people that have complained about target prices are the ones that drive a $50,000 truck and shoot a $10,000 shotgun. I went on to jokingly say that I would set up a “Pabst Blue Ribbon” Committee to look into setting up a payment schedule if our target prices were a hardship on him, I might even set out a coffee can with his picture on it, for donations.

    OK.....That might have sounded insulting and perhaps it was.
    Yep…..I was the “butthead” who said “it” and I NEVER denied that fact. Nevertheless, I still think it was very true and humorous reply.

    If that makes you mad at ME……so be it. People have been mad at me before. But, I will bet a dozen donuts that Mr. A201 does NOT drive an old beater of an automobile or shoots a cheap old 870, 1100 or Model 12.


    To that, I will sign my name,

    Mark Burgess

    As a Postscript

    Dave,
    I think I see the problem. Except during the first six months of operation, Atterbury Shooting Range NEVER opened earlier than 11 AM during the week. So, by arriving at 10AM you probably did have to wait an hour for the fields to be opened. I hope you and I can still be friends beyond this opening time confusion.

    Mark
     
  13. battuedave

    battuedave Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    317
    Mark
    I knew when you were open the first and the second year.
     
  14. JBusch8899

    JBusch8899 TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    As an individual who enjoys pistol, rifle, and shotgun; I felt as if I should respectively put in my two cents. This is in no manner meant to insult the former concessionaires of the ASR, but should be a wake up call to some.

    I and a number of my friends used to be patrons of the range, but a number of operational factors, caused our becoming disappointed with ASR, and as such, leaving it for other ranges. So bad was our experiences, we began to refer to specific range personnel, as the "Range Nazis"

    1.Some range safety personnel were rude, to the point of antagonistic. Treating me as a 1st grader, to the point of having to print my name 4 times, because the rangemaster stated that "I can't read it".

    2.The standard 60 minutes of range time that one paid, was more likely to be 30-40 real minutes, due to the time lost of waiting to post targets, or excessive time waiting for others to post their targets.

    3.On occasion, range personnel handled patron's firearms, without the proper
    rationale, and without the owner's permission. One time, when the owner objected to the handling of a rather expensive rifle, I witnessed the rangemaster, in a angry manner, forcefully slam said firearm to the shooting bench.

    4.Rate increases from the advertised $7 on the website, to $20 at our arrival.

    5.Accommodations for individual shooters wishing to practice for upcoming
    competitions, such as lying prone at the rifle range, were prohibited.

    If I may have offended some, I certainly regret this, as it was not my intention. However, everything I have outlined above, I have witnessed personally. I certainly hope the future concessionaire will be more mindful of such matters.

    James Busch
     
  15. amboy49

    amboy49 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,162
    Location:
    out in left field
    I can add that I made a trip to the Atterbury range twice - first and last. The club I normally shoot at was hosting the state trap shoot last year so I drove down to Atterbury to shoot a couple of rounds of skeet.

    After shooting one round I asked the range operator if he would crank the low house up since it was 18"-24" below the high house target at the center stake. I was informed the targets had been "gunned" - meaning a radar gun had been used to determine the target speed - and that there was nothing wrong with the targets. It's been awhile since I shot skeet competitively but when I did I carried a AA average in all four guns. I've seen enough targets to be able to determine what is and is not a properly flying target. I then asked if they had "hooped" the birds and was not-so-politely informed that hooping targets was not the proper way to determine target flight.

    I shot one more round and have not returned since.

    I'll admit that the drive is much further than my closest club, but quite frankly, I believe if the Atterbury club was across the street I might have to think twice about attending based on the experience I encountered.

    A number of friends have gone down to use the rifle/pistol range. The big complaint on those ranges is the amount of "down time" of non-shooting required to pull targets. This is a factor when you're being charged $7 for the first hour and $5 for each hour thereafter.

    I hope the state either finds someone to run the facility full time or figures out a way to keep the site open on a permanent management basis, if for no other reason than to keep it from going to waste.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Search tags for this page
atterbury public shooting range
,

atterbury shooting range

,
atterbury shooting range indiana
,
camp atterbury public shooting range
,

camp atterbury shooting range

,
camp atterbury shooting range public
,
camp atturberry shooting range contract
,
pictures of atterbury shooting range