Congratulations to John White IV for making the All-American open second team.
The Alabama State Shoot is May 28-31. Camping spots are limited, so if you need one, contact Bill Parson at 334-399-7996 to reserve your spot.
Read the Rulebook!
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 email@example.com. Shoot well and shoot often.
The shooting season is under way, and hopefully you have been sharpening up for the coming season. Several Kentucky shooters have been attending Satellite Grands around the country and representing.
Keep your calender updated for coming shoots, like the Kentucky State Shoot June 30-July 5, promising to be another great tournament. Check the ATA website for more shoots and the KTL website for updates on local and state shoots.
February seldom has much in the way of big news . . . well, this February started out with a bang, literally. Brandon Cantrell, one of our wonderful North Carolina youth shooters, made the 27-yard line Feb. 1 at the Spartanburg GC. They hold their monthly shoots on the first Saturday, which happened to be the 1st. Brandon bested all the handicap shooters and earned his 27-yard pin! I believe he may be the youngest shooter from North Carolina to make it to the 27-yard line. Brandon recently turned 16. He is one of three Cantrell boys, who all compete in shotgun shooting sports. He is a member of the Polk Co. GC Clay Busters team and has won trophies at the Grand American and numerous state shoots around the South. His mom and dad, Naomi and Johnny, are very supportive of the boys’ shooting activities. The whole family are regular attendees at shoots around North Carolina. Way to go, Brandon!
Our NC youth shooting is growing at a fast pace. Coaches from the above-mentioned Polk Co., as well as Watauga, Rockingham and Buckhorn gun clubs have been actively seeking and coaching more young shooters every year. We are hoping for even better attendance at our youth shoot this summer as well as our ATA state shoot.
We are looking forward to our four big shoots at the North Carolina Homegrounds in Bostic: April 23-26, Hall of Fame Shoot; June 10-14, NC State Shoot; July 16-19, Southern Zone Shoot (telephonic site); and Sept. 29-Oct. 4, the Dixie Grand. Our homegrounds is one of the best shooting venues on the East Coast. All Pat-Traps and Canterbury Voice Release equipment provide a great shooting experience for all. Y’all come see us!
For information or any ATA-related questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shoot well, and I’ll see you at a shoot sometime.
Okay, last report I was whining about the rain. Well, it’s still all over us. One day the rain turned to big fluffy snowflakes that melted when they hit the ground. Our monthly shoot was rained out, so Dave Reynolds was determined to get our Big 50 in the following Thursday—well, more rain. We had one shooter show up who wasn’t one of us regular workers. Those big fluffy flakes landing on your rib just as you call makes for a lousy score. I know, more whining.
I’m leaving in a week for Florida to shoot the Southern Grand. I hope to see some of our shooters there; if not, then in Georgia for their state shoot. Hopefully the rain isn’t as heavy there. You know there will be several rains and wind, but there should be warm temperatures and sunshine. Next report should have a number of our shooters’ names in this column as trophy winners.
In the achievement department, Gary Olson reached the 250,000 target plateau in Orangeburg at the Mid Carolina club. All those “most targets shot” awards added up. Gary doesn’t go to the shoots just to shoot; you’ll see him in the scorer’s chair or loading targets. Way to go, Gary.
Hello from the Volunteer State. With the coming of warmer weather, most local clubs have gone to their monthly shoot schedules. The Corinth GC, Corinth, MS, is under new ownership and holding monthly shoots. For more info, contact Chip Worley at chip2teamcabled.com.
Hog Heaven GC is hosting the Mike Seitz Memorial April 15-19 at White Pine, TN.
The 41st Southwestern Grand American is April 14-19 at National SC, San Antonio, TX.
The TN AIM State Shoot will be June 16-17 followed by the TN State Shoot June 18-21. The state shoot will be held at the Tennessee CTC in Nashville. I understand that this year we are adding AAA class in singles and doubles. To reserve your RV spot for the state shoot, e-mail email@example.com or call 615-742-5297.
The Southern Zone Shoot (July 16-19) will be held at four locations this year: Central Kentucky GC, Berea, KY; Dixie T&S, Mathews, AL; North Carolina Homegrounds, Bostic, NC; and Silver Dollar SC at Odessa, FL.
The 2020 rulebooks are now available online. So read the new rulebook, please.
For more info, check out our new website at shootatatn.com. You can reach me at 731-217-9957 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATA Southern Zone Vice President
I’m excited to say that the ASTF Board of Directors have been working to finalize the 2020 Arkansas State Shoot program, and it should be posted on the ASTF website soon. Our handicap jackpot for Sunday is up to $10,500 for a 100 straight broken during the Handicap Championship, and we should be a Competition Factor of 4. If that isn’t enough reason to visit, I don’t know what is, except to see old friends!
I recently had the chance to talk with Roger Cameron, manager of the Mountain Valley SA in Hot Springs. If you get the chance, I highly recommend you check out this club. ATA shoots were held in the early days of the club but then took a break for about 10 years. ATA shoots restarted in July and are generally held monthly, except in January and February.
MVSA was formed in 1998 and completed the purchase of 88 acres of property in 2001. MVSA has approximately 650 members and venues for cowboy action, trap and skeet, rifle, pistol and action shooting bays for IDPA, 3-gun, military matches (CMP), Ladies on Target, Well Armed Woman, ATA trap tournaments and AYSSP youth trap. MVSA sponsors a team in the AYSSP program. Several teams use the MVSA fields for their practice.
Public events are held monthly at most venues other than trap/skeet. Trap/skeet is open for members and the public four times each week, including night shooting on the two lighted fields. The club calendar is on the website mvsaonline.com. Trap and skeet targets are $4 per round during the scheduled practice times. Non-members pay a $5 per day fee in addition to their targets. Ammo, shotguns and all the safety equipment are available in the clubhouse. Private events can be arranged for groups of 10 to 30 people.
The 1,000-square-foot clubhouse is a comfortable place to relax, share stories or watch TV. Each field has a pavilion, and concrete walkways connect everything from shooting stations, pavilions and clubhouse. The trap/skeet range is wheelchair friendly. Lunch is provided during ATA shoots, and the vending machine and bottled water in the refrigerator help keep everyone hydrated during the hot summer events. Participants in ATA shoots will arrive to find coffee, doughnuts and cookies to get their day started during registration.
Two fields are used for ATA shoots. They are trap/skeet overlay fields and are lit for night shooting. A third field is set up for 16-yard trap practice and is available to members who want to shoot their own targets when the main fields are not open.
MVSA is an all volunteer-operated club, so several of the trapshooters take turns operating the range four days a week, and volunteers run the ATA shoots.
Once again, a big shout-out to all the volunteers who help put on shoots around the state. Many shoots could not happen without these men, women and young adults who volunteer their time.
I would like to thank Becky Brown and Renee Chambless for all their hard work for the Arkansas AIM program. They have recently decided to take some time off. I am proud to announce that Jimmy Self will be the new AIM director for Arkansas. If you see him out and about, tell him congratulations. I am asking for everyone’s patience and help for a smooth transition.
These Arkansas shooters, whether on or off the field, represented us well at the Spring Grand in Tucson: Kayla Workman, Jim Cooper, Logan Applegate, Landon Chandler, Alan Julian, Kurt Armstrong, Larry Hicks, Aidan Master and Ben Forte. (I hope I didn’t miss anyone). Good shooting, and way to represent Arkansas!
I can be reached at email@example.com.
1 Corinthians 13:4—Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.
Eagle Feathers, or Young Texas Ranger, Part 2
Todd learned as much as he could as fast as he could from Little Wolf, but by the time Little Wolf had gathered all the feathers he needed, Todd was not ready to survive on his own. The pair headed south toward Little Wolf’s village. Todd lived two years there, growing strong and wise in the ways of the Indians. Many times he had laid between warm buffalo skins in the teepee of his new family, wondering at how wrong he and all the white people he knew had been about Indians. When Little Wolf and he had first returned to the Indian village, there had been no question Todd would become part of Little Wolf’s family. Little Wolf’s father, Big Bear, and his mother, Yellow Flower, along with his younger sister, Dawn Walker, all accepted Todd as though he had always been part of their family.
Todd remembered when he had first stumbled upon the Indian boy digging in the ground; he had watched him for some time from behind some trees and bushes. At first Todd had mistakenly thought the boy was digging a grave; for whom, he did not know, perhaps his own. Todd, dehydrated and weak from lack of food, had waited until after dark then creeped into the camp with the intention of stealing the rabbit the boy planned to use as eagle bait. Fortunately for Todd, the next day the Indian boy, Little Wolf, found him and brought him back to camp.
Then one spring day Todd headed out into the wilderness on his own quest to become a man. Saying goodbye to all his new friends, Todd headed south, having no way of knowing he was to meet only one of his Indian friends again. After walking for many days, Todd came upon an old white man who was digging a hole in the side of a mountain. When the old man saw Todd, he welcomed him into his camp. After talking for some time, he invited Todd to stay the night. After supper the old man told Todd he was a retired Texas Ranger who needed help. Todd, who was still getting used to the English language again, asked the old ranger what kind of help he needed.
The old man explained that the hole in the side of the mountain was actually a silver mine with much pure raw silver in it. He explained that there was much more silver than he needed. He then said if Todd would stay and help him, he would give him half the mine.
Todd told the old ranger of his quest to become a man but agreed to stay and help for a while. He told his story of how he had gotten lost from the wagon train then had been saved by the Indian boy Little Wolf. Then he told about spending two years in the Indian village, where he became the adopted son of Big Bear and blood brother to Little Wolf.
When Todd finished talking, the old ranger said, “You’re lucky to be alive. No wonder you look more Indian than white.” He then got up and went to his pack, where he took out a shirt and a pair of pants, along with a belt and an old hat. Handing them to Todd, he said, “We are about the same size; these should fit.” He then handed Todd a bar of soap, saying, “Do you remember what this is? Go to the lake and get cleaned up.”
Taking the white man’s clothes and the bar of soap, Todd for the first time realized how he must look. He was dressed as an Indian, complete with leather headband and knee-high buckskin moccasins, given to him by Yellow Flower. His long hair, while sandy in color, was shiny with bear grease, and his skin had turned brown after many hours in the summer sun.
After cutting Todd’s hair, the old ranger handed Todd an old Colt pistol and belt, saying, “If you are going to be in the white man’s world, you will need to learn to use this.” So Todd laid down the bow and arrows Little Wolf had showed him how to make and belted the gun to his hip.
One day, while on his way to the lake to clean up, Todd heard a threshing noise coming from a box canyon off to his left. Walking up the canyon, Todd soon spotted a pure white colt with a lariat around its neck. The other end of the rope had become tangled in some large downed tree limbs. Todd could see the young horse had been trapped for many days and was in bad need of food and water. After many days of bringing water and fresh cut grass to the young horse, Todd was able to get close enough to touch the colt. After fencing off the entrance to the box canyon, Todd cut the rope, allowing the horse to run free within the small box canyon.
The old ranger was pleased as he watched Todd calmly tame the horse, just as Big Bear and Little Wolf had shown him. Todd spent many days gently tending to the horse’s rope burns and leg cuts. Under Todd’s care, the horse soon grew big and strong. One day, as Todd was bringing fresh grass to the horse, it ran at the pole fence, which was blocking the entrance to the canyon. Just before hitting the fence, the horse jumped high into the air and easily went over the fence. Todd could only watch in dismay as the silvery white horse flew down the canyon path then out across the grassy valley to the lake. After drinking, the horse turned and raced off farther down the valley. Todd’s heart sank as the horse went out of sight. With Todd still standing where he was with a load of grass under his arm, the horse reappeared across the valley, running straight at Todd. As the horse got closer, it slowed to a walk then stopped when it got to Todd and began to eat the grass that he was holding.
Todd never again put any kind of restraint on his new horse friend, who he named Silver. Todd continued to work hour after hour and day after day until the bond between man and horse was complete. Then one day Todd slipped upon Silver’s bare back and with his legs, he began to guide the horse left then right, stop then go. Soon Silver would respond to these commands with just the slightest leg pressure from Todd.—to be continued
It’s Spring Grand time, and once again many Colorado shooters ventured south for a chance to do some warm weather shooting. There were 51 Colorado shooters this year, up from 41 last year. I heard the shoot was up this year.
Great news for Colorado and ATA: looking over the list, I see there were a lot of new names. It is great to see so many first- and second-time shooters at the Spring Grand, for this means new ATA and CSTA shooters are once again getting out of their own zip code. These new shooters picked a good year to shoot their first Spring Grand because the weather was as good as I can remember. The first week was a shooter’s dream; weather was perfect, no wind and good light. The target-setting was good, as always; the pulling and scoring, for the most part, was right on—just what these old, tired eyes needed to break some good scores. The second week started out good but ended up a little unsettled, or as we like to say out here, the clays got a little western.
Between events I asked ATA President Mike Herman if he had any words of wisdom for the folks back home. He just said tell everyone to keep doing what they’re doing because it’s making his job easy. He did say ATA shooter numbers are on the rise but thinks there is room for even better numbers. So get out there and talk to your friends and neighbors. See if you can get them to come out and shoot.
If you run into Bob Beyer, Delta’s new club president, be sure to wish him a happy birthday. Bob not only shot his first Satellite Grand this year, but he was also crowned by his friends as 2020 Spring Grand birthday baby of the year. Be gentle with Bob, for he is getting older now and can no longer take the day in, day out ribbing of yesteryear. Good shooting, and happy birthday, Bob.
I received an e-mail from Bob and Dolores Semsack asking me to once again mention Paul Dible’s induction into CSTA’s Hall of Fame. I am most happy to do this, for Paul’s list of shooting and administrative accomplishments is extensive. Paul has been active in club, zone and state activities as well as shooting all over Colorado and many other states. Paul represents the very essence of the type of shooter the CSTA Hall of Fame Committee is looking for. Hall of Fame applicants should be superb shooters and administrators. I am happy to concur with the HOF Committee’s choice of Paul Dible as this year’s inductee.
It’s that time of year again, to get that trusty clay-breaking shotgun out of the safe and take it to the range and blow the cobwebs out of it—that is, if you haven’t shot during the winter. I just got back earlier this week from the Spring Grand in Tucson, where 919 shooters shot in at least one event. From what I saw from the scores, there are several shooters who have already gotten a pretty good start on the year. There were 25 from Missouri who made the trip and were able to enjoy some great weather for most of the Grand week. Hunter Spruill, Kelan Kinion, Hughie Coleman and Jackson Murphree carried home trophies. During the Spring Grand Singles Championship, Jackson recorded his first 200 straight in singles, which put him in the shootoff for event champion. After one round, Jackson ended up junior champ. Congratulations, Jackson, and all the Missouri shooters who were in carryovers and shootoffs and those who won trophies. Thanks to the Tucson T&SC management and staff for all their hard work putting on a great shoot.
Next long trip for me will most likely be the Southwestern Grand at the National SC in San Antonio, TX. Some folks say it’s too far away—well, it’s not as far away as Tucson. The NSC staff does a fantastic job running this shoot and have made some changes, one being backing up the shoot date to April 14-19 in hopes to have a little better weather. If you are traveling through the Dallas-Ft. Worth area on the way, make a stop at the Ft. Worth T&SC for their Pre-Southwestern Grand shoot April 10-12. These folks will give you a dose of Texas hospitality and have their attendance for this shoot going in the right direction.
Now back to Missouri. The state shoot will be here before you know it, May 11-17 at MTA, Linn Creek. The program is due to be in the mail by the end of March, hopefully before pre-squadding opens April 3. Look the program over well, as we have made some subtle changes in the trophies and options. The Missouri zone shoots will begin in April with the central zone at MTA April 18-19, western zone at KCTA May 2-3, and the eastern zone at Gateway May 2. If you wish to be eligible for the state team, it is required that you shoot at least one championship zone event and one of the three championship events at the state shoot.
Have you read your ATA rulebook yet this year? Here are a couple of quotes that I wish I was the one who penned them: “The rulebook is not a book of suggestions,” and “It’s okay to read the rulebook.” I believe these two quotes pretty much sum it up. As I have said before, there is nothing I hate more than disqualifying a shooter, especially when it could have been avoided by understanding and following the rules. 2 Timothy 2:5—And also if anyone competes in Athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
Keeping your average card up to date with singles and doubles averages along with proper handicap yardage marked on the card will reduce the chances of errors during classification.
If anyone has anything they would like to have reported on or has any issues, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-863-9003. Shoot often, shoot well and be SAFE!
Here it is the end of February as I write this—time to get the old gun out and cleaned up to start shooting again. I hope the weather was good for our March shoots. We can have a little wind in our area, or it can be really nice, but when you live in this part of the country, you shoot in all kinds of weather . . . or don’t shoot.
I hope y’all have a good year shooting, and I hope to see y’all down the road somewhere.
OTSA SP had a great day for their Jan. 26 derby shoot—64º with light north winds and high scores. Brayden Bliss and Nathan Lemke broke 50 straight in the singles. Brian Northup’s 48 was next. Brayden and Tom Batt tied in the handicap with 47s, and Nathan was next with 46. Tom won the doubles with 44, and Brayden was second with 42.
A young boy by the name of Cameron, with the Boy Scouts, shot trap for the first time. He had to break 12×25 to qualify, and that is exactly what he broke. He had a problem with the hulls sticking in his gun which had to be punched out with a ramrod each time. I loaned him my Perazzi Mirage O/U, and he enjoyed kicking the hulls out over his shoulder. Paul Hooper and I offered advice to get him started and helped him along the way. At one point, he broke four in a row and was thrilled. I told Paul, “He’s hooked now.”
Gene and Betty Sears lost their son David Eugene (Geno) Sears Jan. 17. Geno was an owner of Gene Sears Supply and an integral part of their company. Geno, along with all the Sears family, cooked steaks and put on a great feed at the Midwestern Grand as well as the Oklahoma State Shoot for years. When the shoots were being set up on computers, Geno operated the computer at these shoots. He was very well liked and always had a smile to greet everyone. He will be missed by all, and our sincere condolences go out to the Sears family.
On Jan. 31 Paul Hightower called to let me know they had just poured the concrete walkways on their new second trapfield at the Red Dirt GC. They have worked hard to get it ready for the summer shooting season. Shawnee had a perfect day, 65º and almost no wind for their Feb. 1 derby shoot. This produced good scores. Terry Sims broke 50 straight to win the singles, and Justin Cavett’s 48 was next. Justin won first place in the handicap with 47, Terry was second with 46, and Larry Higgs was third with 45. Tom Batt won the doubles with 44, and with 43s were Justin, Kenneth Green and Billy Pierce.
Ron Bliss has reached a new plateau by shooting 100,000 handicap targets. Monty Tolleson is now a member of the Quarter Million Club with 264,500.
The Oklahoma state trap team reported last month had to be revised due to some incorrect info on categories. The www.trapandskeet.org website has the revised list.
OTA’s Feb. 9 derby shoot only had seven shooters due to weather. Bennie Livingston’s and Cavett’s 46s were high in the singles. Bennie’s 43 was high in the handicap. Tim Mount won the doubles with 42. Shawnee’s Feb. 15 derby shoot had a strong south wind all day. They had a good turnout of five squads. Terry Sims’ 49 led the singles, and with 48s were Nathan Lemke and Mitchell Wyatt. Livingston’s 46 won first place in the handicap, and with 45s for second place were Nathan Terry, Mike Grove and Gary Bristol. Carl Brown won third with 44. Mike and Nathan were high in the doubles with 45s, and O. J. Lindly’s 42 was next. OTSA had to cancel their Feb. 23 derby due to rain.
Oklahoma shooters attending the Spring Grand in Tucson did very well. Two of these had personal highs. Kya Funkhouser broke her first 100 in doubles and claimed the junior award. Klayton McGee broke 99 in the Event 12 handicap to win champion. Both won several awards in other events. Kenyon Bert ran 100 and won several sub-junior awards. Kya was the Oklahoma female Rookie of the Year in 2018, and Kenyon was male Rookie of the Year in 2019. Brayden Bliss ran 100 and won several awards. Ron Bliss posted 100 in singles and 98 in doubles to win several sub-vet trophies. Jon Guy also ran 100. Dennis Patrick broke 99 and won an award. Cavett ran 100 and won junior gold trophies in 11 of the 23 events. Most of these shooters are current All-Americans.
A great quote by Kobe Bryant can be applied to trapshooting: “Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses.” Many of the young shooters I see today have the determination, work ethic and perseverance to be future champions. Let’s support and encourage them along the way.
In the news they talked about Major Bill White of California, a Marine veteran with a Purple Heart who just turned 104 years old. He said he enjoyed reading the birthday cards he received from friends. After the news segment aired, he received over 25,000 cards, and after social media picked it up as “Operation Valentine,” he total went to 140,000. He was shown in dress uniform reading some of the many cards. We have over 400 Oklahoma National Guard troops currently serving duty overseas. During January there were 10 service members who lost their lives in Afghanistan and Africa. These men and women are protecting our freedom around the world. Keep them in your prayers.
I just returned home from the Spring Grand at the Tucson T&SC. I mentioned in an earlier column that I was making my first trip to Tucson. What a fantastic facility they have there, and they run a very smooth shoot. I was impressed with how well they are organized. Doug Sims and all of the people there did a wonderful job. Thanks to everyone.
Please don’t forget the third annual Cowtown Pre-Southwestern Grand hosted by the Ft. Worth T&SC. The dates are April 10-12. On Friday they will shoot 200 doubles and 200 handicap. On Saturday they will have the 200-bird Singles Championship. Sunday they will have the 100 Doubles Championship and the 100 Handicap Championship. They will be awarding belt buckles for the three championship events on Saturday and Sunday. It will be a great warm-up for the Southwestern Grand in San Antonio.
Speaking of the Southwestern Grand, everyone needs to attend and give them a chance to prove their intentions of throwing much better targets. They have heard the complaints and are working extremely hard to correct the problems. The very least we can do is give them a chance to make good on their promises.
I apologize for not having a column in the February issue of Trap & Field. That column should have been submitted no later than Dec 27. I guess I was too worried about whether Santa would come and if so, what he would bring. Or maybe the real reason was that by the 26th I knew he hadn’t been to see me and I was whining and crying and throwing a fit. Maybe, but who knows for sure? Only me, and I ain’t telling. I owe Drew Fryman a box of shells for being the first person to contact me about the missing column. At least I know one person was checking.
I reckon it’s time to wrap these ramblin’s up for this go-round. Next time I may preach a little on the rulebook. If you have news (or even rumors), let Princess or me know. I’ll do my best to include it. As always, you can call me at 806-679-6889 or just e-mail me at email@example.com.
Till next time, y’all shoot well, y’all shoot often, and y’all have a great time.
As I file this column, the Spring Grand American main events are under way. Several Alberta shooters are in attendance. During preliminary week, Art Peyton took veteran honors in the Flagstaff Singles with 100 plus 75 in carryover, and in the Prescott Singles again with 100 plus 75. He also captured vet in the class singles with another 100 plus 25 in carryover, and to round out his collection of hardware, he took the veteran HOA. Ron McConnell won senior vet in the Prescott Singles with 100 plus 25 in carryover, and Doug Leong carded his 50,000th doubles target in Friday’s class doubles. Congratulations, all.
We’ve lost a couple more old-timers recently, George Severin in November and Brian Briscoe in January.
George had been sidelined by a stroke for several years but continued to visit the Calgary GC occasionally on Sundays for coffee or lunch. He was a friendly, quiet fellow, and as is often the case, his story, as told by his family in an obituary, reveals things you never would have known or thought of. Here are a couple of examples: “Most would think working and raising four kids would be enough, but Bev and George also helped raise over 40 foster babies. One of George’s tasks was to comfort the babies with colic; they would lay on his chest on the floor until they could fall asleep. George usually did, too!” Another example: “George was selfless. His big want was a garage. Just about the time he had the money for it, a wedding would happen, and he would pay for it. Save again, oops, another wedding. Four times it happened. Around 10 additional years of plugging in, window scraping and warming up the car. Poor guy. Eventually he did get that garage; happy days!”
You always knew when Brian was around. If you didn’t see his one-of-a-kind shiny red truck in the gun club parking lot, his booming voice made him easy to find and his bushy handlebar moustache easy to identify. He was truly one of the characters of our sport, and the obit writer carried on the tradition. Here is how it goes:
“I recognize this guy. He was such a dapper, charming man.
“In recent years he was big and bent, and grey and old. But they don’t make ’em like that anymore, ’cause they threw way the mold.
“He arrived at heaven’s gates, all dressed up to the brim, with bolo tie, cowboy hat with butterfly on the rim.
“He said, ‘I came to ride that horse, the one they call the Brute.’ But he didn’t look like a cowboy in his continental suit.
“No sooner had they let him in, and as they shut the gate, he yelled aloud so all could hear, ‘Laurette, sorry I’m late!’
“Everyone just stood there, most of them were staring, and he yelled a second time, ‘I’m with Guthrie-McLaren!’ ”
May they both rest well.
Until next time . . . cheers.
The Spring Grand—after last year’s snow, we made a deal with the weather gods, but apparently our offerings were not quite enough. Yes, we had nine days of perfect conditions, but then two of the three championship days fell short of our standards. Friday’s doubles and handicap were windy, but then after some quick incantations, Sunday’s handicap was held under very pleasant skies.
Tucson did their usual super job. The entire shoot ran like a Swiss clock. Almost all of the shootoffs ended before dark, the birds were great, and there was plenty of help on the line. A number of folks came over and thanked me for a great time, which is always nice to hear, but I am just a bystander. The thanks go to Doug Sims, Char and the gang, and don’t forget the ladies at the trophy table. TTSC really shows the trapshooting world how it should be done.
We had 919 entries, about the same as last year, and they came from 54 states, provinces and countries. Besides the U.S. and Canada, there were contingents from New Zealand, the UK and Australia, and, boy, could those guys shoot. California, Colorado and Iowa led the out-of-staters, plus the entire population of Minnesota—something about it being a bit warmer in Arizona. The Spring Grand has become a destination for trapshooters from all over. If you haven’t shot a major tournament at Tucson, don’t just put it on your bucket list, put it on your must-do list.
It took a while for mighty Arizona to get started, although Karen Bergman was the Lady II runnerup in the Flagstaff Singles (Event 1) with 99. By Event 4, the Phoenix Doubles, things got rolling. Gerry Williams’ 98 took the senior veteran title, and Jim Copsey was veteran runnerup. Lloyd Koty ran the hundred in the Prescott Singles but lost the sub-vet title on a forfeit. Bill Medlicott’s 97 was high veteran in the Casa Grande Handicap, and we had two winners in Event 7, the class singles. Fred Frazier won C class, and Doug Moore took D.
In the next three events, it was Gerry Williams, Gerry Williams and Gerry Williams. First he tied for the senior vet crown in the Preliminary Handicap but lost on a coin flip, in the class doubles (No. 9) he tied for senior vet runnerup, and his 200 straight plus another 25 took the Tucson Singles Championship in the senior veteran category. What a run against some of the finest in the country!
We then had three winners in the Doubles Championship. Ken Mlynarz topped all in AA, Copsey did the same in veteran, and Canyon Ferris was just getting started. He won junior gold. Next for Canyon was the junior gold crown in the Handicap Championship, nosing George Clark in a shootoff. Helen Kisthardt bested all in Lady II with a fine 93. Copsey and Williams ended the preliminary week on a high note. Jim was high gun in AA as was Gerry in senior vet, both winning high-over-all titles.
Grand week started with Event 13, the Preliminary Singles, and Tim Robb came oh so close. He shot a 100 but lost by one in the carryover. Canyon Ferris was also a carryover victim by one in the same event. In the Premier Singles (No. 15), Karen Bergman and Steve Johnson shot perfect scores, but Karen dropped one in the carryover and Steve lost by forfeit in sub-vet. Next came the Prescott Handicap, and Greg Cobbs was high in the 25-26 group, Robb was veteran runnerup, and Ferris topped all in junior gold. In Event 17 (the Yuma Doubles) and 18, the Pleasant Valley Handicap, Williams was at it again. He was the runnerup in both. Meanwhile Ferris bested all other junior gold shooters in the handicap with two perfect 25s from the 27-yard line in a shootoff.
Next up was the Singles Class Championship, and Jim Dremler was tops in D with a nice 98. Ferris then took runnerup in the Tucson Doubles. Event 21, the Doubles Championship, saw three Arizona winners. Karen (don’t let her say she cannot shoot a double release) Bergman took the Lady II crown; Robb won the always tough veteran category, and Ferris was the junior gold champ. Wayne Thompson tied for runnerup in senior vet.
We couldn’t produce a winner in the Singles Championship, but our guys sure gave it a try. Kudos to Greg Holden, Kyle Dennis, Joe Henderson and Jeff Rogers with 199s. We had three 198s in junior gold, shot by Isaac Smith, Canyon and George. Greg Speczka’s 194 made him the C runnerup. Canyon then topped things off by winning both the HOA and all-around crowns in junior gold. It was a great Spring Grand American for Arizona!
Around the state: Ben Avery had a nice turnout for their Jan. 31-Feb. 2 shoot. Two locals, Ken Mlynarz and Joe Henderson, led the opening singles with 99s. John Glass topped B, and John Baker, a new shooter from Prescott, led D. Jake Gatschet was high at mid-yardage in the ’caps, and Jim Kidwell was the D champ in the opening doubles. Saturday saw ASTA president Mark Williams besting all veterans at doubles, and Vic Ausbun won C in the singles. Sunday it was Vic again, this time winning short-yardage, and Kidwell took senior vet in the handicap.
Casa Grande held a doubles marathon Feb. 5, prior to their Pre-Spring Grand Shoot Feb. 6-9. Copsey put the rest of the field to shame with 196×200 followed by 292×300, proving once again that he is the top doubleholic around. Maybe the others should think about rehab.
For the Pre-Grand itself, Arizona started well. Steve Stella won Class A, and Fred Frazier took senior vet, but then Arizona went MIA until Saturday’s doubles. The Polkablas, David and David Jr., broke the spell by winning D and junior. Then came the singles, and there was an Arizona onslaught. Robert Will Pike took Class A, George Miller won B, Art Hammer prevailed in C, and David P. Jr. was the high junior. Dan Forbes then topped everyone with 97 in the ’caps, and Jillian Skaggs was the junior champ. Frazier finished things out by winning mid-yardage in the handicap.
Smoke and chips: Robby Love of Tri-State has told me that they have switched over to green targets, and the result has been higher scores and more shooters.
Yup, things wind down some when it heats up in Arizona, but there is plenty of shooting left. Casa Grande holds their Cactus Flower Shoot April 2-5, Ben Avery goes April 18-19, as does Tucson April 29. Plus we have Big 50s April 4 at Lake Havasu, the 6th at Casa Grande, Tri-State on the 12th and Casa Grande April 13 and 20. Don’t forget about a doubles marathon at Rio Salado April 6 and a singles marathon April 20.
See you on the line.
The Spring Grand is over, and shooting events in Utah are getting ready to start this month. Then we will be off to the races. Check out shootscores.com to see who from Utah brought home bragging rights.
I want to challenge all of you to start making a plan on how to enjoy yourself this year. One way to enjoy our sport more is to get more people involved, such as family or friends who have never shot before. Also, I challenge you to make a plan to shoot better and maybe hit a few clubs in Utah that you have never visited in the past.
The bulk of my career in wildland fire management was spent writing plans: dispatch plans, budget plans, land use plans, after-action plans, fuels management plans, prevention plans, staffing plans, and on and on. Most of these were boring and a pain in the neck (you thought I was going to say something else). Working on a plan for shooting more targets, more clubs, or doing better should be more fun than work-related plans. I want to tell you a story about the importance of proper planning:
As kids growing up, my brother Leonard and I always tried to find ways of making a few extra dollars so we could have more fun in the summer. Of course, working and having fun as kids don’t usually go hand-in-hand.
One day one of us came up with the bright idea that we needed to raise rabbits and sell them for table fare. We had eaten rabbits before, and we knew they could be a delicacy. We also knew that rabbits reproduced, well, like rabbits. Thus, all we needed was to find what the market demand for them was and how many we needed to raise. Once we had the research, we would spring our plan on our parents. Foolproof! On to the planning phase of our business venture.
As luck would have it, we lived in the outskirts of town near railroad tracks. With the train running quite regularly, we thought it would be a great place to sell our future hasenpfeffer. One day, as the train was approaching the siding near our home, Leonard stepped out on the tracks and started waving his arms in an attempt to get the train to stop. The engineer locked up the brakes, and the train came to a slow, noisy halt. We were pleasantly surprised that our plan was off to a good start, at least for a few seconds. The engineer jumped out of the engine and came toward us both screaming and hollering some form of profanity that we had never heard before (but it was a teaching moment, and we learned how to put those words in sentences ourselves from that day forward). No matter what, not all was lost.
The engineer asked us, “Is someone hurt?” “No,” we said. “Is the track out up ahead?” “No,” we replied once again. “Then why did you stop the train? You could have been killed.”
“Well,” I said, “we are wanting to know if you want to buy any rabbits to eat.” “WHAT! You stopped the train to see if I wanted to buy some rabbits?” He shook his head in disbelief and started walking back to the engine. Just before he boarded, he turned and said, “Well, okay. As long as I’m stopped, I guess I will take three rabbits. The wife might like them for dinner tonight.”
My brother said, “Oh, we don’t have any yet. We’re thinking of getting into the bunny business, and we thought it would be a good idea to know in advance how many we could sell.”
That night at the dinner table, after the sheriff gave us a ride home, we learned another valuable planning lesson: don’t make plans that don’t include your family (mainly, parents), and don’t make plans that will only set you up for failure. Make your goals achievable—not too easy, but not unattainable. Make it to where you have to put in an effort.
One of the many things I learned in my career was how to review an event that had taken place (usually a bad event). Three main questions were asked of the person(s) who dealt with the event:
Did you have a plan?
Was it a good plan?
Did you follow the plan?
One could use this same process for critiquing a day at the trap range. Sometimes we change our plan in the middle of an event because we missed a target, or we didn’t have a good plan to handle a head/tailwind. My advice is to formulate a plan and stick with it for the day. Remember, sometimes we just miss the target.
Finally, the Utah state webpage is up to date and has all the shoots for the year listed. Spanish Fork has six Big 50s listed on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer. For those of us who do not have the time or resources to shoot as much as we would like, shooting a Big 50s program is a great avenue to get a few more targets.
ATA Western Zone Vice President
I hope this finds you enjoying the start of spring and ready to get out for some good times shooting ATA targets in Washington.
The Camas Prairie Handicap is in the books, and by the time you read this, we will be packing up our gear for the Northwest Grand at Spokane GC. I want to thank our Delegate George Seubert and his wife Karma for contributing a life membership to be won by a junior or sub-junior at this shoot as well as raising funds to provide more life memberships up for grabs at the Northwest Grand and Washington State Shoot. WSTA Hall of Fame member Larry Bunch has contributed a life membership as well. Giving back to the sport in this way sure helps keep the game growing when these young shooters walk away with a gold card to present at the classification table for the rest of their careers. All of you who throw registered targets at your clubs have annual ATA memberships that you can provide to a first-time member. You may generate even more excitement if you give one of these away as a prize for intra-club competition or as a way to help send a young club member to their first registered shoot.
You may have noticed Trap & Field publishing a list of new ATA members each month, and we are seeing names from Washington listed quite frequently. The Western Zone Big 50 program has been one big reason for the spike in membership here in the Evergreen State as well as others. Just yesterday Jessica Pelissier stopped by the Colton GC for the Big 50 and brought her mom Teri Garrett with her. Teri joined the ATA and shot her first registered singles targets. This proves what can happen if you encourage a new shooter! Your club, the WSTA and ATA could benefit from this program in that way.
A lot of clubs in the region will be offering one- and two-day shoots starting this time of year, so watch the schedule and experience some clay-smashing fun. Each year I try to shoot at one club I haven’t been to before. After shooting at Ft. Colville, I now only need to make Coulee City to have been at every Washington club currently hosting ATA registered shoots. Evergreen is hosting one this year as well, so I’ll have to add them to my “to shoot” list. Our sport is a great way to see a lot of country and meet people.
I guess we can say my theme for this month’s contribution has been about promoting the game by introducing new participants and supporting the clubs offering ATA targets. I started when a friend asked me to tag along.
Shoot straight and keep your powder dry.
ATA Alternate Delegate
The 2020 Spring Grand has wrapped up, and 31 shooters from Wyoming made their way down to shoot. Scores are available at shootscoreboard.com. As for the rest of us, we are probably wondering if we will see the traphouse before July with the amount of snow currently on the ground. In the meantime, I recommend planning your shooting schedule for the year. The first in Wyoming are in April, and the 2020 Wyoming State Shoot is July 1-5 in Casper. It is also a good time to set goals for the year. It might be to shoot your first 50 straight or maybe shoot your first 200 straight. The state team is something I think everyone should strive for. The requirements: for men, junior gold and sub-vet, a minimum of 1,700 singles, 1,500 handicap and 1,500 doubles; Lady I and II, veteran and senior vet, 1,500 singles, 1,000 handicap and 1,000 doubles; junior and sub-junior, 1,000 singles, 700 handicap and 500 doubles. You also need to shoot 300 singles, doubles, and handicap at three different clubs in Wyoming plus the championship events during the state shoot.
Something else I want to do better this year is take more pictures. I have lots of good memories from last year, but no pictures, and considering most of us always have our phones, there is no excuse for not taking pictures to go along with the memories. I hope to see you shooting soon.
Hello, my name is Bill Duncan, and I am the new Delegate for the state of Illinois. Lauren Mueller has taken a new job as the Executive Director of the World S&RC, and she is also getting married in September. Life has caught up to Lauren, and she no longer felt she could be a Delegate. Thanks for your service, Lauren. I will do my best to make you proud as I take over.
First, let me say how excited and humbled I am to be your Delegate. I promise every Illinois shooter I will do the best job that I can. To do this, I am going to ask for your help. Please feel free to contact me any time you have questions and concerns. This way I will know what you want the ATA to be doing for Illinois and you.
Illinois is blessed to have 18 All-Americans and four captains for their respective categories: Chase Horton, open first team; Lauren Mueller, Elise Baker and Hannah Martin, Lady I first; Reagan Armbrust (now of Pennsylvania), Lady I second; Janice Rigler, Lady II first; Sue Staker, Lady II second; Ian Lawrence, junior first; Garrett Helms, junior gold first; Brian Hezel, sub-vet first; Frank Haynes, Dan Staker and Dave Dressler, sub-vet second; Frank Payne, veteran second; Mike Westjohn and Charlie Bickle, senior vet first; Ziggy Tkaczenko and Larry Norton, chairshooter. Horton, Lawrence, Westjohn and Tkaczenko are captains of their categories. Good shooting, one and all. You have made the rest of us in Illinois proud.
If you shoot 20,000 or more targets in a year, you are a Mega Target Member. In 2019, Illinois had seven: Todd Whitaker, Lawrence Gillum, Mike Dennis, Mike Walker, Leland Hassler, Garrett Helms and Marvin Kuebler. Great work, guys! If any of you would like to adopt me and take me shooting, give me a call.
Sadly, I have to report the passing of four gentlemen: John Evans, Randy Cornmesser, Robert Burg and Chuck Mellott. They have all lived and shot in Illinois through the years. Rest well, men. Break lots of 100 straights in heaven.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-854-2280.
Greetings, Indiana shooters! Every day we are getting closer to spring in Indiana. I hope everyone has had a good winter, and I am sure you are like me and looking forward to some warm weather and trap targets in the air. For those of you fortunate enough to spend the winter by migrating south, I wish each of you safe travels as you head back to the Hoosier State.
The month of May, of course, will be busy with Indiana zone shoots. Vincennes will host the southern, and St. Joe Valley the northern, May 15-17. Roachdale will have the central zone May 29-31. Please plan to attend your zone shoot to help support these clubs and the ITA. The Indiana State Shoot will be July 7-12. Evansville GC will once again be a host site for the ATA Central Zone July 31-Aug. 2. The Grand American will take place Aug. 5-15.
Speaking of the Indiana State Shoot, rest assured the Indiana Trapshooter’s Association Board of Directors, officers and our newly formed committees have been busy preparing for this year with hopes of great weather and lots of shooters. Our AIM Committee of Jay Hammond, Chrissy Byrd and Keith Weller have been working on the Indiana AIM Championship event and should have the program and specifics ready to announce very soon. The Trap & Target-setting Committee, headed up by Mike Williams, has been discussing best practices for setting the absolute best target and working on equipment during the winter. The 501(c)3 exploratory committee of myself, Don Barker, John Voliva and Sal DeSantis have been meeting with our legal representatives the past few months and hopefully will have positive things to announce on that subject in the near future.
The Indiana Trapshooting Hall of Fame, under the guidance of chairman Devon Harris, is proud to report the following 2020 Indiana Hall of Fame inductees: Michael Evernham from Headley and Terry Hicks from South Whitley. Congratulations to both of these gentlemen, and I look forward to them being inducted into our Hall of Fame during the Indiana State Shoot this year.
Make sure you check out the Indiana trap website www.indianatrap.com for a full listing of all of the registered ATA shoots being held this 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!
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 email@example.com.
Hello, fellow Iowa trapshooters! Spring is finally here, the grass is getting green, weather is getting warmer, and ATA shoots are under way here in Iowa. Otter Creek led the way with a registered shoot on March 22, and now all our clubs are busy with ATA shoots in April. Make plans to attend as many of these as possible and enjoy spending time at all our great clubs here in Iowa.
Our Spring Grand trophy winners at press time included Keegan Kendall, Dale Stockdale, Terry Palmer and Scott Wiley. Congratulations to these great shooters and to all our Iowa ATA members who attended. Last count I had before sending this to print was almost 50 entries from Iowa.
Work at our homegrounds is under way, with our trap mechanic Darrell checking all our traps to ensure a smooth-running state shoot. Campground electrical, stump removal, clean-up and repairs to traphouses, painting, and building preparation are in full swing. Thanks to all the many volunteers with these projects. Your help is greatly appreciated!
While making your spring and summer ATA shoot plans, make sure to join us at our homegrounds in Cedar Falls July 21-26 for the Iowa State Trapshooting Championships. This year promises to be another great one, and all you AIM shooters, make plans to attend the Iowa AIM State Shoot to be held in conjunction with the Iowa State Shoot July 24-26.
If you have news or questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 641-990-2314. Good luck, and see you on the trap range!
It saddens me to report the loss of two longtime trapshooters from Michigan. On Feb. 7, Dave Chamberlain passed away. Dave was a member of the Jackson Co. SC and the Munith R&GC. At a celebration of his life, it was very nice to see his 100,000 registered singles certificate prominently displayed. Dave was 86.
MTA Hall of Famer Jerry Grimes passed away Feb. 15. He often shot at the Birmingham GC and was quite a shot, as he was the state all-around champion in 1974 and 1979.
At the MTA, our regular caterer, Nip-n-Sip, has told the board of directors they will not continue to be there to feed us. They said that the 13- to 16-hour days (breakfast was ready at 7:15, and after dinner clean-up often went to 9 p.m.) were just getting to be too much for them. The board is working to find a replacement, but while we think we have lunch covered, dinners look to be a problem at this time.
An unusual thing happened to me on Valentine’s Day. I went to the Post Office in a neighboring town to mail a package for my wife. As I was standing in line, from behind me I heard, “Excuse me, are you Mr. Lewis?” I turned around and said, “Yes” to a young (16-year-old?) lady with shocking pink hair. I didn’t recognize her (perhaps it was the hair). She was wearing a varsity letter jacket from the local high school. She told me that she recognized me since I had spoken to her high school trap team several times. She enthusiastically said that she’d been practicing gun mounts in front of a mirror and was really eager to start league shooting in April. She then said, “Oh, I should show you this.” She turned around to show me her varsity letter for trapshooting. I told her that was really cool and that was the first one I’d seen.
Youth trapshooting is under way in several forms at many of our Michigan clubs. As experienced shooters, we need to be certain to be good role models.
- B. Lewis
Greetings from the North Star State! I just returned from the Spring Grand and most of a month in Tucson. The weather was much more seasonable this year, and compared to last year, rather balmy. Fifty Minnesotans entered the Spring Grand events—some have been in Arizona for the winter, while others were taking a break from the snow and cold back home. My own shooting was horrendous, but several Minnesotans won trophies or shot off. I will try to summarize those winners in next month’s column. The trip home for those who left on Monday after the shoot turned out to be a bit of an ordeal, as the “snow flurries” in Kansas turned out to be a full-blown blizzard! The first two mornings back in Minnesota came with a reality check of 12º below zero, but it has warmed up rather nicely at the beginning of March.
Remember our jackpot shooting at St. Cloud, Zimmerman, Buffalo and Minneapolis. See the MTA website for contact information and times and dates.
MTA board members were selling raffle tickets in Tucson, and if you see a board member in the near future, ask about a raffle ticket for the guns to be given away at the state shoot.
Remember that the state shoot will not conflict with your Fourth of July holiday this year, so make plans to be in Alexandria for the state shoot July 7-12. For those planning your summer shooting schedules, the Cabela’s Shoot at Owatonna GC will be June 11-14, and the ATA Central Zone site for Minnesota will also be in Owatonna July 31-Aug. 2.
Finish reloading those shells and get ready for a great summer of Minnesota shooting. As always, you can contact me at 507-456-2000 or at email@example.com.
Paul T. Cyr
for ATA Delegate Randy Jones
There were several corrections that I had to make to this year’s SD state team due to some shooters not making target requirements. Mike Hettinger is second in the sub-veteran category. Darby Fast is fifth on the open team, while Rod Larson is sixth, Wes Warning seventh, Roger Mastel eighth, Jason Hanson ninth, and Sam Simons will take 10th.
While on the subject of teams, I want to congratulate Becky Noble for making the chairshooter All-American team and Dave Thorson for making the senior veteran second team. It’s the first time for both to earn All-American status. Way to go!
The SD State Shoot is in Aberdeen this year. Dates are July 15-19. If you need a camping spot, you can call Jerry Brick at 605-228-2449, or you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The club is located six miles south and 1/4 mile west of Aberdeen on Highway 281.
As always, you can reach me at 605-940-4578, or e-mail email@example.com if you need any other help.
Remember to take someone new to the gun club next time you go shooting.
One of the great joys is being able to spend trapshooting days with your friends, even if they are not at the same shoot. There is a group of us friends who go to the same clubs or to different clubs on the same day. But if you are one of those friends that is not at the same shoot or can’t make the shoots, then you will get a “wave” photo. I do believe it started when I was off shooting somewhere far away and the famous “wave” photo was sent to me. Gotta love your friends.
I am sad to report Eau Claire R&G lost a very valuable person and past president. Doug Burrows passed in January. Doug volunteered for many activities at the club and will be missed by many. Prayers to his family and friends.
I wrote about Doug a few days ago, and today I need to add a friend of mine who always had a contagious smile for everyone. Ken Peterson from the club has passed.
With this said, please remember to enjoy life and friends. Take time for them. I wrote in a new blog of mine about friends, and I call them Diamonds in the Sky. I value every one of you.
The Spring Grand in Tucson was so much fun, even if we had some wind and a wee bit of rain; no snow this year, at least. Congratulations to the Wisconsin shooters who took home trophies and places in runnerup spots. Tucson gives out very few runnerup trophies, but to me runnerup is a win, even without a trophy. Prelim week trophy winners shot great; they include James Badtke, doubles; Cheryl Demulling, singles; Terry Brede, handicap; Sandra Jo Jack, singles; and Lee Moldenhauer, singles.
Grand week was a great week for the following shooters: Robert Dorzak, handicap; Jack, singles, doubles runnerup and Singles Championship runnerup; Francis Freiburger, doubles; John Halambeck, Doubles Championship; Moldenhauer, handicap; Charles (Buzzy) Noel, handicap runnerup; and ending the shoot to win in the Handicap Championship was Douglas Proulx for seventh place. Great shooting, my friends.
There is a junior shooter I would like to congratulate, my friend Kya Funkhauser from Oklahoma for her fantastic 100 in doubles. Wow, you are an amazing shooter to win the junior with 100 and posting many other great scores. You earned your Thunderbird pin they give for 100 straights at the shoot.
A big congratulations to my friend Donnie Sherrard from Kentucky, who was smiling so big for his 99 in handicap and to win his shootoff. James Schooler, you shot great—99 to get in the handicap shootoff to win runnerup.
I really need to end this on a laugh. My shooting buddy Dennis Minks and I shot together all week and rode to the line together. I texted him that I was going to the bathroom and would be right out for us to go shoot. Well, I looked at the text when I got to the car, and I know I did not add this to the text the following, “n p.p.” Somehow my phone added those words—really! I got in his car, and he said, “I really did not know how to answer your message. A bit too much information.” We had a good laugh. Darn aliens in our phones.
Please remember to volunteer at your club; all clubs need help, whether you are older, middle or younger age. It should not be above anyone to help pick up shells or empty trash or load traphouses or push chairs in at the end of the day.
Enjoy your day as you read this message from your great shooting state of Wisconsin. See you at the next shoot. Keep smiling, because I am!
Sandra Jo Jack
for ATA Delegate Kevin Doerring
Hello from the Atlantic Provinces. We have a new ATA club here! The Annapolis Valley Shooting Sports Club located in Kentville, NS, rebuilt their one trapfield to ATA specifications in 2019 and is planning ATA registered shoots this coming season. The club is nestled in one of Atlantic Canada’s most picturesque areas, known for its Acadian history, farming, fruit orchards, wineries, coffee roasters and craft breweries. Efforts at the club have been spearheaded by ATA shooters Dean Ogilvie and Barry Turner. Full club details are available on shootatlantic.com and avssc.ca.
The Petitcodiac SC’s winter trap league continues to be popular with club shooters, and as of Feb. 20, Terry LeBlanc is on top of the 16-yard league standings, followed closely by Darren Pain. LeBlanc and Charles Gagnon are currently tied for the doubles title.
Petitcodiac also hosted their annual Valentine’s Shoot and Breakfast Feb. 15. Larry Kinden reports that 24 shooters braved the -24º Celsius temperature and -33º wind chill for the 100-target competition. Larry tied Ray Woodill for the shoot’s top score and won the shootoff to capture the high-gun award. After the shoot, Terry LeBlanc congratulated Dan Pollock for recently shooting his first 50 straight and presented him his 50 straight patch. Congratulations, Dan.
Carl d’Entremont, the 2019 Atlantic Provinces senior veteran singles, doubles and handicap champion, was featured in the second of February’s shooter profiles. Carl started shooting ATA registered targets in 1973 and has had, and continues to have, a very successful shooting career. A trapshooting highlight of Carl’s was the 1975 Canadian Champion of Champions event. Carl remembers the details as if it were yesterday and recounts that he and two others broke 100 to enter the shootoff. I’ll encourage you to read Carl’s Shooter Profile to find out how the shootoff went. Carl is from Lower West Pubnico, NS, and is captain aboard his boat, the Cona III. He also shares his passion of shooting and lobster fishing with many friends in the area. A good friend of Carl’s, Shawn d’Entremont, tells me Carl is as competitive on the fishing grounds as he is on the trapfield. You can read all about Carl in the Shooter Profile and APTA Shoot Results sections of shootatlantic.com.
Preparations for the 2020 Atlantic Provinces Trapshooting Championships Sept. 3-6 at the Highland GC near Yarmouth, NS, continue. Support from shoot sponsors has been terrific, and it’s looking like we’ll have another great shoot this year. Stay tuned to shootatlantic.com for a shoot program, hotel information, ammunition ordering details and pre-squadding information.
For more information on the APTA, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit shootatlantic.com.
As I start putting this article together on Feb. 18, I am thinking that the weather for us in the western part of Massachusetts has not been all that bad this winter. We have had far less snow and cold weather than usual (now that being said, living in New England, we know that can change very rapidly from one day to the next). So I am keeping my fingers crossed that spring is just around the corner.
By the time you get to read this, our registered shooting season will be under way. I try to remind all members around this time to please have your ATA membership dues and your MATA dues paid for the 2020 target year. Check your average card and have your singles and doubles averages up to date, along with your correct yardage. This will help get you through quickly at the classification table. Also remember the target requirements in 2020 in order to make the 2021 state team: 2,000 singles, 1,500 handicap and 1,000 doubles targets. Plus you must shoot all events of the two championship days (Saturday and Sunday) during the 2020 state shoot. The MATA has come up with some very nice trophies for the 15 top shooters on the state team this year, so give it your all and bring home the silver.
This year’s state shoot will be held June 11-14 at Minute Man SC with 1,100 targets available, using White Flyer targets and Pat-Traps. This will be a great shoot. I’m looking forward to seeing you there.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns that I can help with, I can be reached at 413-586-0428 or 413-687-7703 or email@example.com. Remember, have fun.
The New Jersey Flyer Championship was once again held at Wing Point on Moselem Springs Road in Hamburg, PA, on Jan. 5. Tony Escata retained the title, and Ken Hassis secured the veteran trophy. As can be expected in January, the weather included rain, snow flurries and temperatures in the low 30s—great flyer weather.
Pine Belt is having their Marathon Weekend April 4-5 and their Doubles Marathon April 19.
Pine Valley is having their annual Quarter Grand April 4-5 and their annual Youth Shoot April 18.
Steve Ottrando reported that the annual Easter Pie Shoot will be held at the Mallard TC in Monroe Township April 11 starting at 11 a.m. More than 36 pies are up for grabs; please try to attend.
North Jersey CTC is having their annual State Shoot Warm-up April 26.
The 55th annual New Jersey Cricket will start at the Pine Belt SC April 25, then on to Pine Valley for lunch and then crossing the Delaware River to the Wilmington TC for the final 100 singles targets, followed by an awards dinner (dinner is optional this year) at a nearby hotel. Please contact shoot organizer Steve Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org. Last year the Ground Swipers R&GC had a huge turnout for this event; hopefully other trap clubs in the state will field a squad or two.
The second of our 2020 New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees is George Wright. George was born in Salem, NJ, in 1949 and has lived his whole life within a 20-mile radius of his birthplace. Growing up, he had the company of a brother and a sister. He learned hunting and making every shot count from his dad. Hunting for the Wrights wasn’t sport; it was to put meat on the table. George hunted rabbit, squirrel, deer and some duck growing up. He worked for DuPont at their Deepwater facility at the base of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. At that site, Teflon was produced, along with tetra ethyl lead, which was used to generate octane levels in gasoline years ago. George worked there 41 years, retiring in 2010. In 1985 he moved to Carneys Point, where he still resides.
He started shooting trap in 1990 at the Salem Co. SC, a one-trap club. George joined the ATA in 1991, along with his then girlfriend Nyda. Nyda had ventured out first on her own (George was racing that weekend) to Pine Valley, where she had her first encounter with New Jersey’s trapshooting matriarch, Toots Tindall. A lasting friendship evolved from that meeting. Nyda talked George into going to Pine Valley, since she was welcomed by Toots and the other shooters there. George also shot his first registered targets at Pine Valley. They both enjoyed the sport so much that they became life members. In April 1992 George and Nyda were married. In 1994 they bought their first motorhome. This allowed them to get out and see what trapshooting was all about. At first they would venture out of Salem County to shoot registered targets at the clubs of New Jersey and Delaware. George also was involved in micro-midget racing on dirt tracks. He enjoyed fabricating parts on the racecar, assembling and disassembling the engines. He raced at Airport Speedway in nearby Delaware. George stopped racing in 1997. His shooting steadily increased, starting with the number of targets registered each year and the steady increase of his shooting average. By 1998 he finished the year with a .9621 average in singles and never looked back. He has been an A or AA singles shooter and a B or A doubles shooter ever since.
His most memorable victory was the New Jersey singles championship in 2009 with 200. His first state team appearance was in 2002, and he has been on 14 more, capping off with being on the 2019 veteran team. George also was the state doubles champion in 2013 and 2018. George made the ATA All-American team in 2016, 2018 and 2019. So far, George has registered 98,300 singles, 78,450 handicap and 65,550 doubles targets.
The induction ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. and not 3 p.m. (as was written in the March issue of Trap & Field) on May 30, in the clubhouse at Pine Belt SC. Refreshments will be served.
If you have an idea for an article or just a question, I can be reached at 732-546-7910 or email@example.com.
Greetings from New York State. Finally, April has arrived, along with spring. I hope the weather turns nice so we all can start shooting registered targets. I am ready; it has been a very long winter.
We in New York must extend our congratulations to former New York State resident and now Pennsylvania resident and captain of the sub-vet All-American team, Chris Vendel, for winning the Singles Championship at the Spring Grand American at Tucson T&SC in Arizona. Chris broke 200 straight in the event and 25 in shootoff to win. Excellent shooting and great going, Chris!
The following was posted on our New York State ATA webpage www.nysata.com: “Shooters, this article may be a bit early, but we are trying to get a handle on things: The start of the shelters will begin right after the Empire Grand. We need help in dismantling the existing shelters and building the new ones. (Building has already begun; be sure to watch our Facebook page for progress pictures). We would like to paint the traphouses. So we will need paint donated to accomplish this. The fence on the east end needs a facelift, but in order to do that, it would cost about $2,000. A donation of the paint or cash would be appreciated, as well as manpower. We also have a few more benches and gun racks that can be purchased with a plaque on them in your name or in memory of a loved one.
“Just as a reminder, we still have five sets of benches/gun racks that can be purchased. The cost is $375 per set. If interested, please contact Cathy Flint, Jim Davis, Sam Bonetto or Larry Daigler. We are trying to make your homegrounds great again. Any donations, no matter what size, can be sent to Cathy Flint, 9194 Lake Rd., Barker, NY 14012. Checks can made out to the NYSATA. Sincerely, Larry Daigler, western zone vice president.”
If you plan to attend any of the shoots at our homegrounds in Cicero and you need a campsite, please contact Ken Davis at 585-738-4612, 7307 Griswold Rd., Bergen, NY 14416. Ken’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember that first up at the homegrounds in Cicero is the 2020 Empire Grand American. The shoot is May 6-10. We all in New York hope you plan to attend.
The other three shoots scheduled at the homegrounds in Cicero for 2020 are the New York State Shoot July 7-12; ATA Eastern Zone, July 22-26; and finally, the Northeastern Grand American, Sept. 15-20.
If anyone would like to have something written in one of these articles, please contact me at Trapshooterdavec@yahoo.com or phone at 585-519-9543. See you all soon, and good shooting. May God bless.
Greetings from Ontario, Canada. This article is devoted to those who make contributions large and small for the benefit of others and never seek recognition; in many cases, few—if any—people know what they did or why they did it. Some go to great lengths to ensure people never connect them to their “pay it forward” acts of random kindness.
But I can assure you that within our trapshooting ranks, there are many people who have benefited from anonymous acts of kindness. Benefits bestowed are limited only by the imagination and transcend trapshooting. People’s lives can and have changed for the better, and the hope is someday those people may help others—sometimes in the most unexpected ways.
The following narrative illustrates my point. While it is claimed to be a true story, I have been unable to independently verify all of this information, and I will leave it to you to research accordingly. It unfolds as follows:
A poor Scottish farmer by the name of Hugh Fleming went out in his field trying to eke out a living and heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck and sinking rapidly, was a terrified boy screaming and trying unsuccessfully to free himself. The farmer saved the boy from what would have been a slow and horrifying death.
The next day a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman’s modest hovel, and an elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy the farmer had saved. “I want to repay you for saving my son’s life,” he said. The farmer waved off the gesture and said he couldn’t accept payment for what any person would do under the circumstances.
At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door, “Is that your son?” asked the nobleman, to which the farmer nodded affirmatively.
“I’ll make you deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my son will enjoy. If the lad is anything like his father, he’ll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of.”
The nobleman was true to his word, and Farmer Fleming’s son attended the very best schools and in time graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London. He was a gold medalist and later taught medicine and researched in specialty areas of bacteriology.
During World War I he had a commission in the Royal Army Medical Corps. There he observed firsthand the carnage caused not only by war but the death that occurred by wound infections. In 1928 Farmer Fleming’s son discovered something that made him world famous—penicillin. His name: Sir Alexander Fleming.
To fellow trapshooters, your contributions big and small have a positive impact on the lives of others. And to all of you who know what I am talking about, thank you.
Hopefully when you’re reading this, the winter weather has finally dissipated and the grass is beginning to turn green again. We had a few Keystone shooters travel to Tucson for the Spring Grand American, and two of them earned trophies. Chris Vendel enjoyed the trip west with five wins, including the overall singles title and category HOA and HAA. John DiFabio added a doubles class win during championship week to his accomplishments.
A quick update on the PSSA and the Northeast Shooting Complex: as of this writing, all permits have been approved through the proper channels to give the green light to move forward with the construction. Specs have been sent to contractors for bidding with the recent approval, and the project should be moving along this summer. Look for updates on the PSSA website and Facebook page.
Late last month I learned of the passing of Moe Kephart. Many of you know Moe as a squad hustler on Banks 1-4 in recent years. Moe and his wife Marilyn have been shooting for several years and have long ties with local clubs near their home in Osceola Mills as well as Elysburg. Moe was always a gentleman and well respected, not only by the shooters, but also the youthful employees that he encountered at Elysburg. Moe will be missed by many as I send my condolences to Marilyn and the Kephart family.
ATA Alternate Delegate