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Economic development council visits the North Springs shooting range

By COREY BLUEMEL
Staff writer

The cowboy action shooting town at the North Springs shooting range. It is named Castle Gate and will be the site of many cowboy style shooting competitions.

On the south side of Carbon County, a new Castle Gate town has sprung up. It is a cowboy action shooting range that has been built in conjunction with the North Springs Shooting Park and Recreation area.

As you enter the park, the first thing you see is the new log lodge building. This building will house the park manager Scott Olsen who will be on the premises 24/7. Also in the lodge are several meeting rooms.

Adjacent to the lodge are the shooting ranges. There is a 100 yard, a 600 yard and a 1,000 yard range. Each of these ranges will have permanent and moveable targets at those yardages and many other varying yardages.

Scott Olsen, manager of the North Springs range.

"This facility was designed with self-sufficiency in mind. It is not hooked up to any power lines and is powered by a generator. There are no water lines here but we have cisterns to facilitate the restrooms and kitchens in the park," said Scott Olsen, manager of the range. "We have a camping area that has 118 camping spots and the RV dump is being installed now. It is all dry camping."

Olsen explained that the park has the shooting ranges for rifles, muzzleloaders and shotguns at the lodge location. Further into the park is a law enforcement certification range and an archery range is being installed. The archery range will have static targets as well as 3-D targets.

The final stop on the tour of the park is the new Castle Gate town. It looks like any frontier town in the John Wayne movies. There is a church, a livery, a saloon, a sheriff' office and jail and many other buildings. In this town, pop up targets are being installed.

Cowboy action shooting is gaining popularity around the state and this facility will host many competitions and family outings as well.

"Public safety is our focus, along with family fun," said Don Burge. "In the competitions to be held here, one person shoots at a time and that is the only loaded firearm at that time. The shooter has two pistols, one rifle and one shotgun. We take John Wayne movie type scenarios for the shoots."

The reception building at the shooting range includes a kitchen. Tables and chairs are planned for under the pavilion.

Ernie Bentley, president of the local cowboy action shooting club said, "We have a really good chance to host the state championships here. This would bring in excess of 200 shooters to the area. In the future we may even apply to hold a regional competition here."

Members of these clubs dress in period costume and shoot single action firearms. Each also has their own stage name, such as Murderin' Maude, Fargo Kid, Dingo Man, and Star Gazer Man. Bentley also explained that the targets which will be used on the shotgun range were invented by a local club member. These targets are being installed on many other ranges in Utah and the surrounding states.

Olsen stated, "We are receiving many calls now about the 1,000 yard range. There are not many of them and this one will be the best around. We hope to cater to all disciplines of shooting. We also have plans to put in a museum focusing on the area. Our anticipated opening date is May 1."

The Castle Country Economic Development Summit which will be held in September will hold an evening event at the North Springs facility.





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