I hope by the time you are reading this, we are on the downhill slide of the COVID-19 pandemic. As our communities start rebuilding, don’t forget your local gun clubs. Volunteers and our support are going to be needed.
I would like to continue telling everyone about the clubs around our state. This month I have picked the Rocky Willmuth Shooting Sports Complex in Batesville. Whenever you get the chance, go and check them out.
The Rocky Willmuth SSC was created through funding and cooperation of several agencies and individuals. Partnerships and donations from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, City of Batesville, Independence County and private donors made this range possible.
The complex is made up of three skeet and five trap fields and a 12-station stationary archery field as well as three pavilions. The complex consists of a 1,200-square-foot clubhouse/office and a new state-of-the-art 1,200-square-foot education center that consists of the latest technology equipment, including digital projection system and Dry Fire clay shooting simulator. The education center provides a generous meeting area for up to 25 persons, and the clubhouse portion serves as the office and clubhouse for the complex. The center is available for rent by individuals for outdoor-related activities. The education center was made possible by a generous gift from the Witt and Carol Stephens Charitable Trust. The new 1,200-square-foot technology center was made possible by GIF Funding. The pavilions provide shaded observation areas and picnic and barbecue opportunities and were made possible through donations from First Community Bank and The Citizens Bank, both of Batesville. A five-person commission appointed by City of Batesville and Independence County officials operates the range. Currently, Mark White is range manager, and he can be contacted at email@example.com.
The range has been developed primarily for the youth of our state, but is available to the public as well. The range is ADA accessible to all areas. Shotgun ammunition is available for sale, but shooters are encouraged to bring their own ammunition and shotguns. Remington 11-87 shotguns, in both 12- and 20-gauge, are available for use, thanks to the National Wild Turkey Federation, and there is no fee for their use. Ear plugs are available. Archery targets are provided, but other equipment must be provided by the participant. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. For safety sake, range rules are clearly posted and must be observed.
John 14:6 KJV—Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
God bless. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eagle Feathers, Part 3
Todd worked hard in the silver mine then would ride Silver for miles around the mountain valley. Just before dark, the old Ranger would give Todd another lesson on how to draw and fire the old Colt pistol, which was now completely at home on Todd’s right hip. The old Ranger realized that Todd had become much faster and was much more accurate than he had ever been. One day after Todd had been drawing and shooting for some time, he went to reload his empty brass the way the old Ranger had shown him. He took out the primers and powder, but when he took out the lead, he found it was nearly used up. When Todd asked the old Ranger about it, he was told to substitute silver for the lead. So Todd took chunks of silver from the mine, melted them down, and cast new 45-caliber silver bullets for his gun.
With their food running low, the old Ranger left Todd to work and guard the mine while he went to town for much-needed supplies. The old Ranger knew he was taking a chance taking so much silver with him. He took the extra silver with him because he needed to buy food for two instead of one, and he wanted to buy a new outfit for Todd. The old Ranger, not wanting to flash his silver around town, went straight to the assay office and sold it. He left town as soon as he had bought the food and other things he needed. But as careful as he had been, he didn’t get out of town unnoticed. Two men watched from the shadows as the old man headed out of town.
The two outlaws ambushed the old Ranger 20 miles out of town. With the first shots, his mule broke loose and ran off. Upon capturing the old Ranger, the two outlaws tried to force him to tell them where his silver mine was. After much beating, the old Ranger agreed to take them to the mine. He told them they were still two to three days away. Then knowing it could mean his life, he took them in the wrong direction, out where there was no food and little water.
When the still-loaded mule walked into camp at the mine, Todd knew something bad had happened. Unloading the mule, Todd found a new saddle and bridle along with a double brace of leather holsters and shiny new Colt pistols. Todd also found new store-bought pants, shirt, belt, flannel long johns and a brand new white Stetson hat. It was late afternoon by the time Todd got the mule unloaded and had the food and gear stowed away. Next Todd decided to see if Silver would accept the new saddle and bridle. Todd whistled and Silver, eager to please, came on the run and stopped just in front of him. Todd decided to put the bridle on Silver first. The bridle was strangely built, for it had no metal bit to be installed in a horse’s mouth; it had only a metal ring under the horse’s chin where one could snap two leather reins. (Later this would become known as a hackamore or a bitless bridle.) Trusting his human friend, Silver readily accepted the strange-feeling bridle and saddle.
Early the next morning, Todd, sitting high in the saddle, headed out, backtracking the mule. Backtracking the mule was slow but steady, and just before dark, Todd came to the place where the old Ranger had been dry-gulched. Finding no bodies and not wanting to mess up the tracks, Todd camped well back from the ambush scene. He had to wait until full light to make out what had happened. As soon as he found the tracks of three horses heading out into the rocky desert, he began to follow them.
By noon the next day, the unprepared outlaws found themselves far out into the hot desert with no water or food. Arguing among themselves over what to do, the two outlaws finally decided to let the desert take care of the old Ranger, who sat peacefully on a rock as he watched the outlaws ride away with his horse in tow. He smiled to himself as the outlaws went out of sight. As soon as they were gone, the old Ranger headed up a rocky draw, where he knew he would find a spring-fed pool of cool water. He knew he would be back at the silver mine before dark.
Since the ground was rocky and he was in a hurry, Todd missed the signs of the old Ranger being left behind, and so continued to follow the three horses out into the hot desert. Being lost and disoriented caused the two outlaws to ride in a large circle, which is what saved their lives. As night ascended, the outlaws, having no idea where they were, decided to make camp when one of them spotted the lights of a town far in front of them.
In their haste, they left the old Ranger’s horse tied to a bush. When Todd found the horse, he knew he had missed something somewhere along the trail. Taking the horse and letting the outlaws go, Todd turned around and headed back, following his own trail. He gave a sigh of relief when he found no blood at the spot where the outlaws had left the old Ranger.
Not knowing why he had gone up the rocky draw, Todd followed and soon found the pool of cool water. Todd filed his canteen as the two horses drank greedily from the small pool. After they had drunk their fill, Todd headed out across the desert, following the trail. It was late afternoon when Todd returned to the mine, only to find the old Ranger resting peacefully in the shade of a large tree. He said, “Took you long enough to get here. I was about to go looking for you.”
Todd would eventually join the Texas Rangers and, along with a company of Rangers, would be ambushed by outlaws where all but he would be killed. Todd lay near death, where his faithful Indian friend Little Wolf found him and cared for him. He would live with help from his Indian friend, whose adult name was Tonto. To the delight of millions of young boys and girls, the two would blaze across the silver screen of yesteryear as the champion of right and wrong. The masked man with silver bullets, a silver white horse and an Indian friend can only be The Lone Ranger.—The End.
Those of you who read last month’s newsletter will remember I wrote about the Spring Grand. I wrote how the ATA shooter numbers for Colorado, as well as many other states, had increased, and how it looked like the best economy any of us had ever seen was finally getting some more shooters to travel out of their zip code. Wow! Fast forward one month.
Hopefully by the time you read this, the coronavirus will either be under control or a thing of the past. I trust you and yours were left untouched by this virus as it wove its deadly path around the world. We can only be thankful that our president and all the doctors, nurses, first responders and scientists were able to limit the spread of this deadly virus as fast as they did. While the strong actions taken were very disruptive and in most cases very costly economically, they were necessary to stop the spread of one of the world’s most deadly viruses. I trust the supplies shortages in your area were short-lived and not too severe. Hopefully Hollywood will decide not to cash in and make a movie out of the pain and sorrow experienced around the world. Maybe they could make a movie about how much better it would be if the leaders of the world reported these illnesses faster, instead of first trying to see if they can hide or cover up.
I hope by next month I will be writing about how ATA has reopened and Colorado shooters, as well as shooters across the U.S. and Canada, are once again experiencing the thrill of competing in and winning ATA shoots. I hope to see you at the Grand, if not before. Until then, be safe.
Ruby Darling, on some beach somewhere, sends this to you: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Glenn Ford said it this way: “You must face the things you fear.”
Each year at this time, trapshooting slows down in the state of Kansas. Planning for the upcoming year’s schedule takes place. Guns and equipment get repaired or replaced. Those who reload prepare for the upcoming season, and we wait for warmer weather. It is also a time to look back at the 2019 target year and some of the accomplishments of our state shooters. With that in mind, the Kansas Trapshooting Association Board of Directors proudly announces the members of the Kansas state teams for 2020.
Men’s first—captain Rob Taylor, .9600; Caleb Fischer, .9519; Dillon Stum, .9510; Travis Crist, .9393; Martin Wilbur, .9324. Men’s second—Bruce Davis, .9276; Shawn Massey, .9226; James Cooper, .9062; Carey McAllister, .9051; Ted Grindstaff Jr., .9024. Women’s—captain Morgan Domme, .9084; Gloria Sims, .8272; Juania Gale, .8232. Sub-junior—captain Colton Adams, .8692. Junior—captain Luke Massey, .8861; Xander Winchel, .8801; Scott Owens, .8751; Dallas Clark, .8284; Caleb Secrest, .8192. Veteran—captain Kenneth Johnston, .9171; Ronald Beach, .9121; James Kuhn, .8914; John Guth, .8740; Randy Davis, .8460. Senior vet—captain Virgil Tucker, .8945; Ted Clinesmith, .8919; Larry Zerngast, .8859; Roy Rathbun, .8854.
Three Kansas shooters were also recognized for placement on the ATA All-American teams: Harlan Campbell Jr., open first; Rob Taylor, open second; and Caleb Fischer, junior gold.
The schedule for KTA shoots for the 2020 year: June 8-14, state shoot; July 17-19, Summer Handicap; Sept. 11-13, Fall Handicap (New Car Shoot); Oct. 2-4, Kansas all-zone shoot.
The Kansas Trapshooting Association’s website is shootata.com. If you have anything you would like me to put on the web, please forward it to email@example.com. I can also be reached at 785-565-8282.
I hope everyone is hunkered down and avoiding the COVID-19 virus. What a difference a month can make. Just last month I was reporting on the ramping up of the shooting season after returning from the Spring Grand. Now I am reporting on the closure of nearly every gun club in the state, including MTA at Linn Creek, due to the restrictions set by the state of Missouri and counties throughout the state. The MTA directors have been faced with to do with the state shoot. After much phone discussion and many e-mails, it was decided that the shoot would be rescheduled to the week of July 8-12 in conjunction with the Southwestern Zone Shoot. I know not everyone is pleased with this decision, and believe me, it was not an easy one to make. Bear with us and continue to support all of the gun clubs in the state when the restrictions have been lifted. With the winter that we had and now the COVID-19 virus, most gun clubs are experiencing the worst start to the year ever. Please, everyone, be safe and patient and pray for a quick passing of this major storm. There is a scripture that came to my mind regarding this period of quarantine, Isaiah 26: 20-21. If anyone has anything they would like to have reported, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-863-9003.
Shoot when you can, and shoot well!
It’s the end of March, and everything is shut down.
We had our March shoot. Weather was a little cool and breezy, but that’s normal for this time of year.
Alamogordo had a good shoot also before everything shut down. We’re still talking about when our state shoot will be. We will have to wait and see how long this is going to last.
I hope everyone is doing all right. I hope to see you at a shoot later this year. Good luck and be safe.
Ada has had some cold, windy nights for their Tuesday shoots. The Feb. 11 shoot was won by Vickie Farmer with 44, one target ahead of husband Randy. During the Feb. 18 shoot, Randy, Don Bowers and Colton Ables all had 45s. On March 1 Shawnee Twin Lakes TR held the first registered shoot of the summer shooting season. Attendance was good with 73º and strong winds greeting 34 shooters. Collin Rindal won the singles with 99. The handicap was won by Johnny Wilson with 94, receiving his first punch as a new shooter. Woody Barnes from Arkansas won the doubles with 92. Vickie won ladies’ in all three events. I was finally able to give Woody a buckle he won at the Grand in 2018.
I am sad to report that after a long illness, Roger Finkle passed away on March 1. He was at a Weatherford care center with Carol Brown by his side. I am sure everyone in the trapshooting community knows Roger. Trapshooting was his way of life. He not only shot trap but bought and sold guns and equipment. Years ago he was even involved in the operation of a trap range in Stillwater. Roger also promoted Downrange Wads. In 2009 Roger was elected president of the Oklahoma Trapshooters Association and inducted into the OTA Hall of Fame. When the 2013 tornado leveled the OTA Homegrounds, Roger was instrumental in the rebuilding process. Brian has a good picture of him leaning against a wall “load testing it.” As construction manager, he spent almost every day on site for months to put it all back together, just in time for the 2014 Oklahoma State Shoot. We all owe Roger a debt of gratitude for all he has done for our sport. He will be missed by all of us. Our sincere condolences go out to his family.
OTSA’s March 7-8 shoot had good attendance of 38 shooters, including one from Wisconsin, one from Missouri and one from Texas. Sunshine and strong winds greeted shooters. Ron Bliss won champion in the singles with 98, and right behind him with 97s were Rod Olyer, Zachary Piancino and Brayden Bliss. Nathan Lemke’s 94 won champion in the handicap. Jordan Harrold won short-yardage with 93, Robert Campbell took mid-yardage with 89, and Brayden claimed long-yardage with 91. On Sunday Justin Cavett won the singles with 98. Gregory Michael Such topped the handicap with 94. Tim Mount won short-yardage with 93, Lyndon Schumaker mid-yardage with 87, and Clay Laughlin long-yardage with 91. Clay also won the doubles with 91. Mikie will have a complete list of all winners posted on our website. At the same time OTSA was holding the Sunday, March 8 shoot, Ada GC was having to run all four of their traps to keep up with kids’ practice shooting. Between Vanoss, Paoli and the 4-H shooters, all four traps were full all day long. This confirms a strong start to the summer shooting season.
We will be ready for the Oklahoma State Shoot June 2-7. In our board meeting we decided to keep target costs the same as last year, even though our target costs have increased. In one of my past articles, I recommended shooters consider traveling to our surrounding state shoots. They are excellent shoots, all run very well. It appears some of our shooters are doing this, and it produced 12 Oklahoma All-Americans last year, the most we have ever had in one year.
Ada’s March 3 shoot was won by Steve Blackburn with 47. The March 10 shoot was won by young shooter Austin Palmer with 49, missing only one 16-yard target. They had five squads competing.
Red Dirt GC had to cancel their March 14 shoot due to the rains. Having just completed their new second trapfield, it created mud everywhere. After several inches of much-need rain, and more on the way, they had no choice.
Ada GC was able to fit their March shoot in between the rains, but a cold damp wind made it a trying day. An attendance of 29 was good, considering the weather. Josh Casteel won the singles with 98 and the doubles with 96. Randy Farmer’s and Bennie Livingston’s 89s were high in the handicap, where Randy prevailed for champion.
Good attendance at these early shoots is encouraging in light of all the coronavirus news on TV. None of us could have foreseen such a thing affecting everything we do on a daily basis. There is no doubt it is having a negative effect on trapshooting. A lot of March and April shoots have already been canceled. This was before the group limit of 50 people, and now down to 10 people. The 4-H leaders have canceled their spring and fall shoots (average 250 to 300 kids). They have also canceled all practicing in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation High School Shoot has been canceled also (300 kids). It will be a hard time for some of our clubs to survive because fixed expenses, such as utilities, insurance, property taxes, mowing and upkeep go on, revenue or not. Each of us can help the small clubs survive by shooting extra practice rounds and volunteering to help. We must all do our part to curb this pandemic. In time, we will all get through this together.
Twenty-eight-year-old Staff Sergeant Mason Roberts of the Oklahoma Air National Guard lost his life in a rocket attack overseas. We should all pray for our fellow Americans and hope for the best.
Today is March 25, and it is a sad day across our country. COVID-19 has disrupted everyone and everything. It’s time we pray for our nation and the people sickened by this deadly virus. Most importantly, say an extra prayer for doctors, nurses, medical technicians and all the staff who work hands-on to care for the sick. In addition to these people, please remember our first responders and all employees who continue to work to serve us. If we all practice limited contact and social distancing, not only does that help us, but it also helps our friends and neighbors. Maybe by the time you read this in the May issue, things will be much better.
I am very sorry the Southwestern Grand in San Antonio had to be canceled. I know Royce and the staff at National SC had worked very hard to show the shooters they had fixed many, if not all, of the problems that had been brought to their attention. They had dedicated themselves to making this the best Southwestern Grand in history.
I would like to give a big “atta girl” to Donna Mathers. Donna registered her 100,000th ATA target at Silver Dollar. I have a few shooters on my watch list, and I do my best to keep up with our Texas shooters. A little help would be appreciated. If you are or know someone who has reached a milestone in registered targets, please let me know. I know several of you have your pictures on the wall at the post office and would rather not have your name in print, but some of you don’t, so let me know.
I told you in my last column that I was making my first trip to the Spring Grand in Tucson. If you haven’t been, you need to make plans to attend the Autumn Grand or even the Spring Grand next year. Better than that, just attend both of them. The Tucson T&SC is a wonderful facility. The RV parking is first class in every way. The shoot ran without any problems that I heard of. Doug Sims does a fantastic job running the shoot. Princess and I had a great time there. We are certainly planning on going back. I would like to thank Danny McKenzie for allowing me to assist and learn from him at the classification desk. He is a super nice guy. I hope I wasn’t too big of a pest.
I know that asking you to read the rulebook is like asking water to run up hill. But guess what? I’m asking anyway. I know it’s not the most interesting book you have ever read and never will be. There are things in the rulebook you need to know. Please read the ATA book of rules.
I wish I would get news from some of you. Texas is a big state, and I can’t be everywhere. Please send me news if you have some. I would like to recognize our Texas shooters for their accomplishments. I can’t do that without your help. If you have news, let Princess or me know. As always, you can reach me at 806-679-6889 or e-mail email@example.com.
Till next time, y’all shoot well, y’all shoot often, and y’all have a great time.
The Spring Grand American is in the books. Last month I reported on some of the Alberta winners. Here is the full list: Preliminary Singles, vet, Art Peyton, 100; Preliminary Handicap, 22-24, Rod Hymas, 96; Prescott Handicap, veteran, Colin Crumb, 97; Tucson Doubles, D, Lorne Umscheid, 94; Doubles Championship, chair, Bert Brumwell, 86; Preliminary Handicap, veteran, Garry Hill, 95; Singles Championship, A runnerup, Lorne Umscheid, 197. Congratulations to all.
As I write this, we are one week into the COVID-19 lockdown, the stock market meltdown, and the accompanying economic slowdown. Even if we manage to corner this bug, unprecedented damage has been done. Trillions of dollars of wealth have been erased from investment portfolios, and each day brings more business closures and layoffs. That, together with prohibitions on large gatherings, makes me wonder how much shooting will be done this year.
Stay well, and until next time . . . cheers.
The state shoot—or maybe a better title might be, the State Shoot that Wasn’t. From the moment we started on March 17, it felt as if we had the Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads. Prior to the opening shot being fired, the ASTA board met to decide whether to proceed or not. Game and Fish gave us the go ahead, a lot of people had come from out of state, and maybe the Wuhan virus would die down, so off we went.
Event 1, the Memorial Singles, had 109 competitors. That was down from 141 last year due to virus worries. Canyon Ferris got us off to a great start with 100 straight, which tied for tops in junior gold, and Joe Henderson, Jim Sharp and Phil Vasquez were one back and in a three-way tie for the senior veteran lead. Mark Matthews and Darvin Thomas also had 99s. Next was the Ben Avery Handicap, and our newest Hall of Fame member Gerry Williams shot a 98 for second overall and tops in senior vet. Right behind were Wayne Thompson and Jim Sharp, while Art Hammer was second in the open category. The Ben Avery Doubles then closed things out, literally and figuratively, and with the exception of Ferris, whose 97 was good for the second spot in junior gold, it was the old guys’ moment. Darvin Thomas and Steve Stella, an East Coast transplant now firmly rooted in the Valley of the Sun, ruled the veterans, and the slightly more ancient Joe Henderson, Jim Sharp, Wayne Thompson and Gerry Williams all tied for high gun in senior vet. But alas, folks, that was the end of the shooting.
On Wednesday morning the ASTA board met with officials from Game and Fish. Word was circulating that a Phoenix TV station was sending a news crew out to Ben Avery to record the goings-on. By this time restaurants, bars, churches, schools and so forth were all closed, all we needed was to have “the gun nuts” on the evening news, while seemingly the rest of the world was on hold; the optics would not be good. Game and Fish never officially told us to stop, but it did not take advanced calculus to figure out where this was going. We knew it was just a matter of time before an end was put to things, so the plug was pulled, and the Arizona State Shoot came to a premature end. Two days later Ben Avery was officially closed.
What happens now? Well, it’s too early (writing on March 24) to say. Hopes are for a late October date, possibly sandwiched between the Nevada State Shoot and the Autumn Grand. Not only do we want to finish the shoot, but we also have to hold our annual meeting and the election of officers. We just might have to finish the 2020 state shoot in target year 2021. Please stay tuned.
Around the state: Casa Grande had a nice turnout for their annual Breast Cancer Awareness Classic March 4-8. Our home boys and gals were outnumbered, but they still made their presence known. Patricia Carter started things off with a nice 99 in the opening singles, topping all ladies, and Randall Winch was high in B. We won’t talk about the opening day’s handicap and doubles. Thursday saw Phil Vasquez winning B class at 16 yards, and Friday was a combination of youth, experience and the fair sex. Prescott’s Pizinger brothers, Wyatt and Nathanial, dominated the junior categories, with Wyatt winning sub-junior in the singles and handicap, while Nathanial took junior in the singles, handicap and doubles. Our well-seasoned senior veteran, Bob Mlynarz, shot a 99 in the singles winning that crown, and Judy TenBroeck was the high lady in the singles.
Saturday was an Arizona tsunami. Down went the books, tool boxes and keyboards, and up came the trap guns for our gang of hardworking shooters. Robert (Will) Pike won B in the doubles, Jim Kidwell took C, and Kaitlin Quan was the high lady. Next was the singles, and the cream rose to the top. Dan Forbes came in with the only 100 out of 73 shooters and won Class AA. (Pretty soon Tiger will have to give him a separate wall at Casa Grande.) Randall Winch was high in B class as was Kaitlin among the ladies and Nathanial P. in junior. Jim Dremler then shot a 94 and took the mid-yardage crown in the ’caps, and there was Nathanial in junior once more. Sunday it was another fine day for Prescott juniors. Isaac Smith shot the lone 100 in the singles and stood at the head of AA, while poor Kaitlin had to settle for a 99 while winning ladies’. Then she turned right around and won women’s again in the ’caps. The doubles closed everything out, and Fred Frazier was not to be denied. He walked away with C.
Smoke and chips: We are now moving into Phase 2 of the Arizona season, where much of the action shifts to cooler climes. Shoots on tap from mid May to mid June are May 11, Big 50s at Casa Grande; May 17, Cochise and Tucson; May 18, Big 50s, Casa Grande, and a singles marathon at Rio Salado; May 22-24, Pleasant Valley (a sure sign of warmer weather); June 1, Big 50s, Casa Grande, and a doubles marathon at Rio Salado; June 6-7, Summer Welcome, Casa Grande; June 8, Big 50s, Casa Grande; June 13-14, the snow has melted and Flagstaff opens; June 15, Big 50s, Casa Grande, and a singles marathon, Rio Salado. Please double-check first since because of the Wuhan virus, scheduling is uncertain at this time. Any questions? Give me a call at 928-443-1100 or 516-381-6774. See you on the line!
It seems the world is getting crazier all the time. Our environment just keeps changing day by day, whether it is terrorism, illness, lack of toilet paper, or what have you. Just to add to the confusion, we experienced a 5.7 magnitude earthquake today (March 18) here in Salt Lake. One thing I learned a long time ago was that our success depends on how we handle “Plan B” (if we even have a Plan B). This is true in trapshooting as well. We usually go to the club and practice on the best weather days we can find, only to go to a shoot and have it be windy and cold outside. This begs the question, do you have a Plan B on how to shoot in bad weather?
Another Plan B item: what to do when a shoot is canceled due to a pandemic. The Florida and Arizona state shoots have been postponed, and I am sure more will follow suit.
I want to add on to the last article that I wrote before I went to the Spring Grand. This year there was very good weather in Tucson, which then led to a nice turnout. We had a lot of foreign visitors from the “Down Under” countries as well as the UK. These contestants didn’t come just to visit the U.S.; they came to compete, and that they did. Jarrod Mudford from New Zealand took the runnerup spot in the Singles Championship with 200 and a shootoff. He was also the only person to break all 400 singles targets thrown that week. Grady Evans from Australia took AAA runnerup, losing to our own Bobby Street after 199 and 100 shootoff targets. That was nice shooting, Bobby.
I know good journalists such as Elissa Cronk don’t like to print their own names (I am hoping she will allow it here), but I placed her in the middle of the good-spirited group of Australians, New Zealanders and UK shooters one afternoon in the clubhouse. The entire group was having a good time and were all very happy to meet her. I am pretty sure she enjoyed the camaraderie as well.
Speaking of New Zealand, three days after I returned home from Tucson, my family went on vacation to the South Island of New Zealand. Beautiful place. While driving outside of the little town of Hokitika, I spotted the small one trap and one skeet field of the Kokatahi Gun Club. The gate was closed, so I couldn’t go inside the compound. I did, however, get a photo of my daughter Randi in front of the gun club sign. It just happens that she is much more photogenic than I am!
While we were in New Zealand, the National Clay Target Championships were taking place at the Canterbury Gun Club outside of Christchurch. Much to my disappointment, I wasn’t able to drop by the club as I was farther south at the time. Upon returning home, I looked up the scores and saw that my newfound friend Justin Smith from Australia won the National Triples Championship. Triples are an interesting event. No, they don’t throw three targets. It is three separate target presentations with a total score of 75. Justin was one of five shooters who scored 75×75 and won the shootoff.
I want to keep you informed of some things going on around here. Our good friend John Vosnos lost his mother Feb. 14 due to pneumonia, and now his father is under hospice care for liver cancer. Brad Spencer has had a major relapse of his cancer, and Darin New underwent a traumatic seven-hour surgery to remove a large tumor.
Let’s all remember what is important in our lives and keep these individuals and everyone else affected by current events in our thoughts.
ATA Western Zone Vice President
These are interesting times to be living in, for sure. It has been my tradition for the last few years to write this month’s contribution to Around the ATA while I’m at the Camas Prairie Handicap. The one thing that changed was the shoot hasn’t happened yet.
By the time you receive this, I hope the coronavirus situation has passed, and our nation has started to get back to normal and that you are all safe. Trapshooting has rightfully taken a back seat as we have all had to sacrifice and take precautions to prevent the spread of disease and have as quick as possible end to the crisis. Every day I see a growing list of shoots that are canceled or postponed. Clubs in our region have been closed until it is safe to carry on.
We don’t know at this time how the rest of our shooting schedule will be affected, but as of now, the Camas Prairie Handicap is planned for the last weekend in August. Organizers gave themselves and the Walla Walla GC time to regroup and to find a time that didn’t interfere with other scheduled shoots, assuming and hoping the events happen as planned. We may know more by the time you read this, so please keep checking shootwsta.com to keep up on what’s happening. We will try to post on social media as clubs reopen and reschedule events as well. Most importantly though, safety first! This is a theme that has even more meaning for our clubs and communities, and we need to stress it just as much, if not more than we have, as it concerns more than just gun safety now.
In the meantime we can take care of ourselves, families and others who may need help. One thing I know about the trapshooting community is that it has always consisted of people who care about their neighbors. If someone is in need of food or any other vital goods to get by, rest assured a trapshooter will have something to offer. When I first got into this sport, WSTA Hall of Famer Marv Hergert told me to keep a phone list of trapshooters on hand whenever and wherever I travel. “You’ll always find help anywhere you might be if you can find a shooter,” is what Marv always said, and I believe it to be true.
For now, let’s stay positive, hopeful and confident that we will all be well after this has passed. Then we can look forward to getting back on the line, smell the smoke, and bust some clay. The WSTA hopes to see you and wishes everyone well. All of us will be thankful and more than ready when we can get back to the scatterguns and see each other. And since there’s no sports to watch, I wonder if I’m the only one reloading to pass the time. Nothing like optimism and being ready when the time comes!
Shoot straight and keep your powder dry.
ATA Alternate Delegate
As I sit down to write this, the coronavirus has swept across the planet and turned our lives upside down. Here in Illinois, we are on lockdown, and I’m afraid registered trapshooting is going to take a major hit in our country. As much as I am going to miss seeing all of my friends at shoots, I want them alive and well when this is all over. So please be patient, smart and safe as we wait for this pandemic to pass.
In February I went to Tucson, AZ, for the Spring Grand. If you have never been to the Tucson T&SC, you need to put it on your bucket list. It is a world class shooting facility with every shotgun shooting discipline available to you. Illinois shooters did well there. Chase Horton won the Preliminary Handicap, 27-yard group. Frank Haynes won the sub-vet award in the Prescott Handicap. Dave Huber won the vet trophy in the Pleasant Valley Handicap. Ziggy Tkaczenko won the chair awards in the class doubles, HOA and HAA.
I want to do a shout-out to Steve Brink and Denise Stultz. Steve is about ready to shoot 75,000 singles targets, and Denise will soon shoot 50,000 handicap. Too often we reward scores and forget about dedication. Congratulations to both of you on these achievements.
Over the next two years the Illinois Board of Directors will be raising money to build a Hall of Fame at Brittany SP. The Hall we have now at Brittany is too small, and we need to build a bigger and better building. We are in the process of creating a GoFundMe account at the Illinois State Trapshooting Association webpage. I plan on updating you each month on how things are going. Please plan on giving what you can. The history of Illinois trapshooting is rich, and we need a proper hall to display it.
As I sit here and try to compose this Indiana update the last week of March that you will be reading in early May, I really don’t know what to say due to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our lives as well as our sport. First and foremost, I hope everyone is healthy. Ultimately that is the most important thing right now.
The plan and hope is that we will still be holding our Indiana zone shoots in May. The southern zone at Vincennes and the northern zone at St. Joe Valley are still being planned for May 15-17, as well as the central zone at Roachdale May 29-31. As we get closer to these dates and know if we can gather socially at trapshoots again, a decision will be reached if these shoots will happen. At this time the Indiana State Shoot July 7-12 is still on the schedule, and by then I hope we have this situation in the rearview mirror. Rest assured, the Indiana Trapshooter’s Association Board of Directors and officers have been discussing any and all options possible to assure once we can return to normal that trapshooting will resume. I know I am looking forward to that day, and I bet you are, too.
Make sure you check out the Indiana trap website www.indianatrap.com for a full listing of all of the registered shoots. We will be updating shoot cancellations as best as possible on the site as well as passing along any pertinent communications to try to keep you up to date on decisions that are being made.
I want to welcome Chrissy Byrd as our new Indiana AIM director! I know Chrissy will do a great job leading our AIM program into the future. This year’s Indiana AIM Shoot will again be held on Tuesday (July 7) of the Indiana State Shoot, and the plan is again to shoot 100 singles followed by 50 pair of doubles. Chrissy has set up an Indiana AIM page on both Facebook and Instagram. You should be able to search for “@IndianaAIM” to find it. If you are coaching an AIM team, please make sure Chrissy has your contact information.
Don’t hesitate to let me know if you need anything or would like to have anything included in this article for Indiana. Also please keep me updated on anyone who is being directly impacted by the coronavirus. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello, Iowa shooters! My, what a difference 30 days can make. The weather is much better, but the conditions are much worse! Here in Iowa, as with the rest of the nation, we are battling a much worse adversary than the weather. With the emergency declaration, all registered events for April were canceled, and with the writing of this article, I hope May will be much improved. Let’s all continue to do our part and help stop the spread of this terrible virus and say thank you to all our health system workers, law enforcement, state officials and our military, who are on the front lines battling to keep us safe.
I next want to congratulate all our Iowa shooters who attended the Spring Grand in Tucson, many of whom shot very well, and as always did a great job representing our state. Some of the trophy winners were mentioned in last month’s article, but at press time, some events were not included. Here is the rundown I have: Event 5, Prescott Singles, Keegan Kendall, junior. Event 9 doubles, Dale Stockdale, sub-vet. Event 10 Tucson Singles, Terry Palmer, senior vet. Event 11 doubles, Scott Wiley, B. Event 16, Prescott Handicap, Scott Wiley, 19-21; Jon Halford, senior vet. Event 17, Yuma Doubles, Tom Grooms, A. Event 18 handicap, Alan Nicholas, 25-26. Event 19, Tucson Singles, Sam Wiley, junior gold plus junior gold runnerup in Event 21, the Doubles Championship, and age-group winner in Event 23, the Singles Championship. Way to go, Sam!
Event 22 Preliminary Handicap, Taylor Scott, Lady I; Kyle Wilkins, junior gold. Event 24 Handicap Championship, Louis Segebart, senior vet runnerup. Congratulations to all on a great Spring Grand finish!
With the spread of the COVID-19 virus, many events have been canceled throughout the United States and the world. With the emergency declaration in place, we have suspended some of our upgrades at the homegrounds. Hopefully this is a temporary thing, and work will resume as soon as the declaration is lifted. Also check our website; we are posting updates as they become available. Please bear with us during these times and above all, stay healthy and safe!
As always, if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or 641-990-2314.
As I write this, Michigan is just starting a three-week lockdown. Gun clubs and other “non-essential” businesses all seem to be closed. It’s odd, I always thought that gun clubs were essential. I hope the Spring Team Shoot at Mason goes (went?) as planned for April 30-May 3, but it’s too soon for me to know for sure. Please keep an eye on the ATA website for the latest list of shoot cancellations and postponements. This is a real service for all of us.
The MTA Board of Directors met March 14 at Mason and welcomed a new board member, Jamie Stilianos. Jamie is a senior at Spring Arbor College and trap director at the Howell GC. She coaches the Howell AIM program and the Lake Fenton High School clay target team. She has also been assisting the Michigan Trapshooting Hall of Fame board. She has been shooting registered trap for 11 years. Jamie fills a board seat that comes up for reelection at the July annual meeting, which takes place during the state shoot. If you don’t know her yet, look for her in squadding and classification when we get targets in the air again at our homegrounds in Mason.
In these trying times, stay safe, re-clean the guns, and read the rulebook.
- B. Lewis
Greetings from the North Star State and from COVID-19-free Red Lake County. The country and trapshooting are in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, and most activity is at a standstill. Hopefully we can get through this with the least loss of life and the least disruption to businesses and our way of life. Shooting activity is nonexistent, and many of us are waiting for the EC to meet in April and give the shooters of Minnesota and the rest of the ATA some idea of what our summer shooting season may look like. Our Minnesota State Shoot is scheduled for July 7-12, and no alteration to that has been announced. For the most part, those of us in this part of the world have not been affected by the cancellation of shoot dates, but that may change by the time you read this article. Our Delegate Randy Jones has been having Central Zone conference calls for the past week, and some decisions have been made regarding upcoming shoots. The Southwestern Grand for 2020 was canceled, and the Missouri State Shoot was postponed to the same time as our state shoot. Shooters should check the ATA website (shootata.com) after the EC meeting for further and current information. We at the Owatonna GC are very hopeful of having our Cabela’s Shoot in mid June. Stay tuned for further announcements about all our Minnesota shoot dates on the MTA website.
In the meantime, I certainly hope you and your family remain safe and healthy.
As always you can contact me at 507-456-2000 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul T. Cyr
for ATA Delegate Randy Jones
As I write this article, we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the uncertainty of when we will be able to get back on the trapfields, the Ohio State Trapshooting Association and the board of directors have decided to suspend the target requirements for the 2020 Ohio State Shoot. These are trying times like we have never seen before, but I am sure we will get through them. The OSTA and the ATA are keeping a close eye on the situation.
With that said, I will see you at the shoots when it’s all said and done.
When I was at the Southern Grand in Florida, I was approached by a shooter who I missed reporting a trophy of his (but I did have his name in the article). I do apologize for that, and I am glad he mentioned it to me. I try to list everyone’s wins with the correct name and number or what they won. This takes time to collect from every major shoot. So I came up with an idea to have shooters e-mail me their wins. It worked! Thank you, Tom, for sending me your wins from the Southern Grand. I will still go through the wins from shoots, but your assistance will help me so I don’t miss anyone. Keep those wins coming. This is what Tom sent me:
“You had suggested that we e-mail any trophies that we won. I won A in the championship singles with 198. I won B in the championship doubles with 97. I also won Class A high gun for HAA with 386. Tom Hoppe.”
Congrats to Tom and the following shooters who took home trophies: Sandra Jo Jack (six), Andy Wondrash (two), James (Chops) Gurkowski (two) and Gary Reynolds (two). Ed Borske shot great in the Singles Championship to win senior vet runnerup. Twenty-four Wisconsin shooters attended, and all were winners just for shooting the Florida targets. I do have to add the following non-Wisconsin shooters to this list: Elaina McCarthy shot the lone 100 in doubles. When I congratulated her, she had the biggest smile on her face. So, so proud of you, Elaina. Then there is Aaron Willoughby—wow! You completed your ATA Grand Slam with 100 from the 27-yard line, and to top it off. Congrats to you, Aaron.
See the photo of some of the shooters and their families who took time to attend the Southern Grand. Paul and Mary Becker hosted a gathering with lots of fish and potluck food. Thank you, Paul and Mary, for your hospitality. Al, sorry to see that you decided to take a nap during the photo, and good thing Paul has a strong deck with all of the trapshooters on it. I sure wish all 24 shooters were in the photo. Hopefully next year.
At the Southern Grand, Mark was on Post 5, I was on 4. We were getting ready to move, and he pointed to the voice release system speaker rim. I looked and said, “I am not coming over to Post 5 until it is gone.” It was a big spider that was not wanting to leave as Mark swiped at it. Finally it was swiped to the ground, and I was then mentally able to to go to Post 5. Wow, they grow big gray spiders in Florida!
We were so sad to have Frederick J. Kasten pass on March 8. Fred will be missed by all us Wisconsin shooters. Prayers to his family.
I did not want to write about the events that we’ve gone through in the past months. I miss you all, love you all and really want to see everyone again. Praying for your health and spirits. Keep your shooting strength up by focusing on gun lifts, walking, and other exercise. Check on our friends, help them out; we need each other. If you would like to e-mail me what you have been up to—helping others, volunteering or whatever since there has been no shooting—I would love to share. At the time I wrote this article, I am praying that we are able to shoot again.
Volunteer at your club when it open or if able to go there now and do some cleaning up. Keep busy, and I miss you, my friends.
Keep smiling, because I still am.
Sandra Jo Jack
for ATA Delegate Kevin Doerring
Hello from the Atlantic Provinces. Some sad news to report this month: Carl d’Entremont of Lower West Pubnico, NS, passed away March 13. Carl was just featured in February’s Atlantic Provinces Shooter Profile section, where he recounted winning the 1975 Canadian Champion of Champions after a shootoff with two others. His winning career didn’t end there. Carl was also selected for the 1976 Canadian Olympic trials and has many wins at the Atlantic Provinces ATA Provincial Shoot, where just last year he won senior veteran trophies in the Singles, Doubles and Handicap Championships. Carl was also known for his fishing skills and captained the herring seiner Mattuna Mariner and the lobster boat Coya III. Our sincere condolences to Carl’s family and friends. You can read more about Carl on shootatlantic.com in his Shooter Profile and throughout the Atlantic Provinces Championship results pages.
Several shooters from the Atlantic Provinces attended the 2020 Southern Grand at the Silver Dollar in Odessa, FL, in March. Newfoundland shooter Paul Bailey reported that weather was great and the Silver Dollar staff did a terrific job. In the winner’s circle was fellow St. John’s R&GC member Monty Petipas, who won D runnerup in Monday’s preliminary doubles. John Tucker, Peter Tucker and Brian Lewis also made the trip, which almost never started, as a winter storm caused numerous flight delays.
Terry LeBlanc and Dan Pollock from the Petitcodiac SC in New Brunswick also attended. This was their first time attending a shoot as large as the Southern Grand, and both made the winner’s list. Dan won D class in Tuesday’s singles with a career-high 97, and Terry won D runnerup in the Doubles Championship.
Barry Turner from Nova Scotia also had the Southern Grand on his list for 2020 and recorded his 50,000th handicap target.
Congratulations to all shooters. I am also happy to report that all made it home safely.
Preparations for the 2020 Atlantic Provinces ATA Provincial Shoot scheduled for Sept. 3-6 continue. However, the Highland GC and the APTA are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will make decisions that are in the best interest of everyone’s safety. Keep in mind that I’m writing this report in late March (during yet another winter storm), and things are changing quickly. Public health warnings and statements are being issued daily, and all four Atlantic Provinces have declared a health emergency. Updates regarding our shoot will be posted on shootatlantic.com. For everyone’s benefit, I would strongly suggest taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously and listening to the warnings and directives of authorities. Stay safe and healthy, everyone.
For more information on the APTA, feel free to contact me at email@example.com or visit shootatlantic.com.
I sit here writing the May contribution on St. Patrick’s Day, usually a time of celebration with corned beef, cabbage, and green beer at the local tavern. This year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, everyone is told by the government to hunker down at home and stop hoarding toilet paper! Hopefully by the time you read this at home, the pandemic is a thing of the past.
If you missed it in Trap & Field, Robert Battista reached the 25,000 handicap target level; congrats.
Rick Batesko of Ground Swiper’s supplied me with the winners in their Shamrock Shoot March 14. Carlos Gomes won A class, Sam Osterhoudt B, Pat Shulack Jr. C, and Tim Duffy D. In the handicap Steve Siegert was champion, Richard Pappas second, John Martin third and Shulack fourth. Batesko took A in doubles, Pappas B, Shulack C, and Fred Septak D.
The 40th Southern Grand was held at the Silver Dollar SC in Odessa, FL, March 9-15. This year shooters from more than 40 states and Canadian provinces were in attendance. The mild 80º temperatures were enjoyed by all. Nine New Jersey shooters made their way down to compete. Thomas Green Sr. led the trophy winners with two; Robert Long, Joe Sissano and Jack Godwin each won one.
The 2020 Florida State Shoot was to follow the Southern Grand, and due to the coronavirus pandemic, the entire Silver Dollar facility—including the two restaurants, golf course and shooting venue—was closed until further notice. There were a lot of disappointed shooters here March 16.
The 2020 New Jersey State Shoot hopefully will be ending on May 31 this year. It’ll be a four-day shoot starting May 28. It will be 1,000 targets for HOA honors. All targets needed to avoid shooting a penalty class or yardage must be completed prior to classification for Thursday’s events. The classification window will be open from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday night, May 27, at Pine Belt.
The southern zone shoot will be held at Pine Valley May 1-3. A satellite shoot will be held at the North Jersey CTC in Fairfield on Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3 only.
ATA Gun Club Fund raffle tickets for a new Kolar Combo will be on sale. See either myself or Tony Pietrofitta. Tickets are $20 each.
I’d like to thank Rod Stumbo of Rod’s Custom Stocks for letting me and my Alfermann shoot a little straighter this past winter at the Silver Dollar.
Because of the pandemic, it’d be a good idea to call and see which gun clubs are open before you leave home to attend one of the shoots I’ve been listing. At this writing, a lot of shoots throughout the country have been canceled. I hope all is well where you are.
On a very sad note, Rudy Torlini, NJSTA’s secretary-treasurer since 1997, passed away peacefully at home March 3. He was 89 years old. Rudy was born in Trenton and moved to Yardville in 1967. He was a graduate of Trenton Central High School and went on to college, graduating with a degree in business administration from Rider University. It was then on to the Air Force, serving in the Korean War. Rudy worked for the state of New Jersey, Division of Motor Vehicles. In 1992, after 43 years of service, Rudy retired as an assistant director. He was involved in various organizations and charities and was a member and past president of the Italian American Sportsman’s Club and a 32nd Degree member of the Mt. Moriah Lodge #28 in Bordentown. He was a member and served as secretary of the Cavalier Sportsman’s Association and was a winner of the Rose Bowl ring.
Rudy joined the Amateur Trapshooting Association in 1974 and became a life member. In 1999 he won the veteran title in the Singles Championship at the New Jersey State Shoot and went to Vandalia that August to participate in the Champion of Champions event, winning the veteran title.
Rudy was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2011. During his ATA career he registered 107,200 singles, 42,000 handicap and 30,550 doubles targets. Besides trapshooting, Rudy enjoyed hunting and cooking gourmet meals for friends and family. Wednesday afternoons at the Pine Belt SC, Rudy enjoyed cooking for his trapshooting buddies.
He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Mary Lou; two daughters, Lisa Marie Torlini and Lori Anne Torlini; three grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions in Rudy’s name may be made to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation, P.O. Box 781352, Philadelphia, PA 19178-1352 or Ronald McDonald House Charities, 110 North Carpenter St., Chicago, IL 60607.
If you have an idea for an article or just a question, I can be reached at 732-546-7910 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am wishing everyone health and wellness. As I write this article, we are in the middle of the coronavirus scare, and I hope everyone is staying healthy and in good spirits during this trying time. America is blessed with so many wise, brave and wonderful people that I know we all will get through this together.
Unfortunately we have lost another New York shooter. James Rosowski passed away March 18 after a long illness. He was always hoping he would get better so he could shoot again. Jim was 79 years of age. He started registering targets in 1974 and was standing on the 21-yard line. He had three 100 straights, which he was very proud of, and completed his 100,000 singles last winter. During his career, Jim registered 101,825 singles, 38,300 handicap and 6,200 doubles targets. Jim and wife Barb were longtime members of the Allied Sportsmen of Western New York in Alden. Jim was a very good friend of mine, and I shot with Barb and him many, many times. I will miss him. Our deepest sympathies are extended to Barb and the entire family on his passing.
In a bit of better news, I am happy to say that a number of New York shooters won trophies during the Southern Grand American this March at the Silver Dollar SC in Florida. Trophy winners were: Preliminary Singles, Jerry Quintal, B; Ignatius Magnani, B runnerup; Chase Wojtanik, sub-junior; Heidi Womer, Lady I runnerup. Preliminary Handicap, Michael Fox Jr., third; Wojtanik, sub-junior; Heidi Womer, Lady I runnerup; Urban Womer, sub-veteran. Preliminary Doubles, Jim Flint, AA; William Wallis, C runnerup; Heidi Womer, D; Wojtanik, sub-junior. Allnut Singles, Fox, AAA; Wayne Schiavi, D runnerup; Wojtanik, sub-junior runnerup. Tuesday handicap, Curt Robbins, third; David McMasters sixth; Lee Hatfield, veteran. Tuesday doubles, Wojtanik, C runnerup; Jim Flint, sub-veteran runnerup. Singles Class Championship, Robbins, AA; Wojtanik, sub-junior runnerup. Wednesday handicap, Thomas Gersitz, senior veteran runnerup. Christiansen Handicap, Jim Fellows Jr., seventh; Wojtanik, sub-junior runnerup; Viki Hatch, Lady II runnerup. Applegate Doubles, Wojtanik, sub-junior runnerup. Doubles Class Championship, Urban Womer, sub-veteran runnerup. Guerini Preliminary Handicap, Urban Womer, winner; Fox, third; Glenn Adams, 10th. Singles Championship, Francis Simcick, D runnerup; Wojtanik, sub-junior; Michael Manzo, veteran. Doubles Championship, Justin Slater, runnerup; Robbins, AA. Handicap Championship, Fox, fourth; Heidi Womer, Lady I runnerup. All-around, Slater, AAA; Fox, AAA runnerup; Wojtanik, sub-junior runnerup. High-over-all, Wojtanik, A. Congratulations to these trophy winners from New York for their excellent shooting!
If you wish to view all trophy winners during the Southern Grand American, they are listed in this issue of Trap & Field.
Please keep up with our New York State ATA webpage www.nysata.com for listings of ATA shoots that are taking place and cancellations. Cathy Flint, our state secretary, does a tremendous job of keeping the webpage up to date.
Please keep following the ATA webpage www.shootata.com for current information on the status of shoot cancellations and other information regarding the coronavirus that affects the ATA.
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. Please stay brave, healthy and in good spirits. May God bless.
Greetings from Ontario, Canada. I am writing this article on March 18 in advance of our Trap & Field publication deadline. You will read it sometime in May. I sure hope when you read it, the coronavirus will be contained and the world will be returning to more normalcy.
Like many of you, in the early days I was a little skeptical of all the hype and what I thought was an overreaction to this pandemic. But things changed dramatically for the worse, and I got a real wake-up call on Saturday morning, March 14, just before the start of the first 100 of the championship singles at the Southern Grand. In fact I got numerous calls, including from my travel agent, my sister (a doctor), two of my business and law partners, and others, all with a common message: “Get back home ASAP; we need you here.” I shot the first half of the singles, apologized to my squadmates for having to pull out, and got on the road back to Ontario. I got telephone calls, e-mails and text messages from people all across the ATA wondering why I left after shooting 100 straight. Was I sick? Did my gun break?
I think we all now know that the pandemic is very serious and that drastic measures are necessary. It impacts all of us. While my wife Bev and I have no symptoms, we are in self-quarantine for 14 days since our arrival back to Canada. I am quarterbacking a lot of things from my home. I know many of you are or have gone through the same.
While trapshooting has and will continue to be negatively impacted, we will eventually get through this. Some businesses, unfortunately, won’t. Our economy in North America, I hope, is resilient enough to make a robust recovery. Time will tell.
In the meantime, hang in there. We’re all in it together, and all the best to you and your families.
Hopefully, by the time you read this article, we’ll be back to our normal, everyday routines, which include trapshooting. Unfortunately, we are currently in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused almost all shoots to be canceled or postponed nationwide. One such shoot that many Pennsylvanians attend this time of year is the Florida State Shoot, which was canceled. However, prior to that shoot, the 40th annual Southern Grand was contested to completion.
We had 23 shooters bring home a total of 67 trophies. Deborah Ohye-Neilson and Clare Schaffer led the charge with 14 and seven wins, respectively, including category HOA titles for both. Richard Long added a class HOA award, and Marcy Plunkett captured a class HAA title. Our other trophy winners included Ken Darroch (six), Don Neilson (five), Elmer Ebling (four), Don Schaffer Jr. (four), Steven Huber (four), Jim Lechleitner (three), Peggy Carney (three), Richard Milbert (three), John Spangler (two), and Helen Black Siemianowski, Steven Miller, Mary Schaffer, Edward Bayer, Criona Doorly, Don Schaffer Sr., Jeffrey Fenton, Michael Dixon, Brian James and John Solt, one each. Congratulations to all.
On a sad note, we lost two longtime shooters and supporters of trapshooting. Suzanne Mohler of Spring Township passed away March 6, and Lt. General John Pickitt of North Carolina passed on March 14. Both were outstanding individuals in their own regard with distinguished, successful careers in their respective fields. Suzanne started shooting registered targets in 1999 and has been a fixture at many of the local events as well as the PSSA since. General Pickitt started in 1979 and attended many of the shoots held at the PSSA. Our condolences extend to all family and friends of Suzanne and General Pickitt.
Although it may be a moot point in writing this, but considering that we have unknown variables with how the current pandemic will shake out, the PSSA Executive Committee is currently preparing as if the Keystone Open will be taking place in mid May. As we near the shoot dates, if the plausibility of having non-essential gatherings still take place becomes less, communications will be posted on the PSSA Facebook page as well as the PSSA website. With a little bit of effort and awareness from everyone, hopefully we will be right back in the swing of things by then. That being said, I look forward to seeing everyone at the Keystone Open at the PSSA Homegrounds this month, and, as always, let me know of any achievements or noteworthy accomplishments.
ATA Alternate Delegate
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