Creating a muzzleloader club

Discussion in 'General Muzzleloading' started by Tanker, Jul 22, 2019.

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  1. Jul 22, 2019 #1

    Tanker

    Tanker

    Tanker

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    I got a permission to start a muzzleloader club at one of my local sportsman. Not overly sure where to start. We have a shooting range we will use and there is enough room to set up a woods walk. We have a very nice club house that can hold a few hundred people. Any suggestions on how to how to proceed? I already run a disabled Vet fishing rodeo there so I do have some experience with running events but I am thinking a club and a event will be two different things. Any advice would be great. I did send a email to my NMLRA rep to see if he can give me advice. Waiting for a reply.
     
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  2. Jul 22, 2019 #2

    Kansas Jake

    Kansas Jake

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    I would suggest you try to find at least one or two others in your area who are interested. Then you can begin to do the work to see if there is enough interest to make a club possible.
     
  3. Jul 22, 2019 #3

    jdw276

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    Is there an existing legal entity club where you are planning to create the ml club? If this is a piece of property and then build the range etc you need to look at the legal liabilities of creating a "club". If the property is already a club, just advertise get togethers? Build from there.
     
  4. Jul 22, 2019 #4

    Tanker

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    We already have a established sportsman club that will cover us for insurance purposes. They have about 75 acres that we can use and a nice range. I will probably do just like you said advertise and see who shows up.
     
  5. Jul 22, 2019 #5

    Poboy

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    Where is this at?
     
  6. Jul 22, 2019 #6

    SDSmlf

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    This is going to sound silly, but you do not want to ‘start a muzzleloader club’. Instead, all members of your Sportsman Club are eligible to shoot and complete in muzzleloading matches that your Sportsman Club is organizing/running. The ‘club within a club’ is not the way to go in my opinion. Just creates grief at some point. Don’t know you or your club members, but I bet you have a few winers in the group? And winers wine. Have heard complaints of why does their ‘club’ get the range every third Saturday, or why should our insurance cover their club??? Set up a ‘muzzloading range’ committee or whatever you call your sub groups. Guessing a sportsman’s club would have committtes for diffident ranges, shooting groups and events.

    As far as the NMLRA, they will provide you safety and markmenship guidelines for your matches. Stress that. They are not there to take over the club.

    If you are going to just use the existing range, things are fairly simple. If, however, you set a wood’s walk or muzzloading range, you need to put rules in place before you open it up. Nothing like finding your cowboy reactive steel targets with holes from a 50 BMG AP tank busting round..... I pays dues also, why can’t i shoot club targets.... or, they left them there so I shot them.... rules can be simple. Skeet range has rules. Trap range has rules. Rifle range has rules. Post your muzzleloading range rules.

    One startup process I have seen work well is to get another nearby club already holding matches to help you set up and run a match or two at your club with participation from their members. And if you start to hold matches, do not compete with other nearby club’s match times. Go to some of their matches and ask for advice and encourage/invite them to your matches. You’ve got to build momentum.

    If you have range fees for guests, wave them for the first two or three times a guest shoots in your matches. Encourages new members and most clubs are looking for recruits.

    Final question, where are you located? Nothing in your profile. If others knew where you were you could possibly round up some local help here.

    Sorry for the rant. Just went through some perceived ‘club within a club’ BS where I currently shoot......
     
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  7. Jul 23, 2019 #7

    Tanker

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    Mercersburg Pa
     
  8. Jul 23, 2019 #8

    jdw276

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    Been doing it for about a year now at our club. Have a social shoot once a week for the retired, available and a weekend shot for the working stiffs. We are in the beginning discussion phase of hosting a shoot as well. We have a very active youth program and do a demonstration for them and let them shoot our firearms on average probably twice a month. Always on our club activities calendar for all to see. Good luck with it.
     
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  9. Jul 23, 2019 #9

    Tanker

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    I kind of liked the rant. You made some very good points. All clubs have there small issues. I haven't ran into much at ours but when you start something there is always a chance. I believe I will set up some shoots and go from there. That will give me a chance to gauge how much issues there will be. Thanks for you point of view.
     
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  10. Jul 23, 2019 #10

    GunnyGene

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    "Clubs" by their very nature are political entities, albeit a primitive form thereof. They are one step below a "tribe". That means it takes on the character of any other political entity. Be careful how you set it up. :)
     
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  11. Jul 25, 2019 #11

    Poboy

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    Too fer for this Texas boy. Thanks.
     
  12. Jul 25, 2019 #12

    EC121

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    We used to shoot paper once a month for years. Maybe four targets. Mixed animal and bullseye. Very informal. Scored our own targets by high line cut. The pres. would buy enough steaks for three places plus sometimes a can of potted meat for last place and charge enough entry fee to cover the cost. People like to win meat. Due to the small crowd, flint and percussion shot together. Sometimes, we even had a "blind hog" prize for the man who had one good target that was most of his score. It was figured by the target's percent of total score.
     
  13. Jul 25, 2019 #13

    Loyalist Dave

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    VERY sound advice. As for steel targets, you take them down and away when the Muzzleloaders are not being used.

    Speaking of which..., I'm an hour away from Mercersburg. God willing, and a truck don't jack-knife on I-70 West.
    I can help you out I hope, AND I have armor plate targets that I can bring up to use at a shoot. Not a lot but some.
    Be happy to help you run it if it's on a weekend day that isn't already "booked". ;)

    If the date is good, I think I can bring a batch of helpers, and at least give you a good turnout of shooters, (if not helpers with the event). You might start with a "fun shoot" or "introductory shoot" just to get folks into the idea that muzzleloading is a good part of the club.

    I might be able to arrange for a volley-fire demonstration vs. air filled balloons so attendees can see what a volley of muskets at 50 yards can really do?
    Or maybe even a station where folks can try live-fire of a Bess..., just to see what it's like?

    OH and be aware of the hunting seasons. One way to torque the current members is to tie-up the range the weekend before opening day of small game season, or deer season, when they are used to using that weekend as a last minute check-the-sights day.

    This is another very good idea. IF you do the "fun shoot" you just invite people to come and try things out. You can ask for donations if they had a good time. You just post safety rules for all the guests to follow, which are basic safety rules, anyway.

    Let me know.

    LD
     
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  14. Jul 26, 2019 #14

    52Bore

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    I went to my local club in 1998 to asking if I could host a ML match. It has wonderful facilities and my match is approved yearly by the BOD - since so, the clubs insurance cover us shooters as it’s a club sponsored (BOD approved) event. They do not sub-let the range to any 3rd party. The cost to my club is $5/day per shooter, this is covered by the match fee (ask your Club their fee, if any?)
    It’s listed in our clubs newsletter and calendar like any other match they hold (Trap, Skeet, HP, etc.). I do all the work, that’s fine as it keeps them out of my business.
    I went thru NRA RSO training the club offers as I’m technically the match director.
    Good luck as it's not hard.

    If you need additional assistance... call: Lora
    A600DF6D-3250-40B7-8242-927477F46A40.jpeg
     
  15. Jul 28, 2019 #15

    Tanker

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    Thanks I contacted my NMLRA rep and we spoke yesterday and I am going to his club to see how it's ran and go to a shoot. If I have any issues I will give her a call.
     
  16. Jul 28, 2019 #16

    TexiKan

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    Some good advice has been given. Also consider the type of shooting you will be doing. I joined our club around 1975-76 and we patterned ours after a club in Missouri. Thus, we focused more on shooting paper targets at various ranges, per the NMLRA. Later on, we learned many other clubs preferred steel targets. Our monthly shoots continue to focus on paper but we have shotgun and knife and hawk throws each month. Steel and woods walk targets are available during our spring and fall rendezvous.

    We may be one of the largest clubs in Kansas and we have certainly stood the test of time.
     
  17. Jul 28, 2019 #17

    crankshaft

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    I paid for iron targets cut from boiler plate, squirrel , Turkey heads, etc. For a woods walk. Buffalo about 2 ft. high.
    Ya, ass holes shot them full of holes.
     
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  18. Jul 28, 2019 #18

    SDSmlf

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    Found it best to use AR500 steel, pricey, but will be more a-hole proof. Will stop everything up to the big centerfires until they start shooting AP. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

    OP belongs to a sportsman club, so could always have big centerfires on the property. One club I was a member of banned anything ‘larger than 45 caliber’ to protect targets. Rule I nadvertently banned most muzzleloaders. Had to amend rules to specific calibers (50BMG for example) and or specific energy levels.
     
  19. Jul 28, 2019 #19

    Carbon 6

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    I've started clubs of different types before.
    My advice is to incorporate, and have everything spelled out in your bylaws and rules. Follow Roberts rules of order when conducting business and meetings. and elect officers. The more professional you run it the less problems you will have. Make sure every penny is accounted for.
     
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  20. Jul 28, 2019 #20

    Carbon 6

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    Been there, had that happen too.
     

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