Sunday, March 5, 2017

Take the Trace to Turcotte

Action at the pistol range
Interested in finding a shooting range that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?  Such a place  can be found right off of the Natchez Trace at Highway 43.  Nestled next to the upper lake of the Ross Barnett Reservoir is Turcotte Shooting Range.  The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks operates the range four days per week year-round at very affordable rates.  Driving up the Natchez Trace is an added bonus as well.   Turcotte offers a variety of ranges and programs to Mississippians.   The facility has pistol, rifle, sporting clays, skeet, and archery ranges. 

MDWFP opened Turcotte in 2006. The pistol range has twelve positions and allows shooters to practice from three, seven, fifteen, and twenty-five yards.  Hunters can shoot up to 300 yards at seven stations on the rifle range. There are two Olympic skeet fields that have five stations.  The sporting clays section has twelve stations.  Shooters move from station to station.  Mr. Touchton said that it can handle up to 200 people at one time.  The course takes a shooter through woodlands and requires fifty clays.  The cost for a bag of 50 clays is $12.50.  Golf carts are available at $5 per day. 

Mr. Touchton said the agency would like to add more ranges.  A moving target system would allow more people to use the pistol range.  The rifle range is constantly packed with shooters and could easily handle a tripling of stations.  He would like to increase the distance of the range as well.  The rifle range has flooding issues.  He said he would like to clear the site, improve it, and grade the ground.

There have been no shooting accidents at Turcotte.  Mr. Touchton said the biggest problem his staff faces is shooters bringing loaded guns to the range.  He said "we have to be strict for obvious reasons."  Bringing a loaded gun to the range can earn the would-be shooter a quick trip home as the range masters do not play when it comes to enforcing the rules.  However, there have been no firearms related injuries at Turcotte.    Minors can participate with a parent.  Turcotte Range Director Jad Touchton runs this range with the help of five employees.  Two range masters are certified NRA and law enforcement instructors.  All employees are certified as range officers.  They have to qualify annually with weapons and have emergency response training.

Turcotte also offers a variety of classes and shooting programs.  MDWFP has a school shooting program.  120 students shot in the state shoot last year.  Mr. Touchton said there are no public schools that participate in the school shooting program but that he would "love to change that".  Home-schooled students are allowed to participate as well.  More information is available at this link.

The shooting classes are popular.  Enrollment usually fills up for each class at least a month in advance.  A basic handgun class (think handguns for dummies) is available for $17.  The instructor provides the guns and ammo.  They fire 25 rounds.  The enhanced carry permit class is $107.  Participants bring their own guns and ammo. There are 15 slots per class.  They start at 9:00 AM and finish by 5:00 PM.  An advanced handgun course is offered for $200 as well.

Thursday & Friday: Noon - 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday: 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Annual Resident Range Permit - $42.29 (ages 16-64)
Annual Senior Range Permit - $22.29 (ages 65 and above)
Annual Non-Resident Range Permit - $84.29
Per hour if not purchasing an annual range permit: $5.50

 $25 a person, $5.50 per hour, 25 cents a bird

From Madison County: Drive up the Natchez Trace.  Get off at Hwy 43 exit and drive towards the Rez.  A big brown sign will appear right before you begin crossing the lake.  Follow the directions.   

From Rankin County: Go to Highway 43, drive past Tommy's Trading Post and cross the lake.  It will be immediately on your right once you cross over the Rez.


Anonymous said...

This is a gem. Great fun and facilities.

Anonymous said...

Ditto what 2:54 said. Been there several times for the pistol and rifle range. Cost is a bargain.

Anonymous said...

The shot gun range/trap shoot. is soooooo much FUN!!!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with the above comments. Before it closed I used the indoor range at Surplus City in Clinton. The cost per year at Turcotte is less than a couple of hours was at SC. The staff at Turcotte is great and very attentive. It's only a 15 minute drive up the Trace from Ridgeland. I understand that there are some other MDWFP ranges around the state and a new one is planned, possibly up north. Two thumbs up!

Anonymous said...

Really wish you wouldn't have posted this. It will be overrun with Jackson thugs in no time.

Anonymous said...

Great range. Check the website before you go. They close down sometimes for MWDF officer training.

Anonymous said...

Caution: There's a two-page form you have to fill out before you can shoot. Download it from their site to save yourself some time, if you go. There's one trick question on the form.

Anonymous said...

Great place, but the rifle range is infested with a dozen geezers who hog the lanes all day. Nothing better to do in their lives. It's worse than a 40 dollar a year golf club maintained by the state with no play through or time limit or tee times, or free coffee for seniors from 8-5 pm. They hang out all day. Hell, it's a rifle retirement home. Can't get a lane some days, much less weekends. 20 cents a day to sit in the shade subsidized by Uncle Mississippi, telling war stories, while others need a bench. Need a time limit on Rifle. One hour. And get organized on handgun so experienced shooters can get off the 5 yard line, kneel, prone, or even use barricades. But good folks who need to get the Geritol crew off the benches all day.

Skeet and Clay said...

Take a good look at the photo posted with this story - and remember that in some countries, adults are teaching seven year old children to shoot at targets that look like you.

While you're learning to shoot at Turcote to protect against somebody stealing a bicycle out of your garage, in ten years you will be the 'sporting clays' for those seven year olds.

Anonymous said...

11:23 Try the club down in Byram or the one out on 18. Of course it'll cost you more money, but you won't have to put up with us old geezers. And btw, there is no five yard line on the pistol range. Starts at 3 and then 7. Use the pistol range all the time Chief.

Kingfish said...

Well, what I've seen at times is the old guys take it over with their nice expensive rifles, memo pads, spotting scopes, and calculators. They will fire a round, take several minutes to make their calculations, and then fire a round and repeat the process. I know what they are doing. Just realize that a lot of people get aggravated waiting for someone who is shooting four rounds every 15 minutes. Especially when they just sit there and start shooting the breeze back and forth.

Part of the tradeoff of using a public range. At other times, the rifle range is just fine.

Anonymous said...

KF, this is 10:30. I have more than several expensive weapons, is that to be held against me because I want to shoot them? I hope not. I agree the rifle range is not sniper school. And if someone opens up an ammo can I would guess your you know what is I trouble. On the other hand there is a range master at each range. Could he/she not encourage us old farts that others are waiting? Then again, as you might have suggested, there are better times to use the facility. Thursday is best, at least on the pistol range where I shoot. Friday is a go too, but sometimes crowded later in the morning. Showing up on Saturday or Sunday is a "NO GO AT THIS STATION" if you don't arrive early and don't want to wait even on the pistol range. As to aggravation, ever shot at a German shooting house? I did for four years and figured at times I'd celebrate my next birthday there while waiting on a lane to open up. Then it's called patience because the Germans I shot with were in no hurry.
The complaint by 11:23 is the only complaint I see. And how many complaints have others raised to the staff or the department? Next time out I'll ask. However, I'll continue to arrive early.

Kingfish said...

Not at all. There is nothing really cheap about shooting. The better rifle you can afford, the better.

What I was really referring to were guys taking one shot, shooting the bull back and forth for awhile, then making calculations and writing down info, then a while later, taking another shot, etc. That range only has seven stations. Smallest one there.

Anonymous said...

Then you have never shot at a civilian German range. Remember I shoot pistol. One shot, examine the target, point the gun barrel down, breathe, once again concentrate, retrieve your weapon, aim for God only knows how long, then fire a shot. They only use one hand and are amused with a two handed hold. Never heard any back and forth except awhile examining the targets. The Germans I met were a fine group of guys. However, I never convinced one of them on a two handed hold. Yep, on the economy ammo is very expensive and so are their guns. However, they pointed me to a fine gun shop in Stuttgart. Thought I died and went to Heaven when I got in there. More guns than a Bass Pro.

Kingfish said...

That's the fun part about it. There is always a next rung up the ladder.

Other times it is just plain crowded. Definitely needs a doubling or tripling in size. Growing pains are not a bad thing.

Merck said...

Too damn busy at Turcotte unless it's changed...and This certainly won't help.
RE: Kingfish's ADD Range comment...meh
Some like to pew pew pew and some like to spark a flinter or practice for accuracy, work on handlands. To each his/her own

Anonymous said...

yall better keep practicing, before you know it we will really have defend ourselves with thesee nuts in dc.

Anonymous said...

It's kind of like a restaurant, if people aren't waiting it's probably not profitable. ..

Anonymous said...

Just be thankful PRVWSD is not in charge of the place.

Anonymous said...

Magnolia in Byram is a much better deal. $100 a year, open 7 days a week, 6am until near sunset with lots of space. I've never had to wait for a place to shoot there. Only thing I miss from Turcotte is the sporting clays.

Kingfish said...

My application says $150.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kingfish,
The first year is $150 which includes the $50 in fees, but after that it is $100 each year as long as you don't let your membership expire. If you only go to the range a few times a year than Turcotte is likely a better deal, but if you like to shoot a lot Magnolia has more space and fewer closures.

Anonymous said...

If I'm interested in buying a shotgun and learning is this a good place to go?

Anonymous said...

If this is a legit question I suggest you get on the Internet because your general question has a lot of holes. You have not given your experience level with firearms
or what you intend to use a shotgun for. As to your secondary question, no, neither Magnolia nor Turcotte offer basic shotgun classes. Do you have any friends who own a shotgun and can they take you somewhere for you to fire it safely (such as their deer camp) and provide some basic instruction for firing or safety?

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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