Sussex County Delaware

Sussex Could Get
Hunter Training Center

Outdoors ...

Center Would Serve
Hunters, Police Officers

The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife will hold a series of public workshops on plans to locate a Hunter Education/Law Enforcement Training Center and Public Shooting Range in Sussex County in partnership with the Sussex County Chiefs of Police Association.

The center would be established in a partnership with the Sussex County Chiefs of Police Association.

"The Division has operated the Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center in New Castle County very successfully for 20 years, but there is a real need to provide the 65 percent of Delaware's licensed hunters who live downstate with opportunities to sharpen their shooting and hunting skills," said Michael Friel, the Division's hunter education administrator.

"We've also heard from law enforcement agencies that it would benefit them to have a firearms training facility closer to home."

The site selection workshops, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. starting Wednesday, July 17, 2002, are structured to encourage attendees to ask questions, obtain answers and make comments on the planning for the new facility, Friel said. Meetings sites and dates are:

  • Selbyville Fire Hall, Wednesday, July 17
  • Milford Public Library, Wednesday, July 24
  • Lewes Public Library, Wednesday, July 31
  • Seaford Public Library, Wednesday, Aug. 7
  • Georgetown at Del Tech on Wednesday, Aug. 14

At present, Ommelanden is the only facility in the state dedicated to hunter education training. According to Friel, the continued development of lands in Delaware has led to the closure of many sportsmen's clubs and most police shooting ranges in Kent and Sussex counties.

Without them, hunters and law enforcement agencies have few places to practice and develop shooting and hunting skills.

"Because of these changes, a Delaware Hunter Education Training Program presence in Kent and Sussex is of greater importance than ever before," he said.

The new center will teach safe hunting and trapping practices, safe equipment handling and care, hunter/trapper ethics, hunting/trapping proficiency, landowner relations, wildlife management, conservation and wildlife identification.

Another of the center's missions will be outreach efforts to promote positive public attitudes toward hunters and trappers and improve public awareness about issues relating to hunting and trapping.

For additional information on the workshops, contact the Hunter Education Program, Division of Fish and Wildlife, 302-323-5334.

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