Accessing one of Research Triangle Park’s most surprising venues is getting easier: The Durham County Wildlife Club is accepting new members.
Tucked amid more than 200 biotechnology and life sciences companies, information technology businesses, research institutes, associations and agencies populating the 7,000-acre RTP campus, the 96-acre shooting club is growing with the region and streamlining its application process.
“The Raleigh-Durham area experiences a fair amount of transiency, which impacts our membership numbers each year, so 300 new members per year would allow a manageable growth level for many years,” new club president David Garbarz said.
Membership reached 1,000 in 2010 and topped 1,300 primary members in 2013.
“We had about 1,000 members this year on the roster,” said Jim Vetter, pistol and rifle range chairman.
The member-operated club, founded in 1946 and moved to RTP in 1965, is located in Morrisville on Hopson Road just off Davis Drive and about two miles south of Interstate 40.
About 11 miles from Chapel Hill, seven from Raleigh and three from Durham, the club is located in the middle of everywhere, yet “you bring somebody out here and they always say ‘I had no idea this was here,’ ” Vetter said.
To join, potential members must fill out an online application and deliver a printed copy in-person to the club’s shop, Vetter said. Safety training is mandatory, with an overall class and then sessions for using each venue.
For members who serve on committees, help as range officers, perform lake maintenance, act as shopkeepers or fill other roles, the facility is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Hours are limited for other members and visitors.
After an initiation fee of $325, annual dues are $175, and one membership covers a family. Members pay $2.50 per round for shotgun sports – skeet, trap or five-stand – and pistol, rifle and archery ranges cost $2.50 daily.
“We’re not for profit, so we can’t charge the higher fees of for-profit businesses,” Vetter said.
Fishing is free in a stocked 11-acre pond.
The club hosts National Rifle Association Women on Target events, plus Boy Scouts and other groups. To welcome a new generation, the club offers youth skeet and trap and will add youth riflery, Vetter said.
To find an application, go to www.dcwc.info.
Fundraiser: The 21st N.C. Wildlife Habitat Foundation Extravaganza will be held Feb. 18 at Grandover Resort in Greensboro. A handful of tickets remain; they cost $1,000 and admit two. Call 336-375-4994. Learn more www.ncwhf.org.
Environment: The South Wake Conservationists meet at 7 p.m. Jan. 12 at Bass Lake Park in Holly Springs. Forrest Westall of the Upper Neuse River Basin Association will speak on “Nutrient Impact on Falls Lake.” Go to www.southwakeconservationists.org.
Waterfowl: Jan. 20 is the deadline to enter the N.C. Waterfowl Conservation Stamp Print Competition held by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the Washington Tourism Development Authority. Learn more at www.littlewashingtonnc.com/nc-duck-stamp.
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