DRIGGS — As of this year, Teton County 4-H is certified to offer a shotgun club and a hunting club, but because Teton Valley has no official shooting range, the youth organization needs a venue for shooting clay pigeons.
Teton 4-H director Chris Miller went before the Teton County commissioners on March 25 to request a temporary location.
“We’re looking for a county-owned property where we could do this safely without being a nuisance to our neighbors,” she said.
Miller explained that 4-H was very interested in pursuing Idaho Fish & Game and local grants and funding from local organizations like Skyliners Motor Club to build a permanent range once the program got off the ground. In the mean time, the 13 young members of the shotgun club and 14 members of the hunting club needed a safe location to practice, and soon. Two high school-aged members who have already attended a national shoot as archers would now like to qualify in the shotgun category, to be held in Nebraska this June.
“The national shoot is a big deal,” Miller said. “You’ve got hundreds and hundreds of kids coming from all over to compete.”
The clubs have already met indoors twice this season to study safety protocols and range commands. They hope to start shooting outside by April, although conditions and the lack of a venue may delay that.
Under advisement from the county public works department, Commissioner Cindy Riegel proposed that the county’s old gravel pit on Bates Road might be the best short-term solution.
Riegel told Miller that she would need to discuss land use regulations with the county planning department and probably apply for a conditional use permit in order to use the gravel pit as a shooting range, and alert neighbors within a certain radius about the proposed use.