Wolverine Days, a two-day customer appreciation for Wolverine Supplies, drew crowds from far and wide to Virden area. The business bills itself as a one-stop shop for everything firearms.
One of the impressive highlights of each day was the hourly museum piece demonstrations. Wolverine’s founder John Hipwell fired a WW2 Sten submachine gun, a WW2 M3 Grease gun submachine gun, a 1928 Thompson submachine gun, a Chinese made AK 47, and a WW1 Lewis light machine gun.
People attended over the two days, coming from near and far - all over Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand and even South Africa.
Matt Hipwell, one of Wolverine’s owners, said, “With over 2,500 people in attendance we saw lots of smiles and firsts for people being introduced to the shooting community. There were many highlights at our event including younger children shooting for the first time.”
A group of visitors from New Zealand were in the area for a wedding. They attended Wolverine Days too. “One of this group was a 76-year-old lady named Janet who came for the experience. The look on her face after shooting a .50 calibre rifle was priceless!”
With the shooting range set up and staff ready to help, this was an opportunity for people to handle and try out the newest and best - rifles, handguns and shotguns in a variety of calibres from .22 LR to the ground shaking tank-mounted .50 BMG.
In the words of one young man from Arborg, “I come to try out guns I can’t afford right now.”
Approaching the range, there’s a glint of sun off flying shell casings, smoking guns and an occasional flash of fire. Protective eyewear was advised and ear plugs were provided.
The shooting range is located up the hill from the main store, on the shoulder of the valley facing target-covered slopes. Wolverine staff at every station helped newbies and seasoned shooters alike. Answering questions and giving pointers.
Participants lined up, making decisions on what guns to spend their ammunition tickets on, and just to watch others take aim at the range targets or shoot clay pigeons.
Gun, archery and target reps from over 20 companies were onsite. Many local businesses contributed to provide the guests with welcome packages.
Community groups also got involved. The Splash Park committee greeted guests, the Wallace Fire Department coordinated parking, Scouts put on the BBQ lunch Saturday and the Woodworth Fire Department provided the BBQ lunch on Sunday.