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Lanesboro Gun Club hosts youth Fun Shoot day

Fri, Sep 7th, 2012
Posted in Lanesboro The Great Outdoors

On a recent stroll down memory lane, Norrin Storelee and Dave Campbell recalled the early days of the Lanesboro Gun Club. Norrin recalls one Halloween when some folks were out at the gun club goofing around and some outhouses got knocked over. Not to be outwitted they bought some toilets from the High Grove schoolhouse that had cement bottoms. The toilets cost $5 each.

Originally started under the Izaak Walton League the gun club was eventually incorporated on July 15, 1949, and a clubhouse built on six acres just past the state fish hatchery. Membership drives and fundraising have always been a part of the club. Back in the 1970s they had oyster stew dinners, which were quite popular, until somebody ate 14 bowls. They had a snowmobile race one year and horse races at the Preston Fairgrounds. Norrin recalls Bill Broadwater had an old plug in one race and he rode one of Charlie Betts’ horses. He wasn’t the best at riding, so “I just hung on,” he says with his eyebrows raised in remembering. They had coon trials, where even people from Arkansas would bring their dogs and they would bet on how the dogs did. In the wintertime for a fundraiser they put an old rusted car on the bass pond in town and sold tickets on when it would fall through the ice. The Federal Arms company would come out and have trick shooters show off their guns. Dave recalls that they would “splatter cabbages” and this would bring people out.

The gun club was quiet for a while and then a league was formed in the 1970s with about 20 teams. Lanesboro has four teams and holds the #1 team recore title for 10 years in a row; a record that has yet to be beaten. Local member Dewey Hungerholt holds the unofficial individual record of missing 15 in a row. One of the local rivals would come with the best guns, gear and goggles, determined to beat the Lanesboro “farm folk.” Dave hesitates and laughs, “They’d come and we’d whip’em with our beat-up guns!”

Norrin recalls they would have “sneak shoots” where the shooter would have his gun down by his side and start walking, not knowing where the clay pigeon would come from and this was a great way to practice for when out in the field. The gun club is all about gun safety and learning how to handle a gun. The club holds Firearms Certification classes and local sheriffs practice at the club. A lot of the club members are involved in the community, like the fire department and ambulance.

Club members are also involved in conservation of natural resources, including Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and the Minnesota Deer Hunting Association. The Root River Valley chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is the fourth oldest in the state.

As the laughter subsides and the trip down memory lane comes to an end, Norrin sums up his years as a gun club member as being all about “simple living.” Dave Nelson, of Lanesboro, was a long time member of the gun club and an outdoor enthusiast. The Fun Shoot will be held in his memory on Saturday, September 15, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Complimentary hot dogs and sodas will be available.

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