Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club offers chance to shoot for thrills

June 28, 2012

By Michele Mihalovich

Women, such as this Seattle resident, and men alike have equal opportunity to pick up a rifle and aim for the bull’s-eye at the Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club. By Greg Farrar

The range at the Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club is a virtual paradise for people who like to take target practice.

“It’s for people who like to put holes in paper,” joked John Dallaire, the club’s range safety officer, who explained that most gun enthusiasts who come to the range are trying to improve their accuracy.

Folks stand in a covered outdoor area and shoot at targets that are between seven yards and 100 yards away. And there is no typical shooter. Some are new, some are seasoned. There are young, old, male, female, hunters and businessmen.

“You name it, they come out here to shoot,” Dallaire said.

Some have handguns; others might be shooting a submachine rifle. And the regulars are always willing to help out a newbie.

“You can tell when someone’s nervous or just not comfortable handling the gun yet,” said Tony McIntosh, a club member. “We’ll go over and offer some advice to help them out.”

McIntosh, 70, first started shooting guns when he was 9 years old and living in New Jersey. He also used to love hunting, but when he returned from the Vietnam War, he decided he couldn’t ever kill another living thing.

That didn’t stop his enthusiasm for guns however, or shooting at targets and trying to improve his accuracy.

“I’m retired,” McIntosh. “So I can just sit around with my feet propped up watching Fox, or I can come here and get some fresh air and exercise.”

Ready, aim…

The Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club offers gun safety, pistol and home defense instruction, basic hunter and bow hunter education courses.

Annual membership is $80 person, or $90 per family, but anyone can use the gun range for $12.

It also has a clubhouse available for meetings and parties.

Pat Moore has organized the Tiger Mountain Archers youth archery program. Call 557-1497.

Connect: Discover more about the shooting range at http://bit.ly/LSkMwr.

Live like a mountain man

If you think guns that use modern bullets are too fancy-schmancy for your taste, then the Cascade Mountain Men might be for you.

Vern Steward, current member and past president of the traditional black-powder, muzzle-loading club, said the club is a fun and relaxing way to enjoy the old-fashioned, traditional way of life.

The current 50 to 60 members favor the 1812 to 1850 timeframe, when mountain men went out into the wilderness and trapped beavers.

Steward said his interest in black-powder guns began in the 1970s.

Opportunities to participate in rendezvous, some quite primitive, can happen just about any weekend in the Pacific Northwest.

The primitive rendezvous forbid anything that wouldn’t be found back in the mountain man time period … no modern clothes, stoves, watches, tents, guns or anything else that might smell of city slicker.

Connect: Meet the Cascade Mountain Men at http://bit.ly/LsiXls.

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