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.


As if to put an exclamation mark on the end of the shooting season, Mother Nature gave central and southern Alberta one to three feet of snow the last week of September. This required Castor to postpone its year-end shoot for a week, and while reported weather conditions were cold and windy, two brave squads of shooters participated in the annual National Trapshooting Day shoot. That’s it until May 2020 for registered shooting in Alberta.

Last month I reported on Allan Radway’s 500,000 registered target milestone. A check of the 500,000 target attainment roster on the ATA website reveals that only four Canadians are members of this group—all of them Albertans. In addition to Radway, they are Trevor Dawe, Ron McConnell and Art Peyton. Congratulations, all!

Alberta All-Stars, average leaders and high category shooters for 2019 are out, and here they are:

High averages: singles, Shawn McNeil, .9847 on 1,700 targets; handicap, McNeil, .9191 on 1,300; doubles, Brad Johnson, .9504 on 2,500.

High categories: Lady I, Lynn Smith, .8898 on 5,700; Lady II, Heather Brumwell, .8444 on 7,300; sub-vet, Bob Gruszecki, .9330 on 5,600; sub-junior, Nathan Tebb, .8493 on 5,100; junior, Niklas Tebb, .9223 on 6,900; junior gold, Jacob Johnson, .9213 on 2,200; vet, Larry Ivany, .9327 on 8,600; senior vet, Ron McConnell, .9202 on 13,700.

All Stars: First team—Shawn McNeil, .9507 on 4,200; Brad Johnson, .9414 on 6,600; Bob Gruszecki, .9330 on 5,600; Larry Ivany, .9327 on 8,600; Art Peyton, .9299 on 27,800. Second team—Jim Thomson, .9247 on 6,800; Niklas Tebb, .9227 on 6,900; Garry Hill, .9217 on 16,000; Jesse Smith, .9208 on 14,600; Ron McConnell, .9202 on 13,700.

Art Peyton had the most targets shot with 27,800.

And we also have some Albertans on the 2020 ATA All-American teams: Art Peyton, sub-veteran second; Garry Hill, veteran second; and Bert Brumwell, chairshooter.

Congratulations, all.

Jim Thomson

ATA Delegate


Wintertime shooters seem to fall into two categories: those who enjoy Arizona, and those who still insist on suffering. Here is what we have to offer: sunny days, reasonable temperatures, great people, some of the best facilities in the country, Tex-Mex cooking (other cuisines offered, too), beautiful Southwest surroundings, and the gun-friendliest state of all (we do take in political refugees from other states and provinces, including California). Don’t sit there freezing and sneezing while the temperatures plunge and the snow piles up. Life is too short, so come on down to Arizona; you may never leave.

A great place to start would be our Hall of Fame Classic Jan. 15-19 at the Ben Avery CTC in northwest Phoenix. It’s just off I-17 and part of the largest shooting complex in the country. The Hall of Fame honors those who have made a special contribution to Arizona trapshooting and the sport in general. I have been let in on the secret, and it will be a most popular and well-deserved choice. Ben Avery offers 16 traps, RV parking, and a great background. It is one of our state’s premier facilities. Nearby are some of the best hamburgers (large) that you will ever eat, great pizza, an old-fashioned German restaurant complete with accordion player, and Tex-Mex and gourmet eating in Scottsdale and Cave Creek. Did I mention temperatures in the mid to upper 60s with little chance of rain? Let’s see, all that or snow, sleet, gray skies, heavy coats and boots plus mittens, plows and shovels.

Now is the time to start planning for the Spring Grand. Preliminary days start Feb. 12. More details next month, but the prelim days and the Spring Grand make it the second-largest shoot of the year.

Around the state: Congratulations are in order to our All-Americans. Topping the list is Gerry Williams, who is on the senior veteran (aka, the Sharks and Crocodiles) first team. Tim Robb and his shooting partner Jim Copsey are on the veteran second team as is Karen Bergman in Lady II.

Tucson started off the fall season with a two-day shoot Oct. 12-13. Bob Mlynarz, Bob Dobbs, Randy Kalal and Jeff Mervin were tops in the opening singles at 98. Lindy Albright and Lloyd Kody then followed with 97s in the ’caps. The doubles belonged to Doug Sims. He showed why he is considered one of the premier doubles shooters in the state with a mighty 100 straight. All-American Jim Copsey led his fellow Arizonians in Sunday’s singles at 99, and Ron Schroer was high by three birds in the handicap. Doubles finished things off, and the other Mlynarz, Ken, was high, nosing out Albright by one. It appears that Lindy is back in fine form.

Casa Grande’s Fall Harvest Shoot Oct. 18-20 had a nice turnout. Ron Schroer and Gage Byers topped all Arizona shooters and won senior vet and junior, respectively. Ron repeated that in the handicap, while Steve Haynes came through in mid-yardage. Bob Mlynarz then started a Mlynarz family spurt as the doubles high gun. It was doubles first on Saturday, and it became an all-Arizona affair. Ken Mlynarz was high in Class A, while Bob beat all the other senior veterans. Steve Haynes won B, and Jesse Zamora took C. Bob M. was not finished quite yet, shooting the only 100 in the singles. Dan Forbes was high gun in the ’caps, and Gary Leiser bested all other senior vets. Sunday saw Jim Dremler on top of the Class B singles shooters as was Art Hammer in C. Then it was the Mlynarzes again; Bob’s 97 was high in the handicap, and Ken won long-yardage. Gary Leiser concluded a nice shoot, winning mid-yardage.

There are 14 registered shoots between mid December and the Hall of Fame Classic in January, starting with Ben Avery on the 13th and then Casa Grande and Rio Salado on the 16th. Next is Tucson Dec. 21-22, followed by Casa Grande’s Big 50s on the Monday just before Christmas. The Winter Chain then kicks off Dec. 27-Jan. 1 at Casa Grande. Tucson enters the Chain Jan. 2-5, and Double Adobe has a two-day event Jan. 4-5. CG and Rio Salado are next Jan. 6, and then Casa Grande has their Kick Cabin Fever extravaganza Jan. 8-12. Way out west, Lake Havasu shoots Jan. 11, and CG holds their regular Big 50s on the 13th. Then comes the Hall of Fame Classic at Ben Avery. There will be no shortage of events in sunny, warm Arizona.

Here is hoping everyone was nice and not naughty in 2019, with Santa leaving something good under the tree, perhaps a new Perazzi or Krieghoff, and that 2020 brings lots of broken birds. See you on the line.

John Bergman

ATA Delegate


Trap season in Utah is winding down. September and early October saw a little action, with Spanish Fork, Vernal, Tooele, and Golden Spike hosting shoots. As is usually the case, we can have extremely nice weather this time of year, or extremely bad. We have had both extremes recently. The weather was so bad during Golden Spike’s shoot, only six people showed up.

In good news, Heber Valley GC held an appreciation shoot for longtime member Jim Duke. Jim (who turned 89 recently) was the founding father of trapshooting in Heber Valley. The program for the day was 50 birds of each discipline, non-registered. I was told the turnout was great, with about 10 squads shooting. One of the highlights of the day was having some of the true pioneers of Utah trapshooting visiting and posing for a photo op.

Bill Dezell, one of our friends and supporters of the shooting sports, is under hospice care with terminal liver cancer. He is currently in a Draper care center. I have visited him five times now and must say he is doing as well as someone can under these circumstances. Wild Bill is in good spirits and is being treated very well. He still has the same great smile and wry sense of humor.

In my visits with Bill, I have learned much about him, such as the name Dezell is Irish. Bill spent most of his career in the construction industry. As a young man, he worked in the mines at Park City. His father was the superintendent at Park City. One day the elder Dezell was visiting with a bank manager and came up with the idea of building a ski resort. What else could you do on snow-covered mountains undermined with tunnels? Bill drove a dozer and actually built the ski runs at Park City Mountain Resort that are visible from the town of Park City. He then went on to train for the USA ski team and was a member of Park City ski patrol.

During his youth, Bill served his country in Vietnam and sustained several bullet wounds for his efforts. His duties in Vietnam were as a “door gunner/crew chief” on a Huey helicopter. He was awarded the Silver Star for some of his heroic actions. The Silver Star is the second-highest award, next to the Medal of Honor. Between being shot down and crash landing, he went down five times. One of those times he was taken as a POW for all of one hour before he escaped.

After his stint in the ski industry, Bill continued his construction calling and worked in 26 states building highways. He has been involved in shooting competition most of his adult life, shooting pistols, rifles and shotguns. You name the gun, and he has probably owned it at one time or another, from small gauges and calibers up to a 577 Nitro elephant gun. He has been on two African safaris. Bill has one son, Bill Junior, who is helping him with his affairs.

I have thoroughly enjoyed knowing Bill the last 12 years and have looked forward to our weekly visits, one of which will be today, so I can share this article with him.

Anyone wishing to visit Bill should contact me, and I will give you his address.

           Ed Wehking

           ATA Western Zone Vice President


Merry Christmas from the Washington State Trapshooting Association! I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and have had success in your fall endeavors, whether that has been shooting ATA targets, enjoying our good hunting in the Pacific Northwest, or getting packed up to head for some warmer climates and sunshine. We at the WSTA all wish you a great 2020 as well and are anticipating a wonderful year with many events that our sport has to offer. This time of year, I like to look back at the previous shooting season and add up all the people I met and be thankful for the company I get to keep while taking part in the trapshooting community.

I just returned from the fall WSTA directors meeting in Ritzville. The Spokane GC will be the host of our 2020 state shoot. We have a shooting schedule for Washington set with the exception of two clubs, which I’m sure will fill a weekend apiece once they have their plans ironed out. The Evergreen SC has climbed aboard to throw a two-day program at the end of May, which could make for a good Memorial Day getaway. If your club would like to host a shoot or take part in the Big 50 program in the coming year, please contact our secretary Bruce Skelton at The word can be spread about your activities on the WSTA Facebook page and our website

Dale Kinzel has been chosen as our president this year and has already dedicated a lot of brainstorming time toward our state championships. We also welcome Paul Downs to our board, as he has been appointed to fill the last year of the term vacated by Andrea Bergstresser. Paul has recently retired from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and is eager to devote more time to trapshooting and the state association. Thank you to Andrea for your service to our organization and to Paul for being willing to fill her shoes. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. Our hope is to make the 2020 target year and the 80th state shoot memorable.

I’d like to give a shout-out to Wayne Brannon of Colfax for reaching a couple of milestones recently. On National Trapshooting Day Oct. 5, just across the Idaho border at the Troy-Deary GC, Wayne shot his 100,000th singles target. Back in June Wayne attained this same honor in the handicap discipline during the WSTA Championships. He’s working on adding to his doubles totals also, so Wayne’s trapshooting career, spanning over 40 years so far, is far from over. There are many trophies on Mr. Brannon’s shelves, including an Inland Empire handicap crown. Always offering encouragement, especially for new shooters, Wayne has been an asset and inspiration for all of us.

The biggest thank you we can offer is to you, the shotgunners who support the WSTA throughout the year. Your attendance, volunteerism at shoots and efforts at your clubs are what this is all about and the reason it can continue to happen. Ask what you can do for your club, and you’ll find the involvement in trapshooting an even richer experience. See you all in a clubhouse and on the line somewhere in 2020! Shoot straight and keep your powder dry.

Sean Lewis

ATA Alternate Delegate


With October ending, it also brings an end to ATA shooting in Wyoming, with Cheyenne having the only shoot this month. Turkey shoots are in full swing as well as other fun events. Cheyenne has a Wednesday Night Under the Lights shoot that is sure to be fun and have interesting weather at times. I hope you can make it to a few fun shoots; I always enjoy them. It is also the perfect time to shoot one of your old shotguns or just mix it up from the regular trap guns. These tournaments bring new shooters who hopefully can be turned into ATA shooters. At the time of this writing, the Nevada State Shoot had just started. Next month I will have a report on how the Wyoming shooters did. Until then, try to shoot often and stay warm.

Nico Elardi

WSTA Director


Greetings from Iowa. Trapshooting has slowed here, harvesting is complete, and a number of Iowa shooters are preparing to make the trek to warmer climates for the winter. Here at the homegrounds, traps and equipment have been put away, and off-season maintenance is under way. The rest of the campground electrical upgrade is in full swing, along with grounds improvements and building maintenance to prepare for the 2020 trap season.

Congratulations to all the Iowa shooters who were able to attend the Missouri Fall Handicap in Linn Creek. Weather was good, and Lyndle and the MTA crew hosted another great shoot. Trophy winners from Iowa included Lori Glasgow, who led the way with a total of four; Mick Friedel with three; Danny McCoy with two; and Delmos Little, Steve Brandel, Ron Gordon, Heath Kasperbauer, Jeff Roby, Keegan Kendall, Ronald Peters, Noah Conley, Steve Glasgow and Steve Maltzahn, all with one each. Gordon won class B HOA, and Maltzahn was senior vet HOA. Congratulations to all!

Congratulations to all the 2020 ATA All-American teams. Our Iowa All-Americans include Shelly Heitner, Ben Schlatter, Keegan Kendall, Christopher Gardner, Evan Ingalls, Luke Erickson, Frank Sick, Dale Stockdale, David Bessine and Dean Bright. Best of luck for 2020.

In closing, I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season, and best wishes for 2020. You can reach me at or 641-990-2314 with any news or questions you may have.

Steve Glasgow

ATA Delegate


Several Michigan shooters ventured to North Carolina for the Dixie Grand. In Event 1, Frank Clark took runnerup in A class with 99, and Skylar Clark beat his dad by one bird to take the junior category. In Event 2, Skylar was the junior runnerup. For Event 3’s doubles, Frank was runnerup in B class and Skylar runnerup in junior. A pretty great day’s shooting by the family. Jake Patterson’s 100 took AA in Event 4. Skylar won the junior category in the Event 6 handicap. He was the champion in Event 10, the championship singles, with 200 and one perfect extra round. Jake Patterson took AAA runnerup. Skylar’s 382 took AA champion in the HAA, and his 948 won junior champion in the HOA.

Changes continue at the MTA homegrounds. About 84 tons of lead was reclaimed. We’ll do some sampling in two years to see how close we are to further lead reclamation. The trees on the west side of Sycamore Creek have been removed and the area leveled and seeded to add still more parking. We will use that extra parking at the two high school shoots next summer. Thanks to Rick Jensen and Jeff Russell, who volunteered their considerable expertise with an excavator and a bulldozer.

The circuit breakers in the cafeteria control electrical power to the buildings, lights and trapfields. They were obsolete and not functioning well, so a project to replace them was started. All this work was completed, thanks to volunteers Jennifer Pease, Brian Pease, Aaron Shearer and Frank Remmeret, who put in a very long day with the removal and replacement.

While there are only six registered shoots in Michigan in December, most local clubs have leagues and practice, even in cold weather. Supporting local clubs is important year-round.

  1. B. Lewis

ATA Delegate


Greetings, Indiana shooters! The calendar year is certainly flying by. I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving, and I would like to wish each of you a very merry Christmas and happy New Year. Hopefully we have a nice mild winter, and we all have a chance to get the trap guns out a few times and don’t have to wait for spring. For those of you snowbirds heading for warmer climates, safe travels to you.

Here are some important shoot dates for 2020 that you should plan to attend. The ITA zone shoots will all be held on the same weekend this year—which is unique—on May 15-17. Roachdale will host the central zone, Vincennes the southern, and St. Joe Valley the northern. The Indiana State Shoot will be held July 7-12. Evansville GC will once again be a host site for the ATA Central Zone July 31-Aug. 2. Then of course the Grand American will take place Aug. 5-15.

Make sure you check out for a full listing of all of the registered ATA shoots being held next spring and summer at clubs all over Indiana. Please never forget that without all of these clubs, this sport wouldn’t exist. Get out and support them! Shoots for 2020 are being added as soon as possible to the website.

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


Greetings from the North Star State! When you receive this copy of Trap & Field, Christmas will be on the horizon, and Black Friday will be history. Hopefully you have had a chance to hunt a little, and for some of you, the remainder of the season will yield a few more good hunts before the onset of another Minnesota winter.

Randy Jones and Peter Walker have compiled and released the Minnesota all-state teams for 2019:

Men’s first team—captain Eric Munson, Peter Walker, Troy Haverly, John Kelly, Dean Neumann, Nick Kubasch. Second team—Bernie Merchlewitz Jr., Glenn Linden, Larry Burns, Mike Michaelis, George Pappas, Shawn King, Brody Padgett, Jason Vlasak, Durand Wagner, Jeff Rempel. Women’s—captain Morgan Psyk, Laure Zumbusch, Dannyelle Moon, Julie Wiens, Catie Amey, Mary Oehlke. Sub-junior—Anthony Klassen, Cody Smith, Devin Dummer, Benjamin Munson, Remington Ness, Ali Jean Peterson. Junior—captain Carson Tauber, Karter Desmet, Christopher Munson, Jake Mader, Jacob Bocock, Jordan Trenne. Veteran first—captain David Harris, David Olson, Pat Laib, Randy Cook, Walter Shelstad, Bob Newman. Veteran second—Ed Dietz, John Stone, Jim Walkowiak, Joe Hadac, Dwayne Noren. Senior vet first—captain Robert Wynnemer, Scott Messenger, Dennis Steinhaus, Lou Kosiba, Robert Smith, Samuel Bailey. Senior vet second—Byron Churchill, Robert Neilsen, Alan Klotzbach, Richard Berger, Don Wilness.

Congratulations to all team members.

Remember the jackpot shooting at Buffalo, Zimmerman, St. Cloud and Minneapolis. You can get all the details on the Minnesota Trapshooting website or by calling the club for details and information about the weather that day.

One note for your next year’s shooting calendar: Owatonna GC will be a host site for the 2020 Central Zone July 31-Aug. 2.

As I write this, the Nevada State Shoot and Mike Michaelis, Curt Peterson, and Ron Miller are representing Minnesota. Mike has been shooting very well, and Curt has posted some decent scores. Ron made the biggest splash of any Minnesotan by posting a lone 88 in a virtual tornado on Sunday to win the handicap by four birds over the field. Congratulations, Ron! I look forward to meeting you sometime.

I continue to stay busy substitute-teaching and hunting. My hunting partner and I will be leaving shortly for the Canadian prairie to pursue some mallard ducks.

I can be reached at 507-456-2000 or at Until next time, keep your head down. Randall Jones’ contact information is available on the MTA website.

Paul T. Cyr

for ATA Delegate Randy Jones


I would like to welcome the Crawford Country CL to the registered target community. It’s a nice club in Bucyrus. Check them out; you won’t be disappointed. Middletown SC hosted the 52nd annual Fall Festival Sept. 26-29. With 1,131 entries across the four days—475 of those on the three championship events—this year’s event topped last year’s by 135 entries. Great weather made for an enjoyable weekend of competition in Middletown. Chuck Minyard took the top spot in the Charlotte Wells Memorial Clay Target Championship with 100 in the program plus extras. Craig Denlinger busted a lone 97 to become this year’s handicap champion. Chase Horton bested the rest of the field with 97 in the Doubles Championship and also took home the all-around with a combined 285.

If you have any questions, comments or information you want in the article, you can contact me at, or call or text 937-416-3979. Have fun and break ’em.

Mike Blair

ATA Delegate


Driving down the interstate near Milwaukee, there is a lot of traffic in the morning. I was cruising along, then all of sudden there was a dead stop in the traffic in front of me. Good thing I looked in my rearview mirror when I did, because I noticed the pickup truck that was behind me was not there, and a semi was coming up fast behind me. Luckily I had a full car width of left shoulder to pull into quickly, (the pickup truck that was behind me was also in the shoulder lane) as the semi was driving half in my lane and half in the center lane as he was trying to avoid hitting me. Traffic began to move along again, and about a mile up the road I read lettering very large on a pickup topper: “Accept God Today.” Okay, I get the message or messages it was saying to me: pay attention to your surroundings, or you “Could Have Met God Today.” Please be safe on the road for your holiday travels because I want to see you at the next shoot.

You all know that I try to include everyone who wins in my articles, and if I do miss someone, please let me know. Thanks to his brother calling me that I missed a winner with a great score at the Grand in the Caesar Guerini event, congrats to Clifford Kolbe with 98 in senior vet.

Congrats to Thomas Hoppe, the only shooter from Wisconsin to win at the Dixie Grand in North Carolina with a handicap 10th-place finish and A class in singles. The shoot is on my bucket list. No other shoots that I looked up had Wisconsin trophy winners. If I have missed anyone, please let me know.

Check out the CWTA shooting schedule coming up soon at, and you can view local shoots at

This article is the last for calendar year 2019; so many memories of shooters who have accomplished so much. I am one of those who had a fantastic shooting season, along with these trapshooters who I can say are just as happy as I am: “these trapshooters” are all of you, because I am sure you have accomplished at least one thing—or many great things—in your shooting this year.

I was in Minnesota this weekend, and Ed was talking about how the Wisconsin board did such a great job of hosting the state shoot and how their board did the same thing. With that said, thank you, board members, volunteers and staff for a fantastic 2019 year. Bring it on, 2020! We are ready.

Until next article, please help out at your local club cleaning up after each day. Go out and help paint, remodel, organize, etc. Remember, without the volunteers you have already, you would not be trapshooting at your club. I would like to ask you to call the president of your club and ask, “What can I do to help out for the 2020 year?”

E-mail me at with any newsworthy events or good deeds you want me to write about. Remember, my information goes in one month from the month reporting for you to read.

Thank you for letting me write for the great trapshooting state, Wisconsin Trapshooting Association.

Sandra Jo Jack

for ATA Delegate Kevin Doerring

Atlantic Provinces

Hello from the Atlantic Provinces. This month’s article is a good-news report. It has been another great year for trapshooters, gun clubs and trapshooting in general throughout the Atlantic Provinces. Here are some highlights.

Barry Turner started off his annual trapshooting circuit travels at the Silver Dollar Open in late January and recorded several veteran wins.

Herbie and Janaya Nickerson made their annual midwinter trip to Tucson and the Spring Grand in February. Janaya won Lady I in a preliminary handicap, while dad Herbie won B class in the Tucson Doubles. Herbie also shot his first 50 straight in doubles during the tournament.

Monty Petipas, Peter Tucker and John Tucker attended the Southern Grand in mid March for some warm weather and trapshooting. Peter and Monty won three class trophies between them.

Barry Turner also attended the Southern Grand and won veteran runnerup in Wednesday’s Preliminary Handicap. Barry’s winning streak continued during the Great Lakes Grand in May with several veteran awards in singles and handicap events.

Reynold d’Entremont recorded his first career 100 straight in singles and earned yardage for his 97 in the preliminary handicap at the Canadian Trapshooting Championships held at the St. Thomas GC in late June. Steven d’Entremont won the Canadian open handicap champion, Troy Coldwell won HAA open runneup, and yours truly won the Canadian Singles Championship. Rejean d’Entremont, Paul Devereaux and Jack Nicolle also earned awards at our national shoot.

The St. John’s R&GC hosted another well-attended ATA provincial shoot over the Labour Day weekend. Entries were strong in all events, and the club welcomed shooters from Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces. Adam Black, Liam Porter, Jack Hoddinott and Keegan Bartlett competed in their first ATA provincial shoot. Janaya Nickerson continued with her Lady I wins and took the Atlantic Provinces handicap title in a shootoff with John Roberts.

The St. John’s R&GC planned a traphouse repair and trapfield landscaping project for this season. Concrete repairs to the club’s oldest traphouse quickly turned into a complete rebuild. The club’s three other concrete traphouses were prepped, patched and painted. Landscaping improvements to the trapline improved the club’s curb appeal. Club volunteers put in a lot of time and effort and successfully completed the project in time for the Atlantic Provinces ATA Provincial Shoot. The St. John’s R&GC applied to the 2019 ATA Gun Club Fund and was selected as a 2019 recipient. The funds received through this great ATA program are greatly appreciated and will help the club continue with even more improvements next year.

There’s also been a new ATA trapfield built in the Atlantic Provinces. The Annapolis Valley SSC acquired some of the trap equipment from the closure of the Dartmouth CTA, and a new field was built to ATA specifications, thanks to Barry Turner, Dean Ogilvie and other club members. We look forward to seeing ATA registered shoots from the club in the near future.

For more information on the APTA, feel free to contact me or visit

Happy holidays, merry Christmas and a happy New Year from everyone in the Atlantic Provinces. I can be reached at

Andrea Bassan

           ATA Delegate


In Massachusetts this time of year, our registered trapshooting has all but come to an end. But there will be winter leagues starting up, along with plenty of clubs throwing targets for practice shooting. So go to these clubs, have a nice breakfast with your friends, and shoot some targets. You will have a great time, and these clubs will appreciate all the help we can give them.

At our annual meeting and banquet held Oct. 5, election of officers was held. Reelected was Paul Donovan, MATA president; Robert Scott, vice president; Jackie Heller, secretary; and Tom Sirois, treasurer.

I would like to recognize and congratulate Robert Nihtila Jr. for making the 2020 All-American open second team.

At this year’s Grand American, the weather was very nice, and scores were very good, as you would expect at the world’s largest trapshoot. Massachusetts had eight shooters this year, and one member, Jacob Pappas, shot very well. His trophies included prelim Wednesday handicap, 25-26; prelim Thursday handicap, seventh; NRA Singles, B third; Caesar Guerini Preliminary Handicap, 11th; Winchester Super 500 Singles, B runnerup; plus trophies in both of Prelim Week’s HOAs. Jacob made the 27-yard line and also went from Class B to A in singles.

At our Labor Day Shoot held Aug. 31-Sept. 1, we had great weather both days. North Leominster R&GC did a real nice job. The grounds and clubhouse were in great shape. Target presentation was very good.

Massachusetts shooters did well at the Northeastern Grand held in Cicero, NY: Sportsman’s Singles, Frank Cubbelli, C, and John Troisi, senior vet; Sportsman’s Doubles, Nancy Patterson, Lady I; Singles Championship, Walter Bristol Jr., C runnerup; Doubles Championship, Patterson, Lady I.

In a future article, I will be reporting on this year’s annual Take Aim at Cancer Trapshoot and our MATA meetings, one held Nov. 6 to set our shooting schedule for 2020 and on Dec. 4 to nail down the Massachusetts State and Labor Day shoots.

I hope everyone has a nice holiday season with family and friends. If you have any comments, concerns or questions that I can help with, I can be reached at 413-586-0428 or Remember, have fun.

Dave Russell

ATA Delegate

New Jersey

As I write this in October, the warm weather is still hanging around, thank goodness! Our 2020 New Jersey State Shoot will be only a four-day tournament next year. It will start on May 28 and end on May 31. It’ll follow the Delaware State Shoot, which again will be held at Pine Belt SC in Indian Mills.

The Mallard TC in Monroe Township held their Singles Championship Sept. 28. Dan Feldman was club champion with 97, and Steve Seigert was the open winner with 98. Class winners were Carlos Gomes, A; George Lucas, B; Tom Smith, C; and Tom Ocasio, D. Food was supplied by the club.

The following day, Sept. 29, Howell TC held their next-to-last registered shoot of the calendar year. Rich Pappas was high in the singles, and Doug Bracher won the doubles and handicap. A doubles special event was held, and Mike Vannote returned to his winning ways in that.

I had ventured out to Delaware Co. SC in Media, PA, on the 29th and ran into Charlie Willoughby, a past supporter of NJSTA shoots at Pine Valley and Pine Belt over the years. It was good seeing him still active in our sport.

The fifth President’s Shoot was held Oct. 12-13 at Pine Belt. Maryland shooter Jamaal Brown secured the top singles spot on Saturday with 198, and Dan Biggs was runnerup with 197. Saturday’s handicap was won by Pennsylvania shooter Garry Welch after 95 and winning a shootoff over Doug Bracher, who settled for the runnerup award. Sunday’s doubles was won by Virginia shooter Eli Dunphy with 96. The singles event was won by Scott Kalnas’ 100 (his first), and Jamaal was runnerup with 99. The main handicap on Sunday was again won by Garry Welsh with 96; Ray Padovani was runnerup after a three-way tie of 93s. All winners can be found at

You’ll be seeing in Trap & Field under target attainment the names of two New Jersey shooters: Ken Hassis just reached 75,000 registered singles targets, and Dan Biggs just reached 25,000 handicap. Keep up the good work, guys!

December is Christmas party month, Pine Valley is having theirs on Dec. 14, and Pine Belt’s is Dec. 15 at the respective clubs. See NJCTC management for details for this year’s Christmas party.

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

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

Joe Sissano

ATA Delegate

New York

Seasons greetings from New York State. I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving and is looking forward to the upcoming holiday season.

I am sorry to say that the trapshooting community has lost a true sportsman and ambassador for the sport. My old friend and everyone’s friend, Cal Stinson, passed away Oct. 10. Cal was 91 years of age. He was a great guy and always had a smile on his face. Cal was a Trapshooting Hall of Fame inductee, an All-American, and a former Delegate for his home state of Maine. He started registering targets in 1950. Cal attended many of our shoots in Cicero, including the Empire Grand American and the Northeastern Grand American. Our deepest sympathies to his wife and his entire family on his passing. Cal will be missed.

Unfortunately New York has lost another ATA shooter. Michael Ryan, New York’s current state handicap champion, passed away Oct. 20. Michael was 59 years of age. He started registering targets in 1999. During his career, Michael registered 27,650 singles, 20,700 handicap and 17,250 doubles targets. He was at 24.5 yards when he passed. We would like to express our deepest sympathies to his wife Jenn and the entire family on his passing.

The 2020 All-American teams have been announced, and I am very happy to say that 12 New Yorkers have made the teams: Justin Slater, open first team; Michael Fox Jr. and Curtis Robbins, open second; Jenna Euscher and Heidi Womer, Lady I second; Owen Wagner, sub-junior second; Joshua Buchiere, junior gold second; Urban Womer, sub-veteran first; James Flint, sub-veteran second; Robert Edwards, veteran second; and William Wallis and Gerry Ostrander, senior veteran second. All of New York salutes you; congratulations!

The high-average shooters and New York state teams have been announced for 2019. Heidi Womer was the high ladies’ shooter with a .9736 average. Justin Slater took the rest of the honors with .9905 in singles, .9180 in handicap, and .9670 in doubles. For the state teams:

Open first—Justin Slater, .9585; Michael Fox Jr., .9475; Urban Womer, .9362; Curtis Robbins, .9351; Greg Tartick, .9240. Open second—Chris Landon, .9188; James Flint, .9185; Richard Sauer, .9168; Ransom Schrom, .9154; Brian Luther, .9136. Open third (honorable mention)—Daniel Tartick, .9127; John Fassbaugh, .9093; Todd Hosbach, .8996; Chad Landon, .8990; James Dries, .8990. Ladies’ first—Jenna Euscher, .9099; Heidi Womer, .8843; Marilyn Lehrfeld, .8842; Leslie Slater, .8665; Tammy Wildenstein, .8633. Ladies’ second—Mary Dries, .8432; Deborah Bell, .8390; Susan Gullotta, .8286; Deann Benacquisto, .7058. Junior/sub-junior—Chase Wojtanik, .8862; Owen Wagner, .8719; Isabella Mahar, .8649. Veteran/senior veteran first—Bob Edwards, .9290; Gerry Ostrander, .9152; Frank Benvenuto, .9136; Michael Manzo, .9087; Dave Cichelli, .9064. Veteran/senior veteran second—Keith Miranda, .9050; David Clary, .9012; Thomas Horenburg, .9003; Michael Waschitz, .8982; Donald Alderson, .8940.

Congratulations to all.

If anyone would like to have something written in one of these articles, please contact me at or 585-519-9543. See you all soon, and good shooting. Happy holidays to everyone. May God bless.

Dave Cichelli

ATA Delegate


Greetings from Ontario, Canada. There is so much media coverage on current issues that it is mind-boggling to separate fact from fiction. Many years ago, President Harry Truman aptly described all of this when he said, “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”

Sometimes this works in the courtroom as well. Where it doesn’t work is on the trapline. Scores almost universally are absolute: either you hit a target or you miss it, and no amount of trying to convince a scorekeeper or referee, and no amount of manufactured confusion, will help.

There is comfort in knowing we are part of a sport with objective scoring. Many sports have “subjective” scoring, where often the top and bottom referee scores are tossed and one averages the remaining. Sometimes reasonably fair; sometimes not so fair.

It is the time of year when many jurisdictions are tabulating averages and determining their various state and provincial teams. From what I understand, most teams are selected on the basis of a minimum number of targets, which sometimes includes important events like the state or provincial championships then a composite average that includes singles, handicap and doubles. If a shooter does not shoot doubles, for instance, there’s zero chance of making the team. I personally prefer having accomplishments of shooters recognized based upon victories or other objective criteria instead of just composite averages. In Ontario, and I believe in North Carolina, recognition is given (in part, at least) under this concept.

The All-American teams are based on points earned at qualifying competitions, not on composite averages. In Ontario our “Delegate team” and “category Delegate team” do not consider averages at all. Wins at qualifying shoots are what are considered, and we have a lot of talented shooters who don’t shoot all three disciplines at all or well enough to qualify for the provincial team based on averages but can actually make one of our Delegate teams because they are good in one or two disciplines.

Ontario shooters know how our system works and like it. It takes a little time for shoot management to track and report results, but the effort is worth it. If anyone in a state or province outside Ontario wants details on how we do this, just get in touch, and we will be pleased to share it.

Have a great Christmas season.

Paul Shaw

ATA Delegate


The PSSA Hall of Fame has finalized and announced the 2020 Pennsylvania state team members and high-average award winners. The format for our PA state team has changed a bit from years past. This year there are five teams: open (includes men, junior gold and sub-vet), ladies’ (includes Lady I and Lady II), junior/sub-junior, veteran, and senior veteran.

This year’s open captain is Chris Vendel with his second such honor since becoming a Keystone shotgunner. His overall .9558 average edged out Ian Darroch by .23. High average titles were earned by Brandon Deal in singles (.9924), Ian Darroch in handicap (.9230) and Ken Darroch in doubles (.9678). Deborah Ohye-Neilson leads the ladies’ team for the seventh time with a .9410 combined average. She also holds the ladies’ high average titles with .9825, .9067 and .9460 in singles, doubles and handicap, respectively. Wesley Beaver earned captain honors of the junior/sub-junior team with a composite average of .9448 for his fourth overall selection. Steve Huber earned his 24th selection to the PA state team as captain of this year’s veteran team with .9392, and Sheldon Hostetter earned his 25th placement while being named captain of the senior vet team with .9171. Congratulations to all of the above shooters for their great shooting throughout the 2019 target year.

Other team members include (with number of state teams attained, based on my limited information at writing):

Open—captain Chris Vendel (2), Ian Darroch (10), Brandon Deal (8), Donald Schaffer Jr. (13), Ken Darroch (29), John Manetta II (8), Frank Pascoe (28), Cody Davis (15), Don Neilson Jr. (18), James Lechleitner (2), Tyler Nunes, Doug Worrell (4), Adam Stefkovich (4), Stephen MacNeal (3), William Natcher (2), Scott Holdren (2), David Darrough (3), Steven Miller (6), Jared Hanna, Donald Feeg (9). Ladies’—captain Deborah Ohye-Neilson (7), Bethany Breighner (9), Kim Bateman (15), Robyn Bird (7), Diane Arner (12), Tina Capatch (2), Criona Doorly (2), Donna Natcher (22), Peggy Carney (4), Linda Loughran (6), Susan Owens (10), Lisa Long (26), Stephanie Wrisley (3), Marcy Plunkett (4), Connie Kern. Junior/sub-junior—captain Wesley Beaver (4), Luke Cowart (5), Corre Smith (2), Tyler Brown (3), Nick Wertz, Zach Missimer, Joseph Breck IV (2), Kurt Willman (2), Clare Schaffer, Jarod Ossman. Veteran—captain Steve Huber (24), Joel Etchen (27), Jerome Stefkovich (6), Charles Austin (9), Roger Nee (4), Larry Shade (13), Bart Walker, Richard Stefanacci (3), Randy Krick (2), Thomas Lonczynski, Robert Morgan (2), Bill Tarby (2), David Snyder, Phil Boinske (13), Louis Toth (2). Senior vet—captain Sheldon Hostetter (25), Mike Poore (10), Phil Criado (12), Jack Jabs (8), Richard Shuman, Steven Fitch (11), Clayton Hoffman (3), John DeFabio, Wayne Shadel, Richard Long (2), Bert Schoonover (5), Richard Mills, Joe Mizikowski (2), Richard Blatt, Niles Oehrli (9).

Congratulations to all of the 2020 Pennsylvania state team members!

Steve Ross

ATA Alternate Delegate


The Fred Jensen Rebel Yell Memorial was held Oct. 19-20 at the Dixie TC. The shoot was welcomed by post tropical storm Nestor that made Saturday an all-day shoot in the rain. The weather front eventually moved out, rendering Sunday a great shooting day. The Rebel Yell was a memorial to our former Delegate Fred Jensen for his loyal dedication to trapshooting. Fred’s wife Louise has initiated the Fred Jensen Memorial Scholarship. This year’s first recipients were Allison Parson and Kimberly Hillhouse. Winner of the Fred Jensen Sportsmanship Buckle was Thomas Hammett, and Charlie Moore, with his fine shooting, won the HOA. Congratulations to all these fine shooters! Also dedicated was a memorial bench to be enjoyed for years to come at the Dixie TC.

Many clubs are starting to have some monthly shoots, so get out and burn some powder.

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

If you have any news to report or need my help, contact me at

Wayne Sartwell

ATA Delegate


Greetings, shooters! I’d like to start off by thanking all of the Florida shooters who participated in National Trapshooting Day 2019. I was fortunate enough to attend two shoots that weekend and had a blast at both. My wife and I started the weekend at Flagler Gun and Archery Club in Bunnell. Weather was beautiful, targets were fantastic, and the hospitality was unmatched. I highly suggest anyone who has the time or is looking for a nice place to shoot some registered targets to check them out. On Sunday we trekked to the Silver Dollar SC in Odessa. Once again, weather was beautiful, which led to a great turnout. I spotted many new faces as well, which was exciting. They put on a great shoot, like always, and awarded a full complement of Shamrock Leathers trophies to the winners. Shoot results can be viewed at

On Oct. 28 Silver Dollar held its annual “Shoot for the Cure” charity shoot to benefit the Florida Hospital Foundation. For those who haven’t attended before or aren’t familiar with the shoot, the Florida Hospital Foundation uses the proceeds in conjunction with the Kay Meyer Breast Cancer Care Center to provide diagnosis testing and treatment for woman who don’t have the resources to do so. Since it is estimated that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, I can’t think of a more worthy cause. Overall 126 shooters entered the 50-bird event. The ladies competed from the 16-yard line, while the men lined up on the 24. White Flyer provided pink targets for the event, and Federal provided pink shells to all competitors. Additionally, there were over a dozen prizes raffled off, which included lessons from Nora Ross and Harlan Campbell, several firearms, electronics, a resort package from Seminole Hard Rock and more. I suggest that everyone mark their calendars for next year’s Shoot for the Cure because it is loads of fun and supports a great cause!

If anyone has any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at Until then, shoot straight!

Thomas Harrington

ATA Delegate


The Christmas season is upon us, and we Southerners are looking forward to a happy Christmas with just a touch of trapshooting to tide us over into the New Year. On a note of sadness, though, I have just learned of the passing of one of our longtime, ardent Mississippi trapshooters, Lee Benoit. Lee died on June 21. I personally remember Lee as a fine gentleman who enjoyed the comradery of his fellow trappers and who always had the best interest of trapshooting at the center of his attention. Lee’s legacy will live on, as he established an account to help defray the trophy costs of Mississippi state trap championship events for years to come. Lee will be missed.

Although I was away and could not attend the Coast R&PC’s first Gulf Coast Championships in October, I am happy to report this addition to our trapshooting schedule was well received and is on the schedule to be back again next year—a tip of the hat to our trapper brethren down on the coast.

Lest I forget, it is Christmas, a season of joy, family and friends. It is a season of hope for a better tomorrow and a time for peace on earth and goodwill to all men. We trappers are truly blessed to play the game we love and enjoy the company of our fellow trappers all year long. Let’s pause, take Christmas into our hearts, and share our gifts with others. Merry Christmas to all and as always, happy trappin’!

Jerry Tharp

ATA Delegate

North Carolina

What an awesome year in North Carolina—other than the rain at our NC State Shoot . . . The Hall of Fame shoot in the spring was wonderful, and moving it to April gives us a better schedule. We have great weather in April, so plan on coming in 2020! We hit an unusual wet week for the NC State Shoot in June. Normally the weather is good, with an occasional afternoon shower. We hope this year will be better. The Southern Zone telephonic shoot was very good also. Great weather and lots of good scores. Shooters from around the Zone participated, and attendance was up. The Dixie Grand was awesome! More shooters than last year, and great scores and beautiful targets. If you plan on coming next year, please pre-squad. Camping will sell out quickly, so reserve early; there are 80 spots with 50-amp service, water and sewer.

We had a number of shooters attain milestones in their shooting careers. Bill Howe got his combined 500,000 registered target award, Noah Gouge attained 25,000 doubles, and Claude Williams and Frank Davis are right on the cusp of attaining their 25,000th handicap targets. Tom Brown got his 75,000th singles award, and I managed to shoot at and actually hit my 100,000th doubles target. Larry High got his 75,000th handicap target, and George Brown got his 50,000th singles.

All in all, NC shooting is doing well. I urge you to attend your local clubs’ shoots to support them and visit with your friends. We had a lot of support from out-of-state shooters at all our big shoots and some of the smaller ones; we thank you for your attendance.

If you have any ATA-related questions or business, feel free to contact me any time at I am happy to help. Shoot well and often!

Bob Schultz

ATA Delegate

South Carolina

The Dixie Grand is the big news. Tuesday through Friday had clear weather but hot afternoons. Saturday and Sunday cooled off but were cloud-covered. The clear days had great scores, the cloudy days not so good; 96 was the high handicap score on Sunday.

South Carolina had 65 shooters in attendance, second high to North Carolina. We had 18 trophy winners: Randy Knight, Glen Satterfield, Jen Willson, Gary Campbell, Teresa Knight, Tyler Morris, Gary Olson, Frank Ketron, Donnie Pigg, Ken Klug, Neal Alexander, Doug Stenback, Phillip Bagwell, Scott Mouzon, Dean Adams, Wayne Franz, Jay Willson and John Bender. Several were multiple winners. Congrats to all.

The SC board met Nov. 3 to plan next year’s state shoot. As you know, there’s a great deal of work involved. If you see something that needs attention and you can help, please jump in. Volunteer help is always welcome.

Hunting and football season is here, so no major shoots unless you travel out west. Support your local club by shooting practice rounds and attending monthly shoots.

Jim Faber

ATA Delegate


Well, the temperature has cooled, and club shooting has slowed somewhat. I thought I would take this opportunity to inform Tennessee trapshooters about the AIM program in Tennessee. This will be my last article while filling in for Billy Cook. As the Tennessee state AIM director, I have learned much about the pulse of youth ATA shooting across the state since I agreed to take over for Robin Smith in 2018.

Tennessee youth shooting is going strong. You may not be familiar with the subtle differences between squad-based AIM shooting and the traditional ATA individual model. In an AIM competition, awards are not only given for individuals, but they are also given for squads. Just like individual class and category, AIM squads are also classified by class and category. Squad categories are determined by the oldest member of the squad, and the squad class is a function of the average of the entire squad, but the classes are different for each category. In addition, there is one extra category in AIM shooting that doesn’t exist in the regular ATA program. AIM categories are as follows:

Junior gold (ages 18-22)

Junior (ages 15-17)

Sub-junior (ages 12-14)

Pre-sub (ages under 12)

The pre-sub category is unique to AIM, but the other three categories match the regular ATA rulebook. Unlike the ATA rulebook, AIM classes are computed within each category, so an A class shooter in junior gold must have an average that is higher than an A class pre-sub. To give you an example, for a six-class system (AAA through D), such as is used at the AIM Grand: an A class shooter in the pre-sub category must have an average of 82% or greater, whereas the junior gold shooter requires an average of 96% or greater. This same system is used for the squad classes as well.

As young shooters and their parents attend local individual events, please be patient with them if they are not as knowledgeable about the traditional ATA class and category system. Many of these shooters have experience only under the AIM system, and they may be confused about their category and/or class. Since the goal of the AIM program is to develop lifelong ATA shooters, I hope we can make an effort to help these youth shooters feel welcome at regular ATA events.

Until next time, find a local ATA shoot by visiting the Tennessee state ATA website at

Rob Mathis

Tennessee AIM Director


I want to wish everyone a merry Christmas and hope you have a safe and happy New Year as well.

Just a few shout-outs to the Arkansas shooters who are representing the state well. Good job and keep up the good work!

Braydon Smith showed out at the Nevada State Shoot and received several trophies.

Bailey McPherson, Clayton Walters, Wren Washburn and Katie Pryor all brought trophies home from Texas. McPherson shot her personal best of 81, and Ethan Jabara posted his first 50 straight at the Ft. Worth T&SC in Texas (Bair Hatcher Memorial). If you ever get the chance to go to Texas, Steve Bradbury and his team put on a great shoot!

I’m excited about the 2020 trapshooting season. The ASTF Board of Directors is working hard on the 2020 state trapshoot. Be sure to mark your calendar for June 24-28 and June 23 for the AIM State Shoot.

Arkansas has been blessed with an array of gun clubs at which to shoot, and they will be posting their shoots soon on the ASTF and ATA websites. Be sure to check out the websites and try a place you haven’t been. One of the best things about trapshooting is the people you meet and the lifelong friends they become.

I am always looking to doing shout-outs to our Arkansas shooters, so let me know (e-mail below) what you’re up to. Also, don’t forget that it’s the shooter’s responsibility to know the rules. Be sure to get the up-to-date rules off the ATA website. If you have any questions, give me a shout. I can be reached at

2 Corinthians 5:7—For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Merry Christmas, happy New Year, and God bless.

Robby Pennock

ATA Delegate


Shawshank Redemption, or Institutionalized

How many of you have seen the movie The Shawshank Redemption? Red, played by Morgan Freeman, talked about Brooks, the prison librarian played by James Whitmore, who had become institutionalized. What does it mean when a person is institutionalized?

According to the dictionary, it means that a person has been locked up long enough that they have become used to it, and this can create problems upon one’s release. Prison has a very different culture and day-to-day lifestyle than life on the outside.

In the movie, after Brooks was paroled, he found the outside world was moving much faster than the world inside the prison walls. Brooks had been locked up for so long that he found he could no longer function in a culture that was not completely structured. He spent a lot of his free time contemplating commiting crimes so he would be locked up again. Brooks wanted to get back to a life where all decisions were made for him.

In some ways, many of us are a lot like Brooks; as we get older, our learning tends to slow down, and we start to resist change. At first we resist only large changes, changes where we are forced to learn something new. Then we begin to resist anything we aren’t familiar with. We are no longer able to tolerate change well or learn new things easily. Our inner world will also start to slow and begin to shrink. To the degree that our inner world slows down, our outer world will speed up, thus the world at large will appear to be moving faster and faster. It will appear as though we are the only one going the right speed, while everyone else is going much too fast. In no time, you will be looking in the mirror, wondering, “Where did all the years go?”

Many of us older ATA shooters are locked up within the prison walls of our minds as surely as Brooks was locked within the walls of Shawshank prison. Think about it: if you are anything like me, you go to the same shoots every year. We don’t go to this shoot anymore because years ago we had a bad experience at that club. We no longer go to that club’s shoot because they have only 20- or 30-amp power, and our new all-electric buses with their four big slide-outs need more power and room. Someone told us all about a good shoot at a well-managed club where they had been treated well. They had a great time and had shot very well. We all decided to go, but when we Googled it, we saw it was a little out of the way, so none of us went. We all have our own reasons for staying in our comfort zone, but it is still a locked door, and the net effect is your world has shrunk.

In the movie Brooks, who no longer had the proper life skills to deal with his new world, made some bad decisions. On the other hand, each of us possesses the proper life skills and keys to unlock the doors. These keys can’t be lost or misplaced, they never rust or tarnish; they are always right there in our minds, ready to be used. All we have to do is take the key, turn the lock, and the doors will reopen. As the doors open and we go back to some of the old clubs and we stop driving by the new ones, our world will start to expand once again. And just maybe we will stop blaming everyone and everything for all those missed targets.

When I was in college, more years ago than I care to remember, I had a psychology professor who said something like this. When we are young, when everything is new and we have much to learn, our perception of time seems longer. As we get older, our brains have less to learn, so our perception of time speeds up. To slow your perception of time, you may have to simply find something new to learn.

Not much trapshooting is going on in Colorado this time of year. Some clubs are getting ready to have a few turkey shoots then button for the winter.

I hear through the grapevine that Pikes Peak GC is busy getting ready for the 2020 Colorado State Shoot. One of the things they have done is haul in many yards of fill dirt to help level out some of the trapfields. Remember, they don’t do this because they have more money than they need. They do this because they want your shooting experience at their club to be as good as it can be. Be sure to thank them.

Some of you have asked about Ruby Darling. Others want to know why she isn’t in more of my letters. All I can tell you is she has promised to write more, but until then, Ruby leaves you with this:

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”—Eleanor Roosevelt

Irv Effinger

ATA Delegate


Here we are with winter knocking on the door, and the final registered shoots for the season here in Missouri. According to the long-range forecasters, it may be a long winter; hopefully they are wrong. Around the country there are still some shoots going on in the warmer climates. If you went to the Autumn Grand, I hope you brought back a load of trophies. Just because the registered shoots are ending for the season doesn’t mean you must put your guns away. A lot of gun clubs have non-registered/fun shoots and leagues during the off-season to keep your competitive edge alive. Please support your local gun clubs!

I would like to recognize the MO shooters who made the 2020 All-American teams: open second team, Darrell Farr; junior second, James Boswell and Cody Crabtree; sub-veteran first, Marvin Beumer; sub-veteran second, Steven J. Fuller and James Kent Frost; veteran first, Gary Gooch. It takes a great deal of time, effort and commitment, along with shooting very well at a lot of shoots, to make an All-American team. Congratulations to all!

I would also like to recognize the following AIM shooters who made the 2020 annual teams. The All-Star teams: junior gold, Ethan Boyer; junior, Ryan Loveless, Nathan Davis and Hunter Spruill; pre-sub, Thomas Burton and Stephen Loxterman; sub-junior, Andrew Stone and Pete Wann. Shooters making the All-Zone teams: junior, Bubba Darr and Rae Woods; sub-junior, Jordan Zircher. The All-State team members: junior gold, Hunter Darr, Joshua Frasher, Hanna Cash, McKenzie Albers and Jamie Joerling; junior, Caleb Johnson, David Harris, Hayden Miller, Noah Boyer and Joseph Tubbs Jr.; pre-sub, William Chauncey, Joseph Lumetta, Madison Cash, Ann Denny Muehleisen and Daniel Houlihan; sub-junior, Tyler Mudd, Ella Kurrus, Jacob Vinyard, Mason Lucas and Ty Howard. Congratulations to all these youngsters. I would also like to congratulate and thank all the coaches and parents who put in a great deal of time and effort arranging practice time and making all the necessary arrangements to get their shooters signed up and to the shoots.

This year the Missouri Fall Handicap started off on the wet side but made a significant turn for the better. If you were not able to make it this year, you missed a great shoot with lots of great scores. We did have a couple of days with some north wind, but it did not seem to affect the scores as much as in the past. The Tom Endres Singles Championship on Saturday had 307 shooters take the line, with Hunter Spruill, Steven J. Fuller and Bubba Darr breaking all 200. After six shootoff rounds, Hunter claimed the champion trophy. Sunday’s first event was the Downrange Doubles Championship with 290 entries; Bill Hahn Jr. was the outright champion with the lone 100. The final event was the Wenig Handicap Championship with 285 entries. Two shooters tied with 98s. Bob Pilkington and Donnie Sherrard went two shootoff rounds, with Bob claiming the champ trophy.

It takes a great deal of time and effort to get the grounds ready, put all the mics out, and fill the houses with targets before a shoot of this size (or any size, for that matter). Thank you to all the MTA management and staff for your hard work for not only the Fall Handicap but all the events at MTA this year. On behalf of the MTA Board of Directors, I would like to thank all the sponsors and contributors as well as the shooters who attended tournaments at MTA this year.

I really hate to keep harping on the subject, but somehow the point needs to get across to all shooters. Average cards! Shooters, it is your responsibility to have your current average card (not your phone) filled out, as per the ATA rulebook, with a current list of scores as well as the proper handicap yardage marked. Most every time that there is a discrepancy, it goes back to improper classification, often related to yardage or category. There are rules set by the ATA in the rulebook (which, by the way, is okay to read) that all shoots must go by. Each shoot should have a printed program that may have other requirements for that shoot, such as penalty class or yardage if minimum target requirements are not met. It is important to read the program prior to the shoot to make sure you are familiar with the classes and categories for the shoot. Shoot management wants nothing more than for each shooter to have a positive experience throughout the event. By making sure that everyone is properly classified, it eliminates the chances of having to disqualify a shooter, especially if they were in contention for a trophy.

By the time you read this report, Thanksgiving will have passed. I would like to take the opportunity to thank those who serve this nation, all the way down to those who volunteer their time for whatever the reason. Often the only compensation those who volunteer receive is a thank you now and then. In my business, I visit several gun clubs each year that operate solely with volunteers. Oftentimes when that one or two individuals who were keeping things going can no longer do so, it is the demise of that entity. Not everyone has the time or the means to help out, but if you do and have time or resources to offer, it may mean having a local place to shoot or not. Thank you to those who volunteer their time and resources!

If anyone has anything that they would like to have reported on or has any questions or concerns, please contact me at or 816-863-9003. Shoot well, shoot often and be safe!

Stephen Ricketts

ATA Delegate

New Mexico

The NRA Southwest Championship shoot when really well. Weather was wet, cold and windy, but trapshooting is an outdoor sport, so you have to take it as it happens. They had a good turnout for the first time. It’s being planned for next year the first week in October. I hope it keeps getting bigger. I thought the NRA Whittington Center did a good job with everything. We had a guest from the NRA, Wayne LaPierre. He gave a really nice presentation.

Hobbs had their Annual Shoot Oct. 18-20. Attendance was down; weather was cool and windy.

I hope to see y’all down the road. Shoot often and well.

Bob Leibel

ATA Delegate


Mark Medlock from Ada ventured to the Missouri Fall Handicap where, with a 96 and 98 in handicap, he won two belt buckles. Justin Cavett won several junior gold awards. Some other Oklahoma winners were Paula Trayer, Tex Hollis and Ron Bliss. There were 14 Oklahoma shooters attending. They had good weather and 2,909 entries.

Ada held a Big 50 shoot Sept. 21. Weather and attendance were good. Terry Sims’ 48 won the singles. Johnny Wilson’s 46 topped the handicap, and Mike Meeks won the doubles with 42. “Vickie’s husband” was high gun in the Ada Tuesday shoot with 48. Randy was well on his way to breaking 49, but the last target, a 16-yard bird, escaped. Vickie drew a red bird and broke it for the money.

Vickie was one of the nine Oklahoma All-Americans we had in 2018, a record at the time. In 2019 we broke that record with 12: Pat Stacey, Shelby Skaggs, Paula Trayer, Kya Funkhouser, Jacob Diller, Klayton McGee, Corbin Grybowski, Justin Cavett, Jeffrey Trayer, Ron Bliss, Robert Rimer Jr., and William Dayton. Congratulations to all our past and present Oklahoma All-Americans.

Two of our gun clubs received substantial grants from the Gun Club Fund, produced by all the raffle tickets we sell. Tulsa GC and Red Dirt GC now have funds to help with improvements. Any gun club can apply for a grant. You can go online under and print out a grant application, fill it out, and return it before the deadline. This was Tulsa GC’s second grant.

Shawnee was spared from the 60% rain chances, but it was cloudy and overcast all day, keeping scores low. Nathan Lemke’s 99 won the singles, and his 87 won the doubles. Carol Brown led the handicap with 87.

On Oct. 4 Duncan GC was host to a regional 4-H shoot for 100 boys and girls. Mike Cook reported Blakely Barnett broke all 50 of her targets to lead the field. Sister Breegan Barnett broke the next-high girls’ score of 47. Bonner Wilson carded a 48 to win the boys’ award.

OTSA held their National Trapshooting Day Shoot Oct. 12-13. On Saturday’s 200 singles, Bill Dean broke the high score of 191. Jeff Trayer was high in the handicap with 92, and Richard Coit won the doubles with 89. On Sunday’s 100 singles, Dean won again with 99. Rob Daughhetee broke 94 to win the handicap buckle and a half yard. Ron Bliss won the doubles buckle with 94. Four new ATA members were enrolled, two of them being twin sisters in 4-H. A complete list of all winners will be under Gun Club Scores.

Oil Capital GC held their Oct. 20 shoot with good attendance and weather. Jeff Trayer won the singles with 99. Justin Cavett and Jeff tied in the handicap with 91s, and Billy Pierce won the doubles with 94.

At the Bair Hatcher shoot in Ft. Worth, Clay Galbreath, Clay Laughlin and Tex Hollis all won trophies.

Iowa Park GC also held a shoot Oct. 20 with warm weather and strong south winds. Pat Stacey won the doubles with 99, and Bill Dean took vet. Dalton Jennings won the singles with 99, Pat captured AA with 98, and Kelly Thacker was A victor with 97. Tony Fox won the handicap with 96, Kelly had 94, and Nathan Lemke had 92. Eight Oklahoma shooters attended.

Bobby Johnson told me Texas has lost another great shooter. John Henslee passed away last Tuesday.

All-American Kya Funkhouser took time off from trapshooting for deer hunting—her picture tells the story!

It was reported that 55% of fire and rescue personnel across the country are volunteers. Thank all those who protect our freedoms for their service.

           Tim Deister

           ATA Delegate


Well, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, or maybe even good night. I have no way of knowing when you might read this column (all three of you), so I just wanted to cover the bases. I hope all is well with everyone.

It’s late October here in the Texas Panhandle and still very pleasant weather in most of our state. Princess and I are leaving in the morning, headed to the Texas Zone II Shoot in El Paso. The weather people are saying we are going to have a high temperature of 72º today and snow tomorrow. That’s the Texas Panhandle.

It is the time of year when it very important that we remember people who serve in harm’s way. They will not be home to celebrate with their families and friends. Please say a prayer for them and their loved ones who wait for their safe return. Please remember the reason for the season. Have a merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

I have some more “attaboys” to share with you. Greg Surber received his 27-yard line punch. Jerry Ulmer got away from one of the hundreds of his favorite eating places long enough to register his 100,000th target. Ron Cunning shot at and broke his 50,000th singles target. Way to go, and keep it up.

I would also like to congratulate our Texas shooters who made the ATA All-American teams: Dalton Jennings, open first; Randy Foster, open second; Jennifer Wilburn, Lady I first; Bridget Bearden, Lady I second; Joneel Harris, Lady II first; Patrick Hopson, junior gold second; Jeff Webb, sub-vet second; Larry Tagtmeyer and Joe Altom, senior vet first; Gary Sherrod, Charlie W. Long and Marvin Allbright, senior vet second. Great shooting from some of the people who call the state of Texas home.

The new rulebooks are out now. If you would like one, you can call the ATA office or let me know, and I’ll get one for you. I’m sure most of you have studied the rulebook and don’t need a new one. But just in case you are part of the 2% who haven’t studied the book, just let me know, and I’ll get you your very own copy. I’ll even autograph it for you.

I think I will start keeping a list of people who show up to classify and don’t have an up-to-date average card. Why would I do that, you ask? All you have to do is make my list twice, and you will find out. One other thing, and then I’ll shut up (for now): please release pre-squad positions if you are not going to use them. Surely you will know someone at the shoot you can call and get those positions released.

If you have news (I try not to have fake news), let Princess or me know about it, so I can include it in this column. As always, you can e-mail me at, or you can call me at 806-679-6889.

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

Jerry O’Connor

ATA Delegate