Range looking for a home

Craig's air pistol shooters have had four homes in the past three years and the loss of their last one has nearly meant the end of the team.

Three shooters remain of the nearly 40 who started. Those three stuck only because league sponsor Tim Osborn lets them shoot in his basement.

Osborn's son, Ari, was a national champion shooter in the 14 and younger age bracket.

"He's the one we do this for," he said.

When air pistol shooters had space at the Centennial Mall, there were about 12 children and 10 adults participating, as well as about 20 4-H shooters.

At its last location, what is now Homemakers Furniture store, there were seven to 12 children involved.

When they moved out because the building had been leased, about three stuck with the program.

"It's really difficult to get a club going when you've got no place to go to," Osborn said.

The club was in two mall stores and also has had space in the old armory.

Jody Lee, 4-H shooting instructor, said he has several children who would enroll in air pistol or air rifle shooting if there was a facility.

The problem, he said, is the programs that support shooters are nonprofit and need grant funds or donations to run.

"You can't charge enough for a shooter to come in and use the facility," he said. "It just wouldn't be feasible."

Osborn thinks the league has negotiated a three-year lease on a building, but Lee said that deal did not work out.

Laura Tyler, an Olympic shooter who coaches the Craig league team, was unavailable for comment.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210 or by e-mail at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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