DNREC Updates: Ommelanden shooting range by appointment only; Brandywine Zoo, Go Ape course to remain closed

DOVER, Del. – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced the following changes to three recreational areas as a result of COVID-19 issues:

  • Ommelanden shooting range near New Castle will be open reduced hours of noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 25 and beginning Thursday, March 26, will be available by pre-scheduled appointment only. Due to reduced availability of part-time staff as well as the need to control the number of users, those who want to use the range for firearms or archery must call 302-382-1074 in advance to arrange a time, leaving a message if the call is not answered. Range use appointments will be provided when staffing allows within the range’s normal hours of operation but may not be available at certain normal operating times. Operating hours and other information about the range may be found at the Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center webpage.
  • The Brandywine Zoo and the Go Ape course at Lums Pond State Park will remain closed at this time. The zoo was closed in January for construction of its new Madagascar Exhibit, and was schedule to reopen in April. The Go Ape course had not yet opened to the public for the 2020 season.

Additional resources, information and status of DNREC business and operations are available at dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/coronavirus and destateparks.com/Covid19.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov


DNREC’s Delaware Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekend set Sept. 20-22 at Lums Pond State Park


Participants in an Introduction to Archery class at a DNREC sponsored BOW weekend. This year’s event is Sept. 20-22 at Lums Pond State Park

Registration deadline is Sept. 6 for state’s 21st BOW event

DOVER – Delaware’s 2019 Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program is set for the weekend of Sept. 20-22 at Lums Pond State Park near Bear, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today, with 2019 marking the 21st year the state has hosted the internationally-recognized women’s outdoors program. Delaware BOW registration deadline is Friday, Sept. 6.

BOW offers a variety of one-and-a-half hour and three-and-a-half-hour courses taught by volunteer instructors who share their expertise and provide instruction in a safe, supportive, and non-competitive atmosphere. The cost of participating in the full BOW weekend is $140, which includes meals, lodging, instruction, and use of necessary equipment and supplies. The cost of participating in only Saturday’s BOW courses is $110, including meals, instruction, and use of necessary equipment and supplies.

Participants can choose from a wide range of hands-on courses, including Kayaking, Tree I.D., Intro to Birding, Advanced Birding, Horseback Riding, Freshwater Fishing, Fly Fishing, Intro to Rifle Shooting, Intro to Archery, Advanced Archery, Firearms Cleaning and Maintenance, Cooking Your Catch, Wild Game Cooking, Urban Gardening, Zip Lining, Rock Climbing, Native Plant Walk, and a Nature Hike.

A specialty course this year at BOW is a mentored crossbow deer hunt. The course involves learning how to safely use a crossbow and taking part in a mentored deer hunt at Lums Pond State Park. Participants in the hunt are required to have a Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number and, if born on or after January 1, 1967, a hunter education certification prior to the event. Each hunter will be partnered with a mentor who will guide them during the managed hunt.

BOW registration packets are available online at http://de.gov/bow. Completed registration forms with payment should be sent to: Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife – BOW, 2992 Lighthouse Road, Milford, DE 19963. For more information, contact Lynne Pusey at 302-422-1329 or email: lynne.pusey@delaware.gov.

Scholarships are available for the state’s BOW event through the Delaware Friends of BOW. To apply for a scholarship, candidates should complete the BOW scholarship application form on the website at http://de.gov/bow. Once completed, scholarship application forms should be sent to Delaware Friends of BOW, 410 Cornish Road, Harrington, DE 19952.

While BOW is designed primarily for women, it offers an opportunity for anyone 18 or older to learn skills that allow them to participate in numerous outdoor activities. Since the first BOW event was held in Wisconsin in 1991, this exciting international program has expanded to 38 states and six Canadian provinces with more than 80 workshops offered each year. The main goal of the BOW program is to provide women the opportunity to learn skills that encourage and enhance participation in outdoor activities, such as hunting, shooting, fishing, boating, wildlife-viewing, and other activities.

Follow DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 215

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announces reopening of Ommelanden rifle and pistol range

Expanded days and hours and ‘Free Sight-In Days’ also available at Ommelanden’s ranges

NEW CASTLE – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today that repairs to the rifle and pistol range at the Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center are complete, and the rifle and pistol range will reopen on Saturday, Oct. 27. Repairs to replace a damaged concrete floor, install a new drainage system, and install a new block wall and entryway are part of the Division’s ongoing renovation plan for the Ommelanden range complex.

The days and hours of operation of the Ommelanden Range will be expanded for all shotgun, rifle and pistol, and archery ranges with the addition of Thursdays from noon-5 p.m. and Fridays from noon-6 p.m., made possible with increased revenue from the recent hunting license fee increase. Days and hours of operation had been reduced in 2014 due to budget and staff shortages.

Effective Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, the new operating hours for the Ommelanden Range will be:

  • Wednesday – Trap and skeet: noon-8 p.m., and rifle and pistol range and archery range: noon-5 p.m.
  • Thursday – All ranges: noon-5 p.m.
  • Friday – All ranges: noon-6 p.m.
  • Saturday – All ranges: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Sunday – All ranges: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Additionally, in customer appreciation, the 50-meter rifle range will be open for “Free Sight-In Days” on Monday, Nov. 5 and Tuesday, Nov. 6 from noon-5 p.m. to allow hunters to sight-in their shotguns, muzzleloaders, and straight-wall, pistol-caliber rifles prior to the opening of the shotgun deer season Friday, Nov. 9.

For more information, please call the Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912. Visit the Ommelanden Range webpage for more information.

Media Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Oct. 8-14

Reminder for the week: Persons prohibited from possessing deadly weapons

DOVER – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Oct. 8-14 made 1,682 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing five citations. Officers responded to 87 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. An increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.

Natural Resources Police Officer Speaks to the PublicFish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community

  • On Oct. 13, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers, answered questions regarding hunting, fishing and boating, and displayed the Operation Game Theft trailer during an event at Cabela’s near Christiana.
  • On Oct. 14, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers and answered hunting, fishing, and boating questions at a Hunter Education Class in the Little Creek Hunter Education Training Facility.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

Incidents of note:

  • On Oct. 10, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers investigated a minor property damage vessel accident involving a sailboat striking the Reedy Point Jetty in the Delaware River near Port Penn.
  • On Oct. 12-13, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to a report of an overdue kite surfer in the Delaware River near Augustine Beach. A search with multiple agencies did not find the individual. However, the next morning a Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officer responding to a suspicious person report at the Augustine Wildlife Area determined the individual to be the overdue kite surfer.

Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:

Public Safety: Possession of a firearm by a person prohibited (1), possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle (2)*, and public intoxication (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (1).

*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & 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, wildlife, and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at de.gov/ogt.

Are you AWARE?

Delaware law prohibits persons with certain prior convictions, including felonies, from owning or possessing any type of deadly weapon. Deadly weapons include all firearms and ammunition, as well as any type of bow – compound, recurve or crossbow. Penalties for violations range from probation and fines to jail sentences.

Media Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, 302-382-7167, or Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913

Public hearing for DNREC, DDA proposed firearm regulations set for Monday, March 12 in Dover

DOVER – Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and Department of Agriculture (DDA) will conduct a joint public hearing Monday, March 12 on proposed regulations for possessing firearms in Delaware’s state parks and wildlife areas under DNREC’s authority and state forests under DDA’s authority. The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

With the intent of promulgating new firearms regulations to comply with the Dec. 7, 2017 Delaware Supreme Court decision in Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club v. DNREC, which invalidated portions of previously existing DNREC and DDA regulations governing firearms, both state agencies proposed regulations governing possession of firearms within Delaware’s state parks, state wildlife areas and state forests.

DNREC and DDA held public workshops last month in all three counties in advance of the March 12 public hearing. The hearing record on the proposed amendments opened Feb. 1 and will remain open until 4:30 p.m. March 27. Comments on the proposed regulations will be accepted by US mail addressed to: Lisa Vest, Hearing Officer, DNREC, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901 and by email sent to Lisa.Vest@delaware.gov. Comments also may be presented either orally or in writing at the March 12 public hearing.

The proposed amendments are available for public view at DNREC’s offices at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901 or DDA’s offices at 2320 South DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19901. They can also be found on DNREC’s website and in the Feb. 1, 2018 edition of the Delaware Register of Regulations.

For more information on the proposed firearms regulations, including an overview of the proposed changes, an interactive map that shows proposed firearm possession areas within parks, forests, and wildlife area properties, please visit the DNREC website.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902