Stray bullets hit homes near Oconto County shooting range

TOWN OF MORGAN – Some residents near an Oconto County shooting range say they are worried for their safety.

The residents say they’ve had close calls with stray bullets that they believe are coming from the Oconto County Machickanee Forest Shooting Range.

Shortly after moving into his Town of Morgan home, John Duggan says he had a stray bullet come within two feet of his head.

“As I’m splitting wood, I heard the bullet come from the range and hit the siding,” said Duggan.

After calling the sheriff’s department, Duggan found out his home’s previous owner had similar encounters with bullets hitting the home.

“It’s happened numerous times and not just at my residence but I guess other residence that are off a near road,” said Duggan.

Dave Younger teaches hunter safety and uses the range a few times a year. He says it’s understandable that stray bullets could be traveling well beyond the range.

“If you’re shooting into that berm, you’ve got no problem,” said Younger. “But if you’re shooting short, that’s when stuff flies up.”

On Tuesday night, people filled the Town of Morgan Hall to talk about the issues with the range. Complaints ranged from stray bullets, to noise, and illegal targets causing explosions.

“It’s self-policed, a lot of it is,” said Deputy Troy Sherman with the Oconto County Sheriff’s Department.

Right now, Sherman stops in at the range two to three times a day. He says it would be hard to justify to taxpayers having someone supervise the range full-time.

“I give my cell phone number out to a lot of people that are there,” said Sherman. “If they see something they can call or text.”

At this point, the county is listening to suggestions, hoping to come up with a solution to people’s concerns.

“I want to be able to live here and want my family to feel safe being on our property,” said Duggan.

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