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Gun club owners and managers

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by senior smoke, Nov 17, 2012.

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  1. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Wauwatosa Wisconsin
    Hello:
    I was asking myself, what has changed in the sport of trapshooting in my area since I first started shooting back in 1970? The answer hit me like a freight train.

    It's not so much the actual game itself, although we now shoot 2 hole targets compared to 3 hole back then. The answer at least in my area are the gun club owners and the managers running the local gun clubs.

    Years ago, we could shoot trap on every holiday accept Chrsitmas. Despite the weather, most clubs were open in all types of weather conditions as long as the trap machines still functioned. Despite 80 below wind chills, the club was still open to shoot, but forced to close when the machines would no longer function.

    The clubs in my area had owners and managers that lived, and slept trapshooting. Nowadays, it seems the commitment to the game and it's participants is not the way it use to be. In my area, clubs now look for excuses to close their doors due to rain, snow, and every possible holiday you can think of.

    Years ago, it was unheard of if a gun club owner or manager took a vacation, as the only time they would ever consider closing was due to deer hunting the week of Thanksgiving.

    The owners and managers of the past lived and slept trapshooting. As much as I hate to say it, most no longer have the same commitment or passion the men and women had in the past.

    Even the amount of hours clubs are actually open to it's members have been drastically reduced. We need owners and managers of these clubs to be more committed to the sport and it's shooting customers.

    What do you think, has this also happened in your area of the country?
    Steve Balistreri
     
  2. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    I'm not aware of any club in my area that has an owner, they are all member owned, and only aware of one that has a manager per se. Same club is the only one I can think of in the area that pays ANYONE to run the shooting portion of the club, a vast majority are member run with maybe some paid help for the bar.
     
  3. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

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    A club that is open 4 days a week and very limited hours, 3:30 to 9:00pm one day in the week, and Noon to 9:00pm another day of the week. approx 10:00 to 4:00pm Sat and Sunday,, the only way to make money is to have targets in the air.

    Have reloading supplies for the shooters.

    How does having dogs in the club house affect attendance?

    A club similar to this one is Indiana Gun Club that has an abundance of Handguns
    Trap Guns, Field Guns, Sporting Clays Guns, a very large supply of reloading components and is extremely busy when open, on gun sales and throwing targets, normally at least 15 customers looking at guns all the time.

    I have been dealing with Indiana Gun Club for over 20 years, they offer great bargains, and are good to trade with.

    It was formerly owned by Veldon Smith, and then his son Steve Smith and is now owned by Phil Baker who was a former employee.
     
  4. normanboy

    normanboy Member

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    Indiana Gun Club is tops in my book. I just bought a Caesar Guerini O/U off them. They are extremely busy and very knowledgeable. The best selection of high end guns in my area both new and used. They are very pleasant to deal with. Needless to say I will frequent them in the future.

    Gary
     
  5. Martinpicker

    Martinpicker Active Member

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    I am with Skeetman..almost all of the clubs in my area are member owned and operated. Jack
     
  6. Redcobra

    Redcobra Active Member

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    Loch Raven Trap and Skeet Center in MD has a full time manager and two part-time assistants. It is open Wednesday and Friday 12-5 and Saturday and Sunday 10-5. Thursday 12-9. Reduced hours on Holidays like NY and Christmas.

    These hours cause me to spend way too much money there.
     
  7. 320090T

    320090T Well-Known Member

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    Many of the old timers are dying off or just getting tired, I could name you six easily.
     
  8. Oregunner

    Oregunner Well-Known Member

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    It's the chicken or the egg arguement. Which came first, less hours or less shooters? I am the trap chairman at our club, and it is a volunteer run club, which means I'm a volunteer. We laid off two paid trappers, which were young guys that did all the grunt work, loaded the traps, emptied the garbage, etc. because we were loosing money, having to pay them. Now it is the old guys that have to pitch in, and get things done. We are open two days a week, and sometimes there aren't many shooters that show up. We started 5 Stand, and that has helped our attendance. Shooting sports are not inexpensive, and the economy hasn't helped. A core group of shooters is helping us stay open. Newbies come and go, but few seem to stick. Mark
     
  9. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    Belong to a club where it's an on going problem to not burn out the volunteer help.

    Not many people want to be commented to opening a club each week, even if a shared responsibility and than only doing it once a month.

    Don't think much has changed over the years. A handful of members keeping a club running. Just seems to less of them now days!

    But, many volunteer organizations are having that problem, not just gun clubs....
     
  10. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    A gun clubs location plays a huge part in their ability to keep their head above water. Those located near larger cities have it easier than out of the way clubs. Another factor that plays a huge part is the kinds of shooting offered regardless of location. Offering practice shooting only dooms a rural club pretty quick! Clubs offering leagues and competitive ATA and games shooting will fare best.

    Some clubs offer nothing but games and are doing pretty well with an occasional non-registered format thrown into the mix as a draw. I look for shooting costs to rise even more in the near future and that will hurt our sport big time with losing even more of the smaller clubs. It ain't lookin too bright folks.

    Hap
     
  11. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    This is one thing about trap clubs that most 'shooters' don't really understand. Most small clubs are operated with volunteer labor and generally you can count the volunteers on one hand. So it is unreasonable to expect this limited group of volunteers to have the club open several days a week - they have lives too.

    You want better? Get out of the cheap seats and put some real time in at your club. Remember - you get zero dollars and it cuts into your shooting time, your sole motivation is to have a place where people can shoot the game of trap.
     
  12. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Maybe if you paid a reasonable amount in dues you would have more opportunities to shoot. HMB
     
  13. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    I miss these guys who ran these clubs in the past. Trapshooting and the gun club was their life. Regardless of how long a club stays open today, the people who volenteer their time are very special and deserve it's members gratitude.

    It just seems the shooters and management of today, can't wait to close up shop and go home. Years ago, the club was like a secondary home to a lot of us.
    Steve
     
  14. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    Steve, Maybe today's wives aren't as "understanding"?
     
  15. Shooter R

    Shooter R Active Member

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    Steve, I also live in Waukesha county, Wisconsin. Most clubs in our area such as Boxhorns or Waukesha are open on many non major Holidays. Most people really do not want to shoot on Christmas day. My advise is to shoot when there is an event, and give it your best. A few practice rounds at the club you'll compete at is also a good idea. It helps you, and the club, whose manager may actually need a vaction now and then.
     
  16. fast gun

    fast gun Active Member

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    One club I shoot is owner /family operated The shoot marathons every wednesday. A couple of weekend shoots They dont get enough shooters on the weekend shoots To make much if any money. They sell componets & guns Anybody got any Ideas to bring in more shooters? I hope for a few good answers. (maybe free beer ) I already heard that one Thanks
     
  17. 320090T

    320090T Well-Known Member

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    The club fastgun refers to, I believe, has lost attendance due to death. Many shooters are getting older and in this clubs case death has hit them hard. We sat around a gun club last week and counted over 50 shooters that used to shoot but have passed, in the last 15 years. Take that kind of hit to your attendance and any club will look deserted.
     
  18. Jon Reitz

    Jon Reitz Well-Known Member

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    West Clarksville, NY
    Everything in life runs its course sooner or later, and trapshooting is approaching the 4th turn of the last lap.

    Respectfully,

    Jon Reitz
     
  19. Rick Barker

    Rick Barker Well-Known Member

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    I think the problem is a lot of clubs have the problem of being run by board or committees, and therefore nothing gets done in a timely manner, or many join the committee or board just to push through their own agenda, like running off a discipline because they don't practice it.

    The other is government like thinking. When business drops, raise prices to offset the loss of business, instead of trying to find ways of bringing in more shooters to increase volume of revenue flow.

    It is a common mistake of people who have never run or been involved in a successful business.
     
  20. il shooter

    il shooter Member

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    I think you are thinking in the past. need to think now . clubs need to work on the young shooters what they can do to get then intersted and keeping them start with the schools and when kids are involded the parants are also . start shooting clubs for them . going to the grand and see all the young shooters they are there . just my idea .
     
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