The Mt. Airy Chapter of the IWLA is a wildlife conservation and shooting club, with a 10 position trap range, an 18 position archery range (in the woods), a 100 yard rimfire range, a 25, 50, 100, 200, and 300 yard big bore range, and a 25 yard pistol range. The rimfire, big bore, and pistol ranges all have covered pavilion firing positions. Hunting is permitted on the club property (over 150 acres) during hunting season, when all ranges are closed.
The Mount Airy Rod & Gun Club was organized in 1946 by local residents interested in hunting, fishing, and wildlife. The club was incorporated in 1948. Also in 1948, the club purchased the 152 acre Devilbis farm for $3,800. To accomplish this, the club sold stock certificates for $25 each, a maximum of 12 shares per member; a total of $3,500 was raised in this way.
In the 1940’s and 50’s, the club was active in wildlife preservation, farming and raising money through various games of chance. In 1956, the club leased the 25 acres on the west side of Woodville Road for use by the Mount Airy Boy Scouts to Calvary Methodist Church of Mount Airy for a period of 99 years at $1 per year.
In the early 60’s, our club started raising pheasants to turn loose. The club purchased outdoor lights to allow members to shoot trap at night. We became more active in trap shooting and began participating in the Heart of Maryland shoots. Four new trap fields were installed to the right of the club. At the same time that the trap fields were being installed, our first 100 yard rifle range was build. It is still in use as our .22 rim-fire range.
In 1965 the club decided to join the Izaak Walton League of America. The Mount Airy Rod & Gun Club name was changed to the Mount Airy Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America, Inc.
In 1968, the club joined the Maryland State Sportsman’s Association and began registered trapshooting. Our first ATA Red Rose shoot was held on May 3rd & 4th of 1969. In 1978 the club joined the National Rifle Association. The club was instrumental in getting Maryland House Bill 1655 passed; this bill protected gun clubs from the state law governing noise. The club has on display the ink pen used by Governor Hughes to sign the bill into law.