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Harrisburg Hunters & Anglers Clays Closed!

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by shootintom, Dec 4, 2010.

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  1. shootintom

    shootintom TS Member

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    As of 30 Nov. Harrisburg Hunters & Anglers have stopped shooting skeet and trap due to enviornmental conceerns. It seems that the board of directors (no clays shooters currently sitting) took it upon themselves to beat the greenies to the punch and close it down! If our own people go in directions like this will we have any place to shoot?

    I know a lot of members who only shoot skeet there have asked for their dues back.

    Tom
     
  2. clb

    clb TS Member

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    I was a member for over 35 years but did not renew 2 years ago because of what the BOD was doing overall for the club. Other than major holidays that fell on a Sunday or Thursday night, I was usually there, in fact, I should be there right now instead of typing this message!

    There are some issues with where trap and skeet are located as you can see from the picture. The lake collects wads, broken targets, and shot while the far bank and Beaver Creek just behind the bank collect shot. How would you reclaim under these conditions?

    From what I've heard, EPA did not come knocking on our door, the BOD commissioned studies which led them to proactively shut down trap and skeet. They also claim that relocating is not possible.

    Sad!


    [​IMG]
     
  3. pigeon101

    pigeon101 Member

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    Location:
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    Well Philipsburg Rod&Gun Club has been shut down since 2006 for the same reason. Its all political. The state cannot prove that there is an enviromental impact from the lead thats sitting on top of the ground.
    Its not leaching into the lake water. The Penn State university has done soil testing for us also and the results have been good. The main reason for our shutdown is, our club is located inside a state park. The park superintendant is an anti-gun weenie and didn't like us there. We lease the ground from the state. We have been located at this site for 50+ years. Its been a battel since the begining of our shutdown. Maybe new leadership in PA will allow us to start shooting again. Don't give up hope.

    Jason in PA
     
  4. Russ-in-Pa

    Russ-in-Pa Well-Known Member

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    The 7-H Skeet club near Patton, Pa is shut down also due to it's location adjoining the State Park. The real kicker there is the property owner sold the State some land in the shotfall area, with an irrevocable agreement allowing for the club's shot to fall on the land. Now 30 years later, there is a new chief in town, and the agreement is no longer valid.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    It has begun...
     
  6. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I for one believe the BoD at HH&A actually planned to close the clay target venues for some time. I've shot there since I started shooting trap again back in 1989 and before that, was a club member who used their indoor handgun range.

    For 13 years, I ran a winter trap league in which HH&A was one of the two charter members. Soon after the current club president took office, he spoke with me in the clubhouse on a Saturday during shooter sign-ups. He thanked me for bringing the league to the club and told me that if there was anything we needed at the trap fields, I should let him know. I detailed the conditions there in my upcoming February column, so I won't rehash the list here, but when I started telling the president about them, he stopped me, saying that the club wouldn't be spending any money on the clay target venues because they will be shut down some day. That was roughly eight years ago.

    Since then, the club has spent some money on the trap facility. New traps were purchased, the tiny building was replaced with a modular structure and just last spring, two sets of used voice releases were purchased. But the building can be relocated elsewhere on the club grounds and the traps and the voice releases can be sold, so how much did they really invest in their trapshooting program?

    The club does face a challenge with regard to the club lake being right in front of the trap houses and adjacent to the skeet fields but I don't feel the BoD investigated all their options. Frankly, the clay target income was not very significant because the conditions at HH&A were so poor, especially for trapshooters, for so long and the word had not yet spread about the improvements. At this point in time, it was easy for the BoD to sacrifice the clay target income in exchange for not having to worry about being made to stop shooting AND clean up the area.

    But the club is almost in the shadows of the state government complex, numerous legislators have participated in events held at the club over its 75 years of operation and the club's private road (which can be seen passing right past the trap and skeet fields in Chuckie's photo, is right behind the new trap building and from which the second photo below was taken) was opened to the public as a thoroughfare years ago in exchange for township maintenance of it. If all that exposure hasn't resulted in even an inquiry from an environmental agency, I don't see one coming soon.

    A test of the water leaving the club lake was recently performed. It was pronounced cleaner and healthier than the drinking water in the City of Harrisburg's public water system. But since very few of the clay target shooters there were club members and none fill any seats on the BoD, we had no voice at club meetings and the treasurer was free to poison the opinions of the rest of the BoD.

    However, the club president responded to several emails stating that the closure is only temporary to give the BoD a chance to investigate a mandated use of non-toxic shot. What the BoD is failing to realize is that there are numerous other clay target venues in the area where lead shot will still be welcome, so I don't forsee many shooters absorbing the significant extra expense to shoot at HH&A.

    The new trap building on its "opening day."

    [​IMG]


    A squad shooting on HH&A's trap #2.

    [​IMG]


    Ed
     
  7. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Drain the pond? Looks to be a man made pond instead of a natural lake? Water is a natural attractant for anti-gunners too.

    Hap
     
  8. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Hap, there's more to it than that, although I suggested draining it, too. As Chuck said, behind the far shoreline and bank lies a small stream and that supposedly cannot be rerouted or run through a culvert. The BoD uses that stream in all their arguments regarding shooting there.

    Ed
     
  9. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Ed, drain the pond and possibly a wall to prevent shot from reaching the stream? Just thinking out loud with my fingers this morning.

    Hap
     
  10. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    When I suggested draining the pond some time ago, I was told (by the club president, if I recall correctly) that there was some wetlands law prohibting that.

    Ed
     
  11. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    I can see where a law may apply to a natural wet lands even on private property but that certainly doesn't fit my idea of a wet land habitat? I drained a pond on my property that was leaking and creating several mosquito hatch areas and made life miserable to BB-Q or even be outside!! Sounds like the Pres and BOD just assume it's the law concerning the pond? It's a shame to lose such a fine looking trap range!

    Hap
     
  12. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    You're 100% right, Vern. The BoD says there is nowhere else on club property to which the trap and skeet fields could be moved yet an older former member has a blueprint of the property that shows several viable areas.

    Like I said in my first post, I think they WANT to close those fields. The club president is an avid pistol shooter and several trapshooters are betting the new trap building winds up elsewhere on the grounds at a new or existing handgun range.

    Ed
     
  13. 22hornet

    22hornet Well-Known Member

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    It breaks my heart to see things like this happening in my home state. I pray that there will be places to shoot when I come home to retire in a few years.
     
  14. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    A copy of the electronically-distributed version of HH&A's monthly newsletter for December was sent to me yesterday and I found the president's column interesting. Rather than mention the clay target facility closures, he wrote:

    "Over the next couple of months, you may hear stories about certain shooting areas at your club and what the Board of Directors is faced with in order to ensure the longevity of our club. In order to get the info first-hand and be able to ask questions, please attend the December general membership meeting
    on December 7th. Your club is grappling with a very serious situation that could affect the club as a whole. This is important for the future of
    Harrisburg Hunters and Anglers, so please attend our membership meetings and get the facts face-to-face."

    You know - and so does the BoD - that the majority of the members do not and will not attend a club meeting. As a former gun club officer and director, I'll be the first to admit that they can be quite boring. They also know that the majority of their former clay target customers were not club members. So rather than publish their actions and the reasons behind them, they are allowing possibly erroneous discussion on the matter to continue to flourish. I feel it would have been better to simply state the "official" and factual information so every club member who at least reads his or her newsletter can correct an inaccurate report when he or she hears one rather than allow gossip to run rampant.

    But then, as a non-member, my only stake in this ordeal is the closure of another shooting range.

    Ed
     
  15. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    My club was closed several years ago (in upstate New York) as we were shooting over a large pond. Out west you would call it a lake.

    We had about a years notice this was in the works.

    We were given an order to stop shooting on a certain date. Fines of over $1,000 a day were to be issued if shooting did not stop.

    We did not go to court to fight the ruling. Have no idea if we could have won, as yet to hear of a club taking such a case to court and winning.

    A small property and no way to move the three fields (combination skeet/trap) without lead falling off the property. Was talk of putting up a shot curtain for one trap field, but deemed not workable because of the layout of the property.
     
  16. gus

    gus Member

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    7H is the first place I ever shot skeet, I think it was in 1983 or 84. Nice people, helped me out in learning. Bummer.
    I moved out of the area in 1986.
     
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