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Gun Club Attendance

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by magyar, Dec 6, 2008.

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  1. magyar

    magyar TS Member

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    I am a member of a board of directors at a club in the northeast. I am curious to see from those of you who are on boards elsewhere how the events you put are attended and if attendance is down in general what innovative ideas you are using to keep things as positive and upbeat as possible.

    Thanks very much,

    Bob
     
  2. Maytag

    Maytag TS Member

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    I am recently retired from a board as a director. In the past two to three years we have charted a steady decline in attendance in all of our activities from shooting events to club fund raisers. We have tried mailers, various incentives such as increased perks, trophies or door prizes. We tried using the strip tickets and this has helped. People seemed to like the idea of gambling for money prizes. We even sent out a questionaire asking for feedback on what the club was doing. Got very few constructive replies, this is from a 2400 member organization. Would like to see what others have found that works.
     
  3. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Attendance at ATA shoots at my small local club has been good. I see many other clubs doing things to attract shooters but ignoring the most important thing. That is putting the very best targets possible in the air. Offering an excellent program shot over poorly set targets will not attract shooters.

    I suggest setting all traps to throw the targets the same height and speed. For the first squad on a trap, have the scorer stand/sit between post one and two to make sure the right hand target is not too wide or narrow. This requires looking at about 100 targets. For the second squad, stand between post 4 and 5 to check the left hand target.

    Targets should be checked throughout the day. Shooters should be asked if the targets were set properly. If the person setting targets states that "I set them in the morning and will not change them", don't expect a lot of shooters at the shoots.

    Pat Ireland
     
  4. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    Walt said it all....

    For whatever reason, some clubs just don't know how to run a shoot, fun or otherwise.
     
  5. Paladin

    Paladin Well-Known Member

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    What Pat and Walt said. There is no substitute for good basics. Clubs today must give shooters a positive experience. Shooters seldom forget which clubs gave them a bad experience, usually don't go back, and often times let others know as well.
     
  6. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that clubs like the one that held the Ohio State shoot will do well, while others will see a sharp decline in the number of shooters.

    I know that I won't be shooting as much this year, due to fears about the economy, so I will be spending my money only at clubs that I LIKE. I am sure that this will be true across-the-board with all shooters, as evidenced in the above posts.
     
  7. poacherjoe

    poacherjoe Well-Known Member

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    We have a big influx of new shooters this season and we attribute that to a few clubs in the area having a weekly money or meat shoot program!! The young guns really had fun shooting for prizes and playing the games,As a result they got into the winter league.PJ
     
  8. KEYBEAR

    KEYBEAR Active Member

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    With The price of gas-shells and targets I have seen clubs that throw good targets grow . It,s a choice spend your money for good targets at a club that can run a shoot . The old days of just unlocking the gate is over .

    I have three clubs very close (30 miles) two are in decline and one is doing very well . One club had a very good Saturday practice crowd every week summer and winter . First no more lunch served (it made money) then no or very little heat in the winter now no shooters .
     
  9. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    People at certain levels in competition lose interest because there is really nothing to be gained by going out and breaking clay targets other than personal satisfaction ... Those at the Top of the Competitive ladder will compete because of the paybacks they get and financial gain when they win ... Recreational shooters know better than to try and go out and beat the Big Dogs be them local or the ones on the front page of Trap and Field every month ... People are getting smart and most of it is due to the economy and lack of disposible income ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  10. Frank C

    Frank C Well-Known Member

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    Small club in Mass. has been steadily growing in attendance the last 5 yrs (about 550 now). Not an ATA shooting club other than one Marathon a yr. We have a core of about 50 league trap shooters.....Sunday practice has dropped off in the last yr. could be correlated to the price of shells and components I think. We will see what the membership renewals look like in the next few months, my guess is that they will drop off significantly....
     
  11. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    WPT- You stated "there is really nothing to be gained by going out and breaking clay targets other than personal satisfaction ...". Personal satisfaction (fun) is the reason I shoot. All the good friends I make at shoots is a bonus. I can see no other reason why anyone would shoot trap. Even the top shooters could make more money working at another job than they make shooting.

    Pat Ireland
     
  12. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    Pat,

    You picked out a sentence now read the rest of it ... People are getting smarter, a lot smarter and wiser thanks to a failing economy ... I like to compete not just break clay targets, there is a difference ... The more I practice, the more I realize how much more practice I need ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  13. harpo_old

    harpo_old Guest

    i would have to agree with Pat as there is always someone at a club that will beat you . Its just about how much fun i can have with my friends,we are already making plans for next spring and i just bought a new gun and can't wait for spring to get hear.
     
  14. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    Pat, respectfully, I don't believe anyone is going to throw away a case of targets, per trap, to set targets.. maybe a couple, but surely not 100!!

    JC
     
  15. Bulldog50

    Bulldog50 TS Member

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    Hopefully the dropping cost of gas and lead will bring back former shooters.

    I think that clubs have to do, just as any any other business, marketing. Get the word out to former active members !!

    Reach out to new shooters. Have an Open House, invite the public to try a few targets for free. ADVERTISE !!!

    Are any of the club shooters high school teachers ? Is there interest in forming a high school Trap club ? or Team ?

    Unfortunately gun clubs tend to become "closed" communities because they may perceive the public as anti gun. Really, many people just have not had the opportunity to experince how much fun it is. More and more young people are growing up in suburban and urban areas and have not had a family tradition of hunting or target shooting. So we have to reach out to them .

    Clubs must have a dedicated group of people to act as basic intructors and safety officers for the new shooters. Some clubs have new shooter development committees. Clubs may need to purchase or (get donated) some guns for new shooters to borrow or rent if they purchase shells from the club.
     
  16. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    BigM-Perazzi, I believe if you reread Pats suggestion you may understand he's not advocating wasting 100 targets at all.
     
  17. Porcupine

    Porcupine Active Member

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    Magyar Bob,

    I'm the Trap Chairman at Maspenock Rod and Gun in Milford; we're a one-trap, non-ATA club. 2008 is the best year EVER for trap shooting here. All we had to do was to replace the trap lights (2005), buy a wireless Canterbury voice release (2006), replace the trap house (2007) and buy a Pat Trap (2008), keep the price at $3.00 per round, and (the biggie) be VERY enthusiastic about promoting ourselves. Total cost: around $17,400. Membership donations paid for all but $2150.

    Conclusion: build a better mouse trap ...............

    LA
     
  18. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    Captin, I think Pat has Martin and me talked into the Dixie. Look for us on Pat's golf cart, or pickin' lemons and grapefruits. :)
     
  19. bobby ward

    bobby ward Member

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    Magyar,

    I think the trend for poor attendance can be directly traced back to the dramatic increases in gas prices and shot/component prices. Those are coming down drastically and should effect attendance in a positive manner.

    I agree with the point of setting and maintaining the best possible target you can throw. Little things as well like shooter comfort and enhancement go a long way. Chips and dip on the counter, free tea and or lemonade on a hot summer day doesn't cost the club much to do but sends a message to your shooters that you care and are glad they are there.

    Here is another idea. I know it works because we proved it over a 5 year period at the local club that I helped run and managed. Hold "marathon style" or unlimited target days. We oopened the club at 9 am and shot all day. We had two traps set for singles, one for handicap and one for doubles. Obviously if you discover a need for more of one event you can modify that easily. Anyhow, we charged a basic fee that did not include purses and trophies and we discovered that there is a huge section of the shooters out there that could care less about a trophy or a purse. They like cheap targets. At that time before all the increases, we charged daily ATA and State fees on the first hundred shot and then targets only on the rest. So, at that time the first 100 targets of the day were $17 and the rest were $15 per hundred. We often threw on a 4 trap layout, 8000 targets a day. It is a win/win formula. The club threw targets and sold components and the shooters could get in one day what it used to take them 3-4 weekends going to 4 different shoots to get. You will NOT effect the shooters who want to travel and shoot on the other weekends or go where there are purses and trophies. This is NOT a cheap sport even before gas and shot went up. Offering a service that allows maximum benefit and the least amount of cost, worked well for us. Give it a try.
     
  20. magyar

    magyar TS Member

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    Thanks to all for your input...I'll let you know what we have done and how it has worked out...All the best for the new year..

    Bob
     
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