Around The ATA – April 2018

//Around The ATA – April 2018

Around The ATA – April 2018

Around The ATA

Information for Around the ATA is provided to Trap & Field by state and provincial ATA Delegates and/or their designated representatives.

Shooters and local officials: Please inform your ATA Delegate of news about shooters and clubs in your area.

Southwestern Zone


As I am writing this, the Spring Grand in Tucson is in full swing. Colorado had 33 shooters this year.

We have some changes to our shoot schedule. The southern zone qualifier will be held at Cactus Flats July 8. Other shoots to put on your calendar for May: Pueblo S&T will hold their annual Gary Youngblood Memorial Doubles Marathon May 19-20. Saturday’s program is 100, 100, 50 pair doubles as a warm-up, and the Sunday program will be the 500 doubles. We are so grateful to have Doc Greenlee providing the buckles for winner, runnerup and special categories (winner).

HAA will be awarded for the marathon. We also are blessed to have Don and Tiger Volz (our 2017 Hall of Fame inductees) providing $500 added money again this year. This is the eighth year of Doc honoring his friend Gary Youngblood by having this memorial shoot. Don and Tiger are in Arizona now; I had the pleasure of shooting at their club this spring. They have a nice 100 straight handicap pot ($32,000) plus great targets, good food and wonderful company. Case Grande T&SC fall shoots will start in November.

Upcoming shoots include May 6, Berthoud, Burlington and Cactus Flats; May 12, Eagle; May 13, Golden (ZQ); May 19-20, Pueblo; May 20, Aurora, Delta (ZQ) and Yuma; May 26-28, Grand Junction and Pikes Peak. These are the shoot dates on the card; check with your club for exact program.

Don’t forget this year’s state shoot is in Grand Junction June 13-17. There are a lot of activities being held in Grand Junction that week. It would be a good idea to start checking on accommodations. Contact Grand Junction GC at 970-245-0780 or John Finochio at 970-241-1159, e-mail

The zone shoot, Sept. 14-16, will be a satellite shoot at Pikes Peak GC and Grand Junction. The 14th will be a preliminary day, with the 15th and 16th competition days. Check with your VP on the rules and how to participate as a zone team in this second CSTA shoot of the year. Even if you are not on a team, come on out and support this shoot. Be sure to check with your local clubs for their zone qualifier dates.

The CSTA website has been changed to David Lian will be webmaster. You can contact him at or 303-842-0364. He will be happy to help you with posting anything on the new website. This is a big job, and I want to thank Mike Herman for his help these last few years. Thanks, David, for stepping up with this project.

Feel free to let me know of any concerns you may have and if you have any special events in your life that you would like me to include in future articles. I can be reached at

Dan Treat

ATA Delegate


This has turned out to be about the most unusual winter in Louisiana I have ever experienced. We have gone from snow to almost continual rains. Several of our monthly shoots of recent have had to be canceled because of low attendance due to the weather. Hopefully we will begin to dry out soon, as our state championship is coming up fast, and yours truly needs a lot of practice.

The Louisiana State Shoot is not far away, May 3-6, and will be at the Toby Bancroft Memorial GC, West Monroe. This will be a four-day, 1,000-total-target event. Thursday, May 3 will be 100 singles, doubles and handicap with open trophies presented. Friday will be preliminary day with 100 doubles, singles and handicap, with resident and non-resident trophies awarded. Saturday will consist of a 200-target championship singles event, again with resident and non-resident trophies and some added money. The event will be followed by a Cajun fish fry with all the trimmings provided by the LTA. On Sunday we will wrap things up with the Doubles Championship, followed by the Handicap Championship. Both of these events will also have in-state and out-of-state trophies and some added money.

If you are looking for a place to shoot and pass a good time, please consider making your plans quickly and coming on down to join us. Pre-squadding is open and very much encouraged; on you can find a copy of the shoot program, in the event that you may not have already received a copy in the mail. Due to the limited number of fields and a max of 120 shooters this year, I encourage all who plan to attend to visit and sign up.

For additional shoot schedules and contact information for any of the Louisiana gun clubs, please visit the LTA website,

Just a reminder that tickets are still available for the 2018 Gun Club Raffle for a chance to win a Kolar Prestige Trap LP Combo. Tickets are $20 each, and a limited number are available. To purchase, please contact your ATA Delegate, ATA state secretary or the ATA office at or 618-449-2224, ext. 104. The raffle ends Aug. 10 at noon, and the drawing will be held that night at the Closing Ceremonies of the 2018 Grand American.

Shoot well and shoot often.

Doyle Brooks

ATA Delegate

New Mexico

It’s the end of February, and I just got back from the Spring Grand. Weather was cool and wet, and they had some wind there. There were 19 shooters from New Mexico; that was great.

The NM State Shoot will be May 22-27 at the NRA Whittington Center. I hope y’all can make it. Shoot well and often. I hope to see you down the road.

Bob Leibel

ATA Delegate


Ada’s Jan. 13 Big 50 saw extremely cold weather with a north wind. Six shooters braved the conditions. New junior gold shooter Justin Cavett won the singles with 48 and handicap with 42. Collin Rindal broke 39 to win the doubles. It is hard on equipment and even harder on shooters in these conditions.

This time of year, you can get any kind of weather. The following Saturday it was in the 60s with light winds. It might be a good idea to put an alternate date and a phone number in the program in case of bad weather. It might seem like I am discouraging registered shoots through the winter months. Quite the contrary! I encourage more clubs to schedule Big 50 shoots in the winter months. Average temperatures during winter months in Oklahoma are around 50°. We have fewer ice and snowstorms than in the past. Some shooters will remember when Hal (Skeet) Sammons held a shoot every month at the Tahlequah GC. I remember one January it was 62°, and he had exactly 60 shooters. I know this is the exception and not the rule, but it does happen.

Ada’s Jan. 23 Tuesday evening shoot had 50° weather and a good turnout. Joe Anglin took home all the marbles with 45, and with 44s were Mike Grove and Joe Medlock.

I visited with Tyler Rindal, new state AIM director, and AIM shoots are being planned. The state AIM shoot will be Tuesday, May 29 at the Oklahoma State Shoot, same as last year. All AIM shooters can participate in a miss-and-out 1, 2, 3 for flats of shells. Anyone wishing to donate a flat of shells can contact Tyler at 405-444-0592 or myself at 405-417-2236. You can get more AIM information on the OTSA website,

When the OTSA Dec. 3 club shoot had to be canceled due to bad weather, it was rescheduled for Jan. 28. That day was a beautiful 60° with light winds. Forty-one shot 50 singles and 50 handicap for a combined total. The top two scores were by young shooters. Klayton McGee won the champion buckle with 49 singles and 49 handicap for 98. Brayden Bliss won the runnerup buckle with 49 and 48 for 97. Steve Barnett and Brian Northup also had 49s in the singles.

A board of directors meeting was held after the shoot, where preparations were made for the April 24 Parks and Wildlife Shoot and the May 19 spring 4-H shoot. Each will have approximately 300 young shooters competing.

Work on the state shoot has already begun. Look for some special events of interest each day.

The ATA Southwestern Zone Shoot will also be noted in the program, as we do every even year when we are one of the host sites. Campers, keep in mind if you paid for a space at the state shoot, you are also paid for the same space at the Southwestern Zone Shoot and all two-day shoots.

Shawnee experienced a cold day with strong gusting winds for the Feb. 4 derby shoot. Two shooters tied in all three events. Mike Grove and Travis McBride’s 42s were high in the doubles. Their 46s were high in the singles, and their 34s were third in the handicap. Nathan Lemke’s 39 won the handicap, and Mike Meeks’ 35 was second.

Oklahoma has lost a great lady who loved trapshooting and coaching young shooters. Marie Ketchum went to be with Jack on Feb. 5. Over the many years, Marie probably coached more young shooters than anyone in Oklahoma. Marie and Jack established the first youth trapshooting program in Oklahoma. They were involved in trapshooting all their lives. Both were mainstays of the Duncan GC and devoted many hours to its operation. They both also held various positions in the Oklahoma Trapshooters Association. Jack was OTSA president on April 12, 1984, when the mortgage to our homegrounds was paid off by a donation from Gene Sears. Marie served on the BOD for years and was Oklahoma ATA Delegate in 1981-1982 and Alternate Delegate from 1982 to 1989. They were both good shooters, winning a lot of trophies at the Oklahoma State Shoot, surrounding states and the Grand. Marie won the J. Bruce Kent Handicap at Vandalia in 1988. I remember when Marie broke her first-ever 100 straight at Vandalia. When I went to congratulate her, I told her I thought it deserved a big hug. She could not have been happier. Marie shot a total of 216,540 targets, and combined, they shot almost 500,000. Their legacy will forever be preserved with their donation of the Ketchum Pavilion for all Oklahoma trapshooters to use at the OTSA homegrounds. Our sincere condolences go out to their daughters, Jacklyn and Linda, and their families.

OTSA’s Feb. 11 derby was not held due to freezing weather and north winds.

Ada’s Feb. 13 Tuesday evening shoot was won by Taylor Casteel and Lowell Leach with 47s. Lowell broke the only 25 to take all the quarters. Lowell shared some info on their very successful 2017 year. Their club threw a total of 259,888 targets in trap, skeet, 4-H and practice. This equates to 1,925.1 cases/30.56 pallets. Lowell said they are looking forward to a great 2018.

It is just coming to light that Josh Casteel, Taylor’s brother, literally took the shirt off his back and gave it to a young autistic boy during the skeet and sporting clays portion of AIM last year at the Grand. The young boy’s brother was there competing, and he was there to support him. Jim Cox, the boy’s father, sent a letter and a card signed by all their AIM shooters. [See this issue’s AIM NEWS for the full story—Ed.]

The warm, sunny day forecast for Shawnee’s Feb. 18 derby shoot turned out to be wrong, as it was cold, overcast and windy with no sun. Grove won the doubles with 46. Travis McBride and Gordon Sebring’s 48s led the singles. James West won the handicap with 46.

Let’s keep all those who protect our freedoms in our prayers.

           Tim Deister

           ATA Delegate


When you read this, I hope shooting is in full swing. Sometimes here in the Texas Panhandle it takes a little longer to get to more pleasant weather.

Several Texas shooters went to Tucson, but I haven’t gotten any news from there. (I’ve been gone and have not had a chance to look at the scores.) I also have heard several of our young shooters did really well at the Sale Shoot in San Antonio. If someone will send me information, I’ll get in the next column.

As shooting season gets started, there are a few things I would like to remind you of. If you pre-squad and are unable to attend the shoot, or parts of it, please call and release those positions. This will allow other shooters to fill the squad, so no one has to shoot a short squad. This is just the courteous thing to do.

If you are an 18- or 19-yard shooter and are having trouble squadding, you can request a yardage increase. Just give me a call or send me an e-mail. I will then call our Southwestern Zone CHC member and get it approved. You may request a yardage increase as far back as the 25-yard line or anywhere in between. Please keep in mind that if you request a yardage increase, you will not be eligible for a 1,000-target review for two years.

Another thing (and you knew I would bring it up) is the rulebook. I study it quite a bit, and I still don’t know all the rules by heart. I have to refer to the rule at times when I’m not sure, and I am wrong at times. You should at least go through your rulebook and highlight some of the major things.

I could sure use your help. Please send me information about shooters in your area. Texas is a big state, and I can’t be everywhere. Please contact Princess or me at 806-679-6889 or

Till next time, y’all shoot well, y’all shoot often, and y’all have a great time.

Jerry O’Connor

ATA Delegate

Western Zone


The Spring Grand: for the first few days I thought the skeet gods had put a hex on us. It was wet and at times blustery. Then it changed, and with the exception of Monday, Feb. 19, which was windy, things stayed cool (about 10 to 15° below normal), calm and clear. It was no-excuses kind of weather. Attendance was up slightly from last year; we had 1,030 shooters from 54 states, provinces and countries, including some great competitors from the UK. Arizona, naturally, was the leader with 114 entrants, followed by California, Texas and Minnesota. One day I noted 25 cars near my RV from 17 different places, some as far away as New York and Alberta, and a lot from the Midwest. More than once I heard, “Wow, what a facility. I’ve never seen anything like this.” Everyone praised how well the shoot was run, both in the office and on the line—no surprise there. It made me feel good to be a small (very small) part of things. If you want a template on how a large trapshoot should be managed, look no further than the Spring Grand American at Tucson. Thank you, Doug, Char, Clyde and all the gang from TTSC!

The preliminary week started with the Flagstaff Singles, and Phil Vasquez came out of the gate with a 99, tying for A. That became all too familiar for Arizona shooters, who on the whole did very well against world-class competition. Gerry Williams had a great shoot. He started by winning veteran in the Garden Canyon Doubles with a fine 97 under tough conditions. The next day began with the Phoenix Doubles, and Michael Smyth was chair champ. That was followed by the Prescott Singles, and Vince Bianco, whose name you will see pop up more than once, tied for AAA but lost by one in the carryover. The same fate fell to Karen Bergman in the class singles and to Gerry in the preliminary ’caps. Friday’s last event was the class doubles, and three Arizona shooters stood out. Sandy Luchetta won the Lady II crown, and Jim Copsey and Bianco ended as part of a four-way tie in vet. Vince forfeited, and Jim lost in carryover to John Kelly of Wyoming. (Speaking of Jim, am I alone in having trouble recognizing him with the beard? Apparently Al Matthews did, and so he copied Jim.) The championship singles ended things for us Arizona shooters in the prelim week. Vince was once more front and center. His 199 tied for AAA, but he dropped one bird in the shootoff.

Grand Week was preceded by a preliminary day on Monday, and the 20+-mph winds made for some tough shooting. Darvin Thomas’ 98 plus a perfect 50 in the shootoff led all sub-vets in the singles. Jesse Zamora then showed his stuff in the prelim ’caps, tying for the 18-21-yard group, but that old bugaboo, the carryover, raised its ugly head. The same thing happened to Ken Schatz and Richard Lane in the Premier Singles. Both had come in with 99s. Thomas’s 100 in sub-veteran also fell victim to the same problem. Add Charlie Wachtel (one of our junior All-Americans) to that list also. His 100 plus 25-25-24 was one bird short. It was the ladies’ turn for the jinx in the Yuma Doubles. Luchetta tied for C but lost out on a forfeit. Event 18 was the Indiana Gun Club Handicap, and one of Arizona’s old pros was right up there. Bud Rupe’s 95 was one of three in the 18-21 group.

Thursday started off with the Singles Class Championship, and Gerry had a perfect 100, tying 12 others in AA. Next up was the Doubles Class Championship, and Karen also lost in a Lady II carryover. She did win the carryover event, the Spring Grand Doubles Championship on Friday. Karen struggled with the first 50, but the second was a different story with 50 inkballs. That earned Karen the Lady II crown and our only Spring Grand championship.

Although they did not appear in the winner’s circle, Jim Sharp and the other half of that fabulous duo, Colton Hartley, had a strong shoot, as did Sherry Schatz, especially in handicap. I also seem to remember some pretty neat scores by Jake Gatschet. Dick Goerlich had some excellent events, the same was true for Mike Luchetta, and Karen Stingl took a break from the golf course and was right in there. Mark Williams too was oh so close more than once.

Around the state: tucked down in the southeast corner of Arizona is McNeal and Double Adobe. (If anyone thinks that Arizona isn’t large, try driving from Double Adobe to Mohave). By the time you read this, Double Adobe will have conducted seven registered shoots. No wonder they have a very loyal following. The last report is for the Feb. 3-4 event. David Landwerlen won A in the opening singles with a nice 99, Rod Ritter bested the other senior vets with a 99 also, and Al Alcorn prevailed in D. Lindy Albright (it’s great to see him back on the scene) was high gun in the ’caps at 93, and Eric Binger was the runnerup, Dave Landwerlen took 22-24, and Rod was the high senior vet. The day finished with doubles, and a few places were switched around. David was high gun, Eric the runnerup, Rod won A and Lindy sub-vet. Sunday started with 100 singles, and Binger came in second at 97, Ritter took A, and the Jersey Kid, Art Nash, won D. The same names appeared in the ’caps, with Rod winning, Eric next in line and Art taking 18-21. Sunday finished with doubles with David the runnerup, Rod winning A, and Eric taking Class C. The HOA shooter on Saturday was Landwerlen, and Sunday it was Binger.

We are moving into warmer weather, but things are far from done. Rio Salado, Tucson, Mohave, Cochise, Flagstaff and Pleasant Valley all have events coming up, and the Western Zone at Tucson, July 13-15, is not that far away. Arizona is on a great run. See you on the line.

John Bergman

ATA Delegate


Ogden GC is the host gun club for the Academics, Integrity and Marksmanship program (AIM). The January AIM shoot was the only registered ATA event of the month. Weather was a little dicey, with freezing rain turning to snow (typical of January in Utah).

Tanner Fisher was the top youth shooter with 286 (98 in singles, 92 in handicap and 96 in doubles). Good shooting, Tanner! Other youth winners were Rowdy McCowen, Ty Campbell and Dalton Holden. The AIM shoots usually attract about 20 youngsters.

Ardith Stitt ramrods the AIM program and should be commended for the work that she does for the youth shooters. Not only is Ardith great at helping the AIM program, but she is also a champion weightlifter!

Utah has once again produced another Trap & Field Rookie of the Year! Brett Despain has earned the honor this year. You may know Brett by his nickname “The Pilot Guy” since he flies for Delta Airlines.

Following are some of Brett’s accomplishments and memories from his rookie season.

  1. He met many fantastic people (Isn’t this what our sport is really all about?).
  2. The first trophy he ever won was a D class doubles event at Helper GC.
  3. Memorial Day Shoot at Spanish Fork was graced with perfect weather, good shooting, great people. He won two silver dollars that weekend.
  4. At the Utah State Shoot, Brett shot all five days and was pleased to garner the all-around award for Class C. He commented that the state association, as well as Debra Johnson (club manager) and her staff, ran a great shoot.
  5. Fiesta Days at Spanish Fork. Brett won his first belt buckle. We all remember our first buckle, don’t we?
  6. Western Zone at Vernal R&GC. The first people Brett ran into at the club were Sean and Stacy Hawley. They were so welcoming and friendly that they made him feel right at home, which helped him put up some great scores.
  7. During his first year, he moved from Class D to A in both singles and doubles. He also earned four yards during the season and ended on the 24-yard line.
  8. Brett shot two perfect scores of 100 in singles, one at Spanish Fork and the other at Pocatello.

Congratulations, Brett, well deserved.

           Ed Wehking

           ATA Delegate


Colton GC had seven or eight squads of shooters for their Feb. 24 shoot despite falling and drifting snow throughout the day.

Colton GC had seven or eight squads of shooters for their Feb. 24 shoot despite falling and drifting snow throughout the day.

Hello from Washington State and the WSTA. Nice weather in January and early February lead to some spring fever, but as I sit here from the cozy house looking outside, I remember something an old farmer once told me: “Never trust February!” Cold temps and blowing snow returned. By the time this arrives in your mailboxes, I hope to have the winter coat put away and be breaking clay in my short-sleeved shirt and blue jeans.

The Camas Prairie Handicap is in the books by now, and a busy shooting season gets under way with a shoot almost every weekend from April through June. Spokane GC’s Northwest Grand is April 7-8 and has shaped up to be a great shoot. With help from George and Karma Seubert, Spokane GC membership and many generous sponsors, this shoot has emphasized youth shooting, and the results can be seen in increased youth participation at other tournaments. The sub-junior and junior shooters are often accompanied by mom, dad and/or grandparents on the line and reinforces the power of introducing people to the ATA game. It is something we are becoming very proud of here in Washington, and many thanks are due to those who have put the hours in to make it happen.

Shoots following the Northwest Grand in April will be at Odessa, Almira, Ft. Colville and Marlin in early May, then before we know it, our oldest and perhaps most storied shoot will be happening back in Spokane: the Inland Empire Handicap. June continues to be busy with shoots at Colton GC, Othello and the WSTA Championships. July and August offer registered targets also. Please check our shoot schedule at for a complete schedule of ATA registered shoots in our state, and each club is welcome to post their happenings on the Washington State Trapshooters Facebook page. There was a misprint in some publications regarding the state and Zone shoots, so please make note that the WSTA Championships will be held at Spokane GC, and Colton GC will be a host site for the Western Zone.

The Spring Grand has just ended as I make my entry this month. We are looking forward to reading about exploits of the several home state shooters who competed in Tucson. In the meantime, the Colton GC threw a 300-target program Feb. 24. In spite of falling snow and wind drifting the walks shut faster than they could be shoveled, seven or eight squads of shotgunners took part. I have to take my hat off to Jeff Thomas and Jim Adams for breaking 99 in the singles to tie in A class, with Jeff taking the win in one overtime. Here in Washington we sometimes just can’t wait for warm temperatures and sun, so we brave the elements to have some competition. The average card might suffer, but the trophies still look good on the fireplace mantle. A day later, I have most of the feeling back in my left ear, and the hook is set for some more ATA target action. I speak for all ATA shooters in Washington when I say that we hope to see you on the line at one or many of our clubs in the near future. For you out-of-state shooters, I promise you’ll enjoy our spring and summer conditions, so you are cordially invited to come have fun with us. Until next time, shoot straight and keep your powder dry.

Sean Lewis

ATA Alternate Delegate


The 2018 Wyoming State Shoot will be in Torrington July 5-8. Gary Olson sent his “dirt working” crews to the club, and they have filled in the canyon that used to be in front of the east eight traps. They shot it in with lasers, and the contour of the east traps now is exactly the same as the contour of the west traps. All 16 program traps now have the same level ground. This is a very impressive project, and the WSTA is proud of Gary for undertaking and completing this massive undertaking. Come to Torrington and shoot with us this year; you will be glad you did.

Congratulations to the Wyoming shooters who made the All-American team: Hunter Howe, sub-junior first; Haley Musselman, junior second; Hardy Musselman, junior gold first; Denton Skogen, junior gold second; David McNally, sub-vet second; John Kelly, veteran first; and Phil Kiner, veteran second.

Also congrats to the 2018 Wyoming state teams: Men’s—Chad Frericks, .9331; Lanny Heitz, .9150; John Harris, .8921. Lady I—Emily Erffmeyer, .8935; Kimberly Ideen, .8345; Teri Turner, .7799; Rhonda Dick, .7655. Lady II—Barbara Hodgson, .8455; Tracy Landeis, .8064; Trudy Brice, .7217. Sub-junior—Hunter Howe, .9388; Dylan Brown, .8791; Lillian Hepker, .8229. Junior—Haley Musselman, .9272; Garrett Steele, .9163; Callahan Healy, .9146. Sub-vet—Steve Bannister, .9277; David McNally, .9273; Mark Fruechte, .9229; Bob Tomlin, .9225. Veteran—Gerald Williams, .8955; David Athey, .8953; Jerry Reed, .8871; Leslie Schneider, .8803. Senior vet—Thomas Rezanina, .9091; John Cook, .8963; Howard Dykes, .8778; Albert Gastelum, .8774.

Phil Kiner

ATA Delegate

Central Zone


Hello, shooters! There’s a lot coming up. I hope you’ve been getting ready.

Don’t forget, to make the state team, you have to shoot in one of the Illinois zone shoots. The central zone shoot is in Peoria, and the southern zone is in Bunker Hill in May. Be sure to get out and shoot one to qualify. There were a lot more people who qualified this past year compared to the one before, and I hope to see that trend continue.

The state shoot is coming up quickly now. I can’t wait to see you all again. If you want the same camping spot from last year, be sure to let me know by May 1. I have received a lot of e-mails from people so far, which is great. I don’t want anyone to miss out. To reserve from last year or to save one for this year, my e-mail is

There was a great turnout of Illinois shooters—33 of them—at the Spring Grand in Tucson, AZ. I was keeping up with the Illinois names on the leaderboards as well. Some names I saw a few times were Ian Lawrence, Mike Westjohn, Chase Horton, Drew Strohecker, Alex York, Bill Lawrence, Dan and Sue Staker, Ken Rigler, Dale Miller, Brian Frost, Charlie Bickle and Ken Rogowski. Great job representing our state!

Lauren Mueller

ATA Delegate


Hello, Indiana shooters! April is finally here, and if my wish comes true, we are now experiencing warm temperatures and no wind. Hopefully that’s the case when you read this, as registered ATA targets are starting to fly all around the state.

With spring’s arrival and nice weather comes a busy start to the trap season. We will start with the central zone at the Fall Creek Valley CC May 12-13, then the northern zone at St. Joe Valley CC May 19-20, and concluding with the southern zone at Columbus GC May 26-27. I hope to see many of you there.

The 2018 Indiana State Shoot will be July 17-22 at our homegrounds, Indiana GC.

Evansville GC will once again be a site for the ATA Central Zone Shoot July 27-29. In addition to these, all of our member clubs have shoots planned through the spring and summer. Be sure to check out our renovated website for all of the registered shoot dates. If you need any information about these shoots, let me know.

Update from Roxie Antczak, our ITA Spectator Experience person at the Indiana State Shoot:

“The ITA Spectator Experience can help entertain your family all year long! Our ongoing partnership with the Indianapolis Zoo allows our guests to visit the zoo at discounted rates. Message us for details on Facebook and the ITA Spectator Experience discount code. Like our page to stay up to date on all the details for 2018’s Spectator Experience during the Indiana State Shoot, Also, don’t forget to support Fortville’s local business community when you’re in the area. Without their generosity, the ITA Spectator Experience wouldn’t be a success.”

Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you need anything or would like to have anything included in this article for Indiana. My e-mail is

Jason Barnett

ATA Delegate


As the weather is beginning to change and shooting season is getting ready to ramp up, I’d like to highlight a few things going on around the state and what Michigan is doing in the trapshooting world.

I want to start with the legacy of the late MTA Hall of Fame member Delbert Nye being continued by his son Cecil at the famed Nye’s TR. Cecil has made some capital improvements to the club by rebuilding the traphouses and adding new roofs. Make sure to put Nye’s on your shooting schedule to give them your support.

Birmingham GC was a recipient of an ATA Gun Club Grant and is acquiring a new voice release system. Stop by and see what they’re doing at one of the most storied shooting facilities in the state.

Blue Water SA has a new director of their trap program. I’d like to personally acknowledge Julia Frickert, Nolan and Sandy Ragsdale and the rest of the amazing team who make things happen at Blue Water. Julia is directly responsible for bringing the Central Zone Shoot back to Michigan.

For the 2018 target year, Michigan went from just two years ago not having any Central Zone Shoot sites to now having two. Ernie Lehman and the good folks at Howard Township CC will also be hosting the Central Zone Shoot. The dates are July 27-29.

Michigan had some impressive numbers for total targets thrown in 2017. In total, all targets thrown by all the clubs in Michigan was 1,548,000. Michigan ranked 13th in the ATA for target totals. Additionally Michigan received a 2017 membership rebate check for $7,699. Pursuant to the ATA rules, from the $20 annual membership, $3 is returned to the state or provincial organization. From the life memberships received, half is returned to the state or provincial organization over a 10-year period. From the $3 daily fee, 20% is returned to the state or provincial organization.

Keep April 21 on your calendar as well. It is the MTA work day and training day. Be mindful, the MTA is a member-owned facility. In order to keep operation costs as low as possible, the more work that can done by our members, the less we will have to pay for.

In efforts to grow the sport, I’d also like to highlight a great opportunity for a new 18-and-under female shooter at the 2018 Michigan State Shoot, the Director’s Trophy. This trophy is open for all lady juniors and sub-juniors and is based on the 400-target all-around, consisting of Saturday’s championship 200 singles and the 100 championship doubles and handicap on Sunday. Trophies will be awarded to champion, runnerup and third place. Each winner will receive a Shamrock Leathers bag and a belt buckle. A big thank you to past MTA director Jess Bowman, who continues to provide these beautiful trophies.

Lastly, I inadvertently omitted past MTA president J. B. Lewis’ Grand American trophy win of third place in class in the E-Z-GO All-Around. This was J. B.’s first Grand trophy. Job well done, J. B., and I wish you many more.

Until next time, shoot well!

  1. Darryl Hayes

ATA Central Zone Vice President

North Dakota

Marv Hanson earned his 100,000 doubles attainment pin while shooting at Casa Grande TC.

Marv Hanson earned his 100,000 doubles attainment pin while shooting at Casa Grande TC.

By the time this article gets published, a long cold winter will be winding down, hopefully. Winter league was started at the Zap SC the week after the Super Bowl. It looks like about 25 North Dakota shooters got to slip away for part of the Winter Chain shoots in Arizona—some familiar with shooting in Arizona and some new to the Arizona scene, such as Gabby Fischer, Jon Secord, Todd Wendel, Pat Bosh and Dennis Gustafson. Those collecting awards at Casa Grande include Marv Hanson, Dennis Gustafson, Stan Petz, Orrin Johnson, Mike Nordback and Don Ackerson. Personal attainment awards that were completed in Casa Grande include Marlin Egeland, 50,000 singles, and Marv Hanson, 100,000 doubles.

Top scores at the Spring Grand (so far) were shot by Bob Munson (a 96 and 98 in handicap, 200 and 100 in singles), Jason Folvag (two 99s in doubles and 97, 96 and 95 in handicap), Bob Reis (198 in singles and 98 in doubles), Gabby Fischer (93 in Lady I handicap), Louis Kuster (two 94s in doubles), and Todd Wendel (two 100s in singles and 98 in doubles). There are still three days of shooting left as of this report.

You should mark your calendar to attend the North Dakota State Shoot July 18-22 at the Minot GC. This year we will again be offering a full trophy package for residents and non-residents.

Break ’em all.

Tim Kaffar

ATA Delegate


The directors for the OSTA and OSTA Foundation met Feb. 10. The Foundation is again going to provide scholarships for high school seniors wanting to continue their education who meet the requirements. Applications had to be received by March 15. The Foundation will again provide seven guns to be given away at the state shoot. Playing this option is one of the ways the Foundation can continue providing scholarships. There will be a gun given away every day of the state shoot. If you are a shooter, you can play the gun option on your entry ticket, or you may purchase a chance at other designated areas.

The BOD has worked hard on providing another great state shoot for 2018. They are continuing their golf cart and trailer raffle as well as giving another Kubota RTV 400 purchased from Evolution Ag. All the events have a sponsor again this year. Several of our sponsors have been with the OSTA for several years, and a couple of new ones have come on board for 2018. Just about everything that was offered last year will be available this year. Please stop by and give a big thank you to our program sponsors. Without them, the Ohio State Shoot would not be one of the largest shoots in the country. Check out the OSTA website at

One of the new things offered this year is AAA for singles and doubles. The BOD voted to provide trophies for AAA. Luke and Jake Spengler stopped by the meeting, and I think the Cardinal Center is also going to offer AAA at the Buckeye Open and Cardinal Classic for 2018.

The OSTA will start replacing the traps, as per the contractual agreement. The BOD voted to purchase five new traps for this coming year and will continue this practice for the duration of the contract. The traps will be replaced according to the number of targets that have been thrown. The first five traps being replaced have already been sold for this year. If your club or anyone you know is interested in purchasing one of these used traps in the future, please contact someone on the BOD so your name or club may be put on the list.

I would also like to congratulate the 2018 OSTA Hall of Fame inductees. They are as follows: Bill Jaqua, Ken Kamnikar and Ron Charniga. I realize Bill Jaqua is deceased, and he contributed a great deal of his life to promoting trapshooting, but if you see Ken or Ron, give them a big old handshake.

Remember, we have a few shoots coming up in May you might want to make arrangements to attend. We have the Mid-American at the Middletown SC, which should generate a few All-American points; OSTA zone shoots at your respective clubs; and the Karen’s Cup at the Cardinal Center.

I will leave you with the words of a good friend: keep your head down, follow through and “bust ’em.”

Roger McNamer

ATA Delegate


Dennis Johnson from South Dakota and Jack came into the Kolar trailer, and of course I had to give Jack a dog treat. Jack was lying on the floor sniffing my small cooler very innocently, hoping no one would notice him. Somehow he managed to get into the side zipper and pull out a ham sandwich wrapped in a napkin. I watched him take the sandwich out and look side to side when his dad said, “No, Jack,” and took it away from him. I am glad he found it because I had forgotten I put it there two days before. I am still amazed how he got the zipper open.

New this year was the Silver Dollar Open held at the Silver Dollar in Florida. There are a few Wisconsin shooters living on the grounds who attended. Congratulations to Thomas Felts, Sandra Jo Jack, Rich Weisensel and Gary Reynolds for your wins in the windy conditions that made the targets very tough to break.

Reynolds is the winner of the Silver Hair at the Silver Dollar in Florida. Not sure if you have to have silver hair or just that you are an experienced shooter.

Tucson T&SC has some of the best targets in the country. Big orange clay targets get to fly into the sky or into a mountainous background. If you have not been fortunate enough to attend this shoot, you are missing out on staff that are so nice and helpful. The target-setters and scorers are some of the best I have come to meet. They are very professional. We are always greeted with smiles from the trophy staff, classification, grounds and office staff. It was hard to leave this time knowing that I would be retuning to snow and cold, but it was cold at this shoot. I even posted on Facebook a photo of frost on the gun rack. Good thing I had my socks to wear with my flip flops. The Spring Grand was a huge success. Many shooters from all over the ATA attended with hopes of winning. Just attending is winning in my mind. I would like to thank every shooter who took time out of your daily lives. We all had a great time spending time with friends and shooting.

Wisconsin had 41 shooters attend. We even had a Wisconsin/Minnesota (but anyone was welcome to join us) hors d’oeuvres night at John Harden’s Indiana Gun building. At one point there must have been over 60 people in the building. Thank you, Jeff Mainland of Kolar and John for hosting this event.

Congratulations to these Wisconsin shooters who won trophies, and we are very proud of these shooters (we are also proud of all of shooters who shot): Cheryl Demulling and Gerald Demulling, Sandra Jo Jack, Tate Barwald, Francis Freiburger, Larry Larson, Marvin Rustad, James Badtke and John Madson.

Remember to keep smiling; I am. Volunteer at your club; they need you. Check the WTA website to see if your skills are needed at the homegrounds. Please contact me if you would like to help in the trophy pod when Dennis and I are shooting. We have shade and air-conditioning, and you get to meet new people. E-mail me at

Shooters, thank you for all you do for us to keep this sport one of the best. Hopefully you have your hotel or camping reserved for the state shoot. If you have a buggy of any kind, you will need to register it when you get there, and only 16 years of age and older are allowed to operate them. Buggy drivers, please keep in mind that we are trying to grow grass on the line, so drive with care or get some exercise.

Sandra Jo Jack

for ATA Delegate Kevin Doerring

Eastern Zone

Atlantic Provinces

Hello from the Atlantic Provinces. Spring should be around the corner for those of us in the more northerly climates—we hope. In our neck of the woods, winter can linger a little longer than wanted. At this time of year, Newfoundlanders have to be wary of “Sheila’s Brush”—the name locals give a winter storm that occurs on or just after St. Patrick’s Day. Lore has it that Sheila’s Brush usually follows a spell of good weather around this holiday. If the storm occurs after St. Patrick’s Day, it signals a good spring and is a sign of sweeping away the old season. We don’t like to consider what it means if the storm comes earlier than St. Patrick’s Day (a longer winter).

The 2018 ATA shoot schedule for the Atlantic Provinces has been finalized and is available on It will be another busy year for registered shooting in the Atlantic Provinces. This year NS, NB and PEI are following suit with NL and have added their own provincial championships. This is a good sign that trapshooting continues to grow in the Atlantic Provinces. With this year’s expanded schedule, there’s no excuse for local shooters not meeting minimum-target requirements for this year’s AP shoot. Get out and get your game in top shape. If your club doesn’t have any registered shoots scheduled, there’s still time to do so. All the information required to start registered shooting is available on and The ATA’s registered shoot handbook is a great source of information for both shoot organizers and ATA shooters alike. If you need help, feel free to contact me.

In New Brunswick, the Petitcodiac SC is having a very successful winter trap league. The one-trap club is a busy place on Saturdays, with 21 shooters registering targets in their ATA league plus another 10 to 12 shooters who just shoot recreationally. By our standards, that’s a great turnout. Club director Ron Whitehead told me that it’s getting so busy that they have added a Wednesday afternoon shoot to their weekly schedule and that another trapfield would be a welcome addition to the small club.

The St. John’s R&GC, located on the island of Newfoundland, is the largest gun club in the Atlantic Provinces and offers trap, sporting clays, rifle, pistol and archery. Situated on 1,000 of land about 40 kilometers west of the capital city, St. John’s, the club has been in existence since 1959, and I’ve been on the board of directors and the trap chairman since 1998. We are a four-trap club and currently equipped with Pat-Traps and Canterbury voice release systems. It wasn’t always like that. Back in 1998 we had one automatic GMV trap plus a number of Winchester Western hand-set traps. I think all trapshooters need to spend time in a traphouse loading targets on those old hand-sets or pulling for a squad; it certainly makes you pay attention and appreciate the modern equipment. We have about 15 dedicated ATA shooters and about the same number of recreational shooters. If you’re planning to be in our area this season, check out our shoot schedule and feel free to drop by for our weekly Sunday shoots and numerous competitions during our trap season, which normally runs from April to December.

For more information on the Atlantic Provinces Trapshooting Association, visit

Andrea Bassan

ATA Delegate


As I put this article together on Feb. 20, the weather has been getting much better. Hopefully spring is just around the corner.

There has been a significant change to the dates for our state shoot. The dates will now be June 7-10. This will be a four-day shoot, Thursday through Sunday. There will be 1,000 targets available.

Now that our registered shooting is under way, a reminder to all members, please have your ATA membership dues and your MATA dues paid for the 2018 target year. Check your average card and have your singles and doubles averages up to date, along with your correct yardage. This will certainly help out at classification. Please remember the target requirements that will need to be shot in 2018 in order to make the 2019 state team. They are 2,000 singles, 1,500 handicap and 1,000 doubles, and you must shoot all events of the two championship days (Saturday and Sunday) during our 2018 state shoot.

I would like to recognize and congratulate our shooters who have made the 2018 All-American team: Robert Nihtila Jr., men’s second team, and Matthew Cartisser, sub-junior second team. Great job!

The Take Aim at Cancer Shoot, which takes place in the fall and brings in many dollars for this very worthy cause, took a break in 2017 so that the hard-working volunteers who run the shoot could catch their breath. The shoot is back on this year. It will be Sept. 23 at the Minute Man SC. With your support, we can make this shoot bigger and better than ever.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns that I can help with, I can be reached at 413-586-0428 or Remember to make it fun.

David Russell

ATA Delegate

New Jersey

There’s a lot of exciting news happening. First off, if you didn’t read the February issue diligently, our own Angelina Moir, a sub-junior, was selected in the age-group category as a 2017 Trap & Field Rookie of the Year. The following New Jersey shooters made various All-American teams: Robert Malmstedt, Duncan Stevenson, Bryan Romanow, Justin Malone and George Wright. Congratulations to Angelina and the All-American shooters.

NJSTA management has listened to those shooters who contacted Rudy Torlini and myself with their concerns of not having available for the upcoming New Jersey State Shoot. Pre-squadding will be available from April until May 24, so please take advantage of it, and thank you again for making your sentiments known.

I’ve been sitting on the following information since last year and didn’t want to jinx the deal: the North Jersey CTC in Fairfield has officially purchased the property the gun club had been renting. More on this next month.

In listing the handicap average leaders in New Jersey that can be found on Page 20 of the state program, I missed Terry Shaffer, who averaged a very respectable .9033 for 1,800 targets and should be third in the standings. My apologies, Terry.

According to Steve Ottrando, the Mallard TC in Monroe Township will be having the Big 50 April 4, 11, 18 and 25, starting at 4 p.m. So come on out and get your targets in for the zone and state shoot. This year, since the HOA is on 1,300 targets, all target requirements (500 singles this year and a total of 1,000 for the past two years; 500 handicap this year and a total of 1,000 for the last two years; and 500 doubles this year and a total of 1,000 for the last two years) need to be satisfied prior to May 30; otherwise, you will be bumped up two classes for singles and doubles and up to two yards in handicap, not to exceed 26 yards at the state shoot. All requirements can be found on Page 34 of the program.

Howell TC will be throwing registered targets starting April 15 this year. Their ATA shooting schedule is as follows: May 20; Sept. 16; northern zone satellite shoot, Sept. 22-23; Oct. 21; and Nov. 11. Practice shooting remains the same, Tuesdays and non-ATA on Sundays.

The Quarter Grand is returning to Pine Valley April 14-15. Also, Pine Valley is having their annual Youth Shoot April 21.

Pine Belt is having their Spring Marathon Weekend April 14-15, and on April 21, they’re having a doubles marathon.

The 53rd Jersey Cricket is returning this year, thanks to Steve Armstrong et al. It’s April 28, starting at Pine Belt with breakfast, then to Pine Valley for lunch and then off to Wilmington, DE, and WTA with a dinner and presentations at the Christiana Hilton. Steve can be reached at 856-986-7821 or for further information.

The following day, April 29, the North Jersey CTC is having their own State Shoot Warmup. So it looks like there are plenty of opportunities for everyone throughout the state to get their targets in for the zone and state shoot.

The southern zone will be at Pine Valley May 4-6, and the satellite shoot in Fairfield on the 5th and 6th.

Steve Roman at the North Jersey club is organizing a benefit shoot May 12 at the Fairfield location to support our active military, veterans, first responders and their families. The New Jersey chapter of Heroes on the Water (HOW) has a mission to help warriors relax, rehabilitate and reintegrate through kayak fishing and the outdoors. Since 2007, HOW has been organizing no-expense kayak trips where heroes can reflect in solitude or connect in groups and learn kayaking skills and kayak fishing basics. HOW is a 501(c)3, and all entry fees and/or donations are tax deductible. Steve can be reached at 973-632-2595 for further details. Help support a great cause.

Lastly, in my February article, the state shoot dates were printed as May 30-June 1, and it should have read May 30-June 3.

Dennis Lott is our second inductee for the 2018 New Jersey Hall of Fame ceremony on June 2. He is being honored for his work at the Pine Valley GC prior to becoming president of the club, while president of the club, and his continued support to this day. Besides all that work, he has a pretty impressive 16-yard average over his ATA career. The following is a modified version of his biography, which appears in the 2018 New Jersey shoot program:

“Dennis was born in Riverside in 1951 to Frank and Anna Lott. He graduated from Riverside High School and joined the trades, becoming a union carpenter, and served in that vocation for 41 years. He then joined Freeman Decorating, supervising construction of displays at the Javits Center in New York and other similar venues on the East Coast for another seven years, Along the way, he married wife Fran; together they have four children and seven grandchildren.

“Guns always fascinated Dennis because his dad carried a .38 Smith & Wesson as his sidearm while working for Brinks. Growing up, his dad would take him to his aunt’s farm behind Nixon’s General Store in Tabernacle to watch Uncle Abner shoot the pistol and then shotguns. They would shoot old chicken eggs found in the barn. As Dennis became older, he was able to obtain his hunting license, and they would go to the farm. By this time, Uncle Abner had bought a clay-target thrower. His uncle also had a 12-gauge L. C. Smith double barrel that he let Dennis shoot. Dennis hit only one the first time he shot, and it was dead center, with just a black cloud of smoke remaining of the target.

“Twenty years later, working with a group of guys who talked only about hunting, one invited Dennis to a friend’s farm to shoot some clay targets. Dennis thought it was great! While talking to his friend, Greer Gaskill, about his shooting adventure at the farm, Greer suggested they take a ride to Pine Belt SC to shoot regulation trap on Wednesday nights. Dennis had bought a 12-gauge Remington 870 pump from a friend and took that along with him. His first attempt resulted in breaking 15 clays. They went back for several consecutive Wednesday evenings. Greer lost interest, but Dennis continued to shoot on Wednesday nights. Greer let Dennis use his Browning Broadway over/under trap gun, and Dennis noticed that he could break in the 20s using that. Dennis’ friend Jimmy Mannery told him his mom Pat and her friend Ed Marge shot trap and wanted to meet them at Pine Valley GC one Saturday in May 1992. Dennis showed up with his 870 and a bag of shells in an Acme paper bag. He broke 80×100 that day and met Toots Tindall, the cashier at Pine Valley, who quickly signed Dennis up with the ATA. In June at the New Jersey State Shoot, Dennis broke his first 25.

“After shooting all over the country for the last 25 years, Dennis has registered 150,000 targets and gone through eight trap guns. Fran shoots occasionally. When they went to Las Vegas to get married years ago, they took their guns, and each won an event at the old Las Vegas GC and received silver belt buckles as their prizes.

Dennis is a life member of the ATA, NRA and Pine Belt SA; past club president and life member of Pine Valley GC; and a 13-generation from the Mayflower. On a nice day, you’ll find Dennis at a gun club.

The induction ceremony will take place in the clubhouse at 4 p.m. sharp on June 2 of the New Jersey State Shoot. Refreshments will be served.

If you have an idea for an article or just a question, I can be reached at 732-546-7910 and

Joe Sissano

ATA Delegate

New York

Hello to everyone from New York. Spring has finally arrived, and once the warmer weather comes, I hope everyone gets out and starts shooting registered targets. The winter has been long and cold, and I am very glad for the better weather.

I am sorry to report that we lost four registered shooters from New York during the winter: Donald J. Contrera, Michael A. Chirico, Alfred C. Lambert and Charles C. Wood.

Contrera was 69 years of age when he passed away Dec. 8. Don was a relatively new shooter to the ATA, just registering targets in 2017. He was on the 20-yard line and had registered 550 singles and 50 handicap targets. Don was a great guy, and I had shot with him many years in the Inland Waters Trap League. Our deepest sympathy to his wife Christine and the entire family on his passing.

Mike Chirico passed away Jan. 26 at the age of 75. Mike had shot ATA for many years and was at 22.5 in handicap. He had registered 29,075 singles, 16,550 handicap and 11,800 doubles targets in his career. I did not know Mike that well, but he was always a very nice and pleasant person to me. Our deepest sympathy to Michael’s entire family on his passing.

Charles (Chuck) Wood was 70 years of age when he passed away Jan. 28. Chuck joined the ATA in 1978 and was on the 25-yard line. During his career, he registered 52,500 singles, 30,800 handicap and 25,200 doubles targets. Chuck was a past president of my home club, Mt. Morris SC. He and I shot together for many years in practice, leagues and ATA shoots, and he was a good friend. My deepest sympathy to Chuck’s entire family on his passing.

New York State ATA Hall of Fame member Al Lambert was 93 when he passed away. Al had registered in his career 75,800 singles, 46,500 handicap and 25,600 doubles targets and was standing on the 25-yard line. Al joined the ATA in 1968. He was a great guy who everyone liked. I met him on the Fourth of July, 1979, at my first registered shoot. I was at Oakfield R&GC and was scared about shooting registered for the first time. Even though he did not know me, Al introduced himself and treated me like he had known me for years. He made me feel at ease, and all I can say is he was a wonderful man. Anyone who knew Al thought of him as a truly fine human being. I considered him a very good friend. My deepest sympathy to his entire family on his passing.

I will miss all of these fine gentlemen.

If you would like anything mentioned in an article for Trap & Field, please e-mail me at or phone 585-519-9543. I am always looking for information for these news articles.

See you all soon, and good shooting. May God bless.

Dave Cichelli

ATA Delegate


Greetings from Ontario, Canada! As I write this, I am enroute via an Air Canada flight between Toronto and Phoenix on my way to Tucson for Executive Committee meetings and the Spring Grand.

Travel by air with a competition shotgun is always challenging. I have talked to many Ontario shooters and have given them some tips that I hope helped make the process a little easier. I have previously written about the difficulties that many people have experienced, particularly with Air Canada and Pearson International (Toronto)—especially Terminal One.

If one takes a moment to just observe passengers, you will notice that many people appear stressed and resigned to a process that even without firearms can take hours before ever reaching the flight gate. It sort of reminds me of watching joggers. Most are grim-faced, seldom if ever smile, and simply endure the brutal process that leads to the eventual result they expect to achieve.

In this article, I will lay out the procedures that most travelers by air with firearms will experience. I have some suggestions which may help.

Make sure you have your valid ATF permit that will authorize you to temporarily import firearms into the U.S. Apply well in advance of your intended trip date. From the time you submit your application, the estimated processing time is three to five weeks. Sometimes your application is returned for amendments. The ATF staff is very good and quite cooperative. Leave yourself lots of time to get your ATF permit.

Most travel agents are not familiar with firearm issues. Ask your agent if there are any special rules for transporting a firearm with your chosen carrier. Also ask the price. For instance, Air Canada will charge a $50 handling fee plus H.S.T. for a firearm. If you purchase your ticket online, do your research before you buy it.

Procedures, I expect, vary from carrier to carrier and from the terminal where you depart. If you are with Air Canada and departing from Toronto (Pearson) or on a connecting flight where you must re-check your baggage, here is what you will likely encounter:

You will most likely go through Terminal One. Leave yourself at least three hours because you will be in for a long ordeal. Have your washroom break before you get in queue. In 2017 Barry Turner (AP) missed a connecting flight enroute to Florida for the Dixie Grand; Lloyd Beecraft missed a flight to Phoenix (he was three hours ahead of his departure time); I missed a flight to Tampa (I was also three hours ahead of the departure time). Sometimes you can take another flight the same day, but sometimes you won’t get a flight until the next day.

Tip: Arrive earlier rather than later.

Go to the international departure area (at Terminal One, that is Area 11, and it is the farthest away).

Skip the queue for the automated boarding pass machines. Reason: when you use this process, you won’t get a boarding pass when you disclose you have a firearm. You will be directed to the check-in line, and most often you will be in this queue for a long time.

When you navigate the queue and reach a check-in attendant, tell him or her right away that you will be checking in a firearm.

Tip: Use proper terminology. Don’t say “gun,” for several reasons. People within earshot, especially in Canada, get alarmed, and check-in personnel get flustered; many assume it is a handgun. Call it what it is. You are checking in a competition shotgun. Many check-in attendants are unfamiliar with the process. Without being condescending, be prepared to help them. They will need to procure a firearm declaration form that you will fill in and sign. There are two material areas you will be declaring. One, that you know it is an offense to have a loaded firearm, and you are declaring your firearm is unloaded; two, that you are not transporting ammunition or, if you are, that you comply with the regulations.

Tip: The process is simpler and faster if you travel with no ammunition.

This form is in multiple parts and different colors. One stays with the firearm (inside the gun case). One stays with you. One is attached to your receipt, etc.

Tip: Be patient. Many check-in attendants have never checked a firearm or can’t remember the rules, so they have to look up procedures online, and many call a supervisor to help ensure they have complied. This process can take a while.

You must then take your gun case to the oversize cargo line. You will have to until your turn, so have your paperwork ready. Your gun case will go up a conveyor belt and through an X-ray device.

Tip: When the gun case clears X-ray, it then goes down another conveyor belt to a lower floor. Later, your gun case will have to be physically located and brought upstairs to the U.S. Customs Control secondary screening area.

Tip: If you have a suitcase or other checked baggage, you will be given a receipt sticker for each one, and these will be attached to your back-up boarding document as well as your declaration form. But there is nothing on this receipt sticker to differentiate which is the gun case and which is the suitcase. Therefore, make a note before the gun case goes onto the X-ray belt which is which in case you have to later identify which one is the gun case that someone has to go looking for.

Further tip: Often, at the U.S. Border Control area, they want to inspect all of your checked luggage, not just your gun case. I therefore take my suitcase and put it through the oversize baggage X-ray procedure just like the gun case. This keeps these two checked pieces reasonably close together and more easily found (otherwise they go down two separate conveyors and end up potentially a long way from each other). This time (for me) the U.S. Customs wanted to see only the gun case. Last time they wanted to see both.

Now you are ready to navigate the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol procedures and to start (at least at Terminal One), you have to go all the way out of check-in Area 11 to the main corridor and travel to the entrance, where it says, “Visitors to U.S.” or words to that effect. The Nexus line likely won’t shorten things for you as you have a declared firearm. So you will have to wait in queue outside the entrance, eventually show your boarding pass to a security officer, and go into the security area.

Once you are in the security area, you will be in another winding and potentially lengthy queue. Eventually you will place items in a bin, including your coat, belt, shoes, electronic devices, carry-on, etc., and you will personally go through a metal detector or X-ray device and possibly be wanded with a detector. Then you can pick up your personal items.

Tip: Hold onto your pants. I have never heard of anyone charged with indecent exposure, but belts do serve a purpose.

You then stand in queue again, waiting to go through the next set of doors. You produce your boarding pass (again) and are ushered through.

What awaits you on the other side of the door? You guessed it—another queue. This is the line for people waiting to use one of the many automated terminals where you insert your passport, answer questions on the screen, and are prompted to then look at the camera so your picture can be taken. (Most people have no idea where the camera is as there are so many bells and whistles in front of you. Some people’s image is captured where the person is looking up, or around—whatever. Eventually you will get a printed receipt with your picture that at best shows you are likely human but not much else.

Next you take your passport, boarding pass and your printed photo receipt and stand in a very long winding queue waiting to visit a live U.S. customs officer who will review your documents. Be sure to declare that you have a firearm. He or she will ask you where you are going with the firearm and what you will be using the firearm for. Most custom agents don’t ask too many questions at this stage, but be prepared to produce, if necessary, an invitation (although it is technically not supposed to be required). You will get the most hassle on this at some New York State land entry locations as New York seems to have rules that transcend ATF requirements.

Now you must be escorted to the U.S. Customs & Border Control “secondary” screening and clearance. At the desk they will take your passport and boarding card, and (for the first time) you will produce your ATF form. It is now a waiting game. You can’t use any electronic devices. You wait and wait. Eventually your gun case (and perhaps other checked baggage) is retrieved from downstairs. An agent will ask you for the combination (or key) and will open and inspect your firearm(s). A Canadian inspector (TSSA) is then called and will eventually show up and inspect the firearm and the case and clear it. The U.S. agent will then close the case, lock it, and put it back on the conveyor belt destined to be put on your flight.

Tip: If you have a break-action shotgun and your serial number can be read only when the lever is depressed, you will often have to tell them how to do this. If you say nothing, the lever will remain depressed throughout your flight and thus could damage the gun. Tell them how to restore the lever to a neutral position. They invariably lock it, but watch to make sure. You will be on the other side of the counter, well removed from the gun case and shotgun, so pay close attention.

Once you are cleared to leave this secondary screening area, you will exit into an area that will lead you to your gate, and you proceed as usual.

Tip: While you are in the secondary screening area, you will not hear most terminal announcements. Your gate may change. For instance, my boarding pass indicated I was departing from Gate F68. When I got there, it showed departures to Memphis. I checked on the big board, and my departure gate showed F61. Apparently this had been announced, but because I was tied up in secondary, I didn’t hear it. If you are jammed for time, always look at the big departure board, as your gate may have changed.

The good news (for me) is that this time I navigated all the procedures and queues in two hours and 25 minutes. A few wrong turns here and there could have been time-costly, and a flight could easily be missed.

For many U.S. residents, returning to the U.S. by air with a firearm may result in similar procedures and delays. There is an old saying, “Time to spare, go by air.”

I hope this helps. Traveling with a firearm by air is challenging, but you could be in some sports where it is even more challenging—like equestrian.

Have a great shooting season.

Paul Shaw

ATA Eastern Zone Vice President

P.S. When I arrived in Phoenix, it took one-and-a-half hours for Air Canada to finally admit my gun case and shotgun were still in Toronto. It arrived 36 hours later, gun case damaged.


Spring is finally here, and hopefully we don’t get too wet as we make our way toward May. By now, everyone should have had the opportunity to enjoy a few nice days and the aroma of gunpowder after a long, snowy, frozen winter. Many of our shooters took part in one or more of the various winter leagues which have come to completion, while others braved the threat of sunburn in a more tropical climate.

Twenty-nine Pennsylvanians were at the Silver Dollar in Florida to take part in the Silver Dollar Open. Eight earned 19 trophies throughout the shoot. Deborah Ohye-Neilson carted home seven awards, including Lady II all-around and HOA, and Donald Schaffer Jr. earned five, including the all-around title plus runnerup in the Singles Championship and Class AA HOA. Other winners include Frank Pascoe (two), Bruce Schmidt, Dennis Carney, Roger Shallenberger, Brendan Doorly and Criona Doorly. Congratulations to all!

I heard through the grapevine that Donald Schaffer Sr. broke his first 100 straight and managed to avoid sunburn in the process. Congratulations, Don!

For those who I haven’t seen over the last few months, make sure you get some practice in at your local club in preparation for your respective Pennsylvania zone shoots held on Mother’s Day weekend.

Steve Ross

ATA Alternate Delegate

Southern Zone


The target year is starting off slow; we have had nothing but cold and lots of rain. It seems every week we are to have a shoot, it is raining or too cold for anyone to come out and play. Well, April is upon us, and hopefully we are over the rain, cold, and of course, the flu. It seems like everyone had it this year, and nothing is worse than being sick when you want to go shooting.

On a brighter note, the state shoots will be in full swing soon. Florida State is in the rearview, and I hope some shooters made it from Bama. The Georgia and South Carolina tournaments will be the first two out of the box in May. They are always good ones to attend. Let’s get out for some practice and get to some of these shoots.

I heard that Juston Trimback and Dan Jones shot very well in Arizona; way to go, guys. However, the trip was a little messed up by weather; they had to sleep in the airport. Not fun.

The state association has been busy working on trophies, programs, advertising and field sponsors. Lots of work goes into getting everything done for our state shoot May 31-June 3 at Dixie TC in Mathews. Make your reservations early. We all look forward to seeing you there.

Read the rulebook. We all need to learn it. The next time you are on your computer, check out our website. Bill is doing an awesome job of keeping it updated. Good luck and good shooting to all.

Please keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers. Without the men and women of our armed forces protecting this country, we would not be able to enjoy this great sport. When you see a soldier, thank them for their service.

I hope to see you all on the line somewhere soon. If you need my help or have news to report, contact me anytime at 205-410-8201 or

Fred Jensen

ATA Delegate



The FTA announced the 2018 FTA trapshooting state team. Please congratulate the following for their outstanding trapshooting performances during 2017:

Men’s first—Andrew Loitz, Harry Franklin, Lewis LaRoche Sr., Matthew DeBord, Bruce Burton. Men’s second—Richard Erdely, Ken S. Culver, Ralph Bennett, Gerald Armstrong, Jerry Bryant. Women’s first—Mallory Stanton, Karen Dickman, Marilyn Lehrfeld, Theresa Bellerive, Sarah Jacobs. Women’s second—Ruthie Flayderman, Alberta Brooks, Kim Wright, Mary Norris, Delia Sippel. Sub-junior first—Kevin Whitehead, Brody Riley. Junior first—Gene Bryan III. Veteran first—Mark Zauhar, David Lynch, William Bezubiak, Guy Long, Gary Bonnell. Veteran second—Michael Brazell, J. Gregory Hohman, Skipper Wright, Ted Fortune, Jake Jacobs. Senior vet first—Kay Ohye, Jack Schumpert, Richard Musetti, Donald Kerce, Patrick Scwartz. Senior vet second—Robert Hosch, Michael Evernham, Steve Norris, Stephen Zane, Thomas Mann.

News on the Palm Beach Co. SSP: The following was released in February 2018 on the progress of construction at the Palm Beach Co. SSP. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) awarded Leisure Construction the contract to build admissions buildings, restrooms, a classroom and maintenance facilities. When complete, this state-of-the-art facility will safely support the needs of hunters, hunter safety students and target shooters. The park will be one of the largest shooting sports facilities in Florida and will include opportunities for Olympic-style shooting.

“As soon as the supporting structures are built and the landscaping is complete, we expect to open the handgun and rifle ranges,” said Dean Stoddard, FWC’s construction manager. “We anticipate building construction to be completed in the fall.”

Contact me with any news for Florida trapshooters at or 321-427-6553.

           Larry Grenevicki

           ATA Delegate



I’ve finally come out of hibernation and am psyched to get going in 2018. We’ve already had shoots at Cherokee and South River, and the season is about to go into full swing. Weather cooperated at Cherokee (especially for January), and Max Owen shot lights out in all events to take HOA. The rust really showed for the rest of us. The shoot at South River was more winter-like, but a very nice crowd came out to enjoy it.

I’d like to congratulate Jerry Osborne on being classified AAA-27-AAA at the Autumn Grand. I’m not aware of any other Georgia shooter who has reached this level. Keep it up, J. T.

During the winter there has been a lot of behind-the-scenes work done in preparation for this year’s state shoot. I’d like to recognize Ginger Golden, David Hollingsworth, David Adams and David Witt. Ginger’s work producing the shoot program is vital and the quality of her output impeccable. David Hollingsworth makes sure nothing is overlooked and helps in many areas. David Adams has helped me significantly, particularly with the state team awards, and is the man behind the barbecue. David Witt handles the trophies and also helps with the state team awards. I have not singled out the other board members, but rest assured they have all contributed through effort and donation.

Also, during the off-season I have certified the Griffin GC in Griffin and the Wagon Wheel SC in Box Springs (near Columbus), allowing them to throw registered targets. The Harris Co. kids shoot is at Wagon Wheel, so this will make it much easier for them to get registered birds. I believe that middle to lower Georgia is a huge untapped opportunity for trapshooting, and I intend to do what I can to involve this area. If you have any ideas, please let me know. See you at the next shoot.

           Richard Griffith

           ATA Delegate


The trapshooting community in Kentucky should be very proud of the heritage that our shooters have developed over several decades and which appears to be continuing. Thanks to youth shooting programs around the state and the dedication and skills of many volunteers, Kentucky has two of the five Trap & Field Rookies of the Year for 2017. T&F announced in its February issue that Kaley Bartlett of Glasgow is the women’s category winner and that Daniel A. Everett of Kevin is on of the age-group rookies. A big thank you goes out to these shooters and to all the volunteers and supporters of youth shooting across the state. The Kentucky High School Trapshooting League has begun registering athletes for the 2018 season, which promises to be the biggest year to date as there are several new teams across Kentucky.

Kentucky has several members on the ATA’s All-American teams. Both Kevin (Tank) Polson and Keith Ditto made the men’s first team. Hannah Simpson made the Lady I first team. Melissa Tracy made the Lady I second team. Martha Humphrey made the Lady II first team. The sub-junior second team had three members from Kentucky: Connor Richardson, Drew Wyatt and Tristen Miles.

The well-attended Spring Grand had a total of 22 Kentucky trapshooters participating. Junior gold shooter Drew Cropper led the Kentucky delegation with a HOA score of 1,055. Donnie Sherrard led Kentucky veterans with a 1,049. Aaron Willoughby led Kentucky men with 1,048. Kevin Polson, Doug Cox and Vaughn Helton were close behind. As prelim week began, Sherrard was hot with a 100 and 97 in first two events along with Tank Polson’s 97 in No. 2. Donnie followed that with a straight in Event 7. Royce White broke 199 in Week 1’s championship singles.

As the Grand Week started, Doug Cox shot a 96 to win the prelim handicap, followed by Cameron Decker with 94. In Tuesday’s singles, Nick and Mike Kingrey, along with Drew Cropper, broke three of the 47 straights in the event. In Wednesday’s ’caps, Sherrard and Willoughby both broke 97s for a shootoff. Cropper had a straight in the Doubles Class Championship, with Nick Jessie following with 97. In the Singles Class, Nick Kingrey led the Bluegrass contingent with 199, with Doug Cox close behind with 198. In the Handicap Championship, Cropper led Kentuckians with a 97 tie for runnerup.

KTL president John Kerr is reportedly recovering nicely after being seriously injured while on a Florida vacation. Alas, we continue to grieve the loss of Grizzly Adams, who we lost unexpectedly in December. If you have news you wish to share with Kentucky’s trapshooting community, please e-mail me at or call 270-227-2262. As spring arrives, we are wishing everyone good health and many smoked targets.

Vernon Anderson

KTL board member


The weather for early 2018 has really been something here on the Gulf Coast! It has been unseasonably cold and very windy. We had several days of “teen” temperatures, a few snow flurries and some very cold rain. However, we just bundled up and shot our tournaments.

At Coast R&PC Feb. 19, we had 22 shooters participate. Singles was won by Bob Miller, handicap by Johnny Pollard, and doubles by Kent Lacina. Two shooters got a half yard in handicap.

The Mississippi State Shoot will be May 24-27 at Coast R&PC, Biloxi. Plans are really shaping up, and it will be bigger and better than ever before. Please make your plans to come to the Gulf Coast and enjoy the hospitality of the Mississippi State Shoot.

Lenny Sawyer

ATA Delegate

North Carolina

Finally, some warmer weather so we can shoot in relative comfort! From reports around the state, clubs are gearing up for a busy trap season. Our Hall of Fame Shoot is now held April 26-29 at the NC Homegrounds in Bostic due to the Dixie Grand moving to North Carolina in October. This will replace our Dogwood Open.

Our state shoot will be the same as usual, June 6-10 in Bostic, and we expect a good turnout this year as shooters come to see the grounds ahead of the Dixie Grand.

We’ll be one of the telephonic sites for the ATA Southern Zone Shoot July 19-22. This is a nice place to come in July! Not too hot, and great targets.

Camping spots are available for the Hall of Fame Shoot and state and Zone tournaments. You can contact Brad Barnett at to make reservations. Camping spots are sold out for the Dixie Grand, but you can get on the waiting list; again, contact Brad.

Check out the website for more information about shoots around the state, and you can e-mail me at if you have any questions about shooting in North Carolina.

Bob Schultz

ATA Delegate

South Carolina

Rodney Raines has reached the 100,000 level in doubles. Next and more important, Rodney will be this year’s South Carolina Hall of Fame inductee. Rodney certainly deserves the honor; he has won many state championships and is captain of the 2017 state team. Plan to attend his induction the middle of September at Partridge Creek GC. Congrats, Rodney.

By now you should have plans made for the Georgia State Shoot. In case you don’t, they have a special rate at the LaQuinta; call central reservations and ask for the GATA rate. Two weeks later is our state shoot, the Wednesday after Mother’s Day. Jack Schaub has been working closely with Teresa Knight and Tammie Wilkins on a revamped program. I hope you can join us. Get to your local monthly shoots and Big 50s so you’ll have plenty of targets to avoid penalty class.

I received an e-mail from Terry Dean that the EC meeting has resulted in $35,000 added money being awarded at the Grand American this year. The ATA is doing well both financially and organizationally. All should go well at the Grand this year, especially if we get a break on the weather like we did last year.

I can be reached at

Jim Faber

ATA Delegate


April is usually the start of warm weather and trapshooting in Tennessee. Most clubs have their first monthly shoots in April.

Hog Heaven will host the Mike Seitz Memorial April 18-22. Youth Team Championships are April 28. Club address is 560 Highway 113, White Pine, TN 37890-4403.

The 39th Southwestern Grand American is April 3-8 at the National SC, San Antonio, TX. There will be 1,600 program registered targets.

It is time to start making plans to attend the 105th Tennessee State Shoot. At our February board meeting, we voted to buy 12 new Pat-traps and E-Rads. June 12-13 is the AIM State Shoot, and June 14-17 is the state tournament hosted by Tennessee CTC, Nashville.

Read the rulebook, please.

Check out our website at for more info.

For questions or further information, contact me at or 731-217-9957.

Billy Cook

ATA Delegate

By |2018-04-30T20:02:34+00:00April 30th, 2018|Categories: Around The ATA|Comments Off on Around The ATA – April 2018

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