WILTON — Wilton Fish & Game Association members recently received a grant from the NRA Foundation for $8,292.50 for the drilling of a well and public restroom, according to a news release. The grant was applied with the thought in mind the association would sponsor more adult and youth programs.
The association has conducted many hunter safety courses as well as NRA-sanctioned home protection courses and assisted the Boy Scouts in achieving merit badges for shooting. A sporting clay shooting course with electric trap machine is operational and open to the public on Mondays, weather permitting at 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 462-6792.
The indoor range is a six-station 50-foot range with retrievable targets. Upgraded exhaust fans have been added for the safety of shooters and in 2012 the stations were rebuilt. In 2009, a considerable amount of work was done to the outdoor facility. Grading, bulldozing, fencing around a two station CONEX shooting box was installed on the outdoor range. Many programs have been made available to the public such as a shooting gallery, cowboy shoot, concealed pistol courses and more. A youth league was established in 2010 with youth competing with other club teams and competing at CampPerry in Ohio. The youth league has also established a food service booth for fundraising during many association events, according to the release.
The organization purchased land abutting original acreage in 2011. An archery range is being established and has a 15-foot tree stand which was donated by a member. There are plans to open up some of the property and add a 50-yard outdoor, multi-station 22 LR range with shooting pads that are ADA approved.
This year, members are remodeling the existing kitchen with donated kitchen cabinets, a new ceiling, counter tops and hopefully the flooring. Funds are being raised for the counter top and flooring. Two sinks will be added for future public functions.
Public programs have improved over the last several years. The annual ice fishing derby on Wilson Lake has offered a youth fishing program, Hooked on Fishing, under the instruction of Emily MacCabe from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
This summer a new program, Androscoggin River Two Dam Fishing Derby, is offered to the public with youth categories for the heaviest fish. This last winter, the Ice Out Contest was brought back after several years of non existence. Funds raised are being used for the upgrading of the clubhouse kitchen.
Membership is open and meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. the third Sunday of each month at the facility on U.S. Route 2. For more information, call 897-3027.