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Clay shooting range in Susquehanna County has been busy since reopening

Clay shooting is providing outdoor activities for some, but charities are hurting with no large fundraisers allowed to be held on the property.

SPRINGVILLE, Pa. — All is quiet now at Rock Mountain Sporting Clays near Montrose, and it was like this for some time after Governor Wolf ordered the closure of non-life-sustaining businesses on March 19 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"There was no day that went by that I got a phone call or an email, or text, or message asking, 'Are you going to open up again soon?'" said Mike Koneski, owner of Rock Mountain Sporting Clays.

With social distancing protocols in place, Rock Mountain was able to reopen its doors on May 2, and it's been busy ever since.

"I think we're going to be busy, no matter if it's a holiday or not. Since we reopened, weekends were always busy for us, but we're busy now from when we open till the last shooters come off the course," continued Koneski.

The owners of Rock Mountain Sporting Clays may be back in business, but a big part of their operation is hosting fundraisers, but large gatherings can't happen.

That hurts the bottom line for nonprofit organizations that they partner with.

"These events get canceled, so it's affecting the charities. It's not just our business. Hotels, motels, restaurants, but the charities are taking a hit, and it's going to show."

With state shooting ranges closed and people wanting to find new outdoor activities, this has given Rock Mountain an opportunity to welcome first-timers to the sport of clay shooting.

"We have mother, father, and couple of kids coming out, and we split them up into two groups and teach them how to handle the guns safely and how to start getting into sporting clays."

As the weather gets warmer and people want to be outside, if you're not into hiking, fishing, or golf, this is one way to get your adrenaline rush and fresh air.

"One of the best things you can do for your mental health and your physical health and immune system is be outside doing something. Out in the sun, out in the fresh air, you're doing something you enjoy."