Outdoor Sportsman's Club hosts open house
Sean Chase/Daily Observer Pembroke Outdoor Sportsman's Club hosted its annual open house last Saturday. Here volunteer Mark Solimine coaches new member Tuesdae Doyle on how to aim and shoot a bow-and-arrow. The club has promoted hunting, fishing and conservation in the area since 1958.
LAURENTIAN VALLEY – The serene and warm countryside was disturbed by the report of rifle shots on Saturday as the Pembroke Outdoor Sportsman's Club welcomed the community to its annual open house.
Under the careful instruction of qualified range safety officers, potential members of all ages tried hitting aerial clay disks or knocking down plates using small and power firearms. Throughout the day, more than 125 people toured the club's facilities at 2398 Doran Road and had the opportunity to fire a gun or a bow and arrow.
Since 1958, the Pembroke Outdoor Sportsman’s Club has promoted hunting, fishing and conservation. It routinely conducts firearm training and provides mentorship to our youth by introducing them to outdoor skills. The open house also educates folks about how safe firearms can be, while acting as a venue to attract new members.
“Sometimes there is apprehension when it comes to firearms,” explained the club's vice President Dan Mellen. “The thing we promote is how safe it is.”
To that end, qualified range safety officers were on hand to give tips on safe handling of shotguns, pistols, rifles, black powder guns and muskets and long bow archery. Visitors tired their hand at the skeet and trap, which teaches hunters how to engage prey as it flies away, and the skeet, which simulates ducks crossing over a piece of territory. The targets are clay disks which can travel up to 60 miles an hour.The Pembroke Outdoor Sportsman's Club has always prided itself with instituting the utmost professionalism when it comes to shooting on the ranges here.
The club has grown from 150 members only five years ago to around 300 now. They also have serious shooters who participate annually at the provincial and national level competitions. Mellen credits a dedicated core of volunteers with revitalizing the grounds and facilities including revamped ranges and storage buildings.
“They've worked really hard over the last couple of years to upgrade the club and make it a place where people want to come and shoot or use their bow-and-arrow,” he said.
Most of the youth attending the event were fascinated by the bow-and-arrow shooting in which they could use Robin Hood's favourite weapon to hit plastic targets of bears and deers. Archery chairman Daniel Williamson said it gives many who don't want to operate firearms another outlet and skill to master.
“What attracts a lot of people is that its extends their hunting season,” said Williamson. “It slowed down but it's growing back.”