Deep River Sporting Clays & Shooting School

This Friday’s Welcome to Sanford Business of the Week is Deep River Sporting Clays & Shooting School, a local shooting school and sporting clays course which has been in Sanford for over 30 years.

In 1989, Bill Kempffer opened Deep River in order to share his love of the outdoors and shooting sports with the community. Kempffer wanted his business to cater to all levels of experience, with a focus on teaching new and novice shooters.

Current owner Ed Strickland began working at Deep River in 2013 and instantly fell in love with the business and the services they provided. In November of 2020, Strickland took over as the owner of Deep River. Strickland has a passion for teaching and sharing his love of the sport, and hopes to carry on the long legacy of the business.

Deep River Sporting Clays & Shooting School offers what Strickland calls a “Carolina outdoor experience,” with customers shooting a variety of clay targets at a thirteen-station sporting clays course spread across their beautiful 65 acre property. Deep River also has a Pro Shop and gunroom, as well as a first-rate shooting school where beginners can learn the basics of using shotguns and handguns.

Deep River also offers a membership which provides a discount for their activities, as well as access to their private eight-lane shooting pavilion and pistol range.

Strickland loves running a business in Sanford,

“We still have that small town feeling, that is what drew me to Lee County and Sanford. The business community is tight knit, always willing to help each other to be successful. We have a strong Chamber Of Commerce and many other organizations”

For 21 years, Deep River has hosted The Southern Side By Side Spring Classic Championship & Exhibition on the last weekend in April. Each year, the Spring Classic brings people from around the world to Lee County to view and participate in the competition. This year, the competition will run from April 22nd to the 25th, and will include food trucks, over 60 vendors and custom shotgun makers on the property. Admission to view the show is free at the gate.

The team at Deep River also aims to support the community, holding monthly events that benefit local charitable organizations including The Stevens Center, The Boys and Girls Clubs, Central Carolina Hospital’s Cancer Care Comfort Fund and Toys For Tots. They also use pink targets each October in recognition of breast cancer awareness month, and donate a portion of their proceeds to patients going through cancer treatment. Over the last five years, their CLAYS 4 KAY event has raised over $100,000 for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

If you are interested in learning more about sport shooting, Deep River offers a “Try it Out” package for beginners. This package gives the opportunity for those who have never shot a gun to learn from instructor with a focus on safety as they try their hand a clay shooting.

Visit for more information on Deep River’s services, membership, and events. Follow Deep River Sporting Clays and Shooting School on Facebook for updates on events and special promotions.

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