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1940: 1940 - Pollard’s Pond – Trap Shooting and Rifle Range

Pollard’s Pond, as it was known to the locals, is now the upscale, quiet subdivision known grandly as “The Lakes.”

Pollard’s Pond was the original site for trap shooting and a rifle range. In that era, shooting was literally a family affair. Trap shooting was very popular and one of the first activities to put this area on the map, with sportsmen from other communities coming to test their skills against those of the locals.

Art Pollard*, (well known to this community as a sportsman, businessman and ardent community supporter), along with other family members, purchased the original 160 acres of the pond around 1940. They subsequently purchased a further 160 acres in the mid 1960s. The date when organized trap shooting equipment was installed is somewhat hazy but likely in the late 1950s.

The site overlooking the pond itself included an area for shooters and the ‘bunker’ which housed the actual trap equipment. To the West, a backstop was utilized for the firing of big rifles. Some of the prominent local trap marksmen included Art Pollard, Bryan Cooney, Vergil Willett, Murray Sherritt, Cliff Gunn, Reg Moody and Matt Kobayashi, as well as many others. Vernon’s Art Salt and Kelowna’s Gordon Finch (Finch Road) were regulars. Lore suggests that Art Pollard was hard to beat.

This writer remembers sitting in the bunker with such childhood friends as Ken Witzke and Dan Pretty, loading the clay pigeons on the thrower in a random pattern hoping to catch the waiting shooter off balance. The shooter would call ‘Pull’ and the handle was pulled near the shooter’s box releasing the pigeon. Occasionally we’d hear bird shot striking behind our heads.

The hill beyond the pond must surely contain enough lead to fill a truck. To test the abilities of big rifle shooters, targets on a moving clothesline were used to simulate a running deer (very high tech for the time). These events were very popular with the shooters, their families and spectators who came to both watch the competitions and to enjoy the social opportunity.

The property was sold to the Trethewey family around the mid-1970s and the Oceola Fish & Game Club acquired a new facility on McGowan Road.

Source: Gibbons, Richard. Published in The View, November 2006.

*Art Pollard died on October 8, 2008.