WWCCA has its roots in ten men who were avid hunters and fishermen. This group had a keen interest not only in hunting and fishing, but also archery and conservation. They also cared a great deal about conservation efforts statewide. Their discussions and dreams came to fruition in 1938, when the Western Wayne County Conservation Association became a reality. They purchased forty acres of land near Joy and Wayne Roads in Nankin Township. To finance this venture, they sold shares in the club for ten dollars per share. The first development was that of an archery range. As with many things during the early 1940’s further development was put on hold until after World War II.
At that point the first clubhouse was established with the purchase of a government-surplus Quonset hut. In 1954 the first trap field was constructed, but access to the club was limited, and an arrangement had to be made with a neighbor of the club. In return for an access road and its maintenance, the neighbor asked that the club pay $.10 per line of trap. The first day, the club took in $154.00, and trap shooting was off and running in western Wayne County. It’s been one of the club’s most successful sports ever since.
Wayne County’s population expanded quickly, and it became apparent that the existing location would soon be surrounded, and would be impractical to maintain and grow the existing location. The search then started for a new location further out in the county.
The search ended on the border of Wayne and Washtenaw Counties when 62 acres of land was purchased in Plymouth Township, on Napier Road. Construction of a clubhouse and archery range was completed first, soon followed by trap and skeet fields; and rifle and pistol ranges.
In 1985 the club’s acreage was expanded with the purchase of an additional 24 acres with part of Johnson Creek running through it. Johnson Creek is part of the Rouge River Conservation Area. This purchase provided an area where the club could practice its conservation, as well as having a place in which we could observe and protect wild life. Today, that area is constantly maintained. Work parties help keep the creek area clean of debris and fallen trees. They also purchase and plant trees in the conservation area and around the club grounds, and they work actively with various state conservation groups to help protect the natural resources of Michigan.
In the 1970’s came the increased interest in the country’s pioneer heritage, and interest in
muzzleloading grew greatly. People became interested in genuine reproductions of early American firearms, and the ways pioneers lived in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In the early 1980’s the Tonquish Muzzleloader group was founded, and they continue to thrive. Each year they have a “rendezvous” on Labor Day weekend. The public is invited to participate and see how America’s ancestors lived. The group also built and maintains a “walk through” range, in which participants get to shoot at various targets in a woods-like atmosphere.
In the late 1980’s the club continued its expansion with the addition of an airgun range and range house. This facility has been continually updated, and the club hosted World Airgun Field Target Championships on three different occasions; in 1993, 1995, and 1997
A recent project separated the combination 25/50-yard range, and the club built an exclusive 25-yard range for pistol, revolver, and rimfire pistol and rifle shooting. The 25-yard range also has yardage markers for shooting distances from five yards out to twenty-five yards. The 50-yard range is now being improved. With the popularity of reactive targets, one of the shooting lanes has added spinner and other targets which react when hit.
Pistol and revolver shooters participate in a variety of activities and competitions. They regularly hold competitive events such as bull’s-eye and bowling pin top shooting.
Within the rifle discipline is a group which is dedicated to precision and benchrest rifle shooting. They shepherded improvements in the 200-yard rifle range, including the addition of a block house. They host regional matches, and competitors vie for honors in both precision and benchrest competitions.
WWCCA is an associate club with the U.S. Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The CMP and its predecessor, the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice, promote rifle marksmanship, and safe gun handling, as well as youth marksmanship and competition. As such, the club regularly hosts service rifle matches and specialty matches using the M1 Garand rifle. The 200-yard range is also the spot for rifle leagues such as the “belly-shoot” and informal competitions among members.
One of the major activities at the club is the “sighting in” days period, conducted from mid-October, through the day before deer season in November. For a nominal fee, non-members may use the 100-yard and 50-yard rifle ranges to “zero-in” their rifles and shotguns. WWCCA volunteers provide range supervision and technical assistance for hunters, insuring their weapons are safe and accurate.
In the mid-1980’s the interest in America’s western heritage exploded, and the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting was founded. Participants dress in garb of the period (up to 1898), and use period-correct weapons. These include single-action revolvers, Winchester-type rifles, and shotguns (double-barrel, pump, and lever-action). The events include timed action shooting at reactive targets, as well as shooting from “horseback”, wagons, and fixed positions. Each member develops a unique persona, and their “handle” is registered with the Single Action Shooting Society. The “Johnson Creek Regulators” host a number of events, and travel to other clubs, bringing home honors and trophies.
WWCCA has some of the finest shotgun ranges in the area. There are two dedicated skeet fields, a combination trap and skeet field, as well as two dedicated trap fields. Along with the trap and skeet fields is a field devoted to the sport of “Five Stand”. Five Stand is a combination, and expansion of, trap and skeet shooting. From five different shooting stations, shotgunners shoot targets launched from one and/or two of eight different traps. Targets replicate actual game conditions, including “rabbit”, “dying quail”, and a variety of angles and distances. This game provides a real challenge to the beginner or veteran shotgunner.
The club also has regular shotgun leagues, and its members also participate successfully in registered trap and skeet events around the area and country.
Members who enjoy fishing have a department which advises them on the latest fishing techniques, hot fishing locations, and the latest news about fishing rules and regulations in the Great Lakes area.
Among the popular activities at WWCCA is the archery program. We have two separate archery range areas. The first is located on the left side of the drive as you enter the club grounds. Conventional targets are used in that area, with regular competitions held there. Along the Johnson Creek preservation area, a 3-D range has been constructed, using life-size targets to test the archer’s skill in a real-life setting. Archers are regularly challenged with varying target locations and distances.
Women have always been a part of WWCCA. Their interests parallel those of men, and WWCCA long ago recognized the need to nurture and develop women’s shooting sports.
Each year, regular classes are held for women who may have never handled a shotgun, rifle, or pistol. They actively participate in hunter safety programs, and we have a group of “Hot Shots”, who compete in various shotgun sports.
WWCCA is an active advocate and supporter of the Boy Scouts of America and youth shooting organizations. Several times annually we host various Boy Scout troops for weekend campouts at our camping area. They participate in rifle and shotgun, as well as archery events.
WWCCA also actively supports and sponsors youth shooting activities. During the winter months we have indoor archery leagues for youth and sponsor the JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development) program.
WWCCA recently became the home of junior shotgunning. We have the finest group of coaches and sponsors available in the local area. Our youth shotgunners regularly win and place highly in local, state, and national competitions.
WWCCA is an active supporter of charities. We annually make donations to such groups as the Wounded Warrior Project and the United States Marine Corps’ “Toys for Tots” program.
Each year WWCCA hosts several shooting outings for private and charitable organizations. We have hosted the PIME (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions), a Catholic charity, Kids With Chemo, Southern Great Lakes Symphony, and the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, to name a few.
Among the more recent club involvements is the Friends of NRA. This is a program sponsored by the National Rifle Association. We host a dinner and raise funds for shooting programs for youth and women shooters. We regularly receive grants from the NRA which help develop and improve our shooting facilities for our youth and women.
Our clubhouse regularly is available for weddings and other social events.