But... there are places other than the west side of Utah Lake. You have to drive a little
further, but not much (or, the opposite direction). Just avoid the high traffic areas, or you'll become one of 'them' by association.
(Yes, this is tying in to the OP, I swear.)
My "normal" shooting spot used to be a range my family got permission to create on BLM land in Tooele County, about 17 years ago. We had written permission from the local office to clear 3 marked trees, remove some vegetation on the backstop, and create a "jeep trail" road. It was great, ...for a while. But, of course, idiots, anal orifices, ATV riders, and inconsiderate jerks dumped too much trash and got too destructive and irresponsible there. Did I mention someone shot
down about 30 trees, piled them on 20+ tires they were dumping, and lit a bonfire with 30+ foot flames in 2003? Yea...
Now, we use a "'range for the day" tactic, rather than creating something recognizable for other people to come back to. It's about a 50-60 mile drive for me to get to what I consider an acceptable shooting area, but that includes 2-5 miles of off-road driving to get away from even the slightest hint of people. Pretty much any public land after Five Mile Pass on Hwy 73, or west of Hwy 36 is fair game. (excluding areas closed to shooting, or lacking a proper backstop and ricochet safety zone, of course)
Going shooting, for me, just means I need to plan for a 100-120 mile round trip, and the corresponding amount of time. But, I make up for it by reloading and casting my own bullets.
For example: My current cost to reload a 50-round box of 9mm with my cast 122 gr bullets is less than $2.70. (and I buy
metals for the alloy, rather than scrounging like many casters.) So, for the price most people pay for a single box of "cheap" 9mm ammo ($11-15), I can shoot 4 to 5 boxes. That allows for a substantial increase in live-fire practice, and/or helps cover the cost of fuel to get there.
In addition, I don't have to deal with the limitations placed on me by being at a range. I'm not limited to a single target (nearly all indoor and many outdoor ranges). I'm not limited to slow fire. I'm not getting smacked in the face by brass ricocheting off the lane divider (indoor). I don't have to wait to check my target. I don't have to deal with crappy lighting, ridiculously poor ventilation, and malfunctioning target carriers (probably not a problem at Doug's - but I've never used their range). I don't have to wait for a lane/bench to open up. I don't have to deal with some idiot hitting me with brass from his AR. I don't have to deal with idiots shooting the roof or support beams. I can practice drawing from a holster. I don't have to worry about people stealing my brass. And, most importantly, I don't have to worry about the idiot in the stall next to me sending a bullet in my direction, because they thought a 'jam' was a perfectly good excuse to disregard all safety rules.
So, I am afforded the opportunity to practice nearly anything I can think of, in the desert. Generally, it includes the use of cheap, bulk potatoes. Potatoes make a great handgun target: They're bio-degradable. They explode (uh-oh... might be banned!
). They're small enough to require concentration to hit. And, they can be left 'in the raw', or painted (various colors, for certain drills). -Painted potatoes are great for transition drills and target acquisition drills (especially when using multiple colors, and having another person call out the next target).
So, I believe a majority of live-fire provides much more valuable training, than relying on a majority of dry-fire.
But, I do understand your position. We just have different approaches.
Sorry about the long post...
I need a new signature. This one sucks.