After closing for renovations, the Sportsman Park has now re-opened for trap shooting and residents are locked and loaded for the New Year.
You can hear the gun shots in the air as Naperville Sportsman’s Park is finally open after being closed nearly seven months for a $5 million renovation.
“That was worth the wait because they’ve done such a nice job with the lighting and the sidewalks and parking lot. I know everyone’s really enthused about getting back to shooting but we all think it was worth the wait,” said Naperville resident, Joe Kuhn.
December 21st was the official reopen, with new improvements like a third field, and a 55” HDTV in the clubhouse, but the toughest challenge was removing all the lead from the grounds, after years of shooters using lead pellets before they were eventually banned.
These days, steel pellets fill the 12-gauge shotguns, used at the different stations set up to shoot at clay targets, being shot out of houses. In Naperville, there are five members to a squad, and they rotate through the shooters and stations.
“It’s really fun, it’s a marksman sport. We love doing it, coming out here Sunday and Thursday nights, go out, shoot, have fun with your friends,” said Naperville resident, Ryon Thro.
So what do you need to go trap shooting?
What they need to have is some experience with trap shooting; they also need to provide their own shotgun when they come out here,” said the Naperville Park District’s Director of Recreation, Brian Wilson. “The Park District does provide classes, trap shooting fundamental classes with the Naperville Sportsman Club, where we actually will provide all that they need including instruction and supervision to teach residents how to trap shoot. For the classes, they don’t need the FOID card because that is under the direct instruction of Naperville Sportsman Club members. But otherwise if you come out here to shoot publically, you do need the FOID card for ammunition.
Once you pull the trigger to come out, fees for shooting are $10.75 for members, $12.00 for residents, and $13.25 for nonresidents, which includes 25 targets and shotgun shells.
A tradition since the late 1940’s, the park is sure to provide entertainment for generations to come.
“I’ve been shooting for 15 years, I’m 27, this is where I learned how to shoot actually, my dad took me here when I was 12 years old and this is the first place I shot at. So I love coming back and it’s close and convenient,” said Thro.
The range is open year round, except on holidays, on Thursday from six to ten and Sunday from noon to six, with the last sign-up taken at four.
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