Target shooting in the ‘Burg


Casey Rothgeb

Ian Salvisberg is bringing history back to life with his Mosin Nagant out on Durr Road. Durr Road is about 15 to 20 minutes away from Ellensburg proper.

Jayce Kadoun, Staff Reporter

Whether it’s out in the sticks or at the local range, Ellensburg provides a number of opportunities and safe locations for local marksmen to sharpen their shooting skills. 

The sites nearby where shooters can legally discharge firearms cater to many different styles of shooting at both long and short ranges. 

Alumnus Kidder Mckee said some of the best areas to shoot are within a 15 minute drive from town. 

He said he prefers to head into the hills to shoot on public land because it’s laid-back and allows him to shoot whenever he wants. 

“It’s nice to be able to take off and head up there anytime I want to shoot clays with shotguns or sight in a rifle,”  Mckee said. “There’s a lot of different kinds of spots off the road where you can shoot close or far, which is nice.” 

According to Mckee, the pull-offs on Durr Road are some of the best areas around to go target shooting at. 

He said it’s sometimes busy with other shooters, but there is usually at least one area available. 

“It seems like everyone has the same idea whenever my buddies and me decide to go shoot because it’s usually pretty packed up there, but we can usually find a spot to set up far enough away from everyone else,” Mckee said. 

Michael Clausen, a senior in the paramedic program said he enjoys going deeper into the wilderness to target shoot. 

He said the Manastash area holds some of his favorite long range shooting sites around. 

“I like to get out there aways, especially if I’m rifle shooting, because I can set up targets at those longer distances I want to shoot at without worrying about other people around,” Clausen said. “It gets kind of sketchy shooting over 300 [yards] if you don’t really know where they’re at.”

Clausen said although he likes venturing out into woods to shoot, he wants to look for an established range nearby. 

He said he can’t always pack all the amenities he prefers to have with him out where he usually goes.  

“If I had the option, I’d definitely rather shoot from a solid table with a lead sled or at least something else solid I can rest the gun on,” Clausen said. “A lot of times when I head up in the hills, I have to shoot laying down and it kind of sucks.”

Cascade Field and Stream Club President Brad Coffey said the club owns a private range in the county, but the option to join is available to anyone in the public. 

“The club owns 200 plus acres on top of Hayward Hill in Kittitas county,” Coffey said. “We have an archery area, pistol range, shotgun range, rifle range and a clubhouse/meeting building. Fish and Wildlife also work with the club to offer hunter safety classes at the range.”

Coffey also said the range has rifle targets at 500 yards, a trap shooting area and pistol shooting competitions. 

He said the club hopes to host a lot more member activities in 2021 including trainings, competitions and a finished shotgun area with a trap/skeet house complete with electric throwers.