BRINKLEY, Ky. — A fish and game club in Knott County has reopened as a place where hunters and anglers can practice their skills as well as working on creating opportunities for underprivileged youth.
Shawn Owens, the owner of BoonerOutfitters.com and a board member at the Carr Creek Fish and Game Club, said that the club was once a large part of Knott County but as members aged, moved or lost interest it fell by the wayside. He and a few others are working to fix that.
The Carr Creek Fish and Game Club is the only one of its kind in the surrounding counties, Owens said, and its members are hoping that the renewed popularity of hunting and fishing through Discovery and History Channel shows like American Guns, Top Shot and River Monsters will spur the club’s growth.
In the two months since the club has reopened, over 100 members have joined, some from Perry County. At their last meeting they swore in 19 new members. The club offers multiple shooting ranges and a stocked pond of crappie and bass.
“We have a pistol range, shot gun range, rifle range, and then bow range, and black powder,” said Owens.
Along with the ranges and pond they have a club house, and picnic shelters. In total the club has 30 acres of land.
The club was started and built in the 1960s and became an officially sanctioned club in the 1980s. As many of those original members passed away, the club became inactive and the property has been vacant since 2004. Beginning in May, the club officially reopened and many of the over 100 members have pitched in to bring it back.
“When we started up here the weeds were chest high, you couldn’t see the building,” said Owens.
Since then they have been able to clear much of the property and are working on installing dozens of new targets. While many of these targets are set up for target practice, others are set up for realistic hunting practice such as the bow range.
“We have a bow range which is set up around the pond,” said Owens. “We will have 30 targets to shoot from realistic positions … from tree stands (and) from behind trees.”
Along with promoting outdoor sportsmanship in the area, the club is also working to help underprivileged youth find focus. They are hoping to start camps as early as this fall for children.
“If it is one kid than we help, one kid and give them an alternative or something to do other than drugs or alcohol, or something like that,” the work will be worth it, Owens said.
Learning to hunt and fish really helped Owens at a time when he needed direction, he continued. He had a strained relationship with his father and acted out because he didn’t have a constructive way to release his frustrations.
“When I was growing, up I was a terror,” said Owens.
Because he did not have a male role model in his life to learn from, he said he missed out on learning some of the basics.
“I didn’t know how to change the oil in my own car until I opened my own garage,” said Owens. “I really didn’t learn anything until my step-dad came along and he was the guy that taught me the outdoors and taught me how to shoot a bow, how to fish.”
Owens said that it is important for him and the others in the club to help the next generation and teach them not only life skills, but focus and a constructive use of time and energies.
To help pay for getting the club ready to host camps and to continue to improve the facilities they will be hosting a trap shoot on August 4 that is open to the public. The entry fee is $10 with food provideded at and extra cost.
To find out more information about the Carr Creek Fish and Game Club or join the upcoming trap shoot you can contact Shawn Owens at (606) 276-3703 or email him at Shawn.Owens@booneroutfitters.com. You can also contact Fairley Mullins at (606) 785-4371.