An Auntie of mine came into our store this week and it was very interesting to me to learn that she’s never shot a gun before. Ever! She walked into the store, eyes wide like saucers, and exclaimed it was “so weird to see so many guns”. Of course I want to be the one who teaches her to shoot for the first time! Like her, I’m sure there are many people within the city who share the same background.
I’ll be the first to say that when you walk into our store your eyes are exposed to a large collection of rifles, shotguns, and handguns; it’s truly like a candy store for those of us immersed in gun culture. I’m desensitized to the visual impact of firearms due to my role in the industry, and long since forgotten what it feels like to be around firearms as a beginner, but I do understand first impressions mean everything to someone who has little to no experience with a firearm. This got me to thinking about a few things those beginners should know and look for when they walk into this sweet facility we built with help from local people. It is truly unique to Prince Albert and to Saskatchewan.
Safety is first, no matter what. We care deeply about the firearms industry and so it goes that we follow all the rules and regulations as governed by Canadian laws. Firearm possession is a great responsibility and we model the proper storage, display, and handling of firearms and ammunition every single time. Some of the laws are difficult to understand for those new in the gun world but we strive to answer all your questions and will do our best to find out if we don’t have an immediate answer. We offer firearm safety and education courses on a regular basis so all citizens in our city and surrounding area have access to reliable and up to date firearm education.
We’ve built this to share with the community. We want everyone to enjoy firearms as much as we do. Our geographical location alone should dictate to us the importance of the knowledge required to survive in and with the wilderness. We are rather isolated up here and hunting and survival have been a part of this area for centuries. I choose to give my family and future generations a priceless gift as I pass down knowledge of our home and how to survive the harshness it will always produce. As we can provide a fabulous space for learning, I am also interested in any ideas for outdoor education and more than happy to help facilitate discussion and education where possible.
When you walk into the store, we want you to feel comfortable. The camo coloured painted walls are an ode to hunting and the outdoors. We really wanted the warmth of the natural world to shine through in the store. We understand the skepticism, stigma, and fear arbitrarily attached to firearms and we believe there is no value in maintaining those beliefs, especially as Prince Albert is the “Gateway to the North” and continues to focus on the importance of an active outdoor lifestyle. When you walk in, notice how warm and soothing the colours are – it’s peaceful and hopefully brightens that moment in your day.
Again, nature truly has its moment to shine where we have thousands of rounds of ammunition sitting out on display, highlighted by rows upon rows of handcrafted live edge shelves. Heith Olmstead, co-owner, created and installed these and they fit in perfectly. As a general contractor and businessman, Heith has gone the distance to provide Prince Albert with amazing opportunities in the tourism and recreational industries within the city. When you walk in you’ll also notice hundreds of boards of fresh cut lumber gracing the walls including the enormous AXE wooden sign created and built by Yours Truly, co-owner. The large sign weighs hundreds of pounds and required four large men, a winch, scaffolding, and numerous large bolts to secure it. The back of the sign is inspired by nature, specifically mountains and moonshine.
The targets in the Axe Lodge are stumps from trees that are around 100 years old. They’re giants. I don’t treat this lightly as I understand their beauty and magic yet the tragedy of their demise; with that said, the pieces were unused ends and thus shall be admired for as long as possible before they succumb to a roasting marshmallow fire. They should be admired for their ability to produce over a thousand smiles and counting.
Wherever you are in Prince Albert or Saskatchewan, or the world for that matter, please stop by our gun shop whether you’re an Auntie, experienced hunter, 3 gun fanatic, biathlete, law enforcement officer, or a complete stranger to firearms and the shooting sports. Your experience in our little fortress is 100% important to us as we aim to make firearm ownership just a little bit less weird and a whole lot more awesome.