New firing range opens in SW Georgia - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New firing range opens in SW Georgia

By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

November 18, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Kaycee Ann Everson took the first shot at the Captain Michael D. Commander firing range , a range named after her father.

"A great way to honor almost 30 years of service by a dedicated conservation officer," said DNR Assistant Chief of Law Enforcement, Jeff Weaver.

At 200 yards, the range at the Chickasawhatchee WMA has on of the longest rifle ranges available in Georgia. "It is also one of the only two we have in the state that has a dedicated 50-yard pistol range adjacent to the 200-yard range," said Department of Natural Resources Chief, Mark Whitney.

This will also be one of only three staffed with full-time Range Masters. "They are going to oversee and make sure that everyone is operating safely while they are using the firearms on the line," said Whitney.

The Department of Natural Resources are happy to be able to offer these services to the area. "This is probably one of our finest shooting ranges. We know there is a lot of interest in Southwest Georgia, and we expect it to be utilized quite a bit," said Whitney.

Family say this dedication hit the bulls eye of what Commander stood for on the job. "Shooting is a sport and it should be treated as one. And safety is very high. And Mike would want them to do that," said widow, Linda Commander.

"He was a great public servant and this is a great way to pay honor," said Weaver. And they are grateful that his life's work will live on with every shot fired in this shooting range.

Hours at the shooting range are from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday, and 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Sundays.

The Department of Natural Resources also have future plans to build an archery range there.

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