It all began with an add in the Alaska Hi-Way News, on April 12th, 1945 – it read as follows:
North of the Peace Rod and Gun Club
To those that are interested: On Thursday evening a Rod and Gun Club was formed in Fort St. John. Officers were elected and it was agreed that all members pay a yearly fee of $1.00. For the present the object of the club is to interest farmers in the district to raise pheasants and also stock Charlie Lake with a sport fish that will thrive in this locality. A committee was appointed to collect data from the provincial hatcheries regarding different types of fish, also information on the amount of pheasant eggs that can be supplied. Until further notice a meeting will be held on the last Monday of each month at 8 p.m. at Walter Weldon’s implement shop. Anyone interested kindly attend the next meeting as the club is anxious to obtain as many members as possible. As for those who cannot attend, contact Bob Duncan, Secretary, for information.
The present day clubhouse was constructed in the spring of 1981. It is 2500 sq. ft. with full kitchen facilities. The building cost $185,000 and was funded largely by donations.
The club bought the present range about 1964 from Walter Weldon. At first the members bought 10 acres for $100 per acre $1000 in total. Walter held the note no interest pay when you can. Subsequently more land was purchased 10 acres at a time under the same terms. Pat Preston was President and donated his equipment to do lots of the clearing and range improvements free. One of the first functions was a root picking work bee in 1967. Vic Brandl also donated a lot of free equipment time for the range development in those early days. The club now has a total of 37 acres.
The club started seriously shooting trap about 1968 or 69. Gord Gosling the local Conservation Officer was the real organizer. We started with an old manual trap that had a cable running from the 27 yd line to the trap and was pulled by hand about 1970 we decided to get the first electric trap, the cost was about $450 plus another $500 for installation, which the club didn’t have. Gord Gosling, Walter Smetaniuk, Rich Peterson, and Foxxy Wolfe personally guaranteed the loan from the North Peace Savings & Credit Union. The electric trap was a huge success and the loan was paid off in about 60 days that’s how much interest a good trap generated. There wasn’t power at the range then so the trap was run by a small Honda generator which would run out of gas about the time you were at 24 straight and getting ready for the 25th bird. But a lot of fun was had and since then the club has had great success in trap.
Thanks to Aubrey Foster, Francis Andal and Rich Peterson for this information.
13300 Sunnyside Drive,
Charlie Lake, BC