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Old 04-27-17, 11:47 AM   #1
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Location: Dacula, GA
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Default News Release: Changes to Georgia Shooting Ranges; Got Snake Questions? We Have Answer

Following are two news releases from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. Releases can be found online at

Also follow Wildlife Resources Division through:
• Facebook (
• Twitter (
• Instagram (
• Blog (
• YouTube (
• Georgia Wild, a free e-newsletter ( )


For more information, contact

Melissa Cummings, communications/outreach specialist – (706) 557-3326;



SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (April 27, 2017) – Beginning May 1, 2017, visitors to eight of Georgia’s 17 public shooting ranges will need to note new operating hours.

All of the ranges scheduled for changes to operating hours are currently staffed by range safety officers. Ranges include:
· Wilson Shoals (Banks County, Wilson Shoals Wildlife Management Area)
· Richmond Hill (Bryan County, Richmond Hill Wildlife Management Area)
· Mike Commander (Dougherty County, Chickasawhatchee Wildlife Management Area)
· Clybel (Jasper County, Clybel Wildlife Management Area)
· Ocmulgee (Pulaski County, Ocmulgee Wildlife Management Area)
· Cedar Creek (Putnam County, Cedar Creek Wildlife Management Area)
· West Point (Troup County, West Point Wildlife Management Area)
· Dixon Memorial (Ware County, Dixon Memorial Wildlife Management Area)

Operating hours will alter based on the time of year, and day of the week:
· Mar. 15 – Oct. 31: Tuesday-Saturday (9 am – 7 pm), Sunday (1 pm – 7 pm)
· Nov. 1 – Mar. 14: Tuesday – Saturday (9 am – 6 pm*), Sunday (1 pm – 6 pm*) *(Ranges close at sunset or 6 pm, whichever is earliest)
· Closed on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas

Georgia’s 17 public shooting ranges offer a variety of range lengths, from 25 yards to 100 yards, with some ranges designated for rifles or handguns. A shotgun range with skeet, trap and 5-stand opportunities is available at Clybel WMA in Jasper County.

Range visitors (ages 16-64) should note that many ranges require a license, wildlife management area license, or Georgia Outdoor Recreational Pass (GORP).

To receive free updates on Georgia’s 17 public shooting ranges (closures, new ranges, etc.), be sure to “click” on the red envelope at and sign up!

For more information, visit


Wildlife Resources Division contacts:
John Jensen, senior wildlife biologist – (478) 994-1438;
Rick Lavender, communications/outreach – (706) 557-3327;

Media: Photos posted at (in “Georgia snakes” album).



FORSYTH, Ga. (April 27, 2017) – From spring through summer, calls and emails about snakes are a given at Georgia Department of Natural Resources offices. Yet most of those contacts involve only two questions: What species is this and what do I do with it?

“Only every once in a while, is it a venomous snake,” said John Jensen, a senior wildlife biologist with DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section and co-author of “Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia.”

Whether it’s a venomous snake is, of course, the concern or outright fear underlying most of the questions. Chances are it’s not, Jensen said. Only six of the 46 species native to Georgia are venomous and only one – the copperhead – usually thrives in suburban areas, where the majority of Georgians live.

What to do, then, if you spot a snake?

  • Try to identify it from a distance. Resources such as, which includes DNR’s “Venomous Snakes of Georgia” brochure, can help.
  • Do not try to catch or handle the snake. Give it the space it needs.
  • Remember that snakes are predators that feed on rodents, insects and even other snakes. There is no need to fear non-venomous snakes. Georgia’s native non-venomous species are protected by state law, and one – the eastern indigo – is federally protected as an imperiled species.
  • If a clearly identified venomous snake is in an area where it represents a danger to people or pets, wait to see it moves away first. If not, contact DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division for a list of private wildlife removal specialists. Most snake bites occur when a snake is cornered or captured, prompting it to defend itself.

Non-venomous snakes such as scarlet kingsnake, eastern hognose and watersnake species can be confused with their venomous counterparts. Pit vipers, which include all of the state’s venomous snake species except for the coral snake, are often identified by their broad, triangular-shaped heads. But many nonvenomous snakes flatten their heads when threatened and may have color patterns similar to venomous species. Use caution around any unidentified snake.

For more on Georgia’s snakes, go to “Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia” (, UGA Press) is a thorough reference.

From eastern indigo snakes to bald eagles, DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section conserves Georgia’s endangered and other wildlife not legally fished for or hunted, as well as rare plants and natural habitats. Yet the agency depends primarily on fundraisers, grants and contributions for this vital work.

Help conserve Georgia’s native wildlife now and for future generations:
§ Buy or renew a DNR eagle or hummingbird license plate. Most money from sales and renewals is dedicated to nongame conservation. Upgrade to a “wild” tag for only $25!
§ Donate directly to the Georgia Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund,
§ Learn more about conserving Georgia’s nongame,


  • Benefits: While some snakes eat rodents and even venomous snakes, others prey on creatures Georgians also many not want near their homes. Brown and red-bellied snakes, for example, feed on snails and slugs, the bane of gardeners. Crowned snake species primarily eat centipedes.
  • Babies? Snakes such as earth and brown snake species do not grow large and homeowners occasionally mistake them as juveniles. The concern here: Are larger parents nearby? Yet though some species are live-bearers and some are egg-bearers, snakes do not exhibit parental care, DNR’s John Jensen said. If there are parents, they’re not watching over their offspring.
  • Prevention: To reduce the potential for snakes near your home, remove brush, log piles and other habitat features that attract mice, lizards and other animals on which snakes prey.


Melissa Cummings
Communications and Outreach Specialist

Wildlife Resources Division
(706) 557-3326 | M: (404) 323-9724


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