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Quietest Range On Camp Pendleton
by U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kerstin Roberts
January 23, 2020

Throughout the many ranges on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, the crack of rifles and the thundering of artillery is a common occurrence.

However, Camp Pendleton is also home to a range that emits little to no sound. This range is known as the Rattlesnake Canyon Archery Range and it provides Archers of all backgrounds the opportunity to hone their craft.

January 8, 2020 - U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Broc Story, a combat graphics specialist, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations-West, draws a bow at the Rattlesnake Canyon Archery Range on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The Rattlesnake Canyon Range is an open access range for all to participate in the sport of archery. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Melissa Ugalde)
January 8, 2020 - U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Broc Story, a combat graphics specialist, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations-West, draws a bow at the Rattlesnake Canyon Archery Range on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The Rattlesnake Canyon Range is an open access range for all to participate in the sport of archery. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Melissa Ugalde)

“We have our hunters who practice archery so they can be the best they can be,” said Micheal Tucker, a game warden with Environmental Security Department, MCB Camp Pendleton. “We also have archers that focus solely on archery as a sport.”

Rattlesnake Canyon Archery Range promotes safer hunting practices on base by ensuring that bow hunters have every opportunity to be confident with their equipment. Archery is a difficult method to use while hunting game species. Having a range to practice on is vital for ethical hunting.

“I love archery as the head coordinator of the deer hunt,” stated Tucker. “We can accommodate more hunters and have a much larger hunting effort through archery.”

For many, archery is a method to ensure spiritual fitness. The intense focus and discipline that is required to become proficient with any form of bow and arrow becomes an escape. Similar to other outdoor activities, the connection to nature and the repetitiveness keeps many grounded and mission ready.

“Archery is a focus activity that promotes resilience much like fishing or meditation,” added Tucker. “Rattlesnake Canyon Range is available all the time and does not conflict with other Marine Corps training ranges.”

The range’s location allows for sunrise to sunset hours of operation and uses a first come first serve system. At the moment this is the only archery range on Camp Pendleton. However, the Pendleton Sportsmans Club has been working to have another opened on 27 Jan. The new range will be located near the Las Flores Ranch House and will allow archers closer to the area the same opportunities as the Rattlesnake Canyon Range.

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