|History of Metropolitan Rod & Gun Club|
Incorporated on December 6, 1934, the Metropolitan Rod and Gun Club has been a meeting place for Brooklyn (and New York City) archers and gun sports enthusiasts. A handful of Brooklyn hunters and fishermen became the prime movers in the formation of the Club two years prior, in 1932.
Affiliation with the Long Island Rifle and Pistol Association followed in 1934. In November of 1935 we joined the National Rifle Association. We also affiliated with the New York State Conservation Council Inc. and the Sportsman's Council, Marine District of New York State. In subsequent years Metro affiliated with The Greater New York Pistol League, The Associated Sportsman's Council in Firearms (ASCOF) (now as part of the NYS Rifle and Pistol Association), Kings County Fish and Game Association, Sportsman's Council of Firearms Education (SCOPE), and the Metropolitan Sportsman's Council on Firearms.
Leasing of hunting and fishing grounds began in 1935. In March of 1955 the Club purchased 200 acres of hunting and fishing land in Delaware County, New York. This property in Hancock is known as French Woods, and is adjacent to 400 acres of State land on the south. Since then the Club has acquired approximately 600 additional acres adjoining the existing property, giving us a total of 836 acres of prime hunting lands. In 2018 the Club acquired additional acreage, for a total of 972 acres, recently resurveyed.
Firearms safety has always been a key Club concern. In August 1935 a committee was appointed to examine members' ability to handle firearms safely. Here the officers anticipated by some fifteen years the sense of the present law which makes it mandatory for a person under 21 applying for his first hunting license to present a certificate showing that he has undergone formal instruction in the handling of firearms for hunting safely. In the interest of safe hunting, Metro continues to give the Hunter Safety Course in Rifle, Shotgun and Archery in cooperation with the NRA and the New York State Department of Conservation. Many thousands of prospective sportsmen have completed the course and earned their certificates.
In the early part of 1939 plans were consummated for a Junior organization. This is also the year in which we purchased our building at 162 Pacific Street, Brooklyn. By January of 1940, with the volunteered sweat, muscle and dreams of the members themselves, the building was converted into a modern clubhouse, with meeting rooms, kitchen, projection room and washrooms. The basement became a model six-position fifty-foot rifle and pistol range (recently renovated and equipped with electric target carriers). A second-floor archery range was added later.
During World War II Metropolitan was again in the limelight. Younger instructors enlisted in the armed forces; older members became officers and instructors in the armed forces, and the elder members joined the civilian defense forces. The entire Brooklyn division of the City Patrol Corps, over 5,000 men, was qualified on our range, without accident or cost to the City. In accordance with the National Rifle Association's training program for pe-inductees, our director of training and some dozen qualified instructors trained more than 500 young men in the proper use of firearms.
MetroGun, the Club's official publication, was born in August of 1940. With its imaginative stories and personalized articles it has become an eagerly awaited piece of Club mail.
Today, Metro has over 250 members, representing a cross section of residents of the Greater New York Area.
Metro members have hunted and fished throughout the continental United States, in Canada as far north as the Yukon, and in Alaska and the Arctic Circle. Our members have also visited Africa, the Far East, Mexico and South America.
Metro pistol team members participate in Greater New York Pistol League competitions, and are perennial contenders for top honors in the League. NRA-sanctioned pistol competitions began to be offered in 2017, as well as CMP Aces program events.
The maturity of the organization is perhaps most evident in its up-to-date youth and conservation programs. The Club began fishing and casting instruction for youngsters under sixteen in 1947 at Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn. This program has stimulated the opening of park lakes in other boroughs to juvenile fishing. In 1948 the Club received an Award of Merit from Better Fishing, Inc. "in recognition of the valuable contribution to the youth of America in helping to provide more fishing fun for boys and girls."
One of the Club's outstanding activities has been in connection with New York State's Junior Hunter Training Program. This includes a four-hour course formulated in 1950 by the joint efforts of the State Conservation Department and the National Rifle Association to provide instruction in safe handling of firearms while hunting. Our program has graduated some 3,650 junior applicants. The Boy Scouts of America also asked the Club to assist in its program of teaching the Scouts fishing, archery and riflery during the summer at their Ten Mile River Camp.
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