Hodgdon’s Powder Creek CAS Range

by Tame Bill SASS#30699L / Regulator / President Emeritus

You will remember from the previous newsletter how we had formed the nucleus of what would become Powder Creek Cowboys, Inc. What was not included in that first installment was how we came to partner with Powder Creek Shooting Park in order to build our Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS) range.

The “Cowtown” SASS affiliated club had folded its tent leaving no CAS club in close proximity to the KC metropolitan area. In order to serve the local CAS community a host shooting range was required within the metro area. Being a member of Mill Creek Rifle Club, I made inquiries to determine their level of interest. Having a friend on the board of directors of Powder Creek Shooting Park, Colonel Diamond approached them. A formal presentation was conducted for the PCSP Board of Directors and their approval granted. The shooting park’s General Manager Bill Wyant and Senior Board Member Ray Smith volunteered to assist us with selection of a range site.

Two locations were suggested the first in the low-lying or gulch area where Coon Creek runs through the property. This site was investigated and found to be unsuitable due to the steep access and the possibility of flooding. The second site recommended by Ray Smith was several acres directly behind the high power rifle range berm. While requiring substantial cleanup and earthwork, this site offered easy access and a relatively level plain to build our CAS range.

The Powder Creek Cowboy’s Executive Board with the expertise of Platte County Kid drafted a range construction plan. The goal of which was to build a CAS range that would recreate a main street typical of those found in any of the post civil war Kansas cattle towns. The BOD compiled a list of famous Kansas old west buildings and four were selected: The Alamo Saloon, the premiere gaming and waterhole from Abilene’s turbulent past; Coffeyville’s famous C.H. Condon Bank where the Daltons met their end; Ellsworth’s “Old Reliable House” mercantile where many a Texas Drover shed their homespun garments for their first “store bought” clothes. Every Cattle Town required a Jail cum City Marshal’s office, so the Monticello Jail was mandated. We received research assistance from the Kansas State Historical Society. The Dickinson County Historical Society found a drawing of the Alamo Saloon as no photograph was made of the famous gambling/drinking parlor. Platte County Kid went to work drafting a construction plan with support of the Board.

The construction plan now complete several presentations were made to the Powder Creek Shooting Parks Board of Directors and there approval gained after each meeting. Since our range faces into the club’s property and Powder Creek Shooting Park is surrounded by residential developments, a bullet absorbent baffling system had to be incorporated into our designs. Several designs were tested and the best selected by both Platte County Kid and Al Gehrt then VP of PCSP. Our Board completed a comprehensive range development and operations manual and received the final approval from Powder Creek Shooting Park.

In our next installment, several club members and an industry partner step up to help build our range.