There are plenty of great Ohio shooting ranges to choose from.
Marksmanship is one of the most important skills for any hunter to have and is one of the foundations of being an all-around sportsman or woman. Frequent practice is required to maintain the skill needed for successful hunting seasons and improvement on your style and approach.
Luckily for Ohioans, the Division of Natural Resources operates and maintains 41 different shooting ranges spread around the state for hunters and shooters to practice and improve their skills. These ranges are split into four distinct categories designated by the letters A through D. The "A" ranges are supervised rifle and pistol shooting ranges, while the other three are unsupervised. The "B" ranges are unsupervised rifle and pistol, the "C" ranges are unsupervised clay target shotgun ranges, and the "D" ranges are unsupervised archery ranges.
Class A ranges offer shooters the highest-quality shooting experiences. All Class A ranges have trained range attendants, maintenance and upkeep, and restroom facilities. They are also all handicapped-friendly with accessible parking, restrooms, and shooting benches.
In order to help maintain these ranges, shooters are required to purchase a shooting range permit to be allowed to shoot. They are available at any outlet where hunting and fishing licenses are sold as well as online. It is important to note that these permits cannot be purchased at the ranges themselves. Permits can be purchased as one-time use or on an annual basis.
The remaining three classes of ranges do not require a permit and are open free of charge. However, there are no restroom facilities or range attendants present at these locations.
One of the best things about the ranges maintained by the Ohio DNR is the fact that they are usually located in or near state-run wildlife areas. This provides shooters who are looking to use range facilities with easy opportunities to enjoy other outdoor pursuits within close proximity.
Here is a quick rundown of a few of Ohio's best ranges:
Delaware Wildlife Area
Centrally located near the state capital of Columbus, Ohio, the Delaware Wildlife Area is 4,670 acres consisting of a variety of terrain. In addition to the Class A range available to shooters at Delaware, the area also offers hunting and fishing opportunities. There is also a year-round dog training area, an archery range, and a hand-trap range for shotgun enthusiasts and wing-shooters.
Grand River Wildlife Area
For hunters and shooters in the northern area of the state, the Grand River Wildlife Area is worth a visit. At a whopping 7,453 acres, the Grand River Wildlife Area is one of the largest tracts of wilderness remaining in the northeast portion of the Buckeye State. In addition to the wide range of hunting, fishing, and trapping available at Grand River, there is a Class A shooting range consisting of 60 benches. The sheer beauty of this place makes it a can't-miss destination for Ohio sportsmen and women of all pursuits.
Spencer Lake Wildlife Area
For hunters looking to buff up on their archery skills for Ohio's generous and lengthy deer archery season, Spencer Lake Wildlife Area should definitely be on the list. Tucked away in Medina County, Spencer Lake is a 618-acre area offering prime waterfowl hunting and great catfishing opportunities in addition to the archery ranges. There are two archery ranges available to hunters and shooters in this area, including a range with several known-distance targets and another walk-through range with targets at various, unknown ranges. This is a great test of any hunter's bow accuracy, as they must estimate the ranges by sight alone.
Spring Valley Wildlife Area
The Spring Valley Wildlife Area offers a Class A shooting range for hunters located in the southern reaches of Ohio. This 842-acre wildlife area is situated in the rolling farmlands of southwest Ohio and offers outdoor enthusiasts great pheasant hunting (among other species), productive trapping opportunities, and another Class A rifle and pistol range.
For more information on these ranges and more detailed information on all the other ranges operated by the Ohio Division of Natural Resources, go here.
Have you ever visited a firing range for shooting practice? If not, where do you practice your marksmanship? Let us know in the comments below.
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