The Hernando Sportsman's Club, Inc. was founded in January 1980 as the Hernando County Rifle & Pistol Club, Inc. It was formed to fill a need for an organized shooting fraternity in Hernando County and the surrounding areas. The main purpose of the club is to support and encourage the legitimate and safe use of firearms, encourage good sportsmanship and patriotism.
The club began with eleven people who met at the North Campus of PHCC in January 1980. Among the Club's first accomplishments was obtaining a place to shoot. The Club used the McDonald Mine east of Brooksville as a range for several years. In 1983, the Club obtained permission to use another old mine off of Weatherly Road just northeast of Brooksville which was about four times larger than the original mine. In 1988, with 140 members and many gun shows and fundraisers behind them, the Club finally purchased the current 80 acre parcel of land off U.S. Hwy 19.
Access to the property, at the time, was through the North side of the parcel. Initial zoning and permitting was finally accomplished after approximately 3 years and construction began. During this initial period, the Club did not actually have a range to use but through many fundraisers and events, the Club managed to grow and retain it's members.
Work began on the 200 meter range and the trap range. Access to the Club was obtained through a lease with the State for use of the current road into Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management area. In February,1992, the Club finally hosted it's first open house on the Trap Range which was somewhat completed. Construction continued on the 200 meter range and also began on the 100 yard Open Range. The 100 yard Open Range would become a general purpose range. The 50 yard range was completed in 2002 and now provides Bullseye shooters with one of the largest competition ranges in Florida. Construction continues today as funds permit with a sporting clays range, and an archery range. Future plans include a 'Hogan's Alley' range and, of course, a clubhouse.
Various events held at the range include trap, night trap, Skeet, Five Stand, Hi Power Rifle matches, IHMSA Silhouette Matches , SASS Cowboy Matches, Bullseye Matches, International Pistol Matches, Action Rifle Matches, Bowling Pin Matches, Muzzle loading Matches, Youth 22 Rifle, Youth Shotgun, Machine Gun Shoots and more.
Recognizing the significant contributions the hunting community makes to promote responsible environmental activities, the Hernando Sportsman's Club provides Hunter's Education Classes to over 200 people per year. This work is done under the guidance of the Florida Wildlife Commission. Hunter's Education Classes throughout Florida and those hosted by the Club result in a significant financial contribution of $3,000,000 per year to the State of Florida from the United States Government under terms of the Pitman-Roberts act. The Hernando Sportsman's Club also has an active youth training program. Over 300 kids from Boy Scouts of America, Explorers, Sea Cadets and High School ROTC programs come to the range each year to learn firearms safety and marksmanship without cost.