Big Hollow Shooting Range


2022 - We're excited to offer a new feature at the Big Hollow Shooting Range: Clay bird throwers on the 50 yard range. All members need to watch the above video and confirm they're aware of this new feature and policies governing its use by completing this form.

Key points:

  • Range members may shoot shotguns at clay birds from the gravel firing line halfway down the 50 yard range.
  • You may only use the throwers provided, you may not bring your own nor may you throw clays by hand or with a hand thrower. 
  • You must clean up empty shells and clay debris.
  • When multiple parties are using the range and only some of them are using the clay bird feature, they must communicate when they’ll be going downrange. 
  • No one should handle firearms when others are downrange.
  • Non-shotgun shooters still must fire only from the covered firing line. Only shotgun shooters using the clay bird feature may fire from the walkway halfway down the range. 
  • When using the clay bird throwers, be careful of the swing zone of the thrower. Damage to property and/or serious injury may result from impact from the throwing arm. 
  • Only clay birds may be thrown with the clay bird throwers. Do not attempt to throw anything else. 
  • If at any time the throwers or pedestals get shot or negligently or purposefully damaged, they will be removed, along with any opportunity to shoot at moving targets anywhere on the Big Hollow Shooting Range.

Click here to complete the acknowledgement form

2017 Jamboree Aerial (16)

About the Range

Big Hollow Recreation Area is home to a 25, 50, 100 yard, and 300 meter outdoor shooting range. Those wanting access to the range must attend a Shooting Range Certification Course to become a shooting range member. After successful completion of the course, a membership card will be issued that must be carried at all times when on the range.

The yearly membership fee is $30 for an individual and $35 for families (the head of the family will be issued a card allowing all members of the family to shoot on the range as long as the cardholder is present).

For more information, download the Range Brochure (PDF).

Become a Member

Youth BB Gun Shooting

Renew Your Membership

Shooting 22

Click here to find out how to join the shooting range or take the certification course online.

Current range members click here to take the annual refresher course online and renew your membership.

Range Reservations

Reserved sign

Range Reservations

Individual ranges are reserved at certain times for events and law enforcement training. Several law enforcement agencies, hunter safety courses, as well as local military personnel train at our facility. Before heading to the range, be sure to check the calendar for reservations. All range requests must be made 7 days prior to the date you want to reserve.

Location & Directions

Go to Big Hollow Recreation Area and turn west on the main park road. The road terminates at the shooting range.

Range Regulations

Please review and follow these rules when using the range:

  1. All shooters must have their certification card with them. The first person on the range will assume the Range Officer position. He/she is in charge of range commands and appointing a Range Officer when he/she leaves the range. Most importantly, he/she is in charge of safety on the range.
  2. All range users and guests must sign in and out on the forms provided inside the range buildings.
  3. (UPDATED) When shooting single-projectile firearms (such as rifles, pistols, or shotguns with slugs), shooters shall use only the target frames or reactive targets supplied and approved by the Des Moines County Conservation Director. Shooters must use cardboard or the backing furnished for the target frames. Only paper targets on the frames are allowed; No other targets will be allowed or accepted.
    1. On the 50-yard range, shooters may shoot at clay targets thrown from the provided clay target throwers. No other targets or target throwers may be used, and clay target shooting may only be done from the designated shooting area halfway down the 50-yard range. Clay target shooting is not allowed anywhere else within Big Hollow.
  4. (UPDATED) All projectiles, including shot, must impact the termination berm. All target frames on the 25 yard, 50 yard, 100 yard, and 300 meter ranges are permanently affixed and shall remain where installed.
  5. Shooters must always know their target, use good judgment and be extremely cautious of what may be behind their target. Be aware there are homes and people beyond the shooting range and stray bullets from the range can cause damage to life and property. Shooters must always keep the muzzle of the firearm pointed in a safe direction.
  6. All loaded firearms must be pointed downrange at the termination berm.
  7. All firearms shall be unloaded with action open until ready to fire.
  8. (UPDATED) All single-projectile firing shall be done from the firing line on the 50, 100, and 300 ranges. Shotguns shooting shot may be used on the firing line halfway down the 50-yard range when actively shooting at clay targets thrown from the provided throwers. No other shooting is to be done from that line. 
  9. (UPDATED) On the 25 and 50 yard ranges, shooters may move forward as a group under the direction of the Range Officer.
  10. Only shooters, spotters, and coaches are allowed on the firing line while it is in operation. Spectators are to stay behind the firing line at all times.
  11. All barrels should be checked for a bore obstruction before firing. Malfunctioning firearms should not be used. Only legal firearms are to be used.
  12. All unsafe acts or situations on a range shall be corrected immediately.
  13. Any person may call “CEASE FIRE” at any time they see an unsafe situation or act.
  14. Upon the command “CEASE FIRE” all firearms will be unloaded immediately.
  15. Eye and ear protection is required during active shooting.
  16. Dry firing is permitted on the firing line only.
  17. Make sure the correct ammunition for the firearm is being used.
  18. Inexperienced shooters must be accompanied by experienced shooters.
  19. 9UPDATED0 All shooters should clean their target and firing station and, if applicable, pick up any clay target debris from shooting clays on the 50-yard range when they have completed their firing.
  20. When shooters go downrange to change targets and score, the Range Officer must control movement by using standard range commands.
  21. (UPDATED) Clay pigeon shooting is only allowed from the firing line halfway down the 50-yard range and clay targets may only be thrown from the provided throwers. Only factory-made clay targets are to be thrown from the throwers. All shots fired at clay targets must impact the termination berm.
  22. During heavy range usage there will be a 30 minute time limit.
  23. Des Moines County Conservation reserves the right to close the shooting range at any time.

General Area Regulations

  1. Loud or abusive language will not be permitted.
  2. Alcoholic beverages or shooters having immediate prior consumption are prohibited at the shooting range complex.
  3. During heavy use vehicles should be carefully parked, permitting all vehicles to exit the range area in a safe manner.
  4. Please stay on the walkways.
  5. Pick up any trash or debris in the shooting area.

Security & Enforcement

  1. Disregard for and failure to adhere to range or general area regulations will automatically and immediately disqualify the offender from using the shooting range indefinitely.
  2. Des Moines County Conservation will make every effort to provide safety and security for the shooting range. Des Moines County Conservation will strictly enforce all rules, regulations, policy and procedures.
  3. The range is fenced and posted with “Danger No Trespassing Shooting Range” and “Stop Only Certified Shooters May Use Ranges” signs; violators will be prosecuted under Code of Iowa, Section 461A.44, “Prohibited Areas.”
  4. Individuals found to be intentionally or unintentionally shooting over berms will be prosecuted under Code of Iowa Section 724.30, “Reckless Use of a Firearm.”
  5. The range will be supervised when in operation at all times.
  6. The Des Moines County Conservation Board will determine the penalty or punishment on reported violations other than those covered by public law.