PHOENIX – The Arizona Game and Fish Department has announced plans to assume operation of the Ben Avery Clay Target Center after the current lease arrangement with a private operator expires on Sept. 17.
The clay target center provides a recreational venue for skeet, trap and sporting clays shotgun shooters and is on the property of the 1,600-acre Ben Avery Shooting Facility, which is owned by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission and administered by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The department operates the other shooting ranges at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, located at the northwest corner of I-17 and Carefree Highway in Phoenix.
“We’re very excited to have this opportunity,” says Dana Yost, the department’s assistant director for information and education. “The clay target center has a significant role to play in recreational shooting and in development of our youth programs, such as the Scholastic Clay Target Program. Our goal is to one day turn it into the finest trap, skeet and sporting clays facility in the country.”
The department received direction at the June 24 meeting of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to proceed with plans to take over operation of the clay target center at the end of the current vendor’s lease agreement.
“The commission ultimately decided that the interests of the local shooting community would be best served by having the department run the clay target center,” says Yost. “The center will remain open during the transition to new management, and we don’t plan on any interruption in service.”
The Arizona Game and Fish Department supports shooting sports programs, firearms safety, hunter safety and shooting range development, in addition to its wildlife management and conservation responsibilities.