Paul Bunyan Rifle & Sportsman’s Club was founded, and applied for National Rifle Association charter in March of 1945 by 57 charter members, most from the Midland area, others from Tacoma and Puyallup.
Forty acres were purchased from Weyerhaeuser Timber Company in March or April 1946. About mid-May of 1948, the south forty acres were purchased and in the mid 1950’s, 11 more acres were purchased to extend ownership from just above the target butts to the present right of way of 176th Street, thus protecting the firing range.
The original rifle range had 6 firing points to 600 yards. In 1956, the butts were extended to 18 targets, and in 1968 extended to 30 targets and firing points to 600 yards, creating of Paul Bunyan the largest civilian owned range in the Northwest. The pistol range was twice enlarged from the original and a trap range laid out in its present location.
From its beginning, Paul Bunyan has worked for and supported conservation of our wildlife and other resources, becoming active in the Washington State Sports Council and the Pierce County Council. Of the outstanding sportsmen of Pierce County, a majority have been or are members of Paul Bunyan.
In 1969 Paul Bunyan received the National Rifle Association’s “Outstanding Club of the Nation” award; previously the club had been runner-up and had received awards from the National Wildlife Federation and the State Sports Council.
When the NRA began the Hunter Safety Training Program in 1948, Paul Bunyan was impressed and in 1952 conducted the first safety training program in Washington State, as recognized by the NRA. During the next several years, Paul Bunyan worked with the Washington State Sports Council and the State Game Department, pressing for legislation making safety training mandatory for juveniles applying for first licenses to hunt. Legislation was passed in 1957 and our Club was greatly instrumental in starting the program and in the training of both juveniles and adults who wanted to instruct.
In 1960, Paul Bunyan became the Nation’s first rifle club to be officially certified as a tree farm. Much of the capital required to extend the target butts in 1968 was derived from selective logging using tree farming equipment under the supervision of Forestry Officials.
Paul Bunyan is especially proud of the thousands of people who have learned to safely enjoy the shooting sports, developed firearm handling skills, become ethical hunters, and memorable competitors. Our graduates of the Hunters Education Program contribute the management of the State's game resources. Our Junior Program participants have earned collage scholarships, developed sportsmanship traits, served our nation as members of our armed forces, become law enforcement officers and first responders, and have represented our nation as members of the US Olympic Team. In each of our shooting disciplines our members and guests find others that share their passions for the multitude of shooting styles.
Paul Bunyan strives to be a responsible member of the community and have changed the facility as the local community expands into lands surrounding the club. Baffle systems have been installed on the pistol and rifle ranges. Our NRA Sponsored Firearm Courses are open to the public and before hunting season each year we invite members of the community to come in and insure their firearms are ready for their hunt.
In 2016 a new Education and Training Center was build to increase the opportunity to continue to provide our membership, guests, and the community with a facility that promotes the values of our club and our community.
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