Greenwood, DE – This morning, Governor Jack Markell joined DNREC Secretary David Small, Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Saveikis, State Rep. David Wilson, DNREC conservation partners and shooting sports enthusiasts to dedicate a formerly privately-owned shooting sports range and conservation education center near Greenwood as the Owens Station Shooting Sports & Hunter Education Center, downstate Delaware’s first and only state-owned public shooting sports range.
Developed over a period of about 30 years by former owner Bill Wolter, the 104-acre property was purchased by the state late last year and is operated under a public-private partnership between the Division of Fish and Wildlife and two commercial businesses, Owens Station Sporting Clays, which operates the range, and Turtle Creek Retrievers, which offers professional sporting dog training and kennel services. The Division’s Sussex County hunter education courses also are held at the facility.
“Building on Delaware’s great outdoor traditions, Owens Station is an investment in the future of hunting, shooting sports and sporting dogs,” said Secretary Small. “Here, the state can provide hunter and conservation education for generations to come who will continue these traditions, while offering a great downstate location for Delawareans and visitors to practice shooting sports and acquire professional sporting dog training.”
“The state’s opening of Owens Station is a win-win for Delaware,” said Governor Markell. “Not only does the center enrich the great outdoor sporting traditions and destinations of the First State by giving downstate residents easy access to sporting services and ranges, it is also a good investment in our downstate economy, supporting the two businesses onsite, and drawing residents and visitors to the area to support area retail stores, hotels, restaurants and other businesses and related jobs.”
“By applying a public-private business model with the two businesses based here, this investment avoids financial strain on our agency,” added Fish and Wildlife Director Saveikis. “That allows us to maintain and operate this facility as a self-sustaining business, so that we can direct our existingfunding to our other conservation and education programs.”
“Preserving the rich shooting sports and hunting heritage of our state is important for future generations, and Owens Station is a tremendous addition to this area of Sussex County and the state. This picturesque location will encourage all ages to engage in multiple activities, from hunting safety to the enjoyment of recreational shooting activities,” said Rep. Wilson. “I am proud of this acquisition by the State of Delaware and to have served on the Bond Bill Committee that helped make this purchase possible.”
Owens Station Shooting Sports & Hunter Education Center features a circular 60-station sporting clays course, a trap shooting range and “five-stand” warmup range. For more information on Owens Station, click Owens Station Sporting Clays or call 302-349-4334; for more information on professional dog training services at Owens Station, click Turtle Creek Retrievers or call 302-841-0239.
Owens Station joins Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center and Public Shooting Range in New Castle as the second public shooting sports range administered by DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.
For more information on the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Hunter Education programs, please click Delaware Hunter Education or call 302-735-3600.