New Target Range Grants Approved
Statistics show that hunter education has decreased hunting accidents and increased awareness of wildlife management. To assist shooting ranges in building education classes and practice areas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Commission recently approved funding for four projects with the Target Range Program for a total of $165,000.
TPWD has historically set aside around $100,000 for the program, which, along with the National Hunter Education Program, was established in the 70s as part of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act.
Participants receiving funding must provide 25 percent of the total project cost, while grants from the Target Range Program cover the rest through pending availability of government funds.
The TPWD Commission's criteria for the funding is based on a county's population, number of hunter education students certified there the previous year, existing shooting facilities and hunter days data.
The Elm Fork Shooting Park near Dallas will receive $60,000 in funds to build a hunter education facility. Elm Fork received a TPWD grant last year to upgrade range facilities and has asked for additional funding to extend its education efforts.
Also in Dallas County, the DFW Gun Range and Training Center, L.L.C. will receive $30,000 in funds to construct a video simulation shooting system and range. The system would be used for both law enforcement personnel and in hunter education. A TPWD grant last year was used to upgrade the range facility.
In Harris County, American Shooting Centers will receive $15,000 in funds to complete a project constructing an outdoor hunter education facility. The center received aid from Harris County last year and TPWD funds in 2002, but it still needs funding such as a shooting pad and overhead canopy that would allow students to complete live-firing skills at the center.
The Victoria Trap and Skeet Club will receive $60,000 in funds to construct a hunter education building and trap and skeet ranges. The club, owned and managed by the Victoria County Airport Commission, supports 4-H shooting sports and other youth outdoor programs.