Life is getting more complicated for the area's sportsmen, particularly its shooters and hunters.
At conclusion of the statewide seven-day firearms deer-hunting season on Dec. 5, the former Marathon fuel dealership on Rt. 306 in Kirtland switched to become a Speedway dealership. That change of command also included the end to the station's role as one of the state's few 24/7 deer check-in stations.
And after today the Dunham's Discount Sports store in Willoughby will cease to exist. While never offering a giantic selection of fishing and hunting related items, the store did frequently beat the prices of just about every other area outdoors-minded outlet. This means the selection for hunters, anglers and shooters will narrow only further.
That situation is likewise true for those people looking to have their firearms serviced by a competent gunsmith. Like the matter at Dunham's, today marks the end of the direct gunsmithing service provided at Gander Mountain's Mentor store.
While the super-giant outdoors outfitter has broaden its approach to include Internet and catalog sales, it is shrinking its direct relationship with customers looking to have their handguns, shotguns, rifles and muzzle-loaders serviced, cleaned, blued or whatever.
Instead, Gander Mountain says it will still operate gunsmithing services, but only via a regional process with the headquarters being in Twinsburg.
The soon-to-be-former Gander Mountain gunsmight Ron Paul Duning - however - is expected to soon plant his independent flag off Lost Nation Road in north Willoughby. Details will come once plans are finalized.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn