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Organizers break ground on state's largest shooting range

Organizers broke ground on what will be the largest shooting range in the state on Monday in Jacksonville.
JACKSONVILLE, AR - Organizers broke ground on what will be the largest shooting range in the state on Monday in Jacksonville.

It's called the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation Sports Shooting Complex and will be used for both shooting sports and archery. The project is expected to cost a total of $2.2 million, with Game and Fish paying about $1.5 million and donations covering the rest.

"I'm just waiting for it to open. I'll be here the first day it open," said student Shaleek Doe. He is a member of the Jacksonville Trap Shooting Team and is one of more than 7,000 students throughout Arkansas who participate in similar programs. Right now, he has to drive at least 30 minutes to get to a range, but that won't be the case for long.

"It's gonna be a big, big deal for Jacksonville," he said.

Governor Beebe attended the groundbreaking and said the range is a chance to teach kids about Arkansas' heritage as well as gun safety. Organizers also gave the governor a custom-made hunting vest at the event. He said he'd use it for duck hunting, but not deer.

"I'm not the best deer hunter in the world," said Beebe, "because it usually ends up I can't be quiet enough long enough and still enough long enough to get by with it."

The Shooting Sports Complex is expected to be completed by spring of 2013.
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