SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Police, in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources, announced the date for the annual Open Range Program.
Hunters and observers can visit ISP ranges from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Saturday, Nov. 15.
The program is offered in an effort to promote hunting safety by giving hunters access to ISP ranges for the purpose of sighting in their shotguns. Shotguns will be checked in a controlled environment with firearms experts present to ensure the safe and appropriate use of the shotgun.
“Hunting is a longstanding tradition shared throughout Illinois and we want to ensure hunters take every safety precaution and are prepared during this hunting season,” Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau said. “Hunting accidents are preventable, which is why it’s important to take advantage of this opportunity to practice safe marksmanship.”
The program is a collaborative effort organized annually by the Illinois State Police and the Department of Natural Resources.
“This is an invaluable opportunity for hunters to be sure their firearms are accurately sighted-in prior to opening day,” IDNR Director Marc Miller said. “I encourage sportsmen and women to practice their skills and test their equipment on a range to ensure they can take clean, ethical shots during our firearm deer seasons.”
Anyone interested in visiting a range is advised to make reservations in advance of Nov. 15. Targets will be provided, and there is no charge for use of the range. Participants must possess a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification card, provide their own ammunition and transport the firearm legally by having it unloaded and enclosed in a case.
The program is not part of the concealed carry license program. Handguns will not be permitted at the ISP Ranges.
Advanced reservations will be accepted at the following ISP Ranges, which will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, in Effingham, Joliet, Macomb, Pawnee, and Pittsfield:
(815) 726-6377, ext. 255
Trooper Keith Malek
M/Sgt. Shad Payne
(309) 833-4046, ext. 242
Trooper Neal Merry
(217) 285-2034, ext. 225
Trooper Andrew Stambaugh