It’s beginning to look a lot like ski season. Baldy’s slopes are clearly delineated in delightful winter white, the forecast this week looks wonderfully snowy (more than a foot of snow expected!), and anticipation fills the air. In just a week, at 9 a.m. on Thursday, November 23, the lifts at the base of River Run and Dollar will spring into action, carrying the lucky first skiers and boarders to the start of what is sure to be an amazing year. This year, Sun Valley celebrates its 82nd season as America’s premiere destination ski resort...
Sun Valley has a long and rather romantic relationship with shotguns. That’s why the walls of the Sun Valley Gun Club—which opens for the season this weekend—are lined with iconic images of famous folks like Ernest “Papa” Hemingway, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Jane Russell, Ann Sothern and the legendary shooter Rudy Etchen, with shotguns in hand.
“The history and tradition here is great,” Sun Valley Gun Club manager J.C. Dovey said. J.C.’s been at the Gun Club for a decade now, coming on full-time as manager after retiring as a corporate pilot a few years ago.
J.C said the Gun Club has been around since the late-`30s and has always been a popular spot for shooters of every level, as well as a unique activity for folks staying at the Sun Valley Lodge and Inn just down the street.
Now in it’s third location, the Gun Club has been located just past Trail Creek Cabin since 2006, and has always been known for its world-class instructors.
“If someone has never, ever shot, or if they are new to the sport, we provide everything needed,” J.C. said, adding that his highly skilled staff will “go out there and make sure they’re being safe. Safety is number one. Number two is that they have some success, break some clays.”
Not to be confused with the popular Bay Area Rock band with the same name, the Sun Valley Gun Club offers Trap and Skeet (historically, the most popular options), 5 Stand, Wobble Trap (a more challenging Olympic-style trap) and Sporting Clays.
To meet the demand of Sporting Clay’s growing popularity, the Gun Club has added a second range this year. There will now be a blue beginners course and red expert course.
“You always want beginners to have success, but you want to challenge experts, too, “J. C. said. He explained that Sporting Clays are growing in popularity because they are more like golf courses—no two are ever exactly alike—and that shooters enjoy the variety and challenge.
“Trap and skeet are pretty much the same every where you go, “ J.C. said. “So Sporting Clays are becoming more popular because they offer variety and they make it harder to be perfect.”
The Sun Valley Gun Club is also proud to announce that they will be hosting two Registered Shoots with the National Sporting Clays Association this year. The first will be June 13-14, with a second shoot this fall. These events will allow participants to attempt to qualify for regional and national shooting contents.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Master shooter or just a beginner, if your shotgun is worth a few hundred bucks or nearly $20,000, the Gun Club is open to the public and everyone is welcome to come on down and enjoy themselves. As J. C, pointed out, “Any gun in the right hands will shoot well.”
[The Sun Valley Gun Club will only be open weekends until Memorial Day weekend, and then will be open daily, from 9am to 4pm until October. Shooter must by at least 12 years old. Reservations are recommended for the busy summer months. Call the Gun Club for more information or to book a time 208.622.2111.]
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