The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is proposing strengthening rules for its public shooting ranges to address potential noise, safety and usage issues with a goal of developing more ranges for members of the public to safely hone their shooting skills.
The public is invited to review and comment on the proposed rules at a public hearing in the Pavilion Auditorium, 109 State Street, Montpelier, on Thursday, April 23, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and at a public informational meeting in the Hartland Recreational Center, Route 12, Hartland on Wednesday, April 29 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Since the first department-owned shooting range opened in Hartland, Vermont in 2012, there has been an exponential increase in its use.
“The intent of this proposal is to resolve public safety or noise complaints, and to develop range rules that allow for co-existence between range users and neighbors,” said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter. “Creating this balance will ensure future outdoor recreational shooting areas are successful.”
Proposed changes to shooting ranges operated by the Fish & Wildlife Department include:
• Require all users 15 years of age and older to have a valid Vermont hunting, fishing or combination license unless attending an event or training sponsored by the department.
• Prohibit use of any fireworks, pyrotechnics, or any other explosive targets, including tannerite.
• Prohibit firing more than six rounds per magazine.
“Hunting has a rich cultural heritage, and it plays an indispensable role in wildlife management,” said Porter. “However, the future of hunting is, in part, dependent on the availability of safe, environmentally responsible shooting ranges for hunter skill development.”