A Brief History of the Hanson Rod & Gun Club
The Hanson Rod & Gun Club, Inc. was formed and organized at the home of our first club President on September 10th, 1954. His name was William H. Carey. Additionally, Mr. William P. Carter served as Club Treasurer and Henry E. Howland as Secretary. The Board of Directors consisted of Hal W. Reed, Robert F. Clifford Jr., Charles C. Davis, Forest Foster, William H. Ewell, Clarence W. Smith and Donald F. Porter.
The purposes for which this “Club” was organized and for which has held true throughout the history of the organization is:
- To conserve, restore and manage the game, fish and other wildlife, as well as their habitat in Hanson and its’ ” environs”.
- To further seek and procure better hunting and fishing for sportsmen and thereby promote and maintain friendly relations with landowners and sportsmen.
- To cooperate in obtaining proper respect for, and observation of, all fish and game laws.
- To help spread the knowledge of useful wildlife conservation among the residents of Hanson and the surrounding area.
- To promote a junior program for the youth of Hanson and “its environs”.
This association from the beginning was to operate as a non profit organization, and shall be non political and non sectarian.
Our clubhouse and ranges have long been established on Davis Road off Elm Street, in the town of Hanson Massachusetts. Originally our organization consisted of 57 Acres of forests, meadows and fields. The club established a one story clubhouse, a trap range, an indoor .22 cal range and a 100 yard high power range. In 1971, the Hanson Rod and Gun club purchased an additional 18 acres of land that abutted the original 57 acres. This enlarged the club grounds to 75 acres and in the early 1980s an additional 15 acres was acquired giving the organization a total of 90 acres.
Over the last forty plus years many improvements have helped make the club what it is today. In 1972, the indoor range was renovated to accept up to 45 cal ammo (lead only). Bathrooms were added to the clubhouse replacing the original “one seater” up on the hill. In the early eighties the clubhouse was expanded to the modern two story structure of today. The High Power range that originally could host only four shooters at a time was expanded to the 16 position range that we know of today. Our trap range has taken on the various technological changes in shooting as various trap machines have come and gone over the years to keep up with the ever changing demands of clay bird shooting. It should be noted that all through this time our club has had within the ranks of the membership many Camp Perry Contenders, ATA Champions, as well as many various League Champions in Handgun, Rifle and Archery. What started with 10 members (three officers and 7 directors) all with one clear vision, has grown into a 750 member organization.
Additionally, Hanson Rod & Gun serves the pubic by offering Hunter Safety Courses, a Civilian Marksmanship Program (Twice Monthly), Junior Rifle, Intermediate Junior Rifle, Trap Shooting, Sight-In Days for the various hunting Seasons, 3-D Shoots, as well as a Pistol Team. It should be noted that our Junior Program has grown to incorporate shooters from the ages of ten ears to eighteen years. This program is now in two stages offering newer shooters a .22 caliber format and the more seasoned shooters a .30 caliber format.
Hanson Rod & Gun Club is still true to it’s original purpose. The club still is a sportsman’s club. Programs for the hunter, fisherman, and marksman still make up a great deal of the event calendar. Our oath of membership that is part of the new member initiation ritual, still stipulates the importance of good sportsmanship and the respect for fish and game laws. Hanson Rod and Gun Club still maintains an open enrollment for membership. Membership is open to all sportsmen and the club is proud to admit that many members join the club to benefit their entire family. Through the years the cost of membership has gone up, however the programs and annual events of the membership have grown also. Members are still offered the use of club facilities 24 hours a day, and various sight-in days, league shoots, an Armed Forces Day Machine Gun Shoot, Archery 3D Shoots, Youth Fishing Derby, Father’s Day Fishing Trip, Various Field Trips, a Club Picnic as well as our now Annual Holiday Party and Toys for Tots Christmas Toy Drive offer our members and their respective guests quite an extended schedule of events.