July 31, 2023

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is inviting all recreational shooters to celebrate National Shooting Sports Month in August.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), formed in 1961 to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports, created the first-ever nationwide celebration to encourage participation in the shooting sports genres and emphasize firearms safety. 

“Recreational shooting is a safe, fun activity enjoyed by millions of Americans,” said Mike Raum, the department’s shooting sports branch chief. “Whether you’re new to recreational shooting, someone who shoots regularly or enjoys competing in tournaments, or just sighting in your firearm for a hunt, join us in celebrating the month by visiting a local shooting range.

“Better yet, take a friend along to enjoy the pastime with you.” 

The shooting sports can provide a lifetime of enjoyment with family and friends. It’s a safe, fun activity enjoyed annually by an estimated 50 million Americans, 20 million of whom participate on a regular basis, according to the NSSF (in 2016). The world-class Ben Avery Shooting Facility (BASF), one of the nation’s largest publicly operated shooting facilities, drew more than 200,000 recreational shooters in 2022. 

BASF’s rifle and pistol ranges, archery ranges, and Clay Target Center have switched to summer hours of operation through Aug. 28. 

Note: Archery ranges open at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Customers can reserve shooting times at To inquire about same-day availability, call 623-582-8313.

There are nine other shooting facilities located throughout the state, owned by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. There also are dozens of independently owned and operated ranges, which can be found at

As a reminder, this is a good time for dove hunters to grab their shotguns and head to the Clay Target Center in preparation for the upcoming season, which opens Sept. 1. AZGFD also encourages hunters to purchase their Arizona hunting license and migratory bird stamp online at  

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