The Izaak Walton Shooting Facility (aka Ike's Tract) located 2.5 miles west of Toledo reopened on August 3 and area shooters have shown a renewed interest in the facility over the past month.
Two sign up meetings held in August saw seventy-two responsible shooters from the area go through a 45 minute training/informational session. Following the training they paid a $40 user fee to become authorized shooters at the facility. Each authorized shooter has been issued a gate key and a range use card. This allows the shooter to use the facility through December 31, 2013. No one can use the facility without going through the training, paying the user fee, and being issued a gate key and range use card.
"This is very encouraging as a good number of responsible shooters that want to see the facility be successful have stepped up," reports Bob Etzel, Director, Tama County Conservation Board. "These folks are showing they appreciate such a facility and are setting an example for others in the area regarding responsible shooting."
Using concrete donated by Manatt’s Inc. and the skills of Van Hamme Construction, volunteers poured the legs of four 100-yard shooting stations at Ike’s Tract. They are (L to R): Terry Morris, Tim Van Hamme, Allan Atchison, Paul Van Hamme, Danny Kriegel, Jim Allen, Steve Clay & Bob Mullen.
As soon as another twenty people indicate an interest in becoming eligible to shoot at the range another sign-up meeting will be held. Persons interested in being able to use the range can call the county conservation board office at (641) 484-2231 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
The new range rules are the result of the work of a committee consisting of nearby landowners, responsible shooters and representatives of the County Conservation Board.
"The Ike's Tract Planning Committee has been discussing ways to make the shooting facility a nicer and safer facility. They will be bringing ideas to the Conservation Board for their consideration later this fall," shares Etzel. "It is hoped a grant application will be made to the Iowa DNR in February for some of these improvements. The committee is discovering the facility can't be everything to everybody so there will be some trade-offs as the process is worked through."
Improvements made to the facility already include rebuilt backstops, machine belt target holders for the 100 yard range, PVC target holders for the pistol & .22 rifle range, and archery targets. Under construction are four concrete shooting stations for the 100 yard shooting range.
"Certain people have volunteered a lot of time to make the improvements at the range. A special thank you goes out to Jim Allen, Paul Van Hamme (Van Hamme Construction), Alan Atchison, and Bob Mullen. Also the donation of concrete by Manatt's Inc. to build the 100 yard shooting stations is greatly appreciated," adds Etzel.
The goal for the Izaak Walton Shooting Facility is to return the facility to its original intended use and provide a safe and neighborhood friendly facility where responsible shooters can hone skills and share the joys and challenges of safe shooting sports with our youth while developing skills for hunting.