Firearm Use (Recreational Shooting/Hunting)
The Prineville District offers a lot of options when it comes to target shooting and hunting. Because we support multiple-use of our public lands, there are many things to consider when selecting a safe area to hunt or target shoot. This means knowing both where and when you can hunt or shoot. Many areas are open when "legally hunting" - this means you must have a valid hunting license and be hunting during the open season.
Where Can I shoot?
A small portion of the Prineville District is closed to all firearm discharge or closed to firearm discharge unless legally hunting due to high public use and resource concerns. The BLM has maps that show closed areas, as well as maps that show land ownership. Stay on designated routes when getting to your shooting area. Remember - crossing private lands to access public lands is not allowed unless you first get permission from that landowner. And please - never shoot from a vehicle.
You can also visit the shooting range at the Central Oregon Sport Shooting Association (COSA). The 500-acre range is located east of Bend off Highway 20. Before using the range, please visit the COSSA site for information on directions, fees and requirements.
On the Prineville District, no firearm discharge of any kind is allowed in:
- Any developed recreation sites (campgrounds, trailheads, visitor centers, etc.)
- BLM-administered lands within the Lower Deschutes River Wild and Scenic River Boundary from the 3rd Saturday in May through August 31, except during authorized hunting seasons; or at any time in a developed area.
- Within 150 yards of a residence, building, developed recreation site or occupied area on the Lower Deschutes River.
- Areas closed to shooting as identified in District Resource Management Plans (see maps below).
For shooting restrictions and closed areas around Bend, Prineville, Redmond, and La Pine, please view the following maps:
Target shooting is a fun way to spend an afternoon! Before you head out, find out where you can lawfully target shoot and follow these rules to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable experience:
- Bring your own targets and clean up any debris from the target or your cartridges when you're done. Please do not bring appliances or other trash to shoot - refrigerators, televisions and computers can leave behind dangerous chemicals.
- Shoot only the targets you bring - shooting and/or damaging natural features, native plants and trees, cultural and historic resources, or government (public) property is not allowed.
- Shoot where it's safe! Find an area with a solid backdrop like a mound or a hill and know what's behind your target. Shoot away from concentrations of people and be aware that private land may be closer than you think.
Exploding targets are allowed from late fall to early spring on the Prineville District BLM (these dates change every year). When fire restrictions go in place, generally June, exploding targets such as Tannerite are prohibited. At all times, please follow the manufacturer's recommendation for the amount to use. Bring your own targets and clean up all debris. Using exploding targets in a manner that damages natural features, native plants and trees, cultural and historic resources, or government (public) property is not allowed. Please contact the Prineville BLM if you have any questions (541) 416-6700 or to find out if we are in fire season (closed to exploding targets).
Avoid damaging plants, trees, cultural sites or other materials
Bring your own target, and shoot in an area where you have a hill for a backdrop
Clean your target and shooting debris before you head home