Sunday, June 21, 2009

Duck Tower

Rod Robert, owner of Cascade Wind Machines, is going to construct a duck tower at the west end of the 5-stand clays range using a 30 foot section of wind machine metal. He is going to pour a concrete foundation, bolt the tower to it, and put a lift on the tower so the trap machine can be raised and lowered. Cascade also contributed the duck tower that is east of the clubhouse. When you see him, be sure to say, "Thanks, Rod!"

Lawnmower

Sometime back, I posted some information concerning a lawnmower we were supposed to get from Burrows Tractor, and I didn't have all the facts straight. This was the second year Burrows has held a company shoot at the range, and they paid for the privilege last year. They did not promise to provide a lawnmower to us; it was to be a reconditioned "gang" mower and we would pay approximately $4,500 for it, but none of the board of directors knew about the payment. While I'm sure that's a good price for such a piece of equipment, I thought it was more than we needed and so did Rangemaster Joe. Joe was in the commercial lawn care business for several years, and he knows about those things. Sun Valley is currently shopping for a lawnmower, and a 54 inch cut Husqvarna at Burrows Tractor seems to be the best buy in town right now. Anyway, I should not have posted the blog until I was certain the information was correct. I tried to get the correct info but was unsuccessful.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Membership Increase

Sun Valley Shooting Park Secretary Judy Pearson just spent ten hours compiling a new membership list that is 95 percent correct. It won't be 100% until she is able to match her results with another list--the one compiled by Treasurer Pat Koenig. After that, the list will be installed on the computer Holly uses at the range. Current as of June 1, we have 174 members including lKA. That is a significant increase over the membership rolls of less than a year ago. Judy intends to drop all names from the list who are unpaid since '07. She thinks, when reminders are sent to those members who are in arrears since '08, we will pick up even more members.

The Flag Flies

A new 5X8 feet American flag is again flying at SVSP, thanks to Rod Robert at Cascade Wind Machines. Over the years, Rod has been extremely generous to the park, and when he heard that the rope had slipped off the trolley, he sent Rollie Taylor and his boom truck to fix the problem.

Pheasants (Forever)

Pheasants Forever has been working with SVSP to create better pheasant habitat, and Larry Morgan showed up last week with live pheasants to join their wild kindred. The hens, in various stages of maturity, flew immediately to the cover where their wild cousins live, and Rangemaster Joes said within minutes two wild roosters flew into the same cover. Larry also dumped a large sack of feed for the birds.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pittman-Robertson Grants

Jim Pearson attended a Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) workshop Saturday in Ellensburg where he learned how to apply for Pittman-Robertson money for range improvement. Pittman-Robertson tax money has been collected on firearm and archery salses since the 30's to support hunter education and range improvement. WDFW spends nearly a million of those dollars each year in support of hunter education, but this year they have $56,000 left for distribution to ranges who qualify, but applications must be postmarked no later than June 30 or they are ineligible.
Possible projects for Sun Valley are: 1) Moving the 300-meter range approximately 20 degrees to the right in order to create a safer impact area. The firing line benches would also need be moved slightly while a covered firing line would be added. 2) Creation of a .22 rimfire range adjoining the pistol range on the east. It would involve creating a berm and adding reaction targets that immediately signal a hit. 3) Building a target shed for 3-D archery targets and purchase of the targets themselves. 4) Constructing a duck tower on the the 5-stand clays range and purchasing a target machine for the tower.
Pearson says he is unwilling to do the legwork for these projects, but if someone else will do that and have the materials in his hands by the 20th of June, he will write the grant request(s) and mail them to WDFW in time to meet the deadline.
Mik Mikitik, the WDFW official in charge of the distribution, says there will probably be more money available for distribution next year.

Campground

The Park has more than a dozen camping spots available with electric power and water hookup available. A dumpsite is also available. The overnight camping fee is $15, and what better way to spend a weekend than camped at the park while shooting rifle, pistol, and shotgun? Ric Bowman, while his wife was away, parked his camper there, reloaded experimental ammuntion, went up to the range, shot it, and came back to the camper to improve the loads. He said it was a great way to spend a weekend.

YR&PA and SVSP

Two separate entities, Sun Valley Shooting Park and Yakima Rifle and Pistol Association, work together to to fund and keep the park running, and many members belong to both organizations. Recently, SVSP President Jim Pearson and YR&PA President Ric Bowman discussed the possibility of merging the two organizations. Yakima Rifle and Pistol Association is the oldest NRA affiliated club in the United States, and Pearson said he thought any merging of the two groups should preserve the Yakima Rifle & Pistol name. Both Bowman and Pearson admit they have only the faintest idea how the merger would work, but both thought is was time to give the idea some thought.

Tree Needed

Rangemaster Joe has planted lawn in the sloping area to the left as you enter the clubhouse, and now we need a colorful tree of some kind to plant in the middle of that lawn. If you have tree you can contribute, give Joe a call at 576-0866.

Master Hunters

Master hunters are required to work 40 hours at habitat improvement in order to keep their credentials. Sun Valley Shooting Park is authorized to grant time credits to those wishing to help with the pheasant habitat improvement project. Contact Jim Pearson at (509) 480-9199 if you wish to participate.

Pheasants Forever

Pheasants Forever members Larry Morgan and Bob Patten, along with their biologist, Kraig Paulson, toured the park recently with President Jim Pearson and Rangemaster Joe. They suggested we plant oats between the evergreen trees you see on the right upon entering the park. They also suggested we plant service berry bushes as well as chokecherries and golden current bushes in order to offer more food and cover for the birds.

The pond

Rangemaster Joe has let the pond dry up, taken the trees and bushes out, and is currently deepening and expanding the hole. Then, with financial aide from Pheasants Forever, we will line the pond bottom with plastic, put a layer of dirt of the top of the plastic, and fill it with water. This was necessary because the pond bottom is so porous water disappears almost immediately. We will then plant the edges to rye grass and put plants in the water. Pheasants Forever also suggests we let some water run down the draw in order to produce more cover for the birds. The park has a small group of pheasants living near the pond now, and we plan to build on that.

Sunstroke 2700

On June 20, a 2700 pistol match is scheduled at the park, and beginners are welcome. The NRA classification system is used, and the fee is $25. Beginners may fire the .22 caliber pistol for the entire match, if desired. The match is shot slow fire at 50 yards with timed and rapid fire at 25 yards. Last year's winner was Jimmie Dorsey from Idaho. For more information, call Bob Jacobs at (509) 933-3878 or email him at rcj@charter.net.