The following article “Petersham Gun Club Sees Boom Year for ‘Clays Course Development” was written by our esteemed club secretary Geoff Jones. Requests to have this article published in local news media have gone unfulfilled, quite likely due to current hostile media environment in our region regarding anything gun related. I believe that it is unreasonable to suppress information based upon the actions of a few psychopathic criminals. The shooting sports have been a part of our countries heritage for 240+ years and deserve recognition. With gratitude to Geoff I present this informational article.

September 6, 2018
Contact: Geoff Jones, ()

Photo Caption–Missy Cooley, Brookfield, tracks a clay target at Petersham Gun Club’s improved sporting clays course during this past summer’s Al Noyes Memorial Shoot.

Petersham Gun Club Sees Boom Year for ‘Clays Course Development

Self-Help and NRA Grant Set the Pace
PETERSHAM–Thanks to the donation nearly countless club volunteer labor hours, in addition to substantial financial support from the gun club and receipt of the National Rifle Association Foundation Grant for equipment valued at $3,000 this past year, the Petersham Gun Club’s sporting clays course improvement project has received a huge boost.
The club continues with its multi-year ‘clays project to improve shooting opportunities for club members and the general public. Supervised sporting clays shoots are open to the public year-round on Sundays starting at 10:00 a.m. and on Wednesdays afternoons during the warm weather months. Special events to encourage and support the shooting sports are held periodically throughout the year and the public participation is highly encouraged.
Sporting clays administrator Brent Baer cited 15 fully automated shooting stations as the project’s immediate goal, and said the club was now well on its way with 11 stations fully automated with two traps each. He and Steve Sawicki have led the clubs all volunteer staff with labor, heavy equipment and materiel, including road and site improvement and the construction of a new stair-mounted shooting platform. The recent formation of a sporting clays committee has helped to sustain and invigorate the development project and expectations are high for continued progress.
Sporting clays, sometimes styled “golf for shooters,” is a great way to get out in the fresh air. The game involves walking (or driving your golf cart!) between selected stations on the course with a squad of other shooters, then engaging pairs of clay pigeons at each station in a variety of “presentations” of varying angles and distances, most launched from automated trap machines like the new one granted by the NRA Foundation. The clays course at Petersham has proven to be the most popular shooting venue at the club for the past few years, and has had the most focus for development with the help of the NRA Foundation. Petersham Gun Club’s woodland course is quite challenging and widely respected, drawing public participation from the surrounding states as well as the local community.
In addition to sporting clays, the club also offers trap shooting on most Friday nights under the lights at 7:00, with Ladies’ Night the last Friday each month. Ladies’ Night is open to all and is a good way to get introduced to shot-gunning. Loaner guns and advice are available. The trap course too has seen improvement: the trap house sports a new coat of green sealer paint, and the five shooting stations are
all situated on an island of wood chips, thanks to club volunteer Roy Piragis. The trap itself is new, bought by the club, and shared with the sporting clays course.
The club would again like to extend special thanks to the following supporters for their grant testimonials: Chief Dana Cooley, Petersham Police Chief; Chip Page, president, NH Chapter, National Wild Turkey Federation; and Mike Roche, Orange, outdoor writer and Mahar Senators mentor.
The NRA Foundation has been a great factor in encouraging the club’s development of its clays course. Established in 1990, The NRA Foundation, Inc. (“NRA Foundation”) is a tax-exempt organization that raises tax-deductible contributions in support of a wide range of firearm-related public interest activities of the National Rifle Association of America and other organizations that defend and foster the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding Americans. These activities are designed to promote firearms and hunting safety, to enhance marksmanship skills of those participating in the shooting sports, and to educate the general public about firearms in their historic, technological, and artistic context. Funds granted by the NRA Foundation benefit a variety of constituencies throughout the United States, including children, youth, women, individuals with physical disabilities, gun collectors, law enforcement officers, hunters, and competitive shooters.