Moncton gun club

 

HISTORY OF THE MONCTON GUN CLUB

The year was 1931, and skeet was in its infancy, when three gunners from Gunningsville spearheaded the first skeet field in the Moncton area. These three men were Jack Mayer Sr., S.K. (Seth) Dawson and Thomas McClure. You must remember the year 1931 was just two years into the Great Depression and money was very tight. This was the year you could buy a Winchester Model 21 for $59.50, only one year before Remington brought out their Model 32 that was to last only 10 years.

The first skeet field was built on the south side of the Old Coach Road, where Court Street intercepts. The high house was built on top of four logs buried in the ground, with an extension ladder going straight up the back side of the house, and was built from C.N.R. decking. There were no electric traps in those days; pipes were laid in the ground with steel cable running through the pipe to the Remington single lever skeet pull situated just behind Station 4.

The name of this first club was Mountain View Gun Club and was built by and for Gunningsville shooters. During the next year sportsmen from Moncton became interested and a healthy increase in membership took place. We know between then and 1935 the club moved to the Pine Glen Road area and a name change took place. The club then became the Moncton Gun Club. We also know that the first Dominion Day shoot took place in 1935. The club was situated on the east side of the Pine Glen Road, at the entrance of what is now McAllister Place.

A few years later, the club was forced to move for a second time, due to vandalism. This location at the time was very isolated with no homes near by and no one to keep an eye on things.

The third location was about 4 miles west of the Gunningsville Bridge in Upper Coverdale, on the north side of the Coverdale Road, on land that was owned by Seth Dawson. At this time and location there was only one skeet field, and no space for enlarging the facilities. This field was situated between the main highway and spectators could park their cars on the side of the road and see all that was going on. The club enjoyed a healthy membership and the time came when a second field was needed. Again the whole kit and kaboodle was picked up and this time moved directly north of Moncton to Cherryfield, on land owned by CKCW Radio. Mr. Fred Lyons, President of CKCW allowed the club to build on the east end of the property, behind the CKCW Radio Transmitting Station. Three skeet fields were built and faced east into a background of dense spruce woods. The background was not the best for skeet shooting, but with the advent of the new orange and/or yellow targets, things improved. Two manual trap fields were also installed at this time. We do not know exactly the time these new fields were built but we do know that in 1947 the Moncton Gun Club was incorporated and became the Moncton Gun Club Ltd.

Over the years there were many prominent business and professional individuals, as officers and directors that were responsible for keeping this club solvent and running smoothly. There was one such group that was very much involved in 1965, when it was decided the time had come to find a permanent home. A piece of land in Lower Coverdale was known, to some of the older past members, but had not been available to them. Through the efforts of the late Dr. J.W. (Joe) Dobson, this piece of land, consisting of 13 acres, was finally purchased in 1965. Construction was started in June of that year, to build 5 regulation skeet fields in line with every aspect of regulation being the norm. Heavy equipment was brought in, and the earth, taken from the process of leveling the skeet fields, was moved to a low place on the property to prepare for two in-ground concrete and cinder block trap houses.

The late R.C. (Bob) Buzzell was President this year and the late Dr. J.W. (Joe) Dobson was Secretary – Treasurer along with Directors – Dr. Eugene Leger, Ron Lewis, Art Case, Jack Mayer Jr. and the late Dr. Clement Leblanc. Editor’s note: It is important to note that Ron Lewis remains an active member of the Moncton Gun Club as of 2012.

The old club house was moved from Cherryfield across the Gunningsville Bridge to the new property. It served as a club house and canteen until the present club house was donated to the club by Dr. Eugene Leger about 1970. All fields were finished August 13th to be ready for the announced date for the Inaugural Shoot on August 14th.

These fields are the finest in Eastern Canada, facing the right direction so that all targets are silhouetted against the sky. As mentioned before, everything is 100% regulation, as laid out by the National Skeet Shooting Association and the American Trap Shooting Association.

This club over the years has had its ups and downs, but through the efforts and persistence of the late Sr. J.W. (Joe) Dobson, this club is healthy with a very strong membership.

With the passing of Dr. Dobson in 1973, the Lobster Shoot was renamed the “Dobson Shoot” in memory of a very fine gentleman sportsman. The Dobson Shoot now rivals the Atlantic Skeet Championship in number of shooters and targets thrown.

The inaugural “Jack Mayer Sr. Shoot” was held in August of 1993. This two day shoot will be an annual tribute to, not only a founding member of the Moncton Gun Club, but to his family who have been great supporters, for as long as we can remember, and continue to participate in fund raising projects, on behalf of the Moncton Gun Club Ltd.

This above history was put together for Jack Mayer Jr. by one of his friends.

As stated earlier in this history the Moncton Gun Club, the Club through the years has had it ups and downs but at the present time the Club is definitely on an upswing which is due mainly to the dedication and perseverance of long - time and some very new members. In June of 2003, Ray Woodill, a member and supporter of the Moncton Gun Club since the early 1970’s, was elected to the Canadian Skeet Shooting Hall of Fame and presented with the Ron Atkinson Award. Ray has been an incredible supporter of skeet shooting across Canada, has been heavily involved with the Canadian Skeet Shooting Championships for a number of years and remains the Chair of the Shoot Committee for 2007.

The years 2004, 2005 and 2006 saw the Club come ahead considerably. In the late fall/ early winter of 2004 – 2005 the Club purchased a building that had been constructed for use as an office for the Canada Games. This building was built by Kent Homes and is 72 feet long and 16 feet wide. The intention was to replace the old clubhouse which had deteriorated over the years and required considerable expenditures to repair.

The new building was set up behind the old clubhouse and in time it was remodelled inside and out, a very nice deck was installed and the building was skirted in. The Club also required a new drilled well and modifications to the sewage system also occurred. By the late fall of 2005 the new clubhouse was ready for use. The old clubhouse was given to a contractor, who moved it off of the site in exchange for some landscaping work. The new clubhouse is well-insulated and heated with electricity and propane. It has a large well-equipped kitchen, a large sitting area and two complete washrooms, one with a shower/bath. The clubhouse also has a large office space in the opposite end of the building to the kitchen.

At the same time work to re-vitalize the skeet and trap fields was completed. High and low houses on the skeet fields were raised and repaired with concrete pads placed under each of them. Fences were also erected between the fields.

Two new Beomat skeet traps were purchased and installed at the same time and a Doubles Pat -Trap was purchased and installed in one of the trap houses. This new trap saw a great deal of use during the 2006 Atlantic Provinces Trap Association (APTA) Championships hosted by the Moncton Gun Club.

At the present time the Moncton Gun Club has 4 regulation (ATA) trap fields equipped with the new double Pat-Trap mentioned earlier along with a $10K wobble-trap. The club also has 3 NSSA - approved skeet fields, all equipped with fully automatic traps. In addition the club has a 5-stand (sporting clays) set up which is very popular with both long time and new members. Acadian Construction graciously sponsors the 5-stand.

During 2010 the Moncton Gun Club hosted the Maritime Trap Challenge as well as two other ATA registered shoots, the Atlantic Skeet Championships and the Jack Mayer Memorial Skeet Shoot.

During 2011 major construction was undertaken and total of $20, 500.00 was spent. This does not include the volunteer work that was done by dedicated members of the Club. This work consisted of building two completely new ATA regulation trap houses as well as rebuilding 4 existing skeet houses. The work to the skeet houses included new doors, siding, insulation, shingles, rebuilding floors, etc.

In addition the Club purchased a second hand Beomat (automatic) trap for one of the trap houses. This is a very good trap and was purchased for $3K.

The Club also purchased a new snowblower which cost $2100.00; this was much needed and during the winter of 2011 we experienced record snow fall. Snow removal was done by one of our members at a reduced rate of $1400.00 which was certainly a bargain.

During the 2011 year we purchased $10.8 K of targets while hosting both the 2011 Atlantic Skeet and Atlantic Trap Championships.

The Moncton Gun Club has been running a Winter Skeet League since 2008 and this league is already underway for 2012. The Club is open year round and only the most severe storm will shut the Club down.

It is important to note that 2010 was the last year that the Jack Mayer Memorial Skeet Shoot was held.

The Maritime Trap Challenge was held June 8 to 10th and a very small number of shooters attended. This shoot also was poorly attended in 2011 and in 2012 we only had 14 total shooters. This shoot will be replaced in 2013 by the Moncton 200 which will consist of 100 skeet and 100 trap targets and encompass only one day.

 The Club hosted the Atlantic Skeet Championships in August with a few minor program changes. 27 shooters took part in the shoot. In an effort to attract new shooters we permitted non NSSA registered shooters to participate in the shoot but they were not eligible for the Championship awards. In addition shooters were permitted to make up their doubles on Saturday or Sunday and that made it possible for them to be in attendance only two days rather than the normal 3.

 Our Boxing Day Shoot continues to draw a crowd and we had 59 shooters this year and note that we had 60 shooters in 2011. It has actually been difficult to accommodate this large number of shooters in one day when only using two fields.

 

The 2012 Annual General Meeting saw no change whatsoever in the Executive or the Board of Directors for 2013.  Membership at the end of the year remained at 50.

The Moncton Gun Club started off the year with a Winter Trap League; 17 shooters took part in this successful event. Shooters shot a total of 100 targets or more each month. These targets consisted of at least 50 doubles and 50 singles. Most shooters shot a lot more than the minimum and by the time the League ended in May almost 10,000 targets were thrown. Don Sullivan was the Winter Trap League Champion with Robert Sidler a close second.

On June 1st the Club hosted the second annual Moncton 200; this is a one day shoot consisting of 100 skeet targets (any gauge) along with 100 sixteen yard trap targets. Both registered and unregistered shooters are able to participate. This year's event had a total of 22 shooters. HOA was Brian Pettipas with a total score of 189. Brian was also top trap shooter with a 95 while Larry Ingalls was top skeet shooter with a 98.

The Club Championship was held on June 29th. 16 of the finest shooters in Southeastern NB participated. The shoot consists of 25 skeet, 25 trap, 25 wobble and 25 five-stand targets. This year's Champion was Regan Steeves with a 95.

The weekend of August 9 to the 11th the Club hosted the Atlantic Skeet Championships. 27 shooters from three provinces participated. HOA was Larry Ingalls and 16 year old junior shooter Lorne Ogilvie from NS was the HOA runner-up.

On September 21st the Club hosted 10 ladies who were participating in a Beyond Bow Weekend. Ron Whitehead, Brian Pettipas, David Dixon and Charles Leblanc delivered a program titled Introduction to Shotgun Sports. The day consisted of classroom instruction on safety, basic shotguns as well as the various shotgun sports. Each lady then shot a round of wobble trap, skeet and five-stand. Beyond Bow is part of the NB Wildlife Federation's successful Becoming an Outdoorswoman Program (Bow).

If you have interest in shooting trap and/or skeet or simply wish to hone your shotgun skills for hunting please contact us.