The Whitman Branch Shooting Range in Daniel Boone National Forest has been closed to the public due to vandalism.
Officials with the U.S. Forest Service posted notice of the closing of the facility, located near the Laurel Lake spillway, on the Daniel Boone National Forest Facebook page at approximately 1 p.m. Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, we once again are closing the range in order to repair and cleanup the mess left behind by careless shooters,” officials stated in the post.
Bullet holes have been shot in the roof and in signs posted near the range.
In addition, fire extinguishers and propane tanks have been used as targets, and casings, shells and garbage is littering the area.
“Backstops are also being directly shot at rather than used as intended,” officials stated.
Officials added that the damage will be repaired, but it will not occur until the area dries out from the recent deluge of rain.
Signs at the shooting range were the targets for graffiti in early December.
The shooting range was closed for three months in 2017 for extensive repairs after it was repeatedly targeted by vandals.
As part of the renovations, six shooting lanes were established, along with an overhead shelter and shooting benches.
As part of the revamped facility, a large trash receptacle that was the target of vandalism in July 2017, remained on site. The receptacle had been shot multiple times.
A sign next to it warned, “Future vandalism may result in temporary or permanent closure of the Whitman Branch Shooting Range.
Any information on the vandalism may be anonymously reported by calling (606) 864-4163.
Without the Whitman Branch range, shooters wanting to use a U.S. Forest Service facility would be required to drive to the Keno Shooting Range in Pulaski County.