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Seattle Skeet & Trap Club Brochure (Tri-Fold)

Seattle Skeet & Trap Club History







SST Club History

Seattle Skeet & Trap, Inc. began as the "Green Lake Gun Club" back in 1914 and had shooting grounds located at 100th and Meridian Avenue with the clubhouse situated at 6202 Sunnyside Avenue. In 1920 the club changed its name to "Seattle Gun Club" and established a trap shooting range on Foster Island. The State intervened, however, and outlawed shooting firearms within a mile of Lake Washington so the Club procured new shooting grounds adjoining the government reservation at Fort Lawton in 1920. Seattle Gun Club held a State Trap Championship in 1924 at the Fort Lawton site and held the first State Skeet Championship on May 1935. It is not known when the Club bought the property in Redmond and moved there but eventually they sold that property to Cadman Sand & Gravel in 1958. As a condition of sale, a thirty-year lease with Cadman was signed. The club operated as the Seattle Gun Club until 1963 when the name was officially changed the Seattle Skeet & Trap Club.   The club operated happily until 1988 when it received notice from Cadman to vacate the property due to an extremely profitable commercial environment surrounding the site. The last formal shoot at the Redmond facility was held in March of 1991. After the Redmond closing, the club’s equipment was stored and a search committee was formed to locate property for a new facility. The search for new property ended on June 30th, 1997 with the signing a thirty-year lease on 25 acres owned by the King County Parks Department located in Ravensdale, WA.  Plans were then initiated to build a new facility consisting of a clubhouse and (5) permanent and (2) temporary combination skeet & trap ranges. On August 25th, 1999 the club signed a co-share agreement with the Boeing Employee Shotgun Sports Club (BESS), after the owner of their property, Boeing Corporation, reclaimed their property, for redevelopment. This co-share agreement added tremendous value to the club for it brought with it, a rich shooting tradition dating back to 1956, 145 shooting members, and a significant amount of equipment and range management experience. The Clubs completely merged in February 2009 under the Seattle Skeet & Trap Club name. Without this merger and help from BESS members, the current & future status of the club would be in question. We are one Club now with over 500 life and annual members. 

BESS CLUB HISTORY (The following is a reprint of an article from the March 1996 Club newsletter)

By Charles Struble
 Through the help of several old timers, I have come up with information that some of you might find interesting.  (editor update -The Boeing Gun Club was started back in 1936 by shotgun enthusiasts that included both management, office and factory workers. They were allowed to set-up their range at the south end of Boeing field. This was an unofficial Club since Boeing Recreation didn't even exist at that time. When the war broke out the Club and all activities ended and didn't startup again until 1956. In October 1997, the Dog & Gun Club divided  into two separate Clubs, the Shotgun Sports Club {BESS Club} and the Dog Owners Group {BEDOG}.)

The Boeing Employees Gun Club was started by a Boeing Employee, Ken Jones, for a two-fold purpose: First, to create an opportunity to sell Springer Spaniels, which he raised, and second, to create an interest in the sport of shotgun shooting.

The Club was founded and became a part of Recreation on September 10, 1956. The original Club grounds were located east of Kent, at SE 256th and 180th Ave SE, which happened to be Mr. Jones backyard. The rent was $1.00 per year. There was also a canine club within Boeing Recreation, that affiliated with the Gun Club in 1962, and the club took the name "Boeing Employees Dog & Gun Club". This same year the Continental Trap League was formed. One of the prime organizers of the League was Rolla Boughn, better known as "Skeeter".

For Equipment, our Club had one hand operated trap field and one hand operated skeet field. For you younger people let me give a little explanation on how they worked. The trap machine was located in the trap house, which was basically a mound of dirt with a roof over it. It had a steel rod running back to a cocking mechanism which was located about where our scoring stands are now. The mechanism had about a five foot pole which you pushed forward to cock the machine and pulled back to fire it (editor - hence the term "PULL"). The skeet field also had mechanical release machines. There was a underground steel cable running from each skeet machine to a release handle at station 4. Push the handle one way for the low house and the other way for the high house, and pull straight back for doubles. The Club house was approximately 6 x 10 feet with the side hinging up to make an awning. It was also used for a storage space.

Every other Sunday, it was an accepted ritual to pack a picnic lunch, load up the kids, and spend the day at the Gun Club. Several times during the day we would have to stop shooting long enough to go gather the kids out of the brush. They would get to playing and start getting into our range - but no problem, we never lost or injured a kid.

The ladies took turns coming to the gun shoots and using a Coleman camp stove, served sandwiches, soup, stew or whatever met their fancy. On occasions we would have a wiener roast, a watermelon feed, or dog exhibitions. I guess what I am trying to say is that the Club then, was a real family outing. Included in the family affair we had a lot of lady shooters.

I don't remember what the Club dues were, but we shot for fifty cents per round. We had nets set up on the skeet field to catch the unbroken birds so we could use them the next Sunday. The last thing we did after each shoot was to gather up the unbroken skeet birds and walk the trap field for any usable targets. Shells in those days, everything was paper. After reloading them until they were worn out, you kept a burning candle on your loading table, crimped the shell, then dribbled hot wax over the crimp so the shot wouldn't run out.

The area around the Club site was starting to get more populated, houses were getting closer, so it was time to move. It is my understanding that one of our past presidents rented airplane time and flew over the country side looking for a new site. In 1969, the Club moved to the Green River Gorge area. At this time we also moved to electric release machines (but we still used the catch nets on the skeet field).

Shooting Trap at the Green River Gorge Site - 1969

In 1974, we moved from the Green River area to our present location (Kent Space Center North), starting off shooting from the parking lot, then moving to the beautiful facility we have today. (Editors Note: 18-10 Building was completed in 1977)

Building the Skeet range at Kent Space Center - 1974

Up until about 1966, the Club was a strictly a non-profit organization. Any money left at the end of the year was spent on prizes, we held a shoot and everything was given away. Also in 1966 we decided we wanted to expand and grow and have better equipment. With Boeing Recreation's blessing, we set up our first maintenance fund for new equipment and from that point on the Club has grown.

Today we have some of the latest and best equipment around. We host one of the better shoots of the Continental League, which we also sponsor. We host registered skeet shoots and soon will be hosting sporting clays shoots. And to make the Club better, all the help it requires to host these shoots are done with volunteer help. We have one of the largest and best dog training programs in the Northwest. I personally have attended dog graduation exercises and heard judges comment that some of the best trained dogs they have judged, came out of the BED&GC dog training program.

Shooting Skeet at the Kent Space Center site

For just a moment stop and think how very fortunate we are to have these facilities; club house, shooting range, electricity and insurance, all subsidized by the Boeing Company.