Hurtig Shooting Center Takes Aim

 

Hurtig Shooting CenterThe great thing about real heroes is that their legacies carry on well beyond on their own lives. Ben Hurtig was a hero to his country, and to his community. A Marine in World War II and Korea, Hurtig moved to the Wood River Valley after retiring from the military with the rank of Captain.

Here, he found the love of his life, his wife Peggy, and passed on his passion and skills as a shooter, running the Sun Valley Gun Club for nearly a quarter of a century.  When Captain Hurtig passed in 2006, his obituary noted his special ability to teach kids “how to shoot straight and sit tall in the saddle.”

Originally opened in 1982 as the Blaine County Gun Club, it was renamed after the Captain and beloved local hero in 2007.  The Hurtig Shooting Center is located just north of Hailey in Ohio Gulch. Unlike the other more limited local facilities, Hurtig Shooting Center offers a variety of options for pistols, rifles or shotguns that includes a rifle/pistol range, five stand, trap, wobble, skeet and sporting clays. It also sells shells, rents guns and has a cool, rustic clubhouse that can be used to host parties or events.

“Most people don’t realize we’re here and all we have to offer,” Chris Keirn said. Chris is on the board of the non-profit shooting center. Thanks to her, and passionate people like “#1 Volunteer” Lorraine Wilcox, Hurtig is one of the hidden gems of Hailey.

“It’s a nice little social club. It’s a great place to come practice,” Lorraine said, explaining that Hurtig is fun for shooters of all ages and abilities and a welcoming place to meet and learn from others gun enthusiasts or hunters. The membership-based club is open to the public as well.

Hurtig Shooting center 2“We don’t turn away anybody. We like to call it a member’s club, but it’s very much a public shooting range,” Chris said.

With warm weather returning, Hurtig will be open weekly from Wednesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm, and will host various events. Kids Classes will start up Aril 22nd, Lady’s Groups shoot on Fridays and certified instructor Dick Mandeville is available for lessons.

One of the biggest event is the annual Captain Ben Hurtig Memorial Birthday Shoot Out, which not only honors the club’s namesake, but also allows the good folks of the Wood River Valley to compete to see who’s the best shot in our blessed section of the Old West.

For more information, check out Hurtig Shooting Center.

By Mike Mckenna

This story originally appeared in the Chamber Corner section of The Weekly Sun.

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