New firing range in Albany

Published 5:04 pm Monday, November 24, 2008

Albany, Ga.—A new firing range is now open in southwest Georgia at the Chickasawhatchee Wildlife Management Area, announces the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division.

The range is named in honor of Capt. Michael D. Commander, the former law enforcement region supervisor for the Division in this part of the state. Commander passed away in May 2007.

A dedication ceremony held last week brought together many of those who knew Capt. Commander, as well as members of his family. His youngest daughter took the honorary first shot to open the range.

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“The desire for a range in this area was evident, as expressed by the many sportsmen’s groups who requested this type of facility—so I know it is a welcome addition to this part of the state,” says Chief of Game Management Mark Whitney. “It is the longest public range on WMA land in southwest Georgia as well as one of only two WMA ranges with a separate pistol range.”

Construction for the range began in March of this year, with final completion accomplished earlier this month. The range was built using Wildlife Restoration funds. This money comes from sportsmen through their purchases of firearms and ammunition.

Similar to the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center firing range (Mansfield, Ga.), this area will have DNR Range Safety Officers on site during hours of operation. The range has a 200-yard rifle range and a separate 50-yard pistol range with plans for an archery range in the future (archery equipment currently can be utilized on the pistol range).

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The range is closed on Mondays for maintenance.