By Starrla Cray
he club also plants about 100 trees, in order to create wildlife habitats.pport to many organizations, including the National Wildlife Federation, Minnesota Conservation Federation, Freshwater Society, and many others.
lub member, and a firm believer in the preservation of natural resources. ch month (except December) at 7 p.m. A light dinner is served at each meeting.
n, Minnesota Conservation Federation, Freshwater Society, and many others.said. “A lot of people do, just to see what kind of group it is.”
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DELANO, MN The Delano Sportsmen’s Club is an exciting explosion of shooting sports, conservation, and community service.
“We try to help people when we can,” treasurer Joe Kittok said.
The 500-member club is one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the state, established around 1898 as the Delano Gun Club.
In 1937, the name was changed to the Delano Sportsmen’s Club, to encourage a broader membership base.
One of the people who helped make the club what it is today was long-time treasurer Bill Bauman, Kittok said.
“He hoarded all the jobs to himself,” Kittok laughed. “He’s passed away now, but we still name things after him sometimes. Wonderful fellow.”
Kittok is also a long-time member of the club.
“I can’t even remember when I joined,” he said. “My dad took me there when I was 15, I suppose.”
Kittock recalls the clubhouse being built in 1974, the traphouse in 1985, and the shooting shelter in 1987.
Shooters of varying ages and skill levels love spending time at the club’s 100-yard rifle range, 25-yard pistol range, and trapshooting area. In order to improve the safety of the range, a wall was recently put up to separate the rifle and pistol ranges.
Five-member trapshooting leagues take place in the summer and winter. Another attraction is a “turkey shoot” in the early fall. Each family has the chance to take home a turkey by participating in clay pigeon, 50-yard poker chip, swinging briquettes, or trapshooting events.
Fathers Day weekend, the Black Powder Shooters host a paper shoot in which shooters compete at different distances for trophies and a turkey. All firearms in this event are muzzle-loading black powder rifles, pistols, muskets, and shotguns.
A second Black Powder Shooters’ event, The Hatchet Jack Memorial, takes place the Sunday before the Super Bowl. Because of cool weather, the event is often a test of shooting ability under adverse conditions.
A few weeks ago, the club had its annual sight-in day, which allows non-members to get their guns ready for hunting season.
“This was the most successful one,” Kittok said. “We drew a crowd of about 20 people.”
Education is an important focus of the Delano Sportsmen’s Club. A firearms safety class has been offered every spring since 1955, and conceal and carry courses are available about once a month.
Those who prefer archery can take part in a Minnesota bow hunter education seminar each spring. The course teaches bow hunter responsibilities, proper equipment safety, game laws, techniques, and more.
Delano Sportsmen’s Club dues are $80 per year, but for those who volunteer for four hours, the cost is reduced to $30.
One of the popular volunteer options is running the bingo and milkshake stands at Delano’s Fourth of July celebration. People also enjoy landscaping, cleaning the range area, and making lunches for meetings.
“Since we started that, we now have a website that’s run by a volunteer, and a newsletter,” Kittock said. “People put in more than four hours. It’s worked out well.”
Every year, the club also plants about 100 trees, in order to create wildlife habitats.
dquo;degree in a conservation-related field (such as agriculture, forestry, or environmental studies) can apply for a $500 scholarship. The fund was started in memory of Kelly Aurentz, a long-time shooting club member, and a firm believer in the preservation of natural resources.
club.com.call John McClay after 6 p.m. at (763) 675-2397./font>
• Dale Vander Linden, second vice president
• Larry Lindborg, third vice president
• Dan Kittok, secretary
• Joe Kittok, treasurer
• Jan Kittok, club membership and rental
• Jane Speckel, newsletter editor
• John McClay, firearms training
• Mike Speckel, archery training
• Tom Delaney, portable targets
• Dan Thienes, trapshooting
• Brad Spencer, website administrator
• Shawn Lynch, archery league
• Dick Nordling, black powder