CHIPPEWA FALLS — A public gun range in the town of Tilden is closed to the public, but will be open to law enforcement, while improvements are made at the facility.

The Chippewa County Facilities & Parks Committee met Tuesday to discuss reopening the FireArms Range, which was closed Sept. 11. The committee approved a plan to open the range to law enforcement and private firearms training organizations, all of which must have a state-certifie firearms instructor, safety officer, or range master present at each scheduled event there.

The range was closed after police received a report of multiple bullet holes in a detached pole shed and a single bullet into a John Deer combine. Those bullet holes were found approximately one mile south of the range.

"It was determined that the FireArms Range would remain closed until further investigations could be completed, and the Chippewa County Facilities & Parks Committee had an opportunity to meet and review the incident," a county press release states.

Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk said the range is used nearly every day by law enforcement and the public.

"With deer hunting approaching, hunters want to site in their guns," he said. "That range has been operating forever. This is human error, not facility error. People are being foolish and don't know what they are doing."

The range will be reopened to the public after multiple surveillance cameras have been installed, and the shooting stations for the long gun range are revamped to further minimze the possibility of anyone shooting over the berm. A gate will also be installed, and more signage will be erected. 

It is estimated that the corrective measures will be completed sometime in early to mid-October, the press release states.