Friday, February 3rd, 2023
Friday, February 3rd, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

West Virginia DNR Addresses Shooting Range Damage

Officials with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
(DNR) are asking users of the state’s public shooting ranges to
help curtail growing instances of damage to the property. Of
biggest concern are littering and gunfire damage to target frames,
trash barrels, bench posts and other structures at the ranges.

DNR maintains nearly 30 public shooting ranges at numerous
wildlife management areas, two state forests and other publicly
accessible locations across West Virginia. These ranges were built
and are maintained using funds from the sale of hunting licenses
and conservation stamps. They are popular with hunters who use them
to practice and sight in their firearms prior to the state’s
various hunting seasons. Although hunters pay the costs of the
ranges with their license fees, these facilities are open at no
charge to the public and are becoming more popular with
recreational shooters.

Recent months have shown an increase in shooting range users
damaging the facilities with high-powered firearms and ammunition
for which the ranges are not designed, and bringing in
inappropriate items which are not permitted under wildlife
management area regulations such as household appliances, computer
monitors, glass bottles, etc. Some shooters have been using these
items as targets and not removing the debris when they leave. The
result is that DNR’s wildlife managers are spending much of their
time repairing the ranges and removing trash instead of maintaining
and creating hunting and fishing opportunities, according to DNR
Director Frank Jezioro. Shooters are reminded that current
regulations prohibit the use of glass or metal containers as
targets on any public shooting range. Only paper, clay and metal
silhouette targets may be used on these ranges.

“Many of the recreational shooters do not have West Virginia
hunting licenses, so they do not contribute to the upkeep of the
facilities,” Jezioro said. “We’re asking that shooters take out
what they bring in to the range, and that anyone who sees shooters
abusing the shooting ranges report it to their local Natural
Resources Police Officer.”

Jezioro said shooting range operations will continue as they are
now and they will remain open to the public at no charge. However,
shooting range users are urged to read and obey the posted rules so
that the facilities remain in good condition and remain available
for everyone.

A list of public shooting ranges maintained by DNR is available
online at www.wvdnr.gov/hunting/SRanges.shtm.

 

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