GunBarrel Hunt Club

In 2023 the Land Trust and GunBarrel Valley Wild Life Preserve forged a partnership to protect 834 acres of vital hunting grounds in Hampshire County.

About GunBarrel Hunt Club

Founded in 1972, the hunt club property contains more than 800 acres of high quality wildlife habitat and some rare plant communities.

Project Type
Property Size
837 acres Acres
Water Features
Streams and adjacent riparian forest
Historical Features
Historical spring house, cemetery with gravestones dating back to the late 1800’s
Scenic Values
Varied terrain with sloping stream bottoms and forests, steep hillsides, narrow ridges, and vertical rock cliffs
Fauna & Flora
Rare plant communities and wildlife habitat

In 2023 the Land Trust and GunBarrel Valley Wild Life Preserve forged a partnership to protect 834 acres of vital hunting grounds in Hampshire County. GunBarrel president George Sempeles underscored the profound meaning this partnership holds for his hunt club, which was founded in 1972:

“Let me emphasize the significance of this undertaking,” he said. “Our hunting club has a rich history spanning over five decades. It has been a place where generations of hunters have bonded with the land, cultivated camaraderie, and developed a profound respect for the outdoors. The decision to join the Cacapon & Lost Rivers Land Trust ensures that our legacy will endure, providing future generations with the same opportunities to connect with the land and foster a love for the great outdoors.”

The property’s natural habitat contains high-quality examples of dry-mesic oak forest, dry oak-pine forest, mixed mesophytic forest, several calcareous forest communities, and small stream riparian habitats. The 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan and 2021 Action Plan for the Cacapon River & Patterson Creek Conservation Focus Area document three rare plant Communities on this parcel: Eastern Ridges Oak-Hickory Graminoid Forest, Ridge and Valley Sugar Maple-Chinquapin Oak Dry Limestone Woodland, and Calcareous Shale Prairie Woodland.

Sempeles hailed the “synergy” between GunBarrel and the Land Trust, emphasizing that it’s “about embracing the responsibility of stewardship” and “recognizing that we are custodians of this land for future generations.” He called the creation of the Trust back in 1990 “a watershed moment for conservation, a beacon of hope for preserving the natural beauty and wildlife habitats we hold dear,” and highlighted the importance of conserving adjoining lands across the region.

“The trust has embarked on a mission that will . . . contribute to the preservation of thousands of acres of land, including those held by our neighboring clubs, the Butch Mills Hunt Club, the Millbrook Hunt Club, and the valuable land owned by our dear friend and club member, Ralph Spaid.”

Members are enthusiastic about the historic new chapter in the story of GunBarrel Valley Wild Life Preserve and surrounding lands. “It’s a chapter that exemplifies the spirit of community, conservation, and responsible stewardship. As we move forward in this exciting journey with the Cacapon & Lost Rivers Land Trust, let us remember the profound impact our actions today will have on the world we leave for tomorrow.”