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Northwest Salmon



Shooting sports gearing up for new season, new partnership

by Amanda Fanger

Next month members of the Day County 4-H Shooting Sports Club will start meeting for shooting practice as they have almost every year since 2003. But new this year will be a partnership with a local organization which is leading members to a new practice area.

Talk between the shooting sports club and the Day County chapter of the Izaak Walton League began last spring when shooting sports instructors determined the location they had been meeting was no longer fit for its purpose.

“I’ve got to really commend them for what they’re doing to support us,” said Gene Beisch, vice president of the shooting club. “They basically said, ‘it’s a good program, we’ll support it.’”

They had been meeting for practices for the past seven years at the Russell Larson residence where four trailer houses had been moved in and modified to accommodate the shooting practices. But last year, Gene said it had become apparent that the buildings had reached the end of their lifespan.

So Gene, who was serving as the club’s president at the time, contacted an Izaak Walton League member to ask about possibly making a deal to meet at the clubhouse.

“Everything just started rolling from there,” he said. “One of the main reasons I thought the Ikes would be a good fit is because one of their main goals is to promote youth shooting sports.”

Now, starting Jan. 5, archery and gun practices will be held Mondays and Fridays at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse along Hwy. 12 in Webster.

“We have kids who come from Andover and Roslyn, from as far as Wallace and Ortley even,” Gene said. “What I’ve been hearing from parents is they’re excited about this partnership. Webster is a central location for everyone.”

Last year, the Day County Shooting Sports Club had about 70 4-Hers involved. Gene says they’ll find out next month if this new meeting location will encourage others to get involved too.

“Not all young people can be good athletes, but this gives them the opportunity to compete against themselves. Everyone can participate in shooting sports, everyone competes here,” Gene said. “Our number one goal is to teach safety, then fun and skills come after that. These are the three most important parts of shooting sports.”

Since the partnership deal was struck, volunteers have been working at the clubhouse to get it in shape for the 4-H shooters in time for the season to start. Volunteers have replaced shingles on the roof, storm windows and the club even put in a new furnace. In addition, adult 4-H volunteers have overhauled the basement by putting on a fresh coat of paint and taking out old bathrooms that were no longer in service to make more room.

Archery practice will be held in the basement and BB gun, air rifle and air pistol practices will be held upstairs.

The archery range will be open to the public on Sunday afternoons. For more information about that, Gene says to contact an Izaak Walton League member or the 4-H office.
The benefits of the partnership expands beyond the two organizations. The community will benefit by having the clubhouse available for events throughout the winter; prior to the partnership, the clubhouse would be locked up for the winter.

“The community has really, really supported the shooting sports,” Gene said.
Shotgun practices will continue to be at the Russell Larson residence in the summertime.
“I’m really excited to see how things will work out this year,” Gene concluded.

Fiksdal Funeral Home

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