The ODNR Division of Wildlife is managing the construction of a new archery range at the Fallsville Wildlife Area. Fallsville is located south of Wilmington and north of Hillsboro. The wildlife area is a popular destination for dove, deer and rabbit hunting. The location is just south of the Wildlife Area Office on Carreytown Road. The meadow was not utilized for hunting due to the nearby road and out buildings. It is now getting new use with the archery range.
Eric Postell, ODNR Division of Wildlife Outdoor Education Supervisor, explained the project, “The need for an archery range in this area came from the Division’s range committee that evaluated range use and location. The committee, which includes representatives from all the Division districts, identified a need in this area. There will be fourteen total shooting positions from 10-yards to 40-yards along the firing line. It includes a broadhead pit plus a pole for tree stands to allow hunters to practice from their stand. All the targets are crossbow compatible.”
Construction started July 23 and the contract duration specified 44 days for construction. ODNR staff met with the contractor recently at the new range site for a progress report, status briefing and to schedule the remaining construction details. The contractor is indicating the project is on schedule. The status meeting reviewed all the items necessary, both for the contractor and the Division, to ensure the facility is completed on schedule. Currently the asphalt for paving is scheduled for Sept. 2. That should be the last major step in the construction.
Postell adds, “The parking lot and paths at the range will be paved to meet ADA compliance for any handicapped shooters using the facility. The shooting line will be covered and include benches and racks for bows. There will also be portable restrooms, including wheelchair accessible units, at the range.”
The funding for the project is especially good news for sportsmen and women of Ohio. The range, which was budgeted at $138,000 in the Division’s operating budget, will be paid for through the Pittman-Robertson (PR) funds. The Pittman-Robertson Act, enacted in 1937, created a tax on the sale of firearms, ammunition, archery and other outdoor equipment. The PR tax is paid at the manufacturing level and passed on to the consumer. The PR program is administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Division must fund projects up front and, if a project meets the approved uses for PR money, normally receives 75 percent reimbursement. The remaining 25 percent is the Division of Wildlife match for the project. The Fallsville range project is using in-kind hours from the volunteer hunter education instructors to meet the required 25% matching funds. This allows the Division to construct the range with no cash outlay.
The range will be open during the same daylight hours as the wildlife area. It will not be staffed by Division of Wildlife personnel. This is a sportsmen facility for all archers. Each shooter is reminded to be a true sportsmen exercising appropriate range safety and consideration for fellow shooters. It should go without saying it is up to the users to keep the range clean and litter free. Sportsmen have paid for the range facility and should take pride in it.
This should be a very popular destination for archers in the southwest Ohio area. Other ranges include Spring Valley Wildlife Area and a smaller range at the Xenia District 5 offices. The Fallsville range is expected to take some of the load off the Spring Valley facility. No date has yet been set for formal opening of the facility but barring unforeseen issues it should be open in early September.
That will be in plenty of time for archers to get their equipment and shooting ready for the fall archery season. Hunters can enjoy some fine dove hunting and combine that with some practice time on the archery range!