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Rifle Club teaches safety, responsibility

With 1,000 members, club is one of the largest in the state


by: NEWS PHOTO: SCOTT JORGENSEN - Rifle Club member Larry Logdahl takes aim as president Hal Halverson looks on. Gun control is a popular discussion as of late, with people on both sides of the issue scrambling for position after a pair of high-profile public shooting incidents.

But at the Douglas Ridge Rifle Club, located off of Highway 224 near Estacada, the emphasis remains on responsibility and safety.

The club was founded in 1956 and sits on a 135-acre parcel. It’s one of the largest clubs in the state, with about 1,000 members. Many of them are current or retired members of the military or area police departments.

That includes the club’s president, Hal Halverson. He spent 27 years in the U.S. Army and has belonged to the club for 20 years.

“This is considered one of the premier ranges in the U.S.,” Halverson said.

Another member, Stan Pate, is a retired Marine. He also happens to be the No. 3 ranked shooter in the entire world.

Pate heads up Team Savage, a factory-sponsored group that competes internationally. All of the members of that team have traveled all over the United Kingdom, with a trip to South Africa set for next April. Also coming up is the world championship event in New Mexico.

Halverson said the club exists to provide a place for members to receive instruction on how to shoot safely and practice doing so. It’s staffed entirely by volunteers, including full-time range hosts, who live on site.

The club features an archery range that was just completed. There’s also an indoor shooting range, and ample opportunities to connect with instructors for areas such as hunter safety and obtaining concealed carry permits.

Several shooting disciplines are practiced at the club, such as handgun silhouette, junior shotgun and small bore. Members can hone their aim on sporting clays and various traps.

Ladies’ pistol classes also are held at the club, but openings tend to close quickly.

“They’ll probably fill up by the end of the month,” Halverson said. “We’re already working on 2014.”

The United States Pistol Shooting Association holds monthly competitions at the club, and a shoot will take place in 2013 with teams from 10 to 13 countries.

Although the club is typically not open to the general public, it does hold annual open house events. The club is always looking for new members.

For more information, visit douglasridgerifleclub.org. The club is open weekdays from 8 a.m. until dusk and opens at 9 a.m. on the weekends.