The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting applications for federal money set aside to improve and upgrade shooting ranges in the state.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting applications for federal money set aside to improve and upgrade shooting ranges in the state.

Grant applications are due by April 15 for those looking for a slice of the $80,000 in federal grants earmarked to improve the facilities for non-profit shooting ranges in Oregon.

Individual range grants average about $10,000. Their intent is to fund projects that encourage significant improvements, prioritize safety and environmental concerns, increase hours and accessibility and implement "good neighbor" improvements at shooting ranges, according to the ODFW.

The money comes from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, a federal excise tax on ammunition and firearms used for sport-hunting that funds wildlife restoration and hunter education across the United States.

To find out more and to download an application, contact ODFW Hunter Education Coordinator James Reed at 503-947-6016 or send an e-mail to hunter.education@state.or.us.

— Mark Freeman