Melinda Hughes, 509-697- 2082
Staci Lehman, 509-710-4511
YAKIMA — Annual summer target shooting rules go into effect on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)-managed Wenas Wildlife Area next week to reduce the risk of wildfires. Target shooting restrictions run May 15 through Sept. 30, including at the shooting range at Sheep Company Road. Public notice of the limited hours will be posted at all public entry points of the Wenas and at target shooting sites on the wildlife area.
In response to previous wildfires and persistently dry conditions, WDFW has restricted target shooting on the Wenas every summer since 2012. Seasonal restrictions improve safety for adjacent landowners and protect wildlife habitat through reduced fire risk.
Starting May 15, target shooting only can occur between sunrise and 10 a.m., when the risk of starting a wildfire is reduced. Further, on June 1, steel targets will not be allowed through the end of September. Exploding targets, tracer, or incendiary ammunition are never allowed.
The Wenas covers over 105,000 acres between Ellensburg and Yakima. Visitors can experience a variety of recreation opportunities, including big game hunting, hiking, and birding. Much of the wildlife area is shrubsteppe, a type of habitat that has been reduced to 20% of its original range in Washington and was significantly impacted by wildfires in recent years.
State land managers ask that visitors to any wildlife area check local fire danger information and take precautions to avoid igniting a wildfire.
WDFW enacted other new statewide shooting rules in January 2021 that shooters should also familiarize themselves with before visiting any target shooting locations.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.