The U.S. Forest Service has reopened the Flintlock Valley Shooting Range in the Uwharrie National Forest. The range first opened in 1996, but had been closed since 2010 because of safety concerns regarding stray bullets.
In an online question-and-answer document posted during the closure, the Forest Service acknowledged two incidents on record that occurred off-site, one in July 2009 and another in April 2010. Details of those incidents were not made available, but rumors circulated that one nearby rider was struck in the leg by a stray bullet.
A public forum regarding the future of the range was held last August, and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the National Rifle Association have since contributed funds to fix safety issues at the range, including the raising of earthen berms and the reconstruction of shooting stations.
Forest rangers say the range “offers an opportunity for competition shoots, hunter preparation and general target shooting.” They say “safety training may be offered in the future.”
The Flintlock Valley Shooting Range is open Tuesday through Saturday year-round, and there is a usage fee. Information is available from the Uwharrie National Forest Rangers’ Office at 910-576-6391.
When the range closed in 2010, Forest Service officials said it had been averaging 1,000 visitors per month. Use of the range was free for the first 10 years, and a fee system implemented in 2007 was said to have been generating about $25,000 per year in sales of passes.