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 Locations near either Yakima or Wenatchee? 
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Location: Lynnwood, WA
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012
Posts: 6
So, this last weekend, the wife, kid, and myself went out to the Yakima area (we're from the Seattle area) to go do some shooting in the Eastern Washington desert. Just past Yakima, we pulled over at a gas station to get some munchies, and I asked a State Trooper who had just pulled in what his opinion was about where to go where we wouldn't catch too much attention. The only advice he could give me was that the people around that area do lots of shooting, but he wasn't sure exactly where to go. He just suggested "going up in the hills".

Anyway, we found a nice spot, but we quickly found that it's Yakama Nations reservation land, and they're pretty serious about not allowing outsiders onto their land. So... that being said... Where on earth do people go around that area to go shooting in "the desert"? Pretty much EVERYWHERE we went, the entire side of the highway was lined with cheap looking wire fence, so I only could assume it was private property. That's usually the case, correct? I'm talking about off US97 south of Yakima/Toppenish.

The reason I posted the subject as Yakima OR Wenatchee is that I'm more than willing to drive as far or a little farther than either area to go shooting, but I really have no idea where to go. Any ideas or strategies for how to locate land suitable for shooting? My main concern is making sure I'm not on someone's private property.


Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:57 am
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Location: Maple Valley, WA
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011
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Real Name: Young
Honestly.

As an “outsider” meaning outside... just out of luck. Unless you have family/friends in the area most folks won’t disclose their “spot”

What kind of shooting? Why not use a range of sorts. Lots closer to Seattle. Every range has their pros and cons. Just depends on your taste of shooting disciplines and style.

There are “pits” near Olympia and near you near Sedro Woolley.


Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:19 am
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Location: Lynnwood, WA
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Yeah, i guess I should've clarified. I'm not looking for someone's specific spot. I know how it goes - someone opens their mouth about their spot, it gets turned into a garbage dump, closed down, etc. I'm just more wondering how people actually find these areas if they're not local.

I've spent much time on Google maps, and have gotten a few good leads, but when talking to people in general, you get responses like "just go out into the desert"... which is all find and dandy, but accessing the desert itself seems to be a challenge as everything along the main roads is fenced off. I guess that's the rub.

I'm highly considering just buying a yearly subscription to onXmaps, which seems to do a decent job of listing property owners via the actual parcel of land.


Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:35 am
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Location: Maple Valley, WA
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My brother and I used hunt. He still does and so decades ago we would wander and travel the backroads and see if there were land owners willing for us to use their land (upland bird hunters - ducks, pheasants etc)

So this method is time and labor intensive. As you have to make contact and work out a mutual agreement of some kind.

So if you are willing to put in time, miles and expense... it can be done but still not easy as it all depends on who and how you find people willing to let you use their property.

Please note many are “burnt out” as to all the trash and dumping and fire risks that most often follows shooting spots.


Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:13 am
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I'm a member of a range near Wenatchee, buddy of mine is a board member and RSO.
On the weekends we pretty much have the place to ourselves.
And if not, he has the keys to the lower gate.

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Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:55 am
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Location: Lynnwood, WA
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Yep, and I can understand why. People are pigs.

The land we almost ended up on was Yakama Nations land. Some of the most beautiful rolling hills I've ever seen with multiple herds of wild horses within sight. Unfortunately, it's a pretty firm "No" - full stop - from what I've read with regards to allowing non-tribal members on their land.

Just messing with Google Maps a bit has helped a little. 3D mode really helps differentiate good, flat shooting spots from a cliff side.

@Guntrader - That's awesome! The ranges around here are about what you'd expect for the Seattle area. Pretty minimalist. What range are you guys at?


Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:02 pm
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Location: Lakewood
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Real Name: Mortgage loan Guy
I've been to the NCW gun club in East Wenatchee a few times. Depending on when you go you have it to yourself. Occasionally they have a group of idiots come in but they are doing a good job of trying to weed them out.

If you have kids cowboy town is a bunch of fun.


Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:27 pm
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Location: central wa
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What advantage do you gain by attempting this?
For outdoor: http://sunvalleyshootingpark.org
For indoor (up to .50): https://www.therangellc.com/events/


Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:47 pm
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Location: Tacoma, Washington
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Here's how to find a place to shoot.

Open up Google Maps
Find yourself a National Forest, a State Forest, a Wildlife Area (not a refuge), a BLM tract.
Look for clear cut areas with hills. Hills make good berms.
The more accessible it is, the more likely other people will use it. If you have to get out of the truck and hike/carry your stuff in, you're likely to be left alone.
Don't shoot from on or across a road.
Have fun. Clean up after. Don't tell anyone about your new honey hole.

I will now give some anecdotal experience story time.
Some friends invited me to shoot at a location in a state forest. You can't drive to the shooting positions, you have to carry all your gear up hill and there's steel plates from 100-575yds. So unless you know, you don't know and you won't bother going over there. I've taken two people there over the past three years and most of the time, there is never anyone at that spot unless it's a hunting season. It's a shared resource, so when I showed up to shoot last year and there was a hunter posted in my line of fire, I just had to go somewhere else.

Yesterday I needed to fire a round from my 300 WM to confirm my DOPE. I walked a steel plate for five minutes away from my camp to a safe berm that's also beyond another camp. I told the guys in that camp two days prior that I would be shooting, and from from to where. Then I made the walk back, got in my truck drove around the drainage and got setup. It's a 300yd distance, whatev....BOOM, WHACK. Then I heard someone yelling. Drove back to camp, walked back to the target and got yelled at by one of the campers on the way about "We're hunting tomorrow. Why would you be shooting?" The exchange was brief. It's public land. It's a shared resource and there's over 166,000 acres of hunting available for them and their draw tag. Plus the area has been open to modern firearm hunting since August 1, along with seasons for bow hunters, and muzzleloader hunters.

So just keep in mind it's your land to use too and no one's use of the land to recreate is more important than yours. Your use is equal to theirs.

Added Bonus. Don't use state forests or other public lands within firearm restricted areas such as Tiger Mountain State Forest to target shoot with.
Here's some links: https://www.fs.fed.us/visit/know-before-you-go/shooting
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mbs/alerts-notices/?cid=stelprdb5324910

Triple Added Bonus. There's VERY little public land 97. If you're driving that far to shoot. You'd definitely put in the miles but, that's a long way to go for a no shoot.

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Last edited by dreadi on Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:05 pm
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Who put the quote and edit button next to each other?

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Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:16 pm
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There's also the approach of asking for permission from private land owners, perhaps in exchange for labor or barter of some kind. I have been successful using a combo of good wine, premium steaks, and fresh seafood as a way of breaking the ice. I come bearing gifts when I knock on the door, and even if I get turned down I leave them and thank the person for their time. A couple times I have received a call back saying "well, I guess it's OK after all." It also helps to research the parcel owner's name and contact information on the county assessor's website prior to going. I've found it to be helpful to sound like you know the area, who the neighbors are, where the property boundaries are, etc. Name dropping can be effective sometimes. And don't roll up in camo with a gun on your hip; dress well and be personable.


Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:36 am
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Best spot in vicinity of Yakima is LT Murray north of Selah off of Sheep Company Rd. The two main spots are noted on the Waguns Range Map on the main page. A Discover Pass is required.


Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:23 pm
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watch your 6 at lt.murray...


Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:36 pm
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quantsuff wrote:
watch your 6 at lt.murray...
Care to share?

I'm pretty cautious anywhere other people are shooting to include ranges and have never had issues at LT Murray, but I also dont go there real often.


Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:02 pm
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beckdw wrote:
quantsuff wrote:
watch your 6 at lt.murray...
Care to share?

I'm pretty cautious anywhere other people are shooting to include ranges and have never had issues at LT Murray, but I also dont go there real often.


They have long haired roadie-gunsmiths driving around with loaded AR-pistols and unloaded 300 WIN MAGs hunting elk. Don’t trust those guys.

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Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:50 pm
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