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***Rend Lake Shooting Complex Update***

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Larry Chinski, Sep 1, 2011.

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  1. Larry Chinski

    Larry Chinski Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    253
    Hello everyone!

    It has been a while since I have posted anything related to RLSC here (including shoots) but I have an update that I thought I would share with my shooting community friends.

    I received dozens of questions at the Grand as to the status of RLSC, so hopefully this addresses most of what you have been wondering.

    As most of you know, I have been working in a volunteer capacity at RLSC for the past three years, trying to rebuild the trap program. During that period we were able to make a lot of good changes, and start the program back on track again despite a constant struggle on my end with the individual(s) who had the lease of the complex.

    In September of last year, the individual(s) operating the facility decided to pursue a separate business venture, leaving the club in the hands of a part time young employee. During this time RLSC was severely neglected. (many things attributed to this, but a general lack of caring was the main culprit) In June of this year, it was decided by that individual(s) to close the club down and relinquish control of the facility. I was notified of this about a week before our scheduled June shoot.

    Now for the good news (I think...) Myself and a few other individuals have entered into an agreement with the Rend Lake Conservancy District to take control of the facility. As you can imagine, there was a severe lack of maintenance not only on the grounds, but the equipment. As a matter of fact, the only thing working was the skeet low house (No traps, 5 stand, or sporting clays). Since that time, we have been working feverishly, and spending LOTS of our own money to get everything running, and have been doing pretty well.

    Now for the plan. We will not be open to the public until Spring next year, but are open for corporate events (we are trying to honor the ones that were scheduled already, who unfortunately were not notified at all that the facility was closing)and to the members of the club. We are starting a membership program similar to the one I started initially, with the exception that members will be able to come out and shoot any day of the week, and of course will shoot at a much discounted rate. General public hours will most likely be weekends only once we are open.

    We will not be holding the September and October ATA shoots this year, because my anal, must be perfect personality will not allow me to run a half ass shoot where things are either working half way decent or sketchy at best. The team agrees with this philosophy as well. We may have a couple target only shoots though, as we do have a few of the machines working again but just can't handle a large shoot right now.

    We plan on having all new voice release systems by Spring, along with either rebuilt or new Pat Traps (I have been in talks with a couple distributors and Pat Trap themselves on options). Other companies like White Flyer, and Phil Murray in particular have been extremely generous in helping us get going, which we are very grateful for.

    As usual, we are open to any ideas, or suggestions on how to make this a very successful program. If anyone would like to volunteer to do ANYTHING at the club, let me know and we'd love to have you. Feel free to Email me with any questions. I am sure I probably left some things out. Sorry for the long thread and thanx for reading!

    Larry C
     
  2. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Larry,

    I for one was very happy to hear that you would be taking over the facility. I talked to you about it at the Grand and was hoping you would be up and going this fall. However, i like your attitude that you want it done right instead of just done. You told me of how you have already dealt with the water issues and the plans for rebuilt trap machines and new voice releases. I think you are doing a fine job of addressing the issues. I think other than those noted just some general painting and cleaning would be wonderful. Maybe the small area between the sidewalk and trap area could be replanted or filled with rock to do away with the mud. Of course the water issues you have fixed may help this on its own. I know not everything can be fixed at once and it may take you years to polish YOUR system. You have always provided very nice trophys and had well run shoots. I have also taken note that you are always on hand during the shoots to help fix any issues and have always taken the time to listen to the shooters. I look forward to seeing the improvements you have and will be adding. Keep us posted as to when your ready and we will be there ready for a great shoot. Rend Lake has always been one of my favorites and i'm happy you are taking control.

    Thank you for saving RLSC.

    Sincerly,

    Matt Parker
     
  3. tcouch

    tcouch Member

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    Larry,

    I'm glad to see that you’re saving RLSC. I shot there around 10 to 15 years ago while I was attending a camp at Rend Lake. At that time I fell in love with the location and the setup. Back then everything was new and worked great. The last time I was there was for my bachelor party, it was September of 2010. The place looked a little run down and some of the equipment wasn’t working. We all still enjoyed the day and talked about what it was like when we shot there during camp.

    I would love to help you out on the place but we have moved to Manhattan KS, but we will return to IL in 18 months. When we come back for vacation I always try to schedule a shoot with my friends, we will have to see what RLSC has going on.

    Thank you,

    Tim Couch
     
  4. Dean812

    Dean812 TS Member

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    Location:
    Naperville, IL
    Knowing Larry's work ethics from serving with him on the board of directors at Downers Grove Sportsmen's Club, I'm certain he'll be sucessful in turning things around at Rend Lake. Best of luck Larry.
    Dean Kerhulas
     
  5. shutnlar

    shutnlar TS Member

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    355
    I'll second what Dean says..Larry has his s#!t together. Give him some time and Rend Lake will be a first class facility again..Good luck Larry

    Larry Novak
     
  6. Bob Schultz

    Bob Schultz Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Larry is really serious about renovating Rend Lake! Best of luck! Hope to come and visit soon!

    Bob Schultz
     
  7. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    Those in the area need to pitch in every way they can and offer some physical help, however small it may be. Larry is only human and even with his great drive he could burn out if every thing is left to him to do.

    Larry this is a huge undertaking and I have faith in you but don't let it consmue you.

    Your friend from afar.

    Don
     
  8. Larry Chinski

    Larry Chinski Member

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    Thanx for the kind words guys.

    The big difference this time around is I have a couple guys besides myself who really want to rock this thing. We really want to get this back to a shooters club, and a true "sportsmen's club" feel. The kind of place where even if you don't plan on shooting, you can come out and socialize with others and just hang out.

    We will keep everyone posted of the progress!

    Larry C
     
  9. BAD 303

    BAD 303 Active Member

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    Larry what are the plans for the sporting course and those machines? How long did you get the lease for? Thanks and you have your hands full for a while.
     
  10. Larry Chinski

    Larry Chinski Member

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    Good question Bad. We have the lease for five years, with the option to extend it after that. Basically giving us first right to refusal.

    As for the sporting course, the plan now is to focus on the North shooting line, which is 5-stand, skeet, and trap. We have already had to "borrow" machines off of the sporting clays course to replace severely damaged machines on the 5 stand. We will see how things go over the next 1-2 years before trying to operate sporting clays.

    Thanx...

    Larry C
     
  11. Clay Addict

    Clay Addict Member

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    Larry,
    Always enjoyed shooting at Rend Lake when in So. Illinois for work or play. The past few years have been hard on the facility, that Jeff guy had no idea what it took. I saw him come out and load a house one time, the rest of the time he was eating Big Macs, smoking and drinking pops. Some of the time there was another shooter with his daughter that would assist me so I could continue to shoot. They went to the barn, got targets and changed the mics. I thought they were part owners but learned they were just nice local people doing the job that the owners would not do.

    So glad to hear that real shooters are involved. I like coming through a few days before the Grand, camping on beautiful Rend Lake and shooting a few rounds. Then I would go to the Grand, all warmed up and ready to shoot. I look forward to seeing the transformation! As we all know, it takes lots of money to repair or replace worn out equipment. I would consider donating some money to help you with the task. Could I pay to fix a field? I strongly encourage others to step up and save this nice facility. I understand So. IL has alrady lost one facility this year. We need to make sure we keep great trap fields such as Rend Lake open.

    I agree with BigDon....go help, score, paint, squad, do whatever it takes to make this an active and sucessful club.

    Hope to see you soon,
    CA
     
  12. Larry Chinski

    Larry Chinski Member

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    Clay Addict - you pretty much hit the nail on the head there. Enough said about that!

    Your offer to help donate to fix a field is awesome! Email me at the above link and let's chat. Obviously no donations will be denied! haha

    Thanx again CA...

    Larry C
     
  13. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    No to trample on Larry's thread, but what other facility in Southern IL closed? I hadn't heard that.

    You guys make a great point about pitching in and helping. I am gonna see about doing just that.

    Matt
     
  14. Hill topper

    Hill topper Member

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    Matt,

    I understand Carmi closed.

    ed.
     
  15. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Ed. That's too bad. I have never shot there but loosing any club hurts. I hope its only temporary.

    Matt
     
  16. KeystoneLight

    KeystoneLight TS Member

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    Matt,

    The city of Carmi has sold or given away most all of the infrastructure at the trap range. Even the concrete walkways have been removed. The closure is permanent. Very sad as it was the premier small trap facility of southern Illinois with a fantastic background.
     
  17. Hill topper

    Hill topper Member

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    Matt,

    A few years ago we also lost Grayville, a historic old club.
    Over the years southern illinois has lost numerous gun clubs.
    Flora is one that comes to mind.

    I no longer live in Illinois and haven't kept up with the comings and goings of the gun clubs I used to attend. I am afraid more have gone than have come.

    ed.
     
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