November 29, 2020
Once again, greetings to all, and Merry Christmas.
It is once again time for me to inform our membership about the state of the Club, and our plans and goals for the coming year.Chase Thomas continues as our Club manager and does an excellent job. He manages his floating staff of young trappers, some of whom have shown some fledgling management skill along the way. Chase gets an assist from Jeff Kreyssig several days a week, when Jeff is not teaching his students rifle and pistol skills.Keep Chase in mind for your gunsmithing needs. He is trained and capable and is also advancing himself up the ranks of the NSCA instructors. He is a very capable shotgun instructor.
This very strange year we have all lived has influenced almost everything, and Hurtig is no exception. We were closed totally for over five weeks, and when we reopened, in just two weeks’ time, we took in over $19,000 in revenue. Pent up demand for normal activity caused us exceptional growth. In 2013 when I first joined the BOD, we had just 130 dues paying members. As of Nov. 28, we now number 336. That growth has reflected significant revenue increase. Last year, our gross sales were $278,000. As we closed the books on the end of October, (not our year-end), we have had gross sales at $327,249. Those figures do not reflect any donations through the Sawtooth Sports foundation, or any other grant money. We did secure a small grant from the PPP program, for $19,200, an important shot in the arm during the shutdown.
That is not the news most would have expected. When we reopened, we were almost overwhelmed with activity, and Chase was very imaginative in creating additional shooting possibilities on the trench and skeet ranges to absorb the increased flow of shooters. We are on track to break the one million target mark again this year, even with the shutdown.
With that kind of revenue expansion, we have made great progress in upgrading and enhancing all the shooting venues. We now have standardized all our machines to MEC, with wireless controls and solar battery chargers, except for the two PAT machines that throw wobble and trap. The goal is to change those hydraulic machines that are difficult and slow when it is cold, to mechanical MEC machines. That change will happen soon.
Thanks to numerous and generous donations through the Sawtooth Sports Foundation (the 501 C3 organization that supports Hurtig) there are significant improvements to both the east and west ends of the range. At the rifle end (west), the range has been made wider at the shooter end, and wider at the target end. Major drainage methods were employed to deal with trapped water during spring thaw, railroad tie retaining walls built, and compacted gravel added to ease snowplowing, and to prep for future asphalt. New benches are being added, and new and numerous steel targets are in place. We will be able to accommodate more shooters in that much used part of the Club.
The very high, unused and dangerous duck house is coming down on the east end of the range, and additional safety elements will be added to the east pistol pits as part of the five phases of improvements we are working on. All good stuff. Thanks to Vince and Luke Mullendore, we got a new, secure gate, failproof lock system, and new fencing to the south.
There was no NRA banquet this year, but Katie Powell Hodge is working on securing grant money from them and also grants available through Idaho Fish and Game Dept.
Vince Baertschi is our fundraiser in chief, who shakes the trees, and donors fall out. Special thanks to him and all who have helped us out!
David Sundholm has taken the point on dealing with the Idaho State Board of Lands as far as our off-lease targets are concerned. We have a good connection with a lady at the State who visited our Club two summers ago and is interested helping us secure a land use permit to cover this aspect of our use of the property. They are working out details.
Our junior shooters, The Sawtooth Clay Dusters, numbered 18 this year, including 5 young ladies. They were coached and shot for 8 weeks, and instructed by Sid, Lee, Chase, Wendy Collins and Bernard Brown. Due to Covid 19, there were no shooting events held in the southern part of the State, but they are trained and ready for when the time comes.
The Friday Ladies group, who call themselves the Wild Hares, never miss a day, and shoot rain or shine, in the heat and the cold, and have a blast together. They number 19. So, ladies not part of that group,reach out and join them.
Chase hosted two NSCA Sporting Clays events, attended by about 45 shooters each time, where some 10,000 targets were thrown each weekends….not bad in the time of Covid.
To keep this message to two pages (postage challenge), let me close with my admonition about safety at the Club. With many new members, some new to shooting, I remind everyone we are all Safety Officers.
Experienced members need to keep an eye on our new friends, and do not let safety infractions go…any accident affects us all. New shooters…do not take advice the wrong way. Be safe! Sid has reminded us that all gun accidents happened with a weapon someone thought was unloaded.
Our lease payment is due the last day of the year, so please help us out and send in your dues, with our great appreciation!
On behalf of myself and the Board and Staff thanks to all for everything. Merry Christmas and have a Happy and Healthful New Year.
HSC Board President
be able to accommodate more shooters in that much used part of the Club.