Improving the Range

Private shooting range operators in Wisconsin will again be eligible for cost share funds to help finance range improvement and development projects in exchange for the ranges offering shooting opportunities to the public. The Department of Natural Resources will make $325,000 available as cost share, according to DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp.

The money comes from the state’s Wildlife Restoration grant – commonly known as Pittman-Robertson or PR funds – and is generated by a 10 or 11 percent excise tax on firearms and ammunition. The two-year program began last year.

The Shooting Range Grant Program can cost share between 50 and 75 percent of approved renovation and development costs depending upon the amount of public access allowed.

At the completion of each project all facilities at the range must be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Historic Preservation Act, and other federal requirements as appropriate.

The range grant guidance document and application is available on the DNR website for Grants ( and then clicking on the button for “find grants” and then the link for “shooting range grants.” Applications must be submitted electronically by Nov 17. A team will evaluate, rank and make funding recommendations to Secretary Stepp’s office, which will give final approval of all projects. Applicants will be notified by Jan. 15, 2015 of the outcome.