The Lone Butte Fish and Wildlife Association is hoping to celebrate their 35th anniversary with a bang.
“The idea of the open house this year is not only to celebrate the 35th anniversary but it’s important to the executive to make sure that not only do we gain new members from the clubs but gain new participants in outdoor sports, particularly the shooting sports, in British Columbia,” said spokesperson Grayson Klassen, who has only been with the group for a year.
The club was originally founded as the Lone Butte Rod and Gun Club in the early 1980s but the name was changed to its current form sometime after 1985 when it leased the 30-acre property that is the present day range.
“It’s been a good addition to the community. There are lots of people who come out and shoot. We’ve tried to benefit the community wherever we can,” said Klassen, mentioning former fundraisers and community events the association has partaken in.
He added that only four people from the original members are still in the club, which has grown over the past few years and is now has roughly 600 people on the membership roll.
The association has an outdoor 100 and 200-yard big-bore range, 50-yard general handgun range, 50-yard mixed rifle range, a small- bore silhouette range, shotgun range, and an indoor range used for bore air rifles, target shooting and other club functions.
According to Klassen, the club is looking to add more features including a clubhouse and trying to get the rifle range up to 200 yards.
“The tentative plan for next year is a clubhouse, trying to get more comforts for the members – on colder days somewhere warm to go.”
The open house/family fun day celebration happen on June 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The club will have demonstrations for the shooting disciplines at the club. Some of these include cowboy action shooting, close-quarter battle, rifles, trap shooting and pistols.
Cowboy action shooting is the use of single action revolvers, lever action rifles and old time shotguns used in the 1800s and early 1900s and made popular by the ‘Wild West’.
Participants in regular cowboy shoots are usually required to wear a costume and create an alias for themselves.
In addition to being the association’s spokesperson, Klassen is also the director of rifle shooting and close-quarter battle shooting.
New or prospective members and those who have never fired a gun will also get a chance to fire some guns. Trap shooting, .22 calibre rifles and pistols will be offered as well as BB guns for the kids.
“The most important thing we have to offer is a safe place to participate in the shooting sports in British Columbia,” said Klassen. “It’s not going to a gravel pit or things like that. We have specified shooting bays, we have range rolls and when we have people there we tend to keep an eye on. It’s a community within a community.”