Frequently Asked Questions
– your questions answered here –
1. Do I need to be a member at Silver Willow?
It pays to be a member! Members can easily book shoot times online (without a guide), as well as enjoy discounted pricing on carts, shells, and more. You are welcome to check the benefits of becoming a member and submit an application while openings are still available.
2. What is a PAL license?
Answer: PAL stands for Possession and Acquisition License issued by the Federal Government and is required to own or purchase a firearm or ammunition in Canada. This license replaced the old FAC. Successful completion of a one-day Canadian Firearms Safety Course is required to apply for a PAL license.
3. Where can you take the course to get your PAL license?
Answer: Silver Willow offers a Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC) every month for both restricted and non-restricted firearms. This is a one day course and includes an instructional handbook. To register or for more information please call 403-337-2490.
4. Can I rent a shotgun at Silver Willow?
Answer: Yes, a variety of quality shotguns are available for rent by shooters holding a valid PAL license. Renting a gun is a good way to “test drive” a model or brand of gun you are interested in buying.
5. What types of guns are used or available at Silver Willow?
Answer: Only shotguns are allowed on the premises. People use a variety of shotguns – pump, semi automatic, as well as over / under shotguns in 12 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge and 410 gauge. Barrel must be 26″ or longer – exceptions for youth and female shooters who require a small model shotgun. Tactical shotguns are prohibited.
6. Does Silver Willow sell shotguns?
Answer: Yes, we are dealers for Browning, Winchester, Salvinelli, and Zoli. We sell both new and used shotguns.
7. Can I try a shotgun at Silver Willow before I purchase it?
Answer: Yes, if you bring your PAL, we have a selection of different shotguns available to try before you buy.
8. Can I buy Shotgun shells at Silver Willow?
Answer: Yes, as long as you have a valid PAL. We sell in individual shell boxes of 25, in Winchester, Federal, Remington, and Challenger as well as in case lots.
9. Can I bring my own shotgun?
Answer: Yes, however you need to have a valid PAL license, and the barrel length must be 26 inches or greater.
10. Can I bring my own shotgun shells?
Answer: Yes, the shot size should not be larger then 7.5 and no more than 1 and 1/8th oz load. This is called a “target load” shell.
11. What is the liability waiver about?
Answer: All activity on the Silver Willow grounds is at your own risk; you must be aware that live ammunition is being fired on the grounds. The liability waiver is a required process for each person who enters the property, each and every time. Each person MUST sign. A parent or legal guardian must sign for minors (youth waiver can be found here).
12. What is the alcohol policy at Silver Willow?
Answer: We have chosen not to be a licensed facility and there is ZERO tolerance for drinking and shooting.
Consumption of alcohol is ONLY permitted at the club when the following three conditions have been met:
- All firearms and ammunition are securely stored away and inaccessible to those consuming alcohol.
- A fully catered meal is provided
- A liquor permit is in place – a liquor permit can be purchased at any liquor store or online; our address is 30133 Range Road 20 Mountain View County. Please bring your permit on the day of the event so it can be posted. Unfortunately we are unable to provide refrigeration space for alcohol, please bring your own coolers and ice. Alcohol consumption is ONLY permitted in the lodge or the cookhouse (whichever is on the liquor license).
We do not sell alcohol on our premises.
13. Can someone who has never shot a shotgun try this sport?
Answer: Yes, we recommend that a experienced shooter go with you the first time or a hired guide/ instructor. Shooting the new super LOW recoil shells is recommended for first timers as well as the shorter course.
14. How much recoil (kick back) is there from a shotgun?
Answer: Depends on which shells you use. There are heavy target loads, light target loads and the new low recoil shells. The low recoil loads have approximately 50% less recoil and less noise than regular loads. Don’t bring your grandpa’s old Duck or Goose hunting shells that kick like a horse !!
15. What can I expect from a booked instruction/ private lesson?
Answer: The instructor will teach you about gun safety, the best posture, swing stance, and the best way to hold the gun. Eye dominance and general gun fit are also covered. Shooting tips for success and suggestions to help improve your understanding and ultimately your scores!!
16. Can I bring guests?
Answer: Yes, as a member, you can bring up to 4 guests. Please note, guests are subject to a day fee of $10 for liability and insurance purposes. Your children and spouse DO NOT require a Guest Day Fee. Additionally, you can upgrade your membership to bring unlimited guests (no Guest Day Fees) – see our Members page for details.
17. Can I bring a junior shooter (under 18 years of age) out that is not my child?
Answer: Yes, however you will need to fill out our child waiver form prior to shooting. They will also be subject to the Guest Day Fee of $10.
18. What is the EZPull system?
Answer: Silver Willow uses a wireless target release system called “EZPull”. The system will throw single targets, report targets and true pair targets. EZPull can also be programmed to delay the target launch release when you are shooting alone. The system is activated by a Silver Willow Clay Card which Shooters are given when they purchase either 50 or 100 targets.
19. Guided Guest - Why do I need a guide if I have my PAL and am an experienced shooter?
Answer: As of January 1, 2018, Silver Willow is a membership-based club. In order to use our facilities as a non-member, you must either be accompanied by a member or guide. To accommodate newcomers or occasional shooters, we have created a Guided Guest option and provide you with a guide.
20. Guided Guest - What does the Guide do?
Answer: Guest guides are experienced Silver Willow Members and are present to ensure safety. They will be as interactive as you wish them to be: If you wish to shoot without interaction, guides will stand back (unless they notice any safety issues). If you have questions, the guest guide will help. The guest guide interacts with you based on what you require.
21. Guided Guest - Do I need a Guide if I am shooting on the Duck Pond?
Answer: Yes, in order to shoot anywhere on the property, you must have a member / guest guide with you.
22. Guided Guest - Why can't I book a Guided Guest shoot time during the week?
Rural Address: 30133 RR 20, Mountain View County
Mailing Address: Box 974, Carstairs, AB T0M 0N0
Winter Hours Nov 1 – Mar 31
Thursday – Sunday
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Open Friday – Sunday only for the month of January.
Summer Hours Apr 1 – Oct 31
Wednesday – Thursday
9:00 am – 8:00 pm (ceasefire at 7:55pm)
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
9:00 am – 5:00 pm (ceasefire at 4:55pm)