The Mineral County Shooting Sports Association will no longer resort to practicing their shooting in the gravel pit, thanks to their recent 236-acre land purchase east of Superior.
The association bought the land, at the Louzeau/Quartz exit off Interstate 90, in February so the shooters could finally have their own facility and space to practice.
“It’s going to provide a safe and controlled area to practice and shoot,” said Kevin Donally, the president of the club.
Donally said they lacked a formal facility to practice so they have been using the gravel pit in Superior for several years.
While there’s currently a building on the site, association member Michelle Parkin says it’s not usable yet. They still need to connect power to it, drill a well and install the septic system.
“We’re hoping to at least get it framed in for insulation so that the shooting kids for 4-H can use it and have a facility to use instead of the 4H building,” Parkin said.
Donally says they plan to build shooting, trap and archery ranges, including a 3-D archery range.
“We’ve got enough land we can probably do long 1.000-yard range shooting,” Donally said.
The association hopes to add onto the current building so there’s enough space for 20 shooting lanes, a kitchen, restrooms and an area for their annual banquets. The banquets help raise money for their club and they were originally involved in the Friends of the National Rifle Association, which also held banquets.
“Everyone grew tired of that so we decided to go out on our own to keep money in the county,” Donally said.
Association member Patricia Latshaw moved to Superior last fall and she and her husband Dean were excited to learn Mineral County had a local club. They both were chairmen of the Friends of the NRA Banquet in Washington for 15 years. Latshaw is helping with this year’s banquet and her husband is on the board.
“We’re excited for the community to learn about our group and that they’ll come get involved,” Latshaw said.
The association has about 20 members and several kids have been to national competitions in the past few years.
The MT 10X, a local youth air rifle team coached by Rich Milender, recently competed in a national tournament in Camp Perry Ohio, and won the Club Team in the Junior Olympics and the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP).
Team members include Howie Edison, Bailey Milender, Heath Edison, Decker Milender with alternate shooters Mackenzie Chapman and Madeline Drey.
Bailey Milender placed 16th overall at the CMP Nationals and won the Junior Distinguished Badge. Edison placed 20th nationally and won first for his age group.
The MT 10X will continue competing in local, state and national 4H and NRA events, state and national Junior Olympic events, national CMP events and state and national American Legion events.
“Our biggest thing is we want to help fund the youth shooting sports for the kids who want to get involved and to be able to have a range for people to use,” Parkin said.
The association will have a fun day with hot dogs and a shoot at their new facility from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24.