Thanks to some much needed renovations, the Inuvik Gun Club’s outdoor shooting range will have a completely different look by the end of the summer.
Club secretary Chris Garven said that the remediation process will begin near the end of June and will take about a month to complete.
“It’s well used, but it’s a hassle to use it right now because of the obstacles,’ said Garven. “So we’re hoping to get a lot more use out of it on a much more regular basis.”
According to Garven, the club is building a U-shaped berm that will stand nine metres high and will have new targets set up in front of it.
The majority of shooting is done at the left side of the range, so he said that the club is hoping to make the most of the range’s area by placing the berm on the right side of the field.
“One of the things that having the berm will do is it will allow the RCMP to come out and use this range for some of their practice and training,” he said. “Right now, they’re sending members from here down south to do training, so this will allow them to use this range and save them a pile of money.”
The range’s terrain has also been riddled with water holes, so the plan is to drain and fill them to level out the land.
“We’ve been planning this for about two years, trying to come up with a plan that’s going to get rid of the water and level things out,” he said.
New target stands are also being implemented, as the current ones have either shifted or have sunk into the ground over time.
“They’re a little too angled. What we’re hoping to do is have the right hand side of the range primarily for pistol and the left hand side for rifle,” he said.
The club’s “trap house” – a hollow, concrete underground block that stores targets and other equipment – will be demolished or moved to the back of the range.
“We’ll build a new one and move it to the back. It’ll be resting on the ground rather than sunk into the ground, because the trap house is now starting to sink while the permafrost melts,” he said.
The club’s white trailer that acts as a storage facility will be donated to the local fire department for future training sessions. With the trailer gone, the range will be pushed back a few metres and will allow the club to make more use of the land.
In addition to constructing a new entrance gate, the club is also putting up warning signs near the ski-doo trails that surround the range.
“Just to let them know that they’re entering a range area, there might be guns firing,” said Garven.
The renovations will cost around $30,000 in total, but will be made possible thanks to donations from the NWT Federation of Shooting Sports and other local organizations.
“We’ll have a much more pleasant area to come out and shoot in,” he said.
The club – which is also known as the Top of the World Sporting Association – was founded around 30 years ago and currently has about 30 to 40 registered members who frequent the range.
“But with the changes in the range, we’re hoping to get much more use out of it,” said Garven.