St. Charles County Heritage Museum

New Our Sporting Heritage exhibit the St. Charles County Heritage Museum celebrates recreation

By Brett Auten

Think of it as “Duck Hunt” at Mach speed.

The St. Charles County Heritage Museum unveiled a new exhibit that takes digital hunting to the next level.

The Marksman Training Simulator – which is the cornerstone of the new Our Sporting Heritage exhibit that opened in early December – arrived via Sweden and has the largest video shooting surface in the world and is one of only three of its kind in the United States.

“It has been fun watching people who have hunted all of their lives and are really good shots come in and really enjoy it,” Ryan Graham, St. Charles County Parks Superintendent of Historic Sites said. “At the time, there have been people who have never picked up a gun or fired a shot and by the time they are done they are hitting the target with frequency.”

The interactive digital hunting simulator allows visitors to experience the thrill of hunting duck, deer, bear, and boar, as well as clay targets. It was donated to the parks department by hunting enthusiast August A. Busch III.

“When you aim and fire the computerized gun at the images on the giant screen, it’s as if you are actually there hunting in the woods,” Bettie Yahn-Kramer, St. Charles County Parks Director, said. “This life-like hunting experience at the museum is fun for skilled, as well as new and non-hunters.”

The Marksman Training Simulator is free of charge and is available to rent, even outside of regular business days, for $75 an hour and $200 for two hours. Its realism to actual shooting is a bonus to the most seasoned of shooters.

“A gentleman was here the other day talking about some of the bad habits he had picked up,” Graham said. “With its ability to track and move you can really see what you’re doing. I think it will be a valuable tool and an appreciated asset in St. Charles County.”

The Our Sporting Heritage exhibit celebrates recreation by showcasing the history of hunting and fishing in St. Charles County and Missouri. The main exhibit, which includes the simulator, showcases the history of hunting and fishing in St. Charles County and throughout Missouri, from prehistoric times to modern era. Special artifacts include Native American projectile points, antique fishing equipment, historic punt gun and an interactive display to practice turkey calling. 

Also a welcome addition is a refurbished St. Charles County Amateur Sports Hall of Fame exhibit featuring amateur sports in the county. Bowling balls, shirts, baseball gloves and dartball from days of old are on display. 

“The collection used to be at TR Hughes ballpark and they brought their collection to the museum,” Graham said. “We have taken theirs and supplemented it with items from other historical societies and individuals.”

The High School Athletics exhibit is being finalized and will open early 2017.

The County Heritage Museum at Heritage Park is located at 1630 Heritage Landing, is open to the public from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday – Saturday, and 12 -5 p.m., Sundays. For more information about the museum, call 636-255-6000 or visit the parks department online at www.stccparks.org

CUTLINE: Submitted photo The Marksman Training Simulator – which is the cornerstone of the new Our Sporting Heritage exhibit that opened in early December at The St. Charles County Heritage Museum – arrived via Sweden and has the largest video shooting surface in the world and is one of only three of its kind in the United States.