As many of you know I call the great state of Wyoming home. We spent many off seasons here during my playing career. Many years ago our family friend recommended us a trip to Jackson Hole. My wife and I made plans to set out west and visit as many places as we could in about six weeks. Neither one of us has ever driven across the U.S.A. – it sure was exciting time for a young couple. We planned to visit Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Colorado. Well after spending the first couple weeks of the trip in Jackson Hole and other parts of Wyoming, the rest of the West did not quite offer the same feeling. We completely changed our plans and spent the remaining time in the Equality state. I do sound extremely subjective but I agree that other parts of the American West are just as beautiful and impressive. It’s just for a guy who came from Eastern Europe and spent close to twenty years performing on the hockey’s biggest stage, Wyoming is a wonderful change of pace.
I want the focus of this blog to be on shooting ranges in the great state of Wyoming that I have visited during the last couple of years
Cody,Wyoming is home to Buffalo Bill historical museum and it’s just outside of the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Very historic town. The museum is a must see for anyone who has any interest in the history of the American West. Several great exhibits but my favorite were the Native Indian exhibit and of course the Firearms museum. I had an opportunity to represent CZ-USA in a fundraising Sporting Clays tournament last summer. The event took place few miles outside of Cody. The Cody Shooting Complex is a large open facility that accommodates any shooter. Shooters can practice their skills from cowboy shooting,long range rifle shooting to any kind of shotgun discipline. Five stand, trap, skeet and tough Sporting Clays course. Be always prepared to deal with significant wind. It is Wyoming. Wind is part of this states environment as much as water and air. We enjoyed ourselves during the fundraiser. Each afternoon after the official schedule concluded the range offered us plenty of space and amenities to continue shooting. It is not that often you find the facilities in such a great condition. The 500 yard rifle range is a treat to most. Out of state visitors always enjoy challenging themselves in the distances not often found on the ranges around the country. The one anecdote I have to share is the weight of the target stand. I wanted to move it to desirable location but did not bring a fork lift with me. They are built from something similar to railroad tracks. They must weigh close to 300 pounds if not more. That’s how windy Cody,Wyoming can be. These targets are strategically set up on the range so members and visitors can enjoy shooting at any distance. Lesson to learn is not to get too picky.
Dubois Gun Club is in Dubois,Wyoming. Very small town, yet one of the most magnificent locations outdoorsman can find. Dubois is 90 miles north east of Jackson. I do not want to sound like a tourist brochure, but if you have the chance to take that ride you will end up with very sore neck afterwards. The scenery along the way is stunning. Dubois has a unique feel. The Wind River divides the Absaroka and Wind River ranges. The Dubois Gun Club is located on the north side of the river, right at the edge of the Badlands. This is one of the most rustic, yet most fun ranges I have ever been to. There is no light to signal the range is hot, but a flag to raise. Pistol range is covered facility, rifle range is also covered. There is a small building with a heater to practice your rifle skills on many very cold days. The most significant feature of this rural town’s facility is 1000 yard distance to the furthest target. I had a conversation with a friend who resides in Dubois and frequents the gun club. The moment he mention the distance I immediately made plans to visit. I am not anywhere near of taking advantage of the full distance, but challenging yourself is always fun. Few CZ rifles will be put through a solid tests as my skills improve on this range. The shooting experience in Dubois Gun Club combine with a hunt in surrounding mountains should be on the list of any rugged outdoorsman.
Jackson Hole Gun Club is my “home” range. Only few miles down the road, in the southern end of the valley. The Club has close to seven hundred members and has gone through numerous upgrades in the last couple of years. The pistol range with steel plates, 600 yard rifle range with hanging plates situated every hundred yards and shot gun trap and skeet facility. During the summer months tourist visit the range from all over the continent. On a beautiful summer day year ago, I brought my friend who was visiting from east coast to shoot CZ pistols. I’m standing there watching him having fun with Dan Wesson Valor and CZ 75 B. I looked down the three bays of the pistol range and everyone was shooting CZ/Dan Wesson products. I am not kidding. Older couple from Texas practicing with their DW Guardians. Those are their carry pieces. Middle aged couple from Omaha,Nebraska. They had matching high polish CZ 75s 9mm.It was great to see.
To have 600 yard range in your “back yard” is a privilege but the best part is the club membership. I have friends who are members or I made friends amongst them. The one who stands out is Shepard Humphries. He has been great friend since I joined by helping me sight in rifles, giving me pistol shooting tips, setting up courses and overall very helpful instructor. He is founder of Jackson Hole Shooting Experience. He is a pioneer in luxury entertaining shooting industry. Available year round he instructs tourist, executives on retreats or families on their summer road trips. Providing plenty of ammunition and firearms of all kinds. I proudly say he has several CZs always on hand for people to try. For detailed information got o his website. He is a standout not only in shooting industry but his team’s service is unmatched. Shepard Humphries and his Jackson Hole Shooting Experience are must do for anybody visiting Jackson. Whether you are a longtime shooter or just thinking about gaining some knowledge about firearms the JHSE is a great start.
All the mentioned gun clubs are open to public on most days for small daily fee. The only time the public can not use the ranges is on Law enforcement practice days, 4 H events or occasional local competition. I highly recommend to visit any Wyoming gun range, preferably with a CZ in your hand, holster or gun bag. You will absolutely enjoy yourself!