Ohio’s largest public shooting range, located at Delaware Wildlife Area in northern Delaware County, will open Friday, Dec. 4, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The shooting range was previously closed for repairs while major enhancements and renovations were completed, as well as construction of a new indoor Archery Training Center.
The $8 million range improvements include 96 total pistol and rifle shooting stations as well as upgraded backstops, making it the largest public shooting facility in Ohio. Along with a new entrance and parking lot, other additions include restroom facilities, range master building, and three new archery ranges. The renovated shotgun range features target launchers and six designated shooting stations.
“The Delaware Wildlife Area shooting range provides ample space for thousands of Ohioans to safely practice marksmanship with their favorite shotgun, rifle, pistol, or archery equipment,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “We are excited to open this new shooting range and welcome all novice and experienced recreational shooters.”
The new range entrance is located at 1110 State Route 229, Ashley, Ohio 43003, about 5 miles north of Delaware. Hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors are required to have a valid Division of Wildlife range permit upon arrival to use the gun ranges. All archery ranges are open to public use during regular business hours free of charge.
The renovations to the Delaware Wildlife Area shooting range were paid for by excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment appropriated through the Wildlife Restoration Program. This program is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and funds are distributed to states based on the number of paid license holders.
All persons age 18 and older shooting on Division of Wildlife Class A, B, and C ranges are required to purchase a shooting range permit. Permits are not sold at the shooting ranges. These permits partially offset the cost of operations, maintenance, trash removal, and improvements. Shooters age 17 and under do not need a permit but are required to be accompanied and directly monitored by an adult (age 18 years or older) holding a valid shooting range permit.
Purchase an annual or daily shooting range permit through the Division of Wildlife’s online store at wildohio.gov, on the HuntFish OH app, or any location where hunting and fishing licenses are sold. An annual shooting range permit costs $24 and a daily permit is $5. An annual shooting range permit and hunting license combo is available to Ohio residents for $29.12.
The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.