There a discipline in archery which is called "3D-archery". It's basically archery on a hiking trail with targets standing besides it. Commonly you have to pay about 12 - 15 Euro to take a round on the trail (or to have a day-ticket). You pay this in a small box at the beginning of the course. You put your money in an envelop and place it in there. You have to write your name and the time-stamp in a book and as you leave you write down another time-stamp, so that everyone can be sure that you have safely returned.

However, one doesn't have a chance to check whether everyone has paid the course. A ticket doesn't work since nobody can pay a 24/7 ticket inspection for an archery-course (just too expensive). Anybody just can pass the box at the beginning, shoot and drive away.

So, how can one make sure that only paid customers can shoot the course?

  • So you have electricity and a fence now? Does it have Internet? – paparazzo Oct 26 '16 at 13:30
  • You might think about moving this to startups.stackexchange.com. It's not really a life hack because it's not a common problem that a lot of people can relate to (like "how can I fix my messy hair in the morning?"). – BrettFromLA Oct 26 '16 at 16:47

From your description, the only remotely cost-effective way to ensure only paying shooters can use the course is to enlist technology. There'll be a significant investment up front, of course.

One way (not the only one, just one that came to me immediately) would be to use a vending machine to issue an RFID bracelet or tag with payment, then have targets activated by reading the RFID. This will require a computer to control the targets, actuators for each target (to rise up or move into view), RFID readers at each shooting station, and wiring the course to connect everything (or installing wireless equipment, likely somewhat cheaper to install and much cheaper to maintain). For safety and tracking, you could also use RFID activated gates to enter and leave the course -- activation of the exit gate would replace the sign out list now in use. As a safety bonus, the computer could include a function to notify someone (the course operators or rescue authorities) if a shooter doesn't leave the course in some reasonable time longer than the normal time to walk and shoot the course -- and, of course, once the RFID has been used to exit the course, the managing computer would disallow that same RFID tag from using the course again (though if desired, the course management could also issue "season tickets" or "lifetime memberships" that are issued from special blocks of RFID tags).

Of course, this depends on having a fence around the course, but you need that anyway, for safety of non-shooters.

Once the initial investment is paid, maintenance costs will almost certainly be much less than paying a wage to a gate guard, and you can likely increase the course fee for the "pop-up targets" -- targets could, for instance, be on a delay after the RFID is read, could "run" or "walk" across an opening in cover, etc., which would be attractive for sport shooters.

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