Around the ATA

Information for Around the ATA is provided to TRAP & FIELD by state and provincial ATA Delegates and/or their designated representatives.
Shooters and local officials: Please inform your ATA Delegate of news about shooters and clubs in your area.

Arizona

They’re back . . . no, I am not talking about old horror movies, but our long awaited winter visitors: snowbirds and drop-ins alike. They are a pretty intrepid group; COVID, inflation and the ammo shortage cannot stop them. When faced with sub-zero temperatures, ice and blizzards, or sunny climes, it’s no contest. Arizona wins every time. No wonder we are the mecca of winter trapshooting.

The big news was our Hall of Fame Classic in January at Ben Avery. There is a separate article about it in this issue of Trap & Field. Let me just say that this year’s inductee is somewhat familiar to the writer. Karen Bergman bacame the fifth lady and 56th member of the Hall of Fame and well deserved too!

This article should be reaching you right before our state shoot March 15-20, so drop what you are doing and come on over to Ben Avery’s Clay Target Center. The weather is usually perfect, not too hot and not too cold. Remember Goldilocks? Plenty of trophies and added money, a free dinner for all, great facilities and just the right size, and if you are from Arizona, the annual meeting is on Sunday morning at 8 a.m.

Now, in case you don’t know it, our season does not end with the state shoot. There is plenty more to do! Here are some upcoming events: Tucson, March 23-27; Tri-State, April 1-3; Casa Grande, April 1-3; Tucson, April 9-10; Cochise, April 10; Pleasant Valley, April 22-24; and when Pleasant Valley starts up, that heralds the start of our warm weather season. And don’t forget Big 50s every Monday at Casa Grande and a singles marathon on the first Thursday of every month at Rio Salado, plus a doubles marathon on the third Thursday.

For a variety of reasons, I have had trouble getting the scores in for January, the Hall of Fame Classic being the exception. I hope to catch up in April. Meanwhile, enjoy the best that Arizona has to offer.

See you on the line.

           John Bergman

           ATA Delegate

New Zealand

We had our annual 300-target handicap shoot Jan. 8 at Thames CTC, shot in three separate 100-target events. We didn’t run yardage groups; everyone was in the same pool and shot off their ATA yardage.

A big thanks to Dave Cundy from Independent Transport Parts—who also supplies Inox and Lanox fine lubricants and cleaners for all makes of firearms—for kindly and generously sponsoring the event again. Thanks also to NZ ATA for their contribution to the prize pool.

The weather cooperated with a mostly clear day, just a few passing clouds and enough breeze at times to move some of the targets and create some challenges. It’s fairly normal conditions for this time of year, but very appreciative to not have any rain, despite the local rural sector needing the rain. It’s been a fantastic summer of fine but windy weather for the mid north island.

A big thanks is also due to those who helped with set-up and target-setting: John Robinson, Dave Cundy and Wayne Merrie plus Dale Speedy marking the yardage on the lanes. Thanks as well to everyone who helped load traps, referee and score and also those who helped with clean-up at the end of the day. It is much appreciated. Also thanks to Merrie for helping to run the office and still manage to post a good score.

Nola was away again this year, so we had to fend for ourselves patronizing the local bakery.

Results for Event 1: winner, Grant Nilsson, 94; runnerup, Dave Cundy, 86; third, Gordon Tucker, 79; fourth, Greg Nicholl, 78. Event 2: winner, Nilsson, 89; runnerup, Greg Nicholl, 87; third, Cundy, 83; fourth, Dale Speedy, 82. Event 3: winner, Nilsson, 92; runnerup, Wayne Merrie, 91; third, Cundy, 85; fourth, Speedy, 79. HOA: Nilsson, 275.

An ongoing thanks to our regular sponsors: NZ ATA, Thames CTC, Independent Transport Parts, Target Products/Falcon Ammunition, New Zealand Hunting Adventures, Ron Thomassen Logging and White Flyer Targets.

Good shooting.

Paul Basten

           ATA Delegate

Utah

Since there isn’t a lot of local shooting news, I decided that for the next couple of months I would do installments on “lost gun clubs.”

Utah has had a fair share of clubs that have stopped throwing ATA targets, but there are at least four that have completely gone away. In no particular order, they are: the Salt Lake GC, Holladay GC, Magna GC and Beaver GC. The first three were all located in the Salt Lake Valley. The fourth one, Beaver Gun Club, was in southern Utah.

Since I have very little information on the Beaver GC, I will only briefly mention it. I will then put most of this month’s focus on the Magna GC and a couple of shooters from that club.

Beaver Gun Club

The town of Beaver is located in southern Utah, approximately 200 miles south of Salt Lake City on the I-15 corridor. The Beaver GC was just south of the town on the west side of the freeway. It was a four-trap club (all of the traphouses still stand) and has been abandoned for the last 30 years. As you drive by the last gas station while heading south, you can still see the traphouses among the sagebrush. The only thing I know about it was that they would have one “large” shoot a year. Because of the special event, barbecue and free-flowing “beverages,” the shoot was well attended. I personally never shot at the club. This time frame was during my beginning years of shooting, and I didn’t have the resources to travel that far and spend the night.

Magna Gun Club

Named after the community, Magna GC was established in the late 1950s. The club was located in two locations before it reached its final resting place on property owned by Kennecott Copper Corporation/Rio Tinto.

Following is more of the useless trivia I have promised. Magna is located approximately 15 miles west of Salt Lake City in the foothills of the Oquirrh Mountains, which separate Salt Lake Valley from Tooele Valley. Oquirrh is a Goshute Indian word meaning “wood setting.” The town was named after a mill that was built for processing copper that came from what would eventually become known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, then later as Rio Tinto. The mining company employed thousands of workers, thus the town of Magna thrived. The large open-pit mine can be seen from almost any point in the Salt Lake Valley.

Trying to find the origin of the gun club from the 1950s or 1960s has proven to be a challenge. The attached photo shows the first traphouse standing as it was in the late 1950s or early 1960s. The club moved from its first location to its next location in the ’60s. It was located by the water treatment plant. It also was a one-trap club. In 1972, the club relocated to where it stayed for 46 years, until 2017. It started as a two-trap club and quickly grew to a four-trap club. One of the original members of the “new” club was Byron Deleeuw. Byron was working with the Clearfield, UT, Job Corps at the time and was able to get the crews to help put in the remaining traphouses.

The president of the club at that time was Morris R. Kelly. Morris was also the president of the Utah State Trap Shooting Association (USTA) and was the father of the USTA by-laws and Articles of Incorporation.

Byron and his wife Pauline both shot registered ATA targets and helped run the club for years. Pauline was quite the competitor, winning the Utah state women’s championship four times between 1984 and 1995. In 1987, she shot a perfect score of 200! If memory serves me, she turned her first 50 straight ever into a 200. To the best of my knowledge, she is the only female shooter to break 200 in the Utah state championships. Pauline always has a smile on her face. You could always hear her call, “Pull.” when she was shooting, not that it was a loud call, but it was a sing-song call: Pull-ull.

During the club’s infancy at its last location on leased ground, the annual lease was just mere dollars. The last few years of the lease, rent was only $900, still a bargain. Just up the slopes of the foothills from the club, the mine had explosive powder magazines. Because of this, the best use of the land was probably a gun club. In the later years, after the magazines went away, the company decided that the value of the land for development was worth much more than the paltry rent being paid. I feel another contributing factor was the number of complaints the company received from the residents just north of the club. Sometimes it’s just easier to get rid of a perceived nuisance than deal with noise complaints. Thus, the demise of another iconic gun club.

At the club’s last location, there were 13 trapfields, one skeet field (added in about 2015), and the Last Resort Sporting Clays course, run by Joe and Deb Sudbury. All traps faced north, with mostly blue sky as background, much the same as Spanish Fork GC.

The building of the skeet field was very controversial. The funny thing about it was that the people who were most vocal against it were the ones who shot it the most.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Jim Hardy. Jim served as the gun club president for 21 years, from 1993 until he passed away in 2014.

On a sad note, Edward Jay Brown of Orem passed away Jan. 18. Mr. Brown joined the ATA in 1992 and amassed 31,600 total targets.

Jeff Lloyd, former president of Heber Valley GC, passed away Dec, 30.

Patricia Duke, wife of Jim Duke, passed away Dec. 8.

Next month I will be writing about the Holladay and Salt Lake gun clubs.

           Ed Wehking

           ATA Western Zone Vice President

Washington

There hasn’t been much to report from here in Washington, as registered shooting has taken a break for the winter months. Colton threw a one-day shoot in February, and now we are packing our gear and heading to Walla Walla for the Camas Prairie Handicap. The schedule is pretty busy in April and May. Please check our website at shootwsta.com for a list of all the ATA registered shoots in our state. Once again, I’d like to remind you that your club can still hold a shoot or add more shoots, even if you haven’t already put them on the schedule.

So, a little food for thought. When introducing someone to trapshooting, why encourage them to register targets? I can think of many good reasons. The playing field is leveled by singles and doubles classifications and the handicapping system. Ammunitions standards ensure that nobody gets the upper hand, and safety standards ensure that we play what is perhaps the safest and most injury free sport any of us can play. For youth, there are scholarship opportunities and team incentives. In Washington many ATA life memberships have been awarded to junior and sub-junior shooters with the help of benevolent shooters who want to see our sport grow. When the newcomer you are mentoring notices how many nice and helpful folks he or she is meeting at shoots throughout the state, zone and country, they can’t help but be hooked. We are a community that seems to be connected more than any other organization that I’ve been involved in. The reasons are endless, it seems.

How about your club? You may ask, “Should we throw ATA targets?” My answer would be, “Why not?”. Clubs don’t have to break the bank for trophies when holding a one- or two-day shoot. If you can gather some added money, that’s fine, and it might attract a few shotgunners, but if not, shooters always seem willing to play some options. Most of us are happy with putting targets on our cards and working on improving those averages and working our way to the back fence, so we make any shoot we can. You may make some extra money from your kitchen, and you will be able to show off the efforts or your club that folks might not otherwise get to experience. The WSTA helps every club with a very nice buckle as a handicap trophy and that has been a big draw over the years. Holding shoots helps keep state associations and the ATA strong and able to give back to the shooter by holding state shoots. The most important reason for an individual to shoot ATA targets and for clubs to offer them is that it is a lot of fun! I should also mention that if you go hungry at a trapshoot in these parts, it is because you must have headed for home before the evening meal that so many clubs do such a great job of providing.

I hope to see a lot of old friends at shoots in Washington and around the Northwest these next few months and to meet many more for the first time while they are there to shoot their first targets. Take someone trapshooting when you get the chance!

Shoot straight and keep your powder dry.

Sean Lewis

WSTA Director

Illinois

Hi, everyone. I am writing this in late January, and Illinois and the Midwest is socked in with serious winter. I am becoming more and more envious of the snowbirds down south. The thing that makes this tolerable is knowing that shooting is about ready to start again.

We have a few more pats on the back for achievements of Illinois shooters from the past shooting season. Ian Lawrence is the  Trap & Field All-Around Award winner for the junior gold category. This, to me, is super impressive because it shows consistent excellence over time. Steven Margherio and Landon Sievers earned their AA-27-AA pins in the junior category, and Ashleigh Painter earned hers in the junior gold category. I have watched all three of them develop through the years, and I can tell you they are deadly shots and great people. I just wish I didn’t have to try to beat them all the time. Lastly, Mike Dennis, Lawrence Gillum, Dave Dressler, Leland Hassler and Mike Walker are all Mega Target members for 2021. All of these gentlemen are fine, dedicated shooters who represent everything that is good about our sport. I am not surprised that they shot this much, but I am amazed they were able to find 80 flats of shells this past season. I’m available if any of you would like to adopt me.

The Illinois Board of Directors is busy working on the Illinois State Shot coming up in June. I’ll have more information about this in next month’s column. I am going to go clean my guns and dream of better days. Stay warm and healthy!

Bill Duncan

ATA Delegate

Indiana

Greetings, Indiana shooters!

Hopefully when you’re reading this in March, we are starting to get some nice weather days in Indiana, and you are looking forward to getting back on the trapfield! For those who got to shoot targets this winter in some warmer climates, I hope you shot great and had safe travels.

The 2022 shooting season will soon be in full swing, and I hope you have your calendars marked to stop by and shoot at our many local gun clubs. The dates and locations for the 2022 Indiana zone shoots are set, and hopefully we will have a great turnout at each location to show support for these host clubs that work so hard to hold these zone shoots. The Indiana central zone will be held this year at Kingen GC with a preliminary day on Friday, May 13, and championship days on Saturday and Sunday, May 14-15. Both the northern zone, held at Fulton Co. GC, and the southern zone at Evansville GC, will be held the same weekend, with preliminary day on Friday, May 20, and champ days, Saturday and Sunday, May 21-22. I look forward to seeing many shooters at all three of these locations.

The 2022 Indiana State Shoot will be held at our homegrounds in Fishers July 5-10. The ITA Board of Directors and officers have been busy planning for this year’s shoot.

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 itajason@outlook.com.

Jason Barnett

ATA Delegate

Iowa

Hello, Iowa! Now that I seem to have the computer glitches, and a few other glitches, corrected, it feels great to be writing again!

I want to first congratulate our Iowa All-Americans: Lady I first, Raylee Bishop and Allison Jensen; Lady II first, Shelly Heitner; junior first, Breydon Paxson (captain), Ben Schlatter and Cole Henning; junior gold first, Evan Ingalls; junior gold second, Marcus Draves; sub-vet first, Dale Stockdale; and veteran first, David Bessine. Congratulations to all on a great year!

Next comes our all-Iowa state teams. The Elite Twelve members are: Marcus Draves, .9562; Evan Ingalls, .9533; Breydon Paxson, .9525; Frank Sick, .9509; Cole Henning, .9504; Dale Stockdale, .9504; Kyle Wilkins, .9459; Kolton Manning, .9449; Terry Palmer, .9434; David Bessine, .9402; Ed Schlotfeld, .9390; Kenny Brandt, .9387. Women’s—Raylee Bishop, .9367; Shelly Heitner, .9309; Jenna Smith, .9203; Allison Jensen, .9112; Jessica Gunderson, .8904. Sub-junior—Hunter Strong, .9087; Izaac Zihlman, .9069; Griffin Lukins, .8919; Lexi Henning, .8898; Addison McGehearty, .8860. Junior—Michael Lemburg, .9462; Carson Cummings, .9364; Ben Schlatter, .9357; Chayden Wright, .9329; Cannon Roberson, .9262. Veteran—John Hughes, .9509; Terry Elder, .9032; Tony Sondag, .8964; George Sills, .8788; Rex Berkhoff, .8579. Senior vet—Steve Maltzahn, .9225; Jerry Pierce, .9114; Jeff Walters, .9107; Ron Gordon, .8995; Louis Segebart, .8973.

Our Iowa Rookie of the Year goes to Seth Gipple with a .9047 average. Congratulations to all!

Plans are being finalized for our Iowa State Shoot July 19-24. Our Iowa AIM State Championships will again this year be held in conjuction with our Iowa State Shoot July 22-24, during our championship events. Mark your calenders now and make plans to join us for this great week of Iowa championship shooting.

I have more, but that will have to wait until next month’s issue. Again, if you have news you would like to see, I can be reached at steve.w.glasgow@gmail.com. Until next month, stay safe, and I’ll see you on the trapline.

Steve Glasgow

ATA Delegate

Michigan

It’s with sorrow that I note the passing of Kenrick Wilson. Kenrick and his wife Cindy have been longstanding participants at the MTA. Their RV was usually parked just west of our groundskeeper’s house. Cindy has been recruiting labor for the shoots, and Kenrick has been doing numerous tasks, as there’s always something else that needs doing. He will be missed.

In March there are registered shoots at Dundee, St. Joseph and East Rockwood. A full slate of shoots gets going in April, including the annual MTA workday April 16, and ending the month with the Spring Team Shoot. It’s worth noting that Seaway GC will have a 500-target marathon on the 23rd.

I recently had a three-hour drive and was listening to a podcast of a soccer match from the UK. They do it much like our football announcers, with a play-by-play person and a “color commentator”. In the “stretched analogy department,” I offer the color guy’s commentary: “The home side has brought their aged Swiss cheese defense to the pitch today. It’s rather smelly, full of holes and the away side has found it quite delicious.” The visiting team was ahead 5-0 at the time.

Keep your head on the stock, reload or find some shells, and get some practice before the registered shoots really get going for 2022 here in Michigan.

  1. B. Lewis

ATA Delegate

Minnesota

Greetings from the North Star State. I am writing this on the day before I leave for Tucson and the Spring Grand. January weather has been particularly bad here in northwestern Minnesota, and after a very easy winter last year, we are being reminded of what real winter is like. That makes the prospect of going to Arizona for the Spring Grand doubly inviting. Tucson T&SC has assured all shooters that there will be an ample supply of shells for the shoot, so those flying in will be able to purchase shells on the grounds. Shooters can purchase enough shells for the events that they have cashiered for.

For those shooters unable to make it to the Spring Grand, jackpot shooting continues at Minneapolis, Buffalo and St. Cloud. The MTA website has details about starting times, etc. As always in the winter, you may want to call ahead to make sure your chosen location is shooting, in case the weather is threatening.

You should have received your state shoot camping notice if you have camped in the past. You have until May 1 to renew. If you are looking for a camping spot, you should contact Cindy Townsend at the Alexandria SP as soon as possible. The 2022 state shoot will be held at Alexandria July 5-10. Make your plans to attend!

This past month has been difficult for Minnesota shooters, as we mourn the passing of Mark Hintz, Kyle Sacia and Connie Hoyne. Mark died Dec. 23 at the age of 80 after battling cancer for the past couple of years. Kyle died Dec. 27 as a result of complications due to COVID-19. He was 40 years old. Those of you who knew Kyle remember how much fun he had at a trapshoot. Connie passed away Jan. 11 at the age of 76. She devoted a lot of time, with her husband Gary, to the Owatonna GC. They will all be missed.

Hopefully next month’s column will be filled with exploits of our Minnesota shooters at the Spring Grand.

Paul T. Cy

For ATA Delegate Randy Jones

Nebraska

Congratulations to the 2022 Nebraska state team. Team members include:

Top 10—Richard Marshall Jr., .9764; Dagen Voigtman, .9737; Wyatt Kile, .9611; Payton DeTavernier, .9526; Stanley Welte, .9518; Ryan Glow, .9497; Zach Bryant, .9475; Mitchell Pierson, .9430; J. D. Ellwanger, .9406; Cody Renkoski, .9389. Women’s—Jade Chapman, .9158; Jaydn Jackman, .8952; Jolene Dawson, .8919. Veteran—Mike Brisby, .8933. Senior vet—Randy Bartling, .9413; Michael Abbott, .9122; Steven Elliott, .9078; John Hakola, .9024. Junior—Jarrett Carlisle, .9204. Sub-junior—Gavin Kuck, .9359; Wyatt DeBrie, .9218.

The High-Average Awards for the past shooting year go to Dagen Voigtman with .9945 in singles and .9596 in handicap and Mitchell Germany with .9750 in doubles. To qualify for these awards, these shooters participated in the championship events at the Nebraska State Shoot and met All-American target requirements during the 2021 shooting year.

The Nebraska State Shoot will be held June 22-26 at the homegrounds in Doniphan. Joy Trim reports that the RV spots are full, but she is accepting names for the waiting list. You may reach her at jtrim@vcn.com.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel to contact me at 402-469-6820 or labadorsx2@gmail.com. Stay warm and healthy.

           Jon Marsh

           ATA Delegate

South Dakota

So sad to hear of fellow Delegate Dennis DeVaux’s tragic passing due to a car/pedestrian accident. He will be greatly missed in his home state of Vermont and for sure at the Montpelier GC. Coming from a trapshooting family and being around the sport his whole life, Dennis was a fine ambassador for our sport. RIP, Dennis. Shortly after hearing about Dennis, I found out that Sandy Tidwell, senior editor of Trap & Field, had also passed away. I have known Sandy since the early 1980s; she was a wealth of knowledge and will be deeply missed at Trap & Field. She was a tremendous help to all of us at the Trapshooting Hall of Fame, particularly helping the Biographical Committee research shooters who may be considered for nomination for the Hall of Fame. Condolences to the families and loved ones of both Dennis and Sandy.

I would now like to name the 2022 South Dakota all-state team, based on 2021 shooting performance: captain Tim Reed, .9677; Fred Nagel, .9541; Todd Hanson, .9362; Troy Balk, .9352; Rod Larson, .9319; Greg Johnson, .9282; Sam Simons, .9128; Scott Wingen, .9110; Mike Hettinger, .9077; Rick Weber, .9068; Lady I, Katie Welker, .8572; Lady I second, Kristi Butler, .8346; sub-junior, Josiah Williams, .8745; sub-junior second, Christian Fees, .8657; junior, Aiken Crowley, .9255; junior second, Caleb Simons, .9248; junior gold, Logan Meyer, .9307; sub-veteran, Dana Edwards, .9344; sub-veteran second, Dennis Johnson, .9171; veteran, Bob Felber, .9398; veteran second, Darby Fast, .9282; senior vet, Dave Thorson, .8892; senior vet second, Bob Orton, .8816.

Team members are all shooters who registered at least the minimum required targets in each discipline. Congratulations to all who made the team.

Remember, the SD State Shoot is in Mitchell this year at the Mitchell GC. Dates are July 13-17. All events Wednesday through Sunday will have resident and non-resident All-American points. Contact Marlene Hettinger by e-mail at marlenehettinger@gmail.com for camping info.

You can always get in touch with me if you need more info at 605-940-4578 or e-mail bobfelber@midco.net.

Bob Felber

ATA Delegate

Wisconsin

Those of you shooters who shot at the Spring Grand at Tucson will have nice memories of the event, I am thinking. I will post the winners in the next issue after the event happens. I am writing this in January.

The past couple months have been hard on us as trapshooters, family and friends. I am praying for better news in the coming shooting season. Please check on your family and friends to make sure they are doing good. We are all just a phone call away.

Wisconsin and Minnesota have been battling on weekends for the famous Crow Statue. Most weekends the clubs have in attendance about 80+ shooters trying to post the top 10 scores at a shoot. The top 10 Wisconsin and Minnesota scores are counted for the win of that day. All I can say is, “Go Wisconsin.” There is also another shoot that has many shooters attending a different club, called the Central Wisconsin Trap Shooters Association, and many other shooting events across the Wisconsin cold snow-covered grounds. Come join us!

Every month I go through every shoot that is listed on ShootScoreBoard.com to find local shooters’ names. If I miss your name, please know it is not intentional. Or if I miss listing your wins, it might be because I missed it or the winners are not always listed by the clubs. I did find a few shooters who shot at the Casa Grande Kick Cabin Fever Shoot; Robert Ley was there, Cheryl and Gerald Demulling were battling for first with 98s in singles, John Halambeck and John Reeb also attended the shoot. Happy for your shooting in warm weather—yes, jealous.

Start creating your calendar for the 2022 season; I will be happy to see you at the shoots.

Please help out at your club by volunteering. March is a good time to get the extra little details done to make your club look great. We have some awesome shooters with many skills that can be used at your club. It’s time to share those skills with others and join in on the volunteering fun.

E-mail anything you would like me to share at sandrajjack@yahoo.com. Keep smiling, I am.

Sandra Jo Jack

For ATA Delegate Kevin Doerring

Atlantic Provinces

Hello from the Atlantic Provinces.

At nearly 49 years old, I am among the group of longest active trapshooters in the Atlantic Provinces. I find that hard to believe as I write it; I still think of myself as one of the younger shooters. I have come to realize that as the generation of shooters before me become inactive in the sport, we’re losing part of our Atlantic Provinces trapshooting history. The contributions that deceased shooters like Ken Brunt, Dave Anstey, Carl d’Entremont, Michel d’Entremont, Pat Wall, Roger Bidgood, Dave Williams, Don Stevens, Don Sullivan, Ian Ross and Wilfred Tratt have made is becoming less known. And the contributions by those still living, like Jerry Stafford, Ron Whitehead, Ray Woodill, Derm Molloy, are becoming less known as well. I’m willing to bet that a lot of shooters don’t even recognize the names.

Ken Brunt was one of the grumpiest guys I ever met, but was a nice man at heart. He was retired from the Canadian Air Force and continued to live in Greenwood, NS, until his death. Ken helped run the Greenwood R&GC until it closed in the late 2000s and regularly shot skeet and trap there with his buddies Bush Tratt and Sherman Ogilvie. Ken won many Atlantic Provinces titles and the 1999 Canadian Handicap Championship. He served as the Atlantic Provinces Delegate to the Amateur Trapshooting Association and Canadian Trapshooting Association for many years.

Ken was also responsible for getting many shooters involved in skeet and trap. Herbie, Gary and Teddy Nickerson were three of those shooters who Ken got involved in shooting clay targets in the early 2000s. Herbie tells me that Ken was a great guy and treated them like family. Ken’s wife Edna was also very good with the Nickerson’s young kids, Janaya, Stefan and Steven. Ken got the Nickerson kids started at trap, standing them just behind the traphouse and letting them shoot his .410 at clay targets for as long as they wanted. Herbie, Gary, Janaya and Stefan are still actively shooting today, while Teddy and Steven last shot ATA targets in 2018. Ken passed away in 2009.

In December I received an e-mail from David Jenkins, a Nova Scotia shooter who was active from the 1960s to early 1990s, along with his brother and father. He was hoping I had some information on one of his trophy wins. In a series of e-mails, Dave provided me with newspaper clippings and stories on trapshooting in the Atlantic Provinces from his active years. I find history like this interesting and important to share. You can read more about David and the conversation we had on our webpage www.shootatlantic.com.

My conversation with David reminded me of a motion made several years ago at an annual general meeting of our association. The motion was to create a Hall of Fame for both shooters and contributors to our sport. The Hall of Fame idea never got off the ground, mainly because we didn’t have any volunteers to spearhead the project. I think it’s time for that to change. If you’re interested in becoming involved in the Atlantic Provinces Trapshooting Hall of Fame Committee, please contact me.

For more information on the Atlantic Provinces Trapshooting Association, feel free to contact me at aabassan@gmail.com or visit shootatlantic.com.

Andrea Bassan

ATA Delegate

Delaware

Hello, shooters, and a happy New Year to all. I sincerely hope everyone fared the winter safely and healthy and by now are putting the fear of COVID-19 and the pandemic in our rearview mirrors.

I normally make this announcement in January, so forgive my procrastination as I present the 2021 Delaware state team and high-average shooters. Team member include: captain Fritz Carlsten, .9242; Bill Alfree, .8989; John Patchell, .8790; Rickey Fortner, .8746; Jerry Burkert, .8666.

Making a clean sweep in all disciplines again, our high-average shooter is Carlsten with .9726 singles, .8962 handicap and .9042 doubles.

Congratulations to all and good luck this year.

Pine Belt SA again will be hosting our state shoot on Memorial Day weekend, May 27-30. Our program can be viewed or printed from our website dtatrap.org. Programs will also be available at local area gun clubs. If you need a program, contact me, and I’ll make sure you get one. Please contact Pine Belt for camping reservations. Shooters are encouraged to bring an up-to-date average card when classifying. Digital average cards from your cell phone or iPad will be accepted but may not be current, and penalty class or yardage may be assessed. Shooters are required to have 500 targets for the current year and 1,500 for the current and previous two years for singles and handicap and 500 targets for the current year and 1,000 for the current and previous two years for doubles. New shooters who have not shot prior to the 2022 target year will need 500 targets in each discipline to avoid penalty class or yardage. Target requirements for senior veterans for singles and doubles is the same, although in handicap, no penalty yardage will be assessed. We are looking forward to seeing you all there.

Wilmington TA has a full schedule of shooting this season, starting March 19 with a non-registered Ironman competition. Twenty-five singles, handicap, wobble and skeet will determine the Ironman champion. March 20 is the University of Delaware Benefit Shoot then on April 3, registered shooting begins with a singles and doubles marathon. April 4 is the start of the Monday Twilight League. On May 1 they hold the Buckle Shoot, and on May 22 it’s the State Shoot Warm-up. Please visit wiltrapshoot.org for the complete schedule of shooting events.

At the time of this writing, the ATA shooting community is mourning the loss of two people whose passion and dedication to our sport is unrivaled. Vermont Delegate Dennis DeVaux and senior editor for Trap & Field Magazine Sandy Tidwell left this earth in January. We at Delaware Trapshooting Association would like to extend our deepest sympathies to their families and friends as they continue to heal from such great losses.

As always, I can be reached at shtgunjohnny@aol.com.

Shoot well and shoot often!

John Patchell

ATA Delegate

New Jersey

Well, it is late January as I write this month’s contribution. If you remember that far back, we were putting 8,500 of our troops on standby, due to the imminent invasion of Ukraine by Russia to shore up our NATO allies in that region of the continent. Hopefully, by the time you read this, there was a peaceful de-escalation in that part of eastern Europe.

I am getting reports from different areas of the tri-state region that some ammo for trapshooting is being made available to us trapshooters. The prices for ammo and components have escalated, due to the supply-chain flow, COVID, wages and inflation. I pray this is not the new normal in pricing for our sport.

Steve Burick is working with various gun clubs in the state, advertisers in our sport selling ads and working on the content of our 2022 state shoot program with our printer. Hopefully, by the time you read this, it will be delivered by mail to our out-of-state shooters who had attended our state shoot in the last couple of years and delivered to our gun clubs in the state for distribution to their members.

I would like to thank the following people for their assistance this winter: John Madson from Wisconsin, who found my back brace that fell off my cart; Ken Sippel, who lent me his stick with a magnet to pick up discarded empties and saved my thighs and back from squatting down; Bob Battista, Dennis Sharp and Dave Canavan for transporting lead shot for me to reload. Thank you all!

The New Jersey Trapshooting Hall of Fame will be inducting two individuals June 4 during our state shoot on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the clubhouse at Pine Belt SC in Shamong. The following is a biography of our first inductee, Ralph Arnell, by his grandson Aaron Arnell, “Ralph was born in Beaverdale, PA, in April 1908. He was born of Italian immigrants who settled in Beaverdale’s coal mining community. Ralph was an active sportsman from a young age, hunting and fishing in the mountains surrounding his hometown. His father had a shooting gallery, and as I was told, Ralph would often be brought out as a youngster to show the shooters that the targets could be hit. Targets were silver dollars hanging from a string. If you broke the string, you kept the dollar.

“Ralph got involved in building railroad cars in Beaverdale, and in his early 20s was given the opportunity to move to Trenton, NJ, where his brother had worked as a welder. Ralph and his brother Dominic bought the welding company and became partners in Capital Welding. The partnership did not last long. Ralph went out on his own and founded Ace Welding Company of Trenton. He ran that company for 65+ years.

“He was married to Margret Arnell, and they had a daughter Peggy, one grandson Aaron Arnell. Ralph’s daughter passed away when his grandson was only 10 years old, with Peggy’s husband, who was not in the picture, Ralph and Margret adopted the youngster and raised him as their own.”

Ralph was an active flyer shooter in addition to trapshooting. Among the numerous awards he has won over the years, the following are his most prestigious: Ralph won the New Jersey Live Bird Championship in 1947. He was also runnerup 10 times, which he was not happy to ever mention. He won the New Jersey Trapshooting Singles Championship in 1955 and the U.S. Live Bird Championship in 1986 in Pikeville, PA. Ralph also broke 100 straight from the 24-yard line at Pine Belt, when the trapfields were on the other side of the property. Ralph joined the ATA in 1941; he registered 50,375 singles, 39,600 handicap and 3,200 doubles targets. Ralph passed away in 1995.

I just received the Gun Club Fund raffle tickets. The ATA will be offering a Kolar Regal Trap Combo. Jeff Mainland of Kolar Arms has made the gun available again to the ATA. We thank him for it. As in the past, the tickets are $20 apiece, and when you buy five, the sixth is free! Money generated by the raffle will benefit gun clubs throughout the country.

Pine Belt will be having their Spring Marathon April 2-3. There will be a 500-singles marathon on Saturday and 300-handicap marathon Sunday. The 250-pair doubles marathon will be Saturday, April 16. A shooter may compete in each total marathon or only part of one. If you do only part, you are not eligible for the free lunch or trophies.

The Jersey Cricket is scheduled for April 23; details to follow. The New Jersey southern zone will be at the Pine Valley GC starting April 29 and finishing May 1. All the prizes on Friday are open, and there will be southern zone resident and open awards on Saturday and Sunday, so all shooters in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York are eligible to win a prize.

On a sad note, I would be remiss if I did not report on the passing of the following people. Longtime New Jersey resident and friend Ruth Coniglio passed away this past January in Florida. Ruth joined the ATA in 1972. She was inducted into the New Jersey Trapshooting Hall of Fame, along with her predeceased husband, Paul Coniglio. During her shooting career, Ruth registered 74,650 singles, 50,450 handicap and 32,450 doubles targets.

Dennis DeVaux, the ATA Delegate from Vermont, was struck by a car and killed while walking Jan. 6. He was 65 years old and just recently retired. Dennis had been secretary of the Trapshooting Hall of Fame and was the current Eastern Zone secretary. In 2002, while his longtime shooting buddy Phil Wright was the ATA President, Dennis shot a 100 in the Grand American Handicap and ran another 50 from the 27-yard line in the shootoff to win the title. He was a great competitor, sportsman and friend and will surely be missed from the Eastern Zone shoots.

Lastly, Sandy Tidwell of Trap & Field Magazine,” passed away in January. Sandy was senior editor and always there to answer a question or dig out a picture of a shooter I may have requested. Sandy knew so much about trapshooters throughout the country and surely will be hard to replace.

If you have a question or an idea for an article, or just a question, I may be reached at 732-546-7910 or jasissa@msn.com.

Joe Sissano

ATA Eastern Zone Vice President

 

New York

Hello to everyone from New York. I hope everyone is staying safe and warm during the winter season. It won’t be too long before better weather comes and we can start shooting registered targets again.

I am sorry to say that a very good friend, Margaret DiPrete, wife of Rhode Island ATA Delegate Louis DiPrete, has passed away. Margaret passed away Jan. 4 at the age of 74 after a long illiness. Margaret and Louis lived in Johnston, RI. Margaret accompanied Louis to all the shoots he attended. Both were a mainstay at the shoots at our homegrounds in Cicero. Margaret always loved to go on bus trips to the casino at Turning Stone that were arranged by the New York State ATA. Margaret was a wonderful woman and a great cook. I ate some terrific meals that she prepared at different shoots. I am going to miss her smiling face and wonderful personality. All of us on the Board of Directors and officers of the New York State ATA want to extend our deepest sympathies to Louis and all Margaret’s family on her passing.

Another terrible tragedy has taken place to all of the ATA family. Dennis DeVaux, ATA Delegate from Vermont, was killed in a pedestrian/vehicle accident Jan. 6. Dennis was taking his daily morning walk near his home in Thetford, VT, when he was struck and killed by a vehicle that had lost control on ice on the highway. Dennis was 65 years of age and had just recently retired as the vice president of Upper Valley Press in North Haverhill, NH. At the time of his passing, Dennis had registered 145,350 singles, 104,350 handicap and 85,150 doubles targets. Dennis was a member of the ATA Grand Slam Club, joining when he won the Grand American Handicap with 100 from the 27-yard line in 2002 in Vandalia, OH. Dennis was the secretary and trustee of the Trapshooting Hall of Fame, along with being a director and secretary of the Vermont Trapshooting Association. Dennis was also a member of the Vermont ATA Hall of Fame, along with being the vice president of Montpelier GC, which hosts the Vermont State Shoot. Dennis was a wonderful man who was a friend to all. He loved trapshooting and would do anything to help someone out. Dennis was predeceased by his parents. He is survived by his longtime partner, Jayne Bowman, and two sisters and a brother. I was very lucky to call him a friend. I will miss sitting around the table at the Delegates’ room at the Grand American and telling stories. Dennis had attended the Grand for 50 years. All of us on the Board of Directors and officers of the New York State ATA want to extend our deepest sympathies to Jayne, his sisters and brother, and his entire family on his passing. Dennis will be missed.

We are very sorry to hear of the passing of Sandy Tidwell, senior editor of Trap & Field Magazine. Sandy had been with Trap & Field since 1979. She had a vast knowledge of our sport’s history and was a very valuable resource. Our deepest sympathies to Sandy’s family on her passing. She will be missed.

It is has been posted on the ATA website that you can now book camping sites at the 2022 Grand American online. Please use www.campspot.com/book/shootata to book a camping spot. Please go online at www.shootata.com for more information.

The application for the Gun Club Fund can be found on the ATA webpage. The Gun Club Fund is a grant by the ATA that is decided each year for deserving ATA gun clubs that are active and have shot registered targets the current and previous year. The fund is used to try to promote or better ATA registered trapshooting participation at a club. Funds can be used to buy traps, voice activation systems, upgrade computers or software/hardware for cashiering, etc. The application must be received at the ATA by July 1. Clubs that are selected to receive funds will be decided at the Grand American.

If anyone would like to have something written in one of these articles, please contact me at Trapshooterdavec@yahoo.com or phone me at 585-519-9543. Please stay healthy, safe and in good spirits. Please be strong. May God bless you all.

Dave Cichelli

ATA Delegate

 

Ontario

Greetings from Ontario, Canada.

The pandemic is still playing havoc here in Ontario with renewed lockdowns. This prevents us from going into restaurants, theaters, etc. and limits capacity at sport and social gatherings.

Some of our trapshooters hope to cross into the United States as fully vaccinated, but travel by air (with a firearm) remains challenging.

Many of us are hunkering down, waiting for sanctions to ease. It isn’t fun, and it is depressing.

We have lost some of our Ontario trapshooting friends recently, including Jack Proud, Ted Sabine and Bill Vito. We will miss them.

Paul Shaw

ATA Delegate

Alabama

So far the start of 2022 has been wet and cold. Hopefully it will dry out, and shooting will start again at the local clubs.

Congratulations to Nathan Richardson and Wyatt Stewart for making the 2022 AIM All-Star sub-junior team. Also congratulations to Dick Morrette for shooting 75,000 lifetime singles targets. Great shooting, guys!

Read your rulebook!

The Alabama State Shoot will be June 2-5. I hope you will make plans to be there.

Joke of the month: Lady: “See that woman over there? She’s been married four times—first to a millionaire, then to an actor, third to a minister and last, to an undertaker.” Friend: “I know. One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go.”

Word of the month: smore—An additional amount. “Want smore cornbread?”

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

If you need my help or have news to report, contact me at wasartwell@charter.net.

Wayne Sartwell

ATA Delegate

Mississippi

Mississippi trapfields are beginning to show their spring colors, with wildflowers cropping up everywhere. It’s time to start cutting grass and get into the spring clean-up. More importantly, though, it is time to start shedding winter clothes and get down to warm weather trapshooting in earnest.

Here in the sunny South, we are gearing up for the Catfish Trapshoot April 2-3 at Capitol GC in Jackson. The Catfish makes a good early spring shoot for our shooters to warm up for the Mississippi State Trapshoot. It also serves as a dress rehearsal for Capitol, as it prepares to host our state shoot upcoming in May. The Catfish program is a two-day, 600-target shoot, offering 200 each of singles, doubles and handicap. Don’t miss it—put it on your calendar. For all our northern friends, you might want to take a few days off from the blustery northern cold and get a foretaste of spring; come on down.

And the biggie this spring, again at Capitol in Jackson, is the Mississippi State Trapshoot May 26-29. Check the dates, and you will find they give you plenty of shooting and ends just before Memorial Day on Monday. After last year’s excellent Mississippi Trapshoot, held on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the boys and girls at Capitol will have a hard act to follow. Make your plans accordingly. PreSquad opens for squadding on March 1 and closes May 15. In the best Southern lingo I know, y’all come!

Wow, I’m already getting excited. Summer trapshooting in Mississippi is just around the corner. I am happy to say a word of thanks to the Mississippi Trapshooting Association and its leaders, as well as our Mississippi clubs and the fine work they do in making the sport we love a tremendous experience. As always, happy trappin’!

Jerry Tharp

ATA Delegate

South Carolina

I’m happy to announce our state team:

First team—captain Kevin Stephens, Milan Campbell, Brodie Mahaffey, Dave Laliberte, Randy Knight. Second team—Phillip Bagwell, Kenny Inman, Neil Alexander, Tyler Morris, Gary Welch. Category—Jaycee Beckham, Lady I; Teresa Knight, Lady II; Trinity Morris, sub-junior; Gary Ferguson, sub-vet; Doug Stenback, veteran; Rodney Raines, senior vet.

Congrats to all. Hang in there; there were many spots that were determined by less than one-tenth of a target. Make sure you get enough targets to qualify for next year’s team.

As this report is being written, there are remnants of the snow we had last week. Nothing terrible, but there was the normal run on bread and milk at the grocery stores. As you read this, the temperatures will be up, and the wind will be blowing. I’m hoping the winds at the Southern Grand won’t be terrible.

Remember, our Hall of Fame Shoot is April 2-3 at Spartanburg; this year’s inductee will be Frank Ketron. Our state shoot is May 11-15. Pre-squad opens March 28. I hope you can get to both shoots.

Jim Faber

ATA Delegate

Tennessee

Well, the calendar says it is March, so it must be time to head south for the 42nd annual Southern Grand March 13-20 at the Silver Dollar SC, Odessa, FL. Notice that it starts on Sunday, March 13 and ends on Sunday, March 20. Bill and crew will only throw 200 targets per day, and shooting will cease at 7:45 each day.

The 106th Florida State Shoot will be March 22-27 at the Silver Dollar.

Last month I forgot to mention the Tennessee shooters who made the 2022 AIM All-Star Team: Junior gold: Michael Sisk and Seth Swinea. Junior: Colby Lancaster, Brandon Kelly and Luke Johnson. Sub-junior: Troy Williams. Pre-sub: Braxton Cox and Levi Biles.

Read the new rulebook, please.

For more info, check out our website shootatatn.com. You can reach me at bcook@shootata.com.

Billy Cook

ATA Southern Zone Vice President

Arkansas

We are excited here in Arkansas, as our youth shooters are already shooting targets and getting prepared for this year’s tournaments in and out of the state. If they are anything like me, they already have their year mapped out! The ASTF Board of Directors have had several meetings for our 2022 state shoot and are putting the final touches together. Be sure to keep up to date with the latest shoots and information by checking out our website. I know there are several gun clubs that already have shoots listed.

It is with a heavy heart that I say Arkansas has lost an outstanding young man and trapshooter. Cale Love was all smiles and eager to help out. He will be missed greatly, and his family is in our prayers.

Psalm 73:26 KJV—My flesh and my heart faileth: But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Robby Pennock

ATA Delegate

Oklahoma

So far this year, derby season has really been affected by the winter weather that has been passing through Oklahoma on the weekends. Mother Nature did a 180º flip and provided beautiful sunny skies and warmer temperatures Jan. 22-23 for Ada and OTSA derbies, respectively. Ada had a great turnout for their Saturday derby with 71 shooters. Phenomenal participation. Check out Ada’s new Facebook page, Ada Shotgun Sports (Formerly Ada Skeet and Trap Club) for club news, shoots and results. OSTA’s derby hosted 17 shooters and light breezes. Complete results are posted on the OTSA website.

The Oklahoma shoot calendar is set. For all the details, please visit the OTSA website and click the “2022 Oklahoma Trap Shoots” link on the top of the page. We were excited to welcome back the Clinton GC into the shoot calendar; it’s been awhile since they have hosted ATA-registered targets. We are also hearing rumors that Duncan GC will host a few Big 50s this year. Please keep supporting the local clubs through participation in Big 50s, 100-target events, and practice targets. This participation really helps them sustain a presence in their communities and continue to promote shooting sports.

The OTSA Board of Directors has been busy working on the 2022 Oklahoma state program. I think they will have a refreshed program with new options to play and a few old favorites with new splits. Please mark your calendars to join us for the Oklahoma State Shoot May 31-June 5 at the OTSA homegrounds in El Reno, OK. In addition to the state shoot, the board has been planning to host one of the shoot sites for the 2022 ATA Southwestern Zone Shoot July 15-17.

The Oklahoma trap community lost Tim Diester very unexpectedly last summer. In Tim’s honor, a memorial fund has been established. For so many years during state shoots, Zone shoots and other registered events, Tim was always standing at the classification desk waiting for the next shooter. The memorial funds will create “Tim’s Corner” near the classification desk to honor his legacy. For more information, please visit the OTSA’s website. There is a link in the middle of the page, “Tim Diester Memorial.”

Oklahomans, if you have any shooting news (new shooters, club improvements), accomplishments (100 straights, 50 straights), Milestones (100,000, 50,000 and 25,000 target achievements), and/or shoot scores, including singles, handicap and doubles winners, please send them to me. You can reach me by cell at 405-694-1790 or e-mail waterhoma@gmail.com.

Kevin Nanke

ATA Delegate

Texas

It is snowing straight down in Hereford, TX, right now (Jan. 26). The snow is not the greatest part; the greatest thing is that it is “snowing straight down.” That doesn’t happen often here. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Enough about me and where I live, so let’s move on. I have some great news. The Cowtown Open will be held at the Ft. Worth T&SC April 1-3. You can stop and shoot on your way to the Southwestern Grand in San Antonio. Steve Bradbury and his crew put on a great shoot. The trophy package will be outstanding, as always. You will not regret stopping in Ft. Worth.

The Southwestern Grand will be held at the National SC in San Antonio April 5-10. Registration and classification will be open at noon on April 4. There will be daily door prizes and live streaming of the on-deck squad board and scores. Also, if you bring a first-time attendee, you will receive free entry into the 200-bird Singles Championship. If you bring your RV for the first time, your RV site will be complimentary. These are just extras. The real fact is that Royce Graff and the staff at the National SC will put on the best shoot you have ever attended. They have worked very hard to see that you have a great time. Just make your plans now to attend, and you will see what I am talking about.

Some other shoots to put on your calendar now are the Zone IV Shoot in Waco at the Waco S&TC May 20-22. The next zone shoot is the Zone I shoot in Amarillo at the Amarillo GC to be held June 17-19. Also, the Texas State Shoot will be held at the National SC in San Antonio July 5-10. Put these on your calendar now.

I have one of those almost famous “fatman attaboys” to pass out. I have it not because anyone let me know about it or sent me any information. I just have it. Darin Clawson fired at (and I have no idea if he broke it because no one let me know) his 50,000th singles target. Congratulations, Darin.

In my February article I tried to explain the “fallback” rule. I would like to know first, if you agree with the rule and second, if you agree that we should follow it at Texas non-All-American point shoots. I would really appreciate your input.

Lots of problems are caused by people not knowing the rules. Many problems are caused by people not being courteous. These problems include not releasing pre-squadded positions and not notifying the ATA office that you are refusing the computer-generated yardage reduction. If you don’t want to try to get in touch with the management at the club where you pre-squadded or you don’t want to contact the ATA office to refuse a reduction, call me, and I will do it for you. Please be courteous and save many problems for you and your shooting friends.

I always ask, if you have news or information, please let Princess or me know about it. I would love to include it in the next article for Trap & Field. You can reach me by e-mail at jloconnor47@gmail.com or call me at 806-679-6889, or snail mail to 907 S. Main St. Hereford, TX 79045.

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

Jerry O’Connor

ATA Delegate