September 10, 2013
Dear Armond A., Mike W. & Mike D.,
The Jackson Hole Shooting Sports Foundation wishes to express our gratitude to you for your substantial donation to promote local shooting sports.
The JH Gun Club had a failed shotgun program without much hope for the future, but you three spent your time, money and effort to start a shotgun league, offering low-cost shotgunning two times each week for the summer of 2013.
Because of your efforts, dozens of people shot hundreds of rounds of Trap & 5-Stand. This was done without the purchase of any new machines or infrastructure improvements, which is a real testament to your well-played achievements!
We know you did not do this for our foundation’s accolades, but we want you to know that we see what you have done and want to offer you our sincere and profound thanks. As a token of our appreciation, enclosed is a gift certificate which JHSE added onto, we hope you will enjoy.
Again, on behalf of the Jackson Hole shooting sports community, many thanks for a fantastic effort and congratulations on your success!
Board of Directors, Jackson Hole Shooting Sports Foundation
The team of above volunteers was also kind enough to provide the JHGC Board of Directors with a letter of recommendations for making the JHGC shotgun clays program better! Thanks!
To: JHGC Board of Directors September 11, 2013
From: Acri, DeToro, Whitcomb
We thought it would be worthwhile consolidating our thoughts and recommendations for your consideration. We ask that the Board review our input at its October meeting and make a decision by its November meeting. The 2014 season will be upon us quickly and we must be prepared.
Our primary conclusion is that it is unrealistic to expect the Range RO to be responsible for the Clays operation and have sufficient time remaining to properly manage all the other range duties. We believe that running a Clays operation is far more labor and leadership intensive than rifle or pistol operations. We recommend that the Board consider creating a formal Clays RO position that will lead and manage the Clays operation with the goal of increasing shooter numbers whether or not a new facility is built.
To illustrate our point let’s consider the various Clays tasks that must be executed professionally if new Clays shooters are to be attracted and retained.
Before each event traps must be opened, stocked, tested and the area prepared for shooters. During events the RO must be present at all times to coordinate scoring, pulling, enrolling each squad, re-loading traps and providing a safe shooting environment. The RO must dynamically manage shooter throughput to provide adequate opportunity for all shooters present. Waiting over an hour to shoot one round has driven some customers away. The RO must also provide instruction for new shooters and assign them to appropriate squads without interrupting throughput. Proper accounting for cash payments, cards and rounds shot must be maintained. After the shoot all houses must be stocked, closed and the area cleaned and shut down. On average these tasks occupied the three of us for five hours on Sundays and three hours on Tuesday nights.
There are also many tasks to be completed between events. Traps or stands may need to be repaired or improved. Other groups regularly use the Clays area and many times trash has been left about, traps not properly stocked or the angle/speed of traps has been changed without notification (the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience is a notable exception). All these problems must be corrected before shoots can begin. The inventory of clay birds must be maintained. Corrugated cardboard boxes must be torn down and taken to recycling.
The above tasks are not all-inclusive, but should adequately illustrate our point that the Clays area is sufficiently demanding in terms of time and focus to warrant creating a new Clays RO position. Continuing to operate the Clays area using volunteers and distributed accountability is not a recipe for growth or customer satisfaction. To generate substantial growth in our Clays attendance we have to recognize what potential customers will demand: operational excellence, comfortable clean facilities in good repair, no demands on their time at the range other than having fun. Such demands will only become more acute should the Board decide to invest in a larger Clays facility.
We believe that there is unsatisfied demand for Clays shooting in Jackson Hole. Tapping that market will take more than spending donated funds on new construction. It will take a new approach to managing operations, serving customers and marketing our services. Creating a Clays RO position is the first step.
Until a new facility is completed we must be prepared to offer Clays shooting based upon the current six traps (one of which is sitting idle) plus the wobble trap. We would like the Board to consider the following suggestions for the 2014 season:
Grounds keeping or landscaping is needed. The area is full of weeds, litter and scrap stuff. It is hard to have pride in your range when it looks shabby.
- The clays building, trap houses and stands are in poor condition. Repairs, regular maintenance and a few upgrades are needed or suggested
- Return idle trap to service
- Purchase key spare parts
- Re-position for better shot angles
- Have all traps professionally serviced
- Increase spacing between stands and add pads under each stand
- Add new stand positions for beginners and experts (stands themselves could be moved depending upon the event).
- Investigate upgrading to a wireless control system
- Investigate a card based payment system
- Create a checklist of duties for users of the Clays area and enforce them
- All users are expected to keep the area clean.
- Traps must be properly stocked at the end of each shoot
- Trash disposal responsibility
- Management of clays inventory
- Safety procedures
- Cash reports must be generated
- Coordination of all users and timely updates of the website calendar
- Add parking/chairs, install portable toilet for the 2014 season.
- Hold periodic matches that are fundraisers for the clays activity. Make them creative and fun.
We look forward to a timely decision from the Board so that we may be prepared for the 2014 season.