LIHU‘E — As the flat disk launches into the air, the shooter lines up where to fire the shotgun. With a crack of the gun, the disk shatters in the air and a score is logged on a sheet.
Kaua‘i Eco Sporting Clays opened this month on a 12-acre site in a remote valley in Lihu‘e.
The 100 percent eco-friendly range is located on Ma‘alo Road, just up the road from the Kapaia Electric Power Plant.
Calling it “golf with a shotgun,” owner Ben Ellsworth has several rules and regulations shooters are required to follow.
The facility also provides 12- and 20-gage shotguns for shooters to use, but if local shooters are welcome to bring their own shotguns, they are strictly required to use biodegradable steel ammunition provided by the facility in order to eliminate the possibility of harming any animals or the environment.
KESC also strictly forbids any other types of firearms at the facility.
“It’s the safest possible way to shoot a gun,” Ellsworth said. “It’s not even possible for someone to get hurt.”
He requires shotguns be kept open and unloaded as they are transported around the site.
Shooters are required to wear eye protection and hearing protection.
The first time a shooter comes to KESC, they are charged $20 for safety and shooting lessons and includes 25 shots to teach the facility’s rules and ensure there are no accidents.
Tax is added on to any charges.
After the first lessons, the cost is $33 per round and includes 25 bullets, plus $10 for gun rental.
The kama‘aina rate is $23 per round and includes 25 bullets, plus $5 for gun rental.
KESC is also offering 100 memberships at a cost of $100 annually, which then allows participants to shoot a round for $23, which includes 25 bullets, plus $5 for gun rental.
“Members get private times,” Ellsworth said, which allows them to shoot at times when the course is only open to members, along with league play. Members are also able to bring one guest to shoot at the kama‘aina rate.
For keiki ages 12 to 17, with a signed liability waiver, the cost is $15 per round and includes 25 bullets, plus $5 for gun rental.
To check on availability, KESC has a schedule setup at www.KauaiClays.com online.
A dream of Ellsworth’s ever since he was a boy, he got help from Grove Farm to establish the range.
“We understand how difficult it is to start up a business and Grove Farm is aware of how challenging it is for small businesses in general,” said Mike Tresler, senior vice president of Grove Farm.
Ellsworth approached Grove Farm with a business plan, Tresler said, “and we assisted him as much as possible and were happy to support his initiative.”
Tresler said Grove Farm worked through the entire process with Ellsworth on items ranging from operational aspects of his business plan to complex land use issues as well.
With more than 300 different lease agreements with residents and businesses ranging from the economic development sector to
diversified farming and renewable energy sectors, Tresler said,
“Grove Farm continues to focus
on serving the needs of our island community.”
Ellsworth said Grove Farm was fantastic in “helping us out with the land and working side by side with us to get this adventure going.”