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Old 10-30-2007, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Alaska- On the Bering Sea
249 posts, read 451,521 times
Reputation: 84

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Hello all,

I am considering a move to Bethel for a job at the local hospital.
I have read up quite a lot about the culture and lifestyle there and am ok with it mostly. (Except some of the food costs, but oh well...)

Main question is whether there are a decent amount of ranges available for the various firearm shooting sports- my main hobby.
I am really not much of a hunter and truly enjoy target practice and competition.
Any thoughts are welcomed!

Best,
-Merlin
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Old 10-31-2007, 01:05 AM
 
Location: land of quail, bunnies, and red tail hawks
1,463 posts, read 2,198,604 times
Reputation: 3372
Warptman may be able to better answer this since he's still in Bethel, but when I left four years ago, there was only one shooting range. Believe me, it's probably unlike any shooting range you've ever seen! (Picture a sand pit, homemade target stands, no bench rests, etc.) Good news, though, is there are several shooting sport enthusiasts in Bethel--all really good guys (at least the ones I know!). They'd probably appreciate your help with local programs in the schools/community.
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Old 10-31-2007, 01:09 AM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,030 posts, read 22,526,447 times
Reputation: 12272
They shut down the shooting range a few years back, but not to worry, winter is almost here and you can go shooting on the river somewhere out of town. The shooting range got shut down because of a subdivision that went up behind it in the past few years.
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:18 AM
 
Location: land of quail, bunnies, and red tail hawks
1,463 posts, read 2,198,604 times
Reputation: 3372
Quote:
Originally Posted by warptman View Post
They shut down the shooting range a few years back, but not to worry, winter is almost here and you can go shooting on the river somewhere out of town. The shooting range got shut down because of a subdivision that went up behind it in the past few years.
I know the one in the sand pit was shut down for the reasons mentioned. However, what about the one the troopers use? Come to think of it, I believe it's off limits and one needs a key to access it. (We had access, but we weren't troopers.)

When we left, there was talk about developing a range out behind the dump. I take it that never happened? Others were also conspiring to convert the old school bus barn into an indoor range. I'm assuming that never happened, either.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Alaska- On the Bering Sea
249 posts, read 451,521 times
Reputation: 84
Darn,

Thanks for the information!
I kinda figured I could go shooting in the tundra somewhere but was really hoping for a "real" range to practice with other folks at.
I really enjoy competition and somehow plinking,although great fun, is not quite the same.

And, as long as the topic is shooting, is there at least a good gun shop in the area, or do I have to fly to the city to get supplies?
Also, how would I connect to those people in Bethel that really enjoy hobby shooting; being new in town that would likely be difficult.

I am supposing that people there are not afraid to discuss firearms due to the nature of the wilderness environment they live in- likely be seen more as a tool than a defensive weapon is my guess.
Currently I am in New Orleans at a large hospital and even the mention that I own a firearm, much less enjoy shooting it, is NOT good due to very anti-gun sentiments in the city.
We have one of the highest murder rates in the nation- five people last weekend alone- and looking at the Alaska stats your state is a very safe and peaceful place to live.

Best,
-Merlin
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:32 AM
 
Location: land of quail, bunnies, and red tail hawks
1,463 posts, read 2,198,604 times
Reputation: 3372
Quote:
Originally Posted by spleenificus View Post
And, as long as the topic is shooting, is there at least a good gun shop in the area, or do I have to fly to the city to get supplies?
Also, how would I connect to those people in Bethel that really enjoy hobby shooting; being new in town that would likely be difficult.
Hal Jones has a gun shop on Watson's Corner (near the AC store). He'll work with you to get whatever you need. He'll also be able to provide names of like-minded individuals. Another source for names is Janet Athanas at the Teen Center. She is head of 4H and heavily involved in Ducks Unlimited, so she'll also be able to get you started.

While most people in Bethel are supportive of firearms, you will find people who are dead set against them. Bethel was home of one of the earliest school shootings, so it's still a raw subject for some people.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Alaska- On the Bering Sea
249 posts, read 451,521 times
Reputation: 84
Great!

Thanks for the specifics.
I had no real hope that there would be a gun shop in the town, but knowing that there is really helps my decision to move along.

I had also read bout that kid who took his foster parent's shotgun to school and killed the principal and another student.
Very unfortunate circumstance indeed.
There will always be folks who are against firearm ownership, just a fact of life.
However I suspect in a more peaceful climate most folks won't be too reactionary about it.
New Orleans is so violent that the Army actually sends its combat surgeons here to practice real-life trauma medicine due to our high number of shootings per year.
Now that's a sad statement...

Best,
-Merlin
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