Over 100 Years Of Work
Organize in March 1919 as Ellensburg Sportsmen Association with 75 charter members and dues of 50 cents per year. President, Austin Miers and Secretary-Treasurer, J.H. Van Gusen.
Other than our organizing documents, no other documents providing details of club work are available dated prior to 1944, presumably due to several clubhouse moves and subsequent shuffling of files between members, before securing a central storage location. Very regrettable.
1944 - 1949
1944 – Club concerned about decrease in game. Begin research to determine number of cattle and sheep grazing Wenatchee and Snoqualmie National Forests. Contact State Sports Council asking that “there be no open season on cow elk in Kittitas County for the duration of the war, to protect our elk so that our boys in the service may have some game when they get home.” Bill introduced by state Senator McCarran to kill Naneum Elk Herd. Club presses for a game management plan to ensure game have adequate habitat in face of ranchers grazing. Club sells indoor rifle club property.
1945 – Ask Game Department to purchase the site known as Tjossem’s Mill Pond and maintain as a permanent game refuge for migrating birds. District Fire Warden reports to club 25% of past fires caused by hunters. Too often hunters build warming fires and then leave them. Club hosts predator drive to decrease number of magpies preying on gamebirds. Magpies trapped and released carrying a War Bond payable to the hunter.
1946 – Club joins Cascade Field & Stream Club to stop polluting of Yakima River: raw sewage from South Roslyn and washer at coal mines using a chemical that is killing fish. Ask Game Department what they intend to do to prevent deer and elk from drowning in the Highline Canal. Club creates two committees to take care of shooting needs: Trap Club and Rifle Club. Club opposes special season on cow elk in Kittitas and Yakima Counties set by State Game Commission. Work with US Soil Conservation Service on a reseeding program. Speak with Schaake about fish below the slaughter house being caught or found dead with hog hair puncturing their stomachs and intestines. Meet with County Commissioners and request more deputies patrol county roads to stop pheasant poaching before hunting season. Club incorporates.
1947 – Club joins Yakima, Benton and Klickitat County groups to form South Central Washington Sports Council, to deal with local issues and give area a stronger voice at Washington Sports Council. Contact Stream Pollution Commission to survey conditions on the branch of Wilson Creek which flows through Ellensburg. Magpie bounties continue to reduce preying on gamebirds. Reverend Eugene Duffy captivates February Club meeting with tales of his hunting experiences in Kittitas Valley. September meeting preceded by showing of “two reels of colored film.” About 90 boy scouts, scout officials and parents attended. After films all enjoyed ice cream and soda pop. Then scouts were “excused so that they might get home by 9:30p.m.”
1948 – Lease airport property and buildings to create a clubhouse and trap grounds. Half of the funds come from members who either personally loan the club money or sign a $100 bank note. Stan Peterson loaned the Club $1000 to purchase targets and ammunition. All loans were repaid on schedule. Recommend to Game Commission there be a closed season on upland birds and no cow elk season north of Manastash Creek. Cascade Field & Stream files an injunction to prevent Wenas-Taneum special hunt or, if necessary, to file charges against Game Commission for the destruction of elk herd. Kittitas Club requests Game Commission lease suitable land exclusively for big game. Cascade Field & Stream visits Club and expresses views regarding possible extermination of Colockum herd and Taneum area elk trouble.
1949 – Club helps Game Department with winter (48-49) feeding of birds and elk, and helps with elk count. Big Game Committee following stockmen/Game Department meetings regarding number of elk to be taken from certain areas. Squaw Creek antelope herd causing much damage in Badger Pocket. Club votes to recommend Game Commission abolish herd. Poor duck hatch this year. Club considering what can be done.
1950 - 1959
1951 – Gamebirds scarce in valley. No quail seen, few chukars. Concerns regarding cattle overgrazing public lands to the detriment of big game ongoing. Members continue sending representatives with recommendations to Game Commission meetings.
1952 – December sees a large holdover of gamebirds. Members hope for good brood stocks.
1953 – Trap Club enters Spokesman Review Shoot. Special season in Teanaway nets 30 bulls, 50 cows. National Parks Association Executive Secretary corresponds with Washington State Big Game Council regarding “efforts of certain interests to freeze grazing “rights” on the public domain, and to emasculate the federal agencies that administer these lands.” Club joins Washington State Sports Council. Recommends repel of Sec 35G chapter 238 Laws of
1949, “The present leasees of such state owned lands shall be allowed to graze without cost such number of livestock as shall be determined by the Game Commission, Commissioner of Public Lands and a representative of the Washington Cattlemen’s Association on the basis of the capacity of such lands for this purpose, that the population of elk will not be more than 3,000 west and south of the Yakima River in Yakima and Kittitas Counties.”
1954 – Club continues predator control program to reduce magpie numbers, thereby improving gamebird populations. Contact Game Department regarding elk and deer damage to Knudson Ranch. Recommend: bull only elk season; 300 doe permits between Reecer Creek and Colockum; 1,000 in Teanaway. Game Department responds that they will wait to tally winter kill.
1955 – Trap shooting participation down. Some cite the $5 per year as too expensive, other members have moved away or retired. Club working to increase interest in the sport. Game Department reviews doe damage on Knudson Ranch and determines animals were yarding up for winter and would spread out again. Club sponsors a boy to Junior Conservation Camp at Orcas Island. Game Protectors report 1,406 head of elk in the county. Club buys a loading
tool to reduce shooting costs. Interest revived. Club President attends Seattle meeting of Big Game Council and Stockmen Committee, but meeting was closed-door and Wilkins was not allowed in.
1956 – Chukar and quail not doing well during winter. Club looks into setting up feed station. Game Protector Anderson speaks to club. Deer winter range degraded by grazing cattle. Long winter is threatening a terrific loss. Water spectre laid to rest. Club refused to pay for irrigation neither wanted nor used. County Commissioners finally paid bill and in return Club repairs buildings. Win-win. Club sets up Advisory Group at Chamber of Commerce to assist outside hunters. Advise where to hunt, best places to hunt, and asks they foster good hunter-farmer relations. Dale Chinn, new Game Farm Superintendent speaks to Club about improving conditions and methods to produce more and better birds for sportsmen.
1958 – Club recommends Aksel Pederson as State Game Director.
1959 – Club places 18.26 acres of its leased property into Soil Bank as a Conservation Bird Refuge. Trap shooting is a big activity at the Club.