When Booge Mercer opened Oak Tree Gun Club in 1973, the club consisted of four trap shooting fields, two skeet shooting fields, a trailer, and two outhouses. Booge started Oak Tree Gun Club with a vision in mind - she wanted the club to be a safe haven for recreational shooters for decades to come. Originally, Oak Tree Gun Club was considered a private trap and skeet club, but in the mid 1970's, Booge decided to convert the private club to a public shooting range. During this time, she expanded Oak Tree by adding a clubhouse with a bar and restaurant, and a house to live in. The club has been home to the California Clay Busters, as well as many other shooting clubs, ever since. And many of Hollywood's most notable celebrities have frequently visited Oak Tree's shooting fields in its earliest days. Among the many celebrities that have visited Oak Tree, some names include Charlton Heston, Roy Rogers, Steven Spielberg, and director John Milias. California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, also visited shortly after filming Conan the Barbarian (1982), and Robert Stack of The Untouchables (1959-1963) was often seen sipping coffee at the clubhouse on Saturday mornings.
In August of 1999, Booge Mercer died of diabetes at the age of 73. At this time, all of her possessions, including the gun club itself, were donated to the American Diabetes Association. That's when Jim Mitchell, a longtime shooter at Oak Tree Gun Club, purchased the club. His goal was to continue and expand upon what Booge Mercer had started.
In 2000, along with his daughters Betsy James and Katie Mitchell, and brother Tim Mitchell, Jim began the renovation and expansion of the Oak Tree Gun Club. His vision was to make Oak Tree Gun Club an amusement park for shooters ¬- a place where you could go, shoot have a meal, and drink a beer. He started by remodeling the clubhouse, expanding and modernizing the shooting venues to include a sporting clays course and a pistol range, not to mention opening a gun shop. Oak Tree continues to expand the firearm industry with modern state-of-the-art equipment.
Oak Tree Gun Club is steeped in tradition from its founding days under the direction of Booge Mercer to the present. In the beginning of 2010, Jim Mitchell turned over the reins to this growing and prosperous shooting enterprise to his two daughters, Betsy James and Katie Mitchell. They took their father's challenge and formed California Gun Girls, LLC, to continue the tradition of Oak Tree Gun Club.
Today, Oak Tree Gun Club offers the most complete shooting venue in Southern California. Oak Tree is often featured in magazines, movies, and television shows, some of which include Entourage (HBO), NCIS (CBS), and The Rock of Love (VH1). Numerous Federal, State, and Local law enforcement agencies also train at the facility. Oak Tree employs over 40 staff members who work hard to ensure that shooters have a great experience. From the novice to the expert, the shooting venue is always comprehensive and challenging.