Where to try out those new ‘toys’
With the holidays come days off from work and school, and Fish and Wildlife Enforcement reminds wildlife area visitors – especially those with brand-new ATVs or dirt bikes – that driving any type of motor vehicles off established roadways on state wildlife lands is illegal and damaging to wildlife habitat.
“Off-roading is very destructive to areas reserved for wildlife conservation and harmful to some of our more fragile species. In addition, Division staff have to replant vegetation, repair ruts and clean up after these activities,” said Sgt. Rhodes. “If you want to take that new ATV out for a ride, it’s best to do it on your own property or on private property with the owner’s prior permission.”
There’s another good reason to keep ATVs and other vehicles without a license plate on private lands, Rhodes added: it is illegal in Delaware to operate unlicensed motor vehicles on public roadways – including state, county and established wildlife area roads. “ATVs and other vehicles without a license plate are prohibited in state wildlife areas, both off-road and on established roadways, and violators who are caught will be cited,” Rhodes said.
Hunters who find new firearms under the tree are reminded that target practice is prohibited on state wildlife areas. However, the state-owned Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center and Public Shooting Range, located at 1205 River Road, New Castle, is an excellent place to try them out. Operated by DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Ommelanden Center is dedicated to providing Delaware hunters with required hunter education courses and training opportunities.
Ommelanden’s range is open year round for public use for a small fee from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. The facility is closed on state holidays, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The range includes 25 and 50-meter rifle and pistol ranges, skeet and trap fields and a practice archery field. For more information, call 302-323-5333, or visit Ommelanden Range.
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/OpGameTheft.aspx.