Hi, everyone. I am writing this as the third winter storm is about ready to hit us in the month of February. I can tell you my quota of snow shoveling is met, and I am sick of this weather. I am ready for blue skies and trap targets flying in the air again.
I have a couple of Milestones to mention. William Aschemann has shot 25,000 handicap targets, and Sue Staker has shot 25,000 doubles targets. Congratulations to both of you upon reaching these accomplishments.
I was sorry to see that Ronald Smith passed away. Ron was a good man and friend and will be missed by all of us.
I am very excited to tell you about a new award the ISTA will be awarding to Illinois shooters. Currently you can be either an all-stater or All-American or both, depending on where you shoot and how much you shoot. In both cases, you have to shoot all three disciplines well and shoot a lot of targets. This is great, but what about the person who shoots only one or two disciplines. Or shoots all three, but only one or two well. They will not receive any recognition for their efforts. The ISTA will now be handing out at the state meeting high-average certificates to shooters who are not all-staters or All-Americans but are listed in the ATA Average Book for carrying a high average in one or more disciplines. With COVID, shell prices and entry fees, it is getting harder and harder to shoot as much as we would like. Now we can pat some people on the back who would not get that pat otherwise.
As soon as I get my 2021 Average Book, I will announce who these people are in my article, so you can make plans to be at the annual meeting at the Illinois State Trapshoot to receive your certificates.
Spring is just around the corner, so let’s have a fun and a safe 2022 shooting season.
This year March is the month with the fewest opportunities for registered trapshooting here in Michigan. April has a full slate of shoots at clubs around the state, but let me highlight just a few. Howard Township starts things off with events April 2-3. Durand hasn’t had a shoot in several years, but they will host one on the 16th. The MTA Work Day is also April 16. If you aren’t shooting somewhere, swing by Mason and help get our grounds ready for the Spring Team Shoot April 28-May 1. On April 23, Jackson Co. SC is hosting their first shoot in several years. This is the same date that Seaway is holding a 500-bird marathon. I shot at that event last year and enjoyed first-class targets, although I suspect that if the wind is blowing hard off Lake Michigan, it might be a chore.
In MTA news, Ryan Ewing has resigned from the board of directors after many years of service. The board appointed Duane Lanphear from South Lyon to take the seat. In addition to Mason, Duane is often found at the Birmingham GC.
I expect we will see the price per hundred targets go up, maybe even quite a bit. First, the cost of the targets themselves has gone up twice in the last calendar year. Second, I think everyone knows that the minimum wage here in Michigan and other states has gone up, making trap help more expensive.
Keep your head on the stock and your eyes on the target, and I’ll see you at Mason.
- B. Lewis
Greetings from the North Star State. I returned at the end of February from a month in Tucson and the Spring Grand. For the most part, the weather was very nice, and certainly better than we had in northwestern Minnesota when I was gone. Fifty-four Minnesota shooters were classified at the tournament. Hopefully I haven’t missed too many of the award winners, so here goes. Winning trophies during the preliminary days were Paul Cyr, Dean Walker, Llewelyn Lane, Curt Peterson, Peter Walker and Durand Wagner. Trophy winners during Grand Week were Cyr, Jeff Rempel, Dustin Flattum, Dean Walker, Peterson, Scott Messenger and Peter Walker.
Curt was the biggest winner of the Minnesotans, as he broke 99 in the Preliminary Handicap and took down Pat Lamont, aka, “the Giant Killer,” in shootoff. Peter Walker concluded a good week of shooting by breaking 98 in the main handicap and finishing third after the shootoff. For those interested, yours truly made a serious comeback after last year’s fiasco and bad shooting. At least my scores were for the most part, respectable.
Back to Tucson for a minute. Shells were available, and you could purchase them to shoot the events that you entered as long as you did so prior to shooting. Let’s hope that shells will become increasingly available as the season progresses.
By the time that you read this in your April issue of Trap & Field, our jackpot season will have come to a close, and hopefully we will be thinking about summer leagues, and the high school shooters will have begun their season. Unfortunately for many of us in the northern part of the state, winter may not have released its grip unless things change a great deal in the month of March.
When making plans for the summer shooting season, remember that you can see the entire Minnesota shooting schedule on the new and really improved MTA website. The first major shoot of the summer will again be the Cabela’s Shoot in Owatonna June 9-12. Our state shoot will be July 5-10 at the Shooting Park in Alexandria. If you haven’t made your motel reservation or secured a camping spot, there is still time to do so. The ATA Central Zone will also be held at the Shooting Park in Alex July 29-31. The Grand begins Aug. 3 this year.
Remember, I can be reached at 507-456-2000 or email@example.com
Paul T. Cyr
For ATA Delegate Randy Jones
North Dakota was well represented at the Spring Grand. Twenty-one North Dakota shooters participated in at least one event. Winning trophies were: Jason Folvag, Event 3 doubles, AAA, 98; Events 5 and 7 singles, AAA, 100s; Event 11 doubles, runnerup, 99; and the Pre-Spring Grand HOA, winner, 1,259×1,300. He went back to North Dakota at the beginning of the main Spring Grand week. Todd Wendel also had a good week, winning Class A in the Event 4 and 11 doubles, 95 and 96. Louis Kuster won Class B in the Event 9 doubles, 95.
In the main Spring Grand week, Evie Janousek won Lady I in the Event 19 singles, 99. Mike Kempel won sub-vet and sub-vet runnerup in Events 20 and 21 doubles, respectively, with a pair of 98s. Todd Wendel was Class A runnerup in those events with 95 and 96. Tim Kaffar was sub-vet runnerup in Event 22 Preliminary Handicap, 96. Mike Nordback had a 199 in the championship singles to secure veteran runnerup.
The 2022 North Dakota all-state teams were also announced as follows:
First team—captain Jason Folvag (.9642 all-around average), Pat Bosh, Perry Weiner, Chris Kittleson, Darryl Howard. Second team—Mark Kaffar, Chad Gerloff, Wayne Unruh, Blaine Dukart, Todd Wendel. Women’s—Gabby Fischer, Melissa Woodworth, Amy Folvag. Junior—Kordell Kraft, Lane Evanston, Jorn Brose, Evie Janousek, William Gebhardt. Sub-junior—Connor Johnson, Jacob Schirado, Coye Steffan, Kate Janousek, Ava Gillig. Veteran—Bill Suda, Mike Nordback, Jeff Zwarych, Louis Kuster, Larry Berland.
Folvag had the high singles average of .9912 and doubles average of .9689. High handicap average went to Pat Bosh with .9360.
By now, you should have received your spring newsletter with our 2022 state teams. Congratulations to all of you who made the state team and high gun awards. The awards will be presented at our annual membership meeting on Sunday during the state shoot.
Congratulations to our trophy winners at the Spring Grand in Arizona. It was great seeing the state so well represented.
You may pre-squad on presquad.com starting April 15. Just as last year, we will have a dedicated cashiering window for those of you who pre-squad.
State shoot RV spots are filling quickly. Be sure to contact Joy Trim about reservations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good luck to all of the participants at the 50th annual Cornhusker Shoot. The shoot will be held April 28-30 at the homegrounds in Doniphan.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at email@example.com. Thank you for your continued support.
Spring Grand singles event. I just got done shooting Post 1 and walked to Post 2. Took my shell out of the box and placed it in the chamber. The shell did not go in comfortably, so I looked at it and noticed some bug parts on it. There were not just a small amount of bug parts, but the whole bug smashed, which I think was the remains of a bee. Parts were in the receiver, on the shell and on my finger. I told Mike, who was next to me, that I needed to walk off the line for a minute. At the gun rack I took my forend, barrel and stock off to wipe the mess of a bug that was smashed. I walked back to Post 2 and continued to shoot. After that post, Brett walked to Post 1 and said, “Wait, I need to go wipe my gun down!” Talk about a good laughing moment. The other three squadmates had no idea why I had to clean my gun. We all got a good laugh for the day. Friends are the best.
It has been a long, cold winter with lots of snow for most of us here in Wisconsin. Other than the fun weekend shoots that are hosted by clubs or if you are down south enjoying the warmer weather, there is not much to brag about here.
The Tucson Spring Grand was the highlight for February and a much-needed getaway for 45, which was the number of Wisconsin shooters. The total number of shooters who attended the shoot was 877.
Congratulations to all of the shooters who competed in the Spring Grand. It takes a lot of time, travel and money to make the journey. Preliminary Week was the warmest weather, with these shooters winning trophies: Bill Boyd, Alan Arner, Bob Ebbers, Gerald Demulling, Dave Mansell, Charles Noel, John Halambeck, Lee Moldenhauer and Pete Rusted. Winning HOA honors were Bob Ebbers and Alan Arner. Congratulations, shooters, for the wins in the preliminary events.
Grand Week was also well represented by Wisconsin with these trophy winners: Sandra Jo Jack, Douglas Proulx, Dave Mansell (Dave did get 1.5 yards in a couple days, nice shooting), Mike Johnson (who did not pick up his trophy because he did not know he had one), Steve Ebsen, John Reeb, Pete Rusted, Gerald Demulling and Don LaBarge. Championship event winners were Jack, Cheryl Demulling and Rusted. There were no HOA or HAA winners for Wisconsin.
The Florida Hall of Fame Shoot at Silver Dollar had a Wisconsin winner, Steve Gilbertson. Then the same Steve Gilbertson won in the Beretta USA doubles event. Nice shooting, Steve.
Paul Becker sent me a text message that John Matson was named as scorer of the month at the Silver Dollar for January. John, you rock and keep up the good work. Shooters, remember to send me e-mails like Paul did with information. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be respectful to other shooters; we are all in this trapshooting game for fun and to spend time with friends. Springtime clean-up is needed at your club, so do your part and help out.
Sandra Jo Jack
For ATA Delegate Kevin Doerring
Hello from the Atlantic Provinces.
Trapshooting throughout the Atlantic Provinces should be ramping up at about the time this article goes to print. Shooters in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia normally get a head start on shooters in Newfoundland, but if this mild winter continues in Newfoundland, we may just get an early start this spring. And, yes, winter in Newfoundland and Labrador often runs into April or May.
The Petitcodiac SC in New Brunswick will kick off the 2022 ATA shooting season with their Spring Trap Opener May 7. Check www.sportsmanclub.ca for shoot details. To help plan the rest of your trapshooting season, a complete Atlantic Provinces shoot calendar can be found on www.shootatlantic.com.
Regretfully I have to report that Newfoundland trapshooter Elliott Leyton passed away Feb. 14 at the age of 82. Elliott was originally from Leader, SK, and along with wife Bonnie, raised a family in Newfoundland. Elliott was a well-known anthropology professor at Memorial University, and Bonnie is a well-known artist and art gallery owner. Elliott shot trap at St. John’s R&GC and served on the club executive as trap chairman for several years. Elliott was also a trapshooting coach and mentor to many and was always ready to help a new shooter, including me. Rest in peace, dear friend. Elliott’s obituary can be found on www.shootatlantic.com.
Preparations are well underway for the 2022 Atlantic Provinces ATA Provincial Shoot. This year’s shoot will return to St. John’s, NL, and St. John’s R&GC Sept. 1-4. A shoot program and complete shoot details are available on www.shootatalantic.com. If you would like to get involved with the shoot committee, feel free to contact me. We’re always looking for extra help and volunteers.
New for this year’s Canadian Trapshooting Championships is the Canada Cap Challenge, a handicap provincial team purse being offered by several generous sponsors. The rules are simple: there’s no entry fee, and the top five scores from each province in the preliminary handicap event will determine the provincial teams. Ties will be carried over to the CTA Handicap Championships, and the winning team splits the $5,000 purse. The 2022 Canadian Trapshooting Championship is being held at the Calgary FC in Calgary, AB, June 29-July 3. A shoot program and complete details on the Canada Cap Challenge are available on www.shootcanada.ca.
If you’re interested in some practice just before the Canadian Trapshooting Championships, the DVine TR in High Prairie, AB, will be holding a three-day shoot June 24-26. The two-trap club is operated by Jesse and Lynn Smith and are entering their second year of ATA registered shooting. The Smiths will host a great shoot and will treat you to some of the finest hospitality out there.
For more information on the Atlantic Provinces Trapshooting Association, feel free to contact me at email@example.com or visit shootatlantic.com.
It is Feb. 24 as I am sitting down writing this column. It seems Russia has invaded Ukraine after all.
It seems a lot of good things are taking place at the Ground Swiper’s club on Lacey Road in Forked River. They recently had a Pump Gun Doubles Challenge. Rick Batesko, club president, reported the participants experienced shooting doubles with a pump gun. Class winners were: George Snyder, A; Rick Batesko, B; Pat Shulack Jr., C; H. Scott, D; and Mac Adams, E. Rick reported that they have graduated more than 10,000 hunters from the Hunter Safety Course they hold at the club over the years, working closely with the New Jersey Fish & Wildlife Division. Their next class will be June 11, so if you know anyone interested, please let them know. They also have installed a Trap Simulator and have offered STS, Simulated Training Sessions, usually on Tuesday nights for a small donation, which includes targets, at their club for novice shooters as well as experienced trapshooters. A Shamrock prize shoot is scheduled for March, and I will be reporting the winners in a future article.
Pine Valley will be holding their annual Youth Shoot May 7. ATA All-American, Ricky Marshall will be on hand to meet and greet the youngsters. He’ll also be having a two-day clinic at Pine Valley May 5-6. Krieghoff International from Ottsville, PA, will also be on hand to display their current line of trap shotguns and have demo guns to try. There will be three events, 100 singles, 100 handicap and 50 pair of doubles. There will be $2,000 for first place, $1,500 for second and $1,000 for third in the team category. Shamrock Leathers prizes will also be given out for the singles, handicap and doubles awards. Each entry on sign-up will receive two boxes of ammo, a hat, a T-shirt and free lunch and ice cream. Ammo will be on hand for purchase for the day’s events.
Pine Belt will be holding their marathons in April, with the 500-bird singles marathon April 2, and the 300-bird handicap marathon April 3. On April 16 they’ll be having the 250-pair doubles marathon. Shooters may shoot all or part of each marathon; free lunch is included for those who shoot 300 or more targets of a marathon.
NJCTC will be holding a New Jersey State Shoot Warm-up Shoot April 24 at the Fairfield club. There will be 100 singles and 100 handicap; cost is $20 per hundred plus ATA fees. Entries close at 11:30 a.m.
The 2022 New Jersey southern zone will take place April 29-May 1 at the Pine Valley club. A satellite shoot will also take place at North Jersey CTC in Fairfield April 30-May 1 only. There will be open prizes for non-zone residents, which include our Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York shooters on all three days, so come on out and start accumulating birds for target requirements at your state shoot.
The second inductee this year into the New Jersey Trapshooting Hall of Fame is Nyda Wright. On hearing of her selection, she commented, “I was surprised and honored to be selected for the New Jersey Trapshooters Hall of Fame. This honor is one of my proudest memories I have gotten over the many years of trapshooting.”
Nyda Wright was born in upper Pennsylvania and lived in Chester, PA, while growing up. In 1969 her family moved to Woodstown, NJ, where her mother accepted employment locally at the DuPont Company, Deepwater plant, located in Deepwater, NJ. Her mother was a pioneer and became the first female doctor to work there.
Nyda graduated from Woodstown High School in 1974 and proceeded to work several jobs over the next years until deciding to attend Salem Community College in 1985, where she received a degree in criminal justice. In September of that same year, she began substitute teaching in several school districts and then retired from Kingsway Regional School District in 2006.
During those years she met George Wright, who also enjoys shooting. After dating for several years, they married in April 1992 and will enjoy their 30th wedding anniversary this April. In the spring of 1990, one of George’s friends suggested he try shooting at the Salem Co. SC (NJ). He came home and suggested she should try it, as he thought she would enjoy it. She went with him a few times to watch and decided to try it for herself. He knew her well, as she did enjoy it a lot. The club closes in the fall, and friends recommended they try the Quinton SC (NJ), as it is open year-round. They started to attend there and formally joined the club at the end of 1990. Nyda also became their club secretary for a few years.
The following spring, she heard people talking about a Pine Valley GC (NJ) that threw registered targets. Since she enjoyed shooting, meeting new people, and making new friends, she asked for directions, so she could check it out herself. She visited a few times and met a wonderful person named Toots Tindall, and the two soon became fast friends. Toots took Nyda under her wing, and she became a mentor to Nyda for this amazing hobby. After introducing her to new people, many more friendships were formed, and Nyda then joined the ATA that following Saturday plus shot her first registered targets in 1991.
After that, the fun of traveling began. She visited many states to compete, including New Jersey, Delaware, Maine, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois. She reached the 27-yard line on April 9, 1995.
In 1994 she broke her first 100 straight on her mom’s 75th birthday when she competed in the Westy Hogans. She won the ladies’ Singles Championship with 199. In 1995 she won the Singles Class Championship and Lady of America. In 1995 she again won Lady of America and HOA ladies’ category.
Her prestigious accomplishments began with receiving the NJ southern zone high lady for singles in 1994 and 1995. In 1996 she was the 16-yard NJ southern zone high zone lady, doubles high zone lady, and handicap high zone lady. The year 1997 then included the state southern zone preliminary doubles, Class B winner; 16-yard, A runnerup; 16-yard championship, NJ high zone lady; and Handicap Championship, high zone lady. Continuing in 1998 was the NJ southern zone Handicap Championship, high lady; 16-yard championship, high lady; Doubles Championship, winner; and HAA, resident A winner. She then won the NJ southern zone ladies’ Singles Championship in 1999.
At the 1998 Northeastern Grand, she won the Singles Championship ladies’ category with 199 and was a member of the five-person team.
She was on the New Jersey women’s state team from 1994 to 2002 and the women’s All-American second team in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002. She finished the 2002 target year with the following averages: .9551 on 5,100 singles, .8857 on 3,800 handicap and .9043 on 3,500 doubles.
Continuing her high level of proficiency, Nyda started the 2003 target year even better and posted no scores lower than 97 in singles, then went on to compete at the Pine Valley GC, Millington SC and New York Homegrounds and recorded four 97s, two 98s, and two centuries—an outstanding 98% average.
Unfortunately her long and very successful shooting career was cut short due to an automobile accident, which left her unable to continue shooting. Her career ended with totals of 57,400 singles, 42,500 handicap and 33,850 doubles.
She now has many fond memories, lasting friendships and numerous accomplishments and awards to look back on while staying home and caring for her many fur babies with her husband George. An outstanding shooting career for an accomplished woman!
I’d like to thank, Nyda, George and Kenny Ray Estes for collaborating on writing the above biography.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. June 4 inside the clubhouse at Pine Belt during the New Jersey State Shoot.
I’m just returning from the Spring Grand in Tucson, where I ran into New Jersey transplants Ken and Bob Mlynarz. I also ran into Fran Simcick, who was spending the winter there. It was nice seeing familiar faces.
If you have an idea for an article or just a question, I may be reached at 732-546-7910 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATA Eastern Zone Vice President
Hello to everyone from New York. I hope everyone had a safe and warm winter season. Now that it is the start of April, registered ATA shoots will be beginning. I hope everyone plans on getting out there and doing plenty of registered shooting. I know that I plan to.
I am very sorry to say that a very old shooting friend of mine has passed away. Rodney E. Bower of Akron, passed away Feb. 9. Rodney was 81 years of age. I first met Rodney 43 years ago at my first registered ATA shoot on the Fourth of July, 1979, at Oakfield R&GC. For years I worked with Rodney figuring the Lewis classes and purses at the shoots at Oakfield. He was a great teacher. I shot on his squad for many years. Rodney started registering targets in 1969 and was on the 26-yard line. During his career, he registered 65,200 singles, 42,450 handicap and 16,650 doubles targets. Rodney’s last ATA targets were shot April 22, 2007 at the Tonawandas SC. He was inducted into the New York State ATA Hall of Fame in July 1993. At the New York State Shoot over the years, Rodney won the Singles Championship in 1971 and 1977. He was the doubles champion in 1980. Rodney also won the Singles Championship three times at the New York state western zone shoot, in 1974, 1977 and 1979. He loved shooting with his dear friend Don Rickwald. Rodney was the caretaker of Pioneer Cemetery for 40 years and worked at Strippit and Ward Hydraulics. Rod loved playing euchre with his friend Wally and hunting with his friend Nolan. He is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Shirley; daughter Lani and son-in-law Rambo; son Russel, two grandchildren, Marit and Jena; and a special dog Angie. The entire officers and Board of Directors of the New York State ATA would like to express our sympathies to Shirley and Rodney’s entire family on his passing. He will be missed. I know that I will miss him.
Some Milestones that were recently reached for New York State Shooters. New York State ATA eastern zone director Susan Gullotta registered her 100,000th singles target. Also Craig Westlake registered his 25,000th singles target. That is great going by these two New York shooters.
It was announced on the ATA webpage www.shootata.com that Fiocchi has been announced as the exclusive sponsor of the Grand American Handicap.
The release said: “The Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) is proud and honored to announce that FIOCCHI OF AMERICA will be the exclusive sponsor of the Grand American Handicap (GAH) event at both the 2022 and 2023 Grand American World Trapshooting Championships, Sparta, IL. The 2022 tournament will be contested Aug. 3-13 at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex. The GAH is the final event of the 11-day championship tournament held at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources facility. This event is the most prestigious handicap event in all of trapshooting each year.
“Fiocchi has steadily increased their support of the Grand American tournament and the ATA’s AIM youth program in recent years.
“Fiocchi of America marketing manager Holly Hammond stated, ‘Fiocchi is excited and grateful to offer our support of the great American sport, event and organization at the highest possible level.’
“ ‘We look forward to this latest addition to the partnership between Fiocchi and the ATA,’ reported ATA Executive Director Lynn Gipson. ‘We will devote tremendous effort to promoting the Fiocchi brand and their products this year to trapshooters not only in attendance at the Grand, but worldwide. Get ready for some new and exciting support and recognition methods and items at the Grand this year.’ ”
Remember that the first shoot to be held in 2022 at our homegrounds in Cicero will be the Empire Grand American May 18-22. All of us on the Board of Directors of the New York State ATA hope you all plan to attend.
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.
Greetings from Ontario, Canada.
Target ammunition remains hard to obtain and is very expensive. With the inflationary overlay, the cost of target shooting is challenging for many people. There is no short-term relief in sight. Sometimes people can’t get their preferred brands and settle for anything they can get. Our major shoot hosts have been doing an excellent job in managing the ammunition crisis by ensuring there is availability for all those who enter events. Don’t expect to back your vehicle up to the shell house and load up. Those days, for now at least, are gone.
If you wish to buy gun raffle tickets, contact Beau Douglas (one of our OPTA directors). He asked if I could get an extra 80 tickets, as he had strong interest. I got them for him, and he has been selling lots. The profits for these tickets support gun club grants for modest but worthy initiatives.
By late spring, I hope the border will open up more, as a lot of Ontario shooters wait to compete in the U.S. It is currently open with testing protocols in place. COVID, I hope, will be more manageable with less red tape.
Our shooting season is starting. Good luck!
Another winter is behind us, and preparation has started for the upcoming shooting season. Hopefully we’ll be able to have some relief as it pertains to ammunition availability and pandemic issues this coming year. Just as it appears that we are heading toward some sort of normalcy, world events are putting more pressure on our monetary system, so we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed.
Unfortunately the past two months have left us with some holes in our shooting family. Longtime PSSA supporter and PSSA Hall of Fame enshrinee Jack Deisher of Pottstown passed away at the age of 95. Jack was a fixture at all PSSA events and shot a lot of targets all over the country. He started registered shooting in 1964 and in 2010 became the oldest shooter to register 200 straight. We also lost Robin Wolfe (61) of Millerstown and Al Filling Jr. (66) of Neelyton this winter. Both Robin and Al were avid participants at Elysburg and shot at many of the local clubs in their respective areas. Robin began registering targets in 1999 and Al in 1985. All three of these gentlemen will be missed, and our condolences go out to their families and friends.
As the PSSA prepares for the upcoming season, Carlette Proukou is also busy coordinating this year’s Save a Pair Shoot, which will be held Thursday, June 30, the day prior to the start of the Pennsylvania Grand. I’m including an article by Carlette regarding last year’s event as it pertains to the benefit of this event: In April 2014 Dawn and Mark Arnold were planning a vacation for that summer to celebrate Dawn’s 35th birthday and their 10th wedding anniversary. Vacation plans were put on hold when they got a devastating phone call; Dawn was diagnosed with breast cancer. Three weeks later Dawn had her first of several surgeries followed by five months of chemotherapy. It was a hard year, but she had the support of her husband Mark, family, friends and a local support group. During the 2021 Save A Pair for Breast Cancer Awareness Shoot and fundraiser, organized by Carlette and Spear Proukou of the PSSA, a 2021 custom Save A Pair leather shooting bag, graciously donated by Suzi Owens in memory of her Aunt Gloria, came up for bid at the live auction. After winning the bid, Mark shared a little of Dawn’s story and why it meant so much to her to have the bag. There was not a dry eye in the house, as Mark was emotional in expressing how he was so glad that she made it through breast cancer and was very thankful to have such caring people who understood why a shooter’s shell bag with the pink breast cancer ribbon had such a special meaning. The auctioneer Dave Bicknell even had to take a short break to compose himself before continuing with the live auction. Dawn had shot trap occasionally with Mark, but she signed up with the ATA and shot her first registered targets the next day during the 2021 Pennsylvania Grand. A very special thank you to Barb Walters, John Hyrsl, and Steve and Lorie McCafferty for helping make the shell bag such a wonderful gift to Dawn. Together, with Mark, they pooled their money to assure the winning bid. Dawn is still a volunteer peer navigator with FORCE, an organization for hereditary cancer and part of the local Bucks County, PA, breast cancer support group. Carlette and Spear continue to coordinate Save A Pair for many reasons. One, being Carlette’s oldest sister is a 28-year breast cancer survivor. She continues fighting this awful disease to this day. At 79 years old, she has proven life goes on. They also do this event for the endless number of family and friends who continue their fight or have won or lost their battles.
I look forward to seeing everyone at the Keystone Open May 13-15.
ATA Alternate Delegate
Spring is here, and I hope everyone has taken time to clean their guns and get ready to do some shooting. Get out and support your local gun clubs. Also now would be a good time to read the new rulebook.
I want to extend my congratulations to John White for being chosen for the ATA All-American open second team.
The Alabama State Trapshoot will be held June 2-5. If you need to reserve a camping spot, contact Bill Parson at 334-399-7996. Don’t wait and put it off because the camping spots go fast.
Joke of the month: A man who had just lost his job was talking with a friend. “Why did the foreman fire you?” the friend asked. “Oh,” he replied, “you know how foreman are. They stand around with their hands in their pockets watching everybody else work.” The friend said, “Sure, everybody knows that. But why did he fire you?” The man replied, “Jealousy, all the other workers thought I was the foreman.”
Word of the month: Peppuh. A hot spice widely used to season food. “Pass the peppuh, please.”
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 him or her for their service.
If you need my help or have news to report, contact me at email@example.com.
Our shooting season has finally arrived! Over the next few months, our shooting menu contains many tournaments to fulfill your shooting needs. Head over to floridatrap.com for more information.
The FTA held their annual Hall of Fame shoot Feb. 4-6, and inducted Chuck Hazelett into the Hall of Fame. Additionally former FTA President Joe Loitz was honored, as he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2021, but the FTA was unable to hold his banquet due to COVID-19 restrictions. If you see either of those guys around, make sure to congratulate them for their contributions to our sport!
The Southern Grand took place at the Silver Dollar SC March 13-20. Watch for complete results in the upcoming May issue. Ammunition was available for purchase for events that were paid for. To ensure all of the scheduled events were able to be held, the tournament was lengthened by one day, and the 300-bird days were reduced to 200.
The 106th annual Florida State Shoot took place at the Silver Dollar March 22-27. The same ammunition disclaimer from above applied. There was more than $30,000 in added money as well as 208 resident trophies, 208 non-resident trophies and 41 open awards up for grabs! Watch for complete results in an upcoming issue of T&F.
One thing I would like to make note of: there is a county-imposed noise curfew in place at the Silver Dollar that restricts the hours to which shooting can take place. Those hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
We have some shooters who deserve some extra recognition: These shooters have either reached these Milestones or are on the cusp of reaching them:
Singles: Tommy Wagner and Dennis McCarthy, 75K; Patrick Larsen, Brent Miller, Larry Whightsil, Donald Keith and Daniel Brandreth, 25K.
Handicap: Kay Ohye, 300K; Lewis LaRoche, 75K; Juston Trimback, 50K.
Doubles: Sarah Jacobs, 50K.
If you have any questions/concerns or have content that you would like added to my reports, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until then, shoot straight.
Trapshooting here in Georgia is getting jump started for 2022. We’ve had some Big 50s, but we’re getting very near our state shoot. Our dates are April 21-24. It will be held at South River GC in Covington, as usual. I want to congratulate this year’s state team members. Ethan Ledford is the captain and the junior placeholder. Stephen Williams, Joe Turner, John Davis, Boone Butler, John Rossiter, Shirley Duong, Ed Wolfe and Bruce Swinsky all shot well enough to secure the honor of a state team berth. Congratulations from all of us.
I’d also like to recognize two individuals who were inducted in the Georgia Hall of Fame. They have been a mainstay at our state shoots, our local clubs and also serving on our board of directors. Congratulations to Phil Graves and Sam Weil on being inducted into Georgia trapshooting’s most coveted membership. This is truly a career high recognition of your efforts and for support of the sport of trapshooting here.
Finally I want to thank our BOD for all their hard work this year: Mike Reed, president; Bruce Swinsky, VP; Skip Varnado, treasurer; and Phil Graves, secretary, are to be thanked for serving. Also honorable mention goes out to Jim Meucci as First Alternate Delegate and Joe Turner as Second Alternate. All these folks are to be thanked for having given their time and efforts to the sport we all love.
The year is going to be challenging for shooters, given the ammunition shortage and lack of available reloading supplies. Perseverance will help when looking for available ammo, and most of the largest state shoots and Satellite Grands should have availability, but with limitations as to what you can buy.
Shooters who have been fortunate enough to find ammo are shooting, and some Kentucky shooters who made the trip to the Spring Grand in Tuscan represented well: Doug and Linda Cox, Henry Winn, Lee and Tristen Miles, Jack Holland, Miles Tucker, Drake Reynolds, Richie Dalton, Dennis Toews and Brian John Stoa.
The Kentucky sate teams have been announced; congratulations to those fine shooters. You can view them at the KTL website www.kytrap.com.
As always, if you have suggestions or need help with ATA-related problems/questions, please contact me, and I will try my best to do so.
Yes, we’re on the leading edge of spring down here in the sunny South. As the weather warms, we hope you veteran trappers have used your winter days effectively and have stored up plenty of shells to get you started this spring. At Capitol GC in Jackson, we stalwart trappers are kicking off the season with a revival of the Catfish Trapshoot April 2-3. It’s a packed two days of good ole Mississippi trap, featuring a 600-target program (200 of each discipline). It’s a great way to shake out the cobwebs, unlimber the trapgun and prepare for the good shooting days ahead.
Coming right on the heels of the Catfish, Capitol is also offering a 300-target monthly shoot on May 7 Then comes the Mississippi State AIM Championships May 21, also at Capitol. Our AIM shooters are just itching to show their stuff and make their mark on the trapshooting world. We are proud of our youngsters and look forward to the day they will step into our shoes, join a long tradition of Mississippi trap and keep our sport alive and well into the future.
Next on the schedule is the big one that everybody is anxiously awaiting. Capitol GC is hosting the 2022 Mississippi State Trapshoot May 26-29. Come see us and join us in this premier trapshooting event. Presquad is open and will remain so until May 15. Need an RV space? Call Jerry Tharp at 601-260-0497 or Judy Boyd at 601-506-6052. The good folks at Capitol are working hard to put their best foot forward and to provide a stellar state shoot in which we can all be proud to participate.
Down on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, our trapper brethren are also in full swing. Coast R&PC continues to offer monthly shoots on the third Saturday of each month and is currently conducting a spring league that meets weekly. For more information and shoot details, contact Brian Harmon at 228-249-6803. If you haven’t visited Coast R&PC, you might want to do so. It is an excellent trap venue that features good old Southern hospitality and offers access to some of the finest seafood restaurants anywhere. Check them out if you haven’t done so. You will be glad you did.
Finally the Mississippi Trapshooting Association is well aware of the rising cost of shooting, soaring gas prices and the general cost of living. As such, we appreciate all our shooters, not only local shooters but those from far and wide who continue to support the sport that we love. We pledge to all our shooters that we will do our best to maintain reasonable prices and look for ways to improve our sport. As always, happy trappin’!
This report will be a bit short, as it is being written in February. While we’ve all had some decent days, we have also had our normal rainy days. I know there have been quite a few Big 50s rained out. Dave Reynolds at Greenville told me there were enough shooters to hold a shoot, but the only thing that got shot was the bull.
No good news on the ammo front. I have been finding a few four-packs of Federals at Walmart at a reasonable price. They also had some 2 3/4 dram AAs at $11.47 per box. I left them there. Our skeet shooters hold a youth clinic annually. They have been getting a good deal on Remington Gun Clubs (Vista Corp.) but when contacted this year, he was told they are “sold out for the year” but would see if they could find some for them.
I am sure there are excess orders in their pile, but until the hoarding and gouging resale lets up, there will be no price drop. Academy bumped their prices recently, not as high as Sportsman’s Warehouse but close. The gun clubs have been getting a smattering of shells, enough to help keep their Big 50s going.
Some scheduling difficulties resulted in Georgia, moving their shoot forward by a week, which put it on top of North Carolina’s Hall of Fame Shoot. Make sure you don’t get fouled up. Our shoot is May 11-15 this year. It’s a a little earlier than most years. I hope to see you at one or more of these shoots.
If anyone is wanting to attend a Satellite Grand in April, you had better head West. The 43rd Southwestern Grand American: April 5-10 at National SC, San Antonio, TX.
The Mike Seitz Memorial Shoot is April 6-10 at Hog Heaven GC, 560 Highway 113, White Pine, TN 37890-4403.
The Georgia State Shoot is April 28-May 1 at South River GC, Covington, GA.
Five Tennessee shooters attended the Spring Grand at Tucson, AZ, with Emma Grace Mathews and Jim Adamopoulos both bringing home trophies.
On a sad note, Tennessee has recently lost two more shooters: Frankie Shockley, 80, from Lafayette passed away Jan. 21. He was active from 1974 to 2001, when he had to retire from shooting due to a four wheeler accident. The retired postal employee registered 35,250 singles, 24,300 handicap and 9,600 doubles during his career. He often shot with Gerald Shockley, his cousin from nearby Scottsville, KY.
On Feb. 11 Randall Taylor, 66, from Selmer passed away. The 2002 Tennessee state handicap champion was a retired lineman from Pickwick Electric and worked as a fishing guide. He was active from 2001 to 2003, registering 7,400 singles, 6,400 handicap and 3,400 doubles. I just happened to be shooting on the squad with him when he made the 27-yard line at Corinth, MS. He shook everyone’s hand and walked off the field, never shooting at another registered target. My condolences to both families. It seems I’m writing this too often these days.
Last month I listed the 2022 AIM All-Star Team from Tennessee but somehow omitted Treavor Lance from the sub-junior category.
Read the new rulebook, please.
For more info, check out our website shootatatn.com. You can reach me at email@example.com.
ATA Southern Zone Vice President
Winter has finally arrived, and with it comes a slowdown in trapshooting in Kansas and most states in the Midwest. This is the time each year that we reflect on the past season and start preparing for the next. It is a time to work on our present shooting equipment and make decisions on whether new equipment is needed. It is also a time to reflect on our accomplishments this year and set goals for next. During the 2021 shooting season, several Kansas shooters qualified for the ATA 2022 All-American teams. Caleb Fischer, Bruce Davis and Harlan Campbell Jr. are members of the open second team. Cody Eye is a member of the junior second team. Captain of the veteran team is Rob Taylor. On the senior vet second team are David Osborn and Kenneth Johnson.
The Kansas Trapshooting Association is proud to honor the 2022 state teams (based on 2021 averages).
Men’s first—captain Caleb Fischer, .9550; Martin Wilbur, .9420; Dillon Stum, .9359; Jesse Secrest, .9227; Fred Smith, .9150. Men’s second—Stephen Schartz, .9031; Jason Dinkel, .9012; James Cooper, .8999; Clark Thrasher, .8999; Ted Grindstaff, .8829. Women’s—captain Morgan Domme, .9043; Deborah Richler, .8956; Jessica Heckel, .8558; Beccy Landgraf, .7789. Sub-junior—captain Logan Pestock, .9044; Max Wineinger, .9019. Junior—captain Cody Eye, .9154; Caleb Secrest, .9096; Evan Selbe, .9033; Andrew Hubbell, .8955; Gillian, Struble, .8531. Veteran—captain Rob Taylor, .9616; James Cox, .9006; Sidney Burkholder, .8896; Carey McAllister, .8726. Senior vet—captain Kenneth Johnston, .9196; Edward Wolken, .8624.
We turn our attention now to the 2022 shooting season in Kansas. Even with winter weather, some of our local gun clubs are open for practice and league shooting. Please try to get out and help support these clubs. The KTA will be having several shoots at our homegrounds, including the KTA Spring Handicap April 22-24; Kansas State Shooot, June 6-12; KTA Fall Handicap, Sept. 15-18; and KTA all-zone shoot, Sept. 30-Oct. 2. We hope to see you at all of our shoots this year.
Well, it’s getting closer to the time of the year that you need to be thinking about the upcoming shooting season. The registered shoots are slowly ramping up around Missouri and surrounding states. Check with your local gun club to see what they have planned. There is a lot of concern as to how many shooters will be attending tournaments this year, especially the smaller clubs. If you happen to get an opportunity to speak with management at your local club, talk with them and let them know what you are planning as far as the shoots that you are going to attend. One of the most difficult tasks in putting together a shoot these days is determining how much labor will be needed to successfully run it. With the ammo situation and escalating prices on everything else, there is a lot of concern that registered shooting will be down this year. It’s too early to tell at this time, but based on attendance at the Spring Grand in Tucson, the larger shoots may not be affected as much as the smaller shoots.
Speaking of the Spring Grand, I had the opportunity to make the trip and shoot Grand Week. Not too proud of my scores, but had a good time anyway. There were 20 Missouri shooters in attendance this year. Two of them, Kelan Kinion and Ethan Boyer, secured two trophies each, while Zach Nannini and Rick Cisiewski each brought one trophy back to Missouri. For the most part, the weather was somewhat good, definitely better that the weather in Missouri that week.
Plans are in full swing at MTA for the year, getting the upcoming state shoot put together, along with all of the other events that are scheduled. Look for some changes in the way the programs come out for this year; it will be one program that is mailed for most of the year’s shoots. Due to some of the issues with the shoot management software changes, there will be a different system used for pre-squadding this year. I won’t elaborate on why but just know that it will not be the same, which always brings challenges. If I can be of assistance with anyone, please don’t hesitate to contact me or someone to help. Please be patient with us, as we are working diligently to make these changes happen as seamlessly as possible for all.
During the 2022 Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, three shooters were recognized with a Special Achievement Award: Gary Gooch, David Deitch and Hunter Spruill for making the ATA All-American first teams. Congratulations on your accomplishments. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this is a good time of the year to take a look at the current rulebook and brush up on it or read through it if you haven’t done so in the past.
2 Timothy 2:5—And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
If anyone has anything they would like to have reported or has any concerns, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-863-9003.
During winter days there is not much news in the shooting world. Jolly holidays have gone, and days are stretching longer. I am anxious for days in the sun and shooters on the line. Fall and the Spring Grand have long passed. I would like to share a picture of Casen Calkins in an Autumn Grand shootoff. One of those rare motions in pictures where the timing was just impeccable.
News for New Mexico is the change in our state shoot date. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the new date for the 2022 NMSTA State Shoot will be May 17-22 at the NRA Whittington Center at Raton. I hope you all attend. This was a dreadful decision for NMSTA, but we are going to make this another great shoot to attend. I look forward to seeing you there.
As the shooting begins to ramp up, I am sure I will have more stories and communications for you all. Thanks to all who shoot New Mexico.
The derby season continues to be affected by winter weather systems passing through Oklahoma on the weekends. A quick recap of OTSA derby results on Feb. 13. Singles had 17 shooters; class winners were: A, Nathan Lemke, 50; B, Kevin Nanke, 49; C, Tim Mount, 45; D, Ronald Fennell Jr., 48. Handicap had 14 shooters with a four-way tie at 45: Mitchell Wyatt, Levi McGee, Spencer Scotten and Richard Decker. Doubles (10 shooters) winners were: A, Mike Grove, 45; B, Scotten, 45; C, Mount, 41; D, Nanke, 44. After several weather-related cancellations, Mother Nature finally cooperated, and Shawnee hosted a derby Feb. 19. Singles had 20 shooters. Class winners were: A Lemke, 47; B, Larry Higgs, 48; C, Kaleb N, 45. Handicap had 18 shooters, with three breaking 44 to split first: Larry Higgs, Kaleb N and Bill Dean. Doubles finished the day with 14 shooters. Class winners were: A, Lemke, 46; B, Johnny Wilson, 42; C, O. J. Lindly. For complete results, visit the OTSA website and tap on the 2022 Oklahoma Trap Shoots link.
The 2022 Oklahoma shoot calendar is set. April and May will be busy, with most of the clubs across the state hosting a combination of full programs and Big 50s. For all the details, please visit the OTSA website and click the 2022 Oklahoma Trap Shoots link on the top of the page.
The Oklahoma trap community lost a great shooter in February, Gene Sears. Gene had a fantastic shooting career that started in 1954. He went on to win 39 Oklahoma state titles, 24 Grand American trophies, numerous ATA Southwestern Zone and other state trophies. Gene was an All-American 21 consecutive years. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1982, Trapshooting Hall Fame in 1983 and National Sporting Clays Association Hall of Fame in 2009. For a complete list of Gene’s accomplishments, please visit the Trapshooting Hall of Fame website [Also see THE Secret in this issue—Ed.].
Congratulations to Gary Nichols for surpassing a combined 500,000 registered ATA targets.
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 405-694-1790 or e-mail email@example.com.
I hope you get to read this before the Southwestern Grand gets started at the National SC in San Antonio. This is going to be a great shoot. I know Royce Graff and his staff have done a lot of work to get ready for it. If this gets to you before the shoot, get off your butt and get to San Antonio. If you have already made your plans to be there, come by and say hello and bring an up-to-date average card.
I would like to congratulate the two newest members to the Texas Trapshooters Hall of Fame. Being inducted this year are Darin Clawson and J. R. Long. Congratulations and welcome to the TTA Hall of Fame!
I have a whole bunch of near worldly famous “fatman attaboys and attagirls” to pass out. In absolutely no order whatsoever (except the way they are listed on my Big Chief tablet), here we go. Patrick Crawford has now registered more than 100,000 combined ATA targets. Gene Messick has now registered 25,000 doubles targets, while Danny Thomason has fired at his 75,000th. Sonny Cook shot his 25,000th handicap target, and Gene McDaneld has registered his 75,000th. Philip (one L is correct) Stewart has fired at more than 25,000 singles targets, as has James (Buddy) Huff. Darin Clawson has registered 50,000 singles birds, while Pat Thomason fired at his 75,000th. That’s the “attaboys”. Now for the “attagirls”. Joneel Harris and Jerri Webb have both shot more than 100,000 singles targets. I don’t know if the “special” target was broken or not because no one let me know, but congratulations to each and every one of you anyway.
I have some names of young shooters who participated in the January 2022 Rodeo Warm-Up in San Antonio: Cooper Caswell, first place, Senior 1, American trap, and third place, Senior 1, modified trap; Brant Pruitt, first place, Senior 1, modified trap; Colton Christian, champion, Senior 1 American trap. Now on to the S.A.L.E. JSO 2022 that had 1,057 young shooters participate: Christian, modified trap champion; Sidney Coffin, third place, girls’ modified; third place, girls’ sporting clays; fourth place, super sporting; Gunnar Frank, Age Group 2 modified trap, fourth place; Jackson Hallabough, Age Group 1 fifth place, American trap; Oliver Meador, Age Group 2, first place, American trap; Harrison Meador, American trap, tied for fifth Place; Matthew VanWay, Age Group 1 modified trap, second place; Witton Ley, first place, modified trap. My thanks to Tess Clark and Alan Stimpson for sending me this information. Not all these kids are ATA or AIM members, but I hope everyone who knows these young people will help steer them to our Texas AIM and ATA programs. If I missed any names, it’s because you didn’t send them to me. Congratulations to all these young shooters.
The Spring Grand in Tucson is over, and we had shooters there representing Texas. The following is a list of the highest Texas shooter in each event. This is not broken down by special category or is a winner’s list, it’s just the top Texas shooter in that event. Event 1 singles, Larry Tagtmeyer; Event 2 handicap, J. R. Long and Ray McNeice; Event 3 doubles, Tagtmeyer; Event 4 doubles, Dale Clayton; Event 5 singles, McNeice, Nathan Parker and Tagtmeyer; Event 6 handicap, Jeff Webb; Event 7 singles, Charlie Long, J. R. Long, Tagtmeyer and Gary Sherrod; Event 8 handicap, Sherrod; Event 9 doubles, Tagtmeyer; Event 10 singles, Don Rackley; Event 11 doubles, Harmon McCurdy; Event 12 handicap, J. R. Long; Event 13 singles, McNeice, Sherrod and Greg Surber; Event 14 handicap, Troy Collier and Jennifer Rutger; Event 15 singles, Surber; Event 16 handicap, Collier, Rutger and John Spangler; Event 17 doubles, Tagtmeyer; Event 18 handicap, Rutger; Event 19 singles, J. R. Long; Event 20 doubles, Collier; Event 21 doubles, Rutger; Event 22 handicap, Collier; Event 23 singles, Webb; Event 24 handicap, J. R Long; HAA, Rutger; and HOA, Collier. That’s the list I have, and I would like to thank J. R. Long for putting this list together and sending it to me.
Now fast forward to the rulebook. That hardly ever read book says that you will present an up-to-date average card at the time of classification. I still have my list, and I will have it with me. You never get your name off of the list, but I promise you will not like me much (not that you did anyway) if you get your name on it three times. If this happens, it will be your fault, not mine. This is your warning, so don’t get mad when it happens.
We still have two zone shoots on the calendar. The Zone IV shoot will be held at Waco T&SC May 20-22. The last zone shoot is Zone I at the Amarillo GC June 17-19. Both of these will be really good shoots to attend. They will be well run and a lot of fun to attend. I hope to see you there (with an up-to-date average card).
The Texas Trapshooters Association has a brand new website. Our new web address is shoottta.org. Yaani-Mai Gaddy has designed and agreed to manage the site with no cost to the TTA. When you see her, please thank her for her contribution to our Texas shooters. Thanks, Yaani-Mai. You can see our new Texas state team members list on the new site.
I didn’t preach much about reading the rulebook, so you’re getting off lucky this time. If you have news, please let Princess or me know about it, so I can include it in these ramblings. Remember, I do not do Messenger, I do not do Messenger. You can call me at 806-679-6889 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or snail mail me at 907 S. Main St. in Hereford, TX 79045. Stick a fork in me, I’m done.
Till next time, y’all shoot well, y’all shoot often and y’all have a great time.
The Spring Grand American: Who would have thunk it? Despite a perfect storm conspiring against trapshooting, by that I mean COVID, the labor supply, lack of ammunition and the high price of fuel (I paid $4.35/galon for diesel in Casa Grande), we are on the rebound. Attendance was up 17.5% over last year. They came from 50 states and provinces as well as four countries. California led the pack with 102 shooters. Australia and New Zealand were represented, and there were 36 that came from Canada, all arriving in monster trucks with their horns blasting away. It’s great to see our northern friends back.
Mother Nature cooperated, and except for Tuesday and Wednesday of Grand week—wind on Tuesday and light rain on Wednesday, the weather was pleasant. Temps ranged between the mid 60s to mid 70s, and many a pale face became tan. Shootoffs were concluded by 6 p.m., with one exception, and what an exception it was. It took 16 rounds of perfect shooting to decide the Singles Championship, and that’s on top of the 200 straights in the event. Scott Obenchain of Colorado, aka Mr. Pink for his colorful outfits, defeated Ohio’s Austin Jacobs for the title. It is a toss-up who was more exhausted at the end, the shooters or the spectators.
Almost every club is complaining about the shortage of help, and Tucson had to scramble, but thanks to Doug Sims and the gang, the shoot ran with the usual Tucson efficiency. I spoke with a number of first-timers, and all said that they would be back. The Spring Grand American is truly the highlight of trapshooting’s winter season.
For Arizona competitors, I can best describe our results as manic-depressive. We had our moments of glory and some dry patches. Gerry Williams got off to a good start with a 99 in the opening event, the Flagstaff Singles, but fell short by one in the carryover. We then had to wait until Event 7, the class singles, when Karen Bergman tied for Lady II. However, she also became a carryover victim. There were no carryover problems for Deborah Mattson in the Preliminary Handicap; she won Lady II outright. The gals then really turned it on in the Tucson Doubles Championship. Sophie Nostrom, a more than welcome addition to the Arizona scene, took Lady I in a three-round shootoff, and Karen Stingl put away the putter and picked up her gun to win Lady II.
Grand Week began with the Preliminary Singles, and Thomas Broden was ready. His 97 tied for Class C, but he lost on a forfeit. The Premier Singles, Event 15, had three of our guys tied in their various classes: Canyon Ferris, AAA; Mark Yarbro, A; and Bill Simons, C, but all were done in by the carryover. Now you know why I call it the dreaded carryover. Jeff Mervin, however, made short work of all the other veterans on a very blustery Tuesday in the Prescott Handicap. Teammates Jim Copsey and Tim Robb tied for AA and senior vet, respectively, but were carryover causalities in the Yuma Doubles. Tim turned right around, however, and won the senior vet trophy in the Pleasant Valley Handicap that afternoon, while David Landwerlen took 25-26. Friday started with the Doubles Championship, and Karen Bergman fell one short in a Lady II shootoff. That was followed by the Caesar Guerini Preliminary Handicap, and Mark Mattson triumphed in sub-vet by winning a shootoff by three birds. Nostrom then won the Lady I Singles Championship, no shootoff for her, and Tom Schmidt reigned in Class D. That brings us to Curtis Bietz.
Now you may remember that Curtis was a recent Rookie of the Year and winner of the Autumn Grand Handicap. He came oh so close again. His sparkling 99 tied for high gun in the Spring Grand Handicap; he is obviously a man for all seasons, but he lost out in the shootoff. He did take the sub-veteran crown and won the Hall of Fame Contributor Award Trophy. He also picked up two yards in the process. Curtis, you are embarrassing the rest of us.
Smoke and chips: Casa Grande held their Kick Cabin Fever Shoot Jan. 19-23 and had a nice turnout. CG shoots are very popular this time of year with our winter visitors, but there were some nice performances by Arizona folk too, and singles were a strong point. Randy Winch tied for high gun in Event 7, winning Class A, then took AA in Event 11. Our old friend Bob Dobbs just keeps rolling along. His 97 was best in C in the Event 7 singles. Darrell Goen’s 99 also tied for high in the final singles, and Mac Mackerman won D. Event 14, a handicap, closed things out. Zach Abel and Eli Angel, try saying those names together fast, tied for 19-21, and Charles Chapman won 22-24.
Meanwhile, way out west, Tri-State shot Big 50s Jan 23 and Feb 13. First the January results: Gene Crawford and Robbie Love were high for Arizona in the singles and won A and AA, respectively. Next came the ’caps, and the field was led by Justin Tarr followed by senior vet Larry Adam. Doubles was the last event of the day, and Love was tops on our side with Kevin Allen one behind. The February shoot followed the same order, singles, handicap and then doubles. Mike Petrisko led all with a 49 in the singles. David Shute, Ed Lovelace and Love were one back. Senior vet Von Riesen was three ahead of the field in the ’caps, and Mike P., who seems to be making a specialty out of doubles, was high with 46. And this time it was not in the morning—an inside joke.
Around the state: I know we are winding things down a little, but don’t despair and don’t pull your hair, there will be birds aplenty in the air come April and May. Pleasant Valley goes into action April 22-24, while Ben Avery shoots April 30. Cochise has a one-day event May 8, and Casa Grande has one on the 14th. Don’t forget Big 50s every Monday at Casa Grande, and Rio Salado has a singles marathon on the first Thursday every month as well as a doubles marathon on the third Thursday.
See you on the line.
Although snow has come and gone in Las Vegas in the last few days, most of the winter has been conducive to shooting. The Nevada State Trapshooting Association (NSTA) continues to provide interesting and fun registered shoots in southern Nevada, and shooters from all over are taking advantage of the opportunity to shoot at one of the finest facilities in the country, the Clark Co. SC (CCSP).
On Feb. 5-6 the NSTA held an innovative 300-target event, the Big Silver Shootout. Fifty-two shooters competed for 50 ounces of silver, which included a separate draw event. Any shooter posting a score ending in an “8” in the Event 3 handicap was entered into a shootoff for 10 oz. of silver. In the Event 1 handicap, Jacob Dent (UT) posted a 96 to top all shooters. In the Event 2 singles, Jon Slinker was high with 99. In the Event 3 ’caps, Jon Rue (AZ) and Nathan Vizzo (CA) tied with 94s. Rue prevailed after a two-round shootoff, and Vizzo took mid-yardage honors. In the high-over-all, Dent was the winner, which earned him 5 oz. of silver. J. Slinker was the 27-yard victor; Utahn Dale Erickson took 25-26 and Reuben Quarnberg (UT) took short-yardage. Sam Boatman (CA) was the vet winner; Leticia Slinker of Las Vegas won ladies’, and Barstow shooter Jacob Ridge was the junior winner. Each yardage or category winner earned 1 oz. of silver. In the 10 oz. Silver Shootout, seven shooters made the draw. In her first ever shootoff, Slinker went 24-23-25 to win the event. Excellent shooting under pressure and not surprisingly, Leticia was also successful at the subsequent Spring Grand. Husband Jon was the proud spouse!
Speaking of the 2022 Spring Grand, Nevada had a good turnout, with 15 shooters attending. In the Preliminary Week, Eli Walker won vet in the Event 2 handicap, posting a 97. Walker also won his category in the Event 4 doubles with 94. During Spring Grand Week, Rich Bullard smacked 97 targets in the Event 14 handicap to take the 27-yard trophy. Walker was the vet all-around winner with 387. Congratulations to two very fine shooters from northern Nevada. The Nevada highlight of the tournament was Letica Slinker’s 96 in the Handicap Championship to win Lady I. Great shooting! Finally Barstow shooter and frequent Las Vegas shoot attendee Jacob Ridge shot a very fine 97 in the Event 18 handicap to get his punch to the 27-yard line. Congratulations to both Leticia and Jacob.
Feb. 19 was the monthly Big 50 at the CCSP. Despite losing shooters to the Spring Grand, 40 competitors from five states took the line. The winner’s circle in the Event 1 singles was crowded, with John C. White (PA), Jerry Harms (NV) and Carmine Romeo (NV) all posting 49s. In the Event 2 handicap, Big Bob Clawson (NV) smoked a 49 to earn a one-yard punch to the 23.5. Excellent shooting, sir! Texan Philip Stewart was right behind with a 48. Harms won the Event 3 doubles with 43 and was also the high-over-all winner with 137, edging out Gary Rusch and White, both of whom shot 136.
Upcoming events include the April 2 Spring Doubles Marathon (500 dubs), the monthly Big 50 on April 16 and the Spring Handicap to be held May 21-22. All three events will be held at the CCSP.
Until next time, keep shooting.
We’ve finally been able to get some shoots underway here with various government lockdowns and restrictions easing somewhat.
The Thames club had to cancel the Christmas Shoot, but we were able to hold our Independent Transport sponsored Handicap Shoot Jan. 8; see the report in Trap & Field. Patangata CTC located in the mid North Island also had a shoot on the same day, but no results were provided. It’s a great club in a beautiful location and will host the NZ ATA Provincial Championships next year.
The Taupo club hosted this year’s provincials Jan. 13-14 with 30 odd shooters both days. We had great summer weather both days with just a slight increase in wind the second day to make the doubles a little more challenging. The club trialed online registration and payment, which greatly reduced the work for the office. Unfortunately there were limited photos of the winners taken with a cell phone, so not everyone was represented in the full report in Trap & Field.
Saturday and Sunday was the Taupo club championships, generously sponsored by Falcon Ammunition, Laporte Targets and Ron Thomassen Logging.
Saturday was 200 singles. Winners were: first, Jarrod Mudford, 196; runnerup, Vance Butcher, 195; third, Grant Nilsson, 190. B class, first, James Sullivan, 187 (James also won the junior singles jackpot); runnerup, Mark Binny, 179; C class, first, Oksana Kahlenberg, 149; runnerup, Doug Carrick 131; veteran, Les Clarke, 183; junior, Ethan Mudford.
All the winners were rewarded with ammunition, generously sponsored by Falcon Ammunition, a premier shell loaded in New Zealand.
Sunday was a little more challenging with a lot more wind for both events.
Handicap, sponsored by Laporte Targets: first, Vance Butcher, 96 ($1,000 in prize money); runnerup, Ian Evans, 90 ($700 in prize money); third, Grant Preston, no score provided ($300 in prize money); ladies’, Oksana Kahlenberg, 73; junior, James Sullivan, 86; veteran, Dave Peck, 81. Doubles: winner, Stephen Pearson, 91. A, first, Roger Bidois; runnerup, Jarrod Mudford, 88. B, first, Ron Thomassen, 83; runnerup, Mark Binney, 78. C, first, James Sullivan, 76; runnerup, Dave Kahlenberg, 74; ladies’,Oksana Kahlenberg, no score provided; veteran, Kevin Barbridge, no score provided.
All the winners received Winchester ammunition, generously sponsored by Thomassen Logging
HAA winner was Vance Butcher with 371×400.
Unfortunately no photos of the winners were provided.
This year the Taupo club decided to present a life membership to one of the most deserving shooters, Les Clarke. A huge congratulations. Les has been one of the back bones of clay-target shooting in New Zealand for a long time, not only as a participant but a big supporter and coach to young up-and-coming shooters but also willing to help all shooters, men and women. Les is one of the few who actually has the knowledge and skill to be able to recognize what someone needs to do to resolve a problem and move their shooting forward. To his credit, he doesn’t blow his horn about what he’s doing and even more so has never charged school level shooters for his coaching. A huge courtesy given, he actually knows what he’s doing with years of experience.
Then at the Thames club we had the Ross Card Memorial 200 Singles Shoot Feb. 5 to honor the person who got ATA shooting started in New Zealand. See shoot report and winner’s circle photo in an upcoming issue of Trap & Field. Sadly the Memorial Cup Mary Card had made and donated to the NZ ATA was returned damaged and dirty.
The Taupo club held a 200 singles event Feb. 6. No shoot information or photos were provided.
I can be reached at email@example.com.
Before I get into the main feature of this article, I want to mention that I just returned from the Spring Grand in Tucson, AZ, where 24 Utah shooters had fun in the sun. I won’t spend a lot of time reporting on this shoot since the results are fully covered in this issue. The two main highlights are that Daxton Cook broke 100 in the twin-bird championship, and Chris Kinder broke all 200 championship singles.
On a sad note, Shon Thomas, former Trap & Field Rookie of The Year (1987) and an all-around great shooter passed away Feb. 14 while in his sleep. He was 59 years old. Shon shot on and off for 15 years. He didn’t amass many targets, but I can assure you that he broke most of those he shot at! Rest in peace, Shon.
Holladay Gun Club
Continuing where we left off last month on clubs that have closed, this month we will visit Holladay Gun Club.
Holladay GC was probably the first real club that I set foot on. The name was derived from the suburb in which it resided. The club was located on what is known as the East Bench of Salt Lake Valley.
Now comes the monthly “totally useless trivia.” The East Bench is technically the shoreline from what was the ancient Lake Bonneville. Lake Bonneville took in about a third of the state of Utah, parts of southern Idaho and eastern Nevada. The lake dried up about 18,000 years ago and left the Great Salt Lake. Whenever people talk about the drought we are having, I remind them that we have been in one for the last 18 or so millennia.
Holladay GC opened in 1954 and closed in 2008. It was a member-owned club on leased ground. The club had five trap fields, three skeet fields, duck tower, rifle and pistol ranges, and toward the end of their run, 5-stand. The club wasn’t the best place to shoot trap because one field faced due south, overlooking Big Cottonwood Canyon. The other fields faced due west. At one time, the club hosted at least one small ATA shoot a year. They probably quit the ATA in 1995. The main bread and butter were the skeet shooters. A bunch of old-timers showed up three days a week and shot three rounds of skeet. My father was one of these old-timers, and I know he did this for at least 15 years. It was almost a blessing that he passed away a few months before the club closed. He would have been lost had he not been able to have the club as an escape.
Another big draw was the Thursday night sliders under the lights on Trap 1, the south facing one. Sliders are a game where you shoot from the 22-, 24- and 26-yard lines, then back in reverse order, thus “sliding” back and forth. Quite often you could hear shooting on Thursday night well past 10 o’clock.
Most who shot at Holladay during the winter have fond memories of walking into the clubhouse and being hit by the smell coming from the coal-burning stove. I am sure breathing in the acrid air was probably not good for you, but it was an odor that was very familiar and friendly, one of those things that allows the brain to take you back to your younger days.
The big bore rifle range had about 20 benches. Ten days before the opening of the general deer season, shooters would be five deep all day long waiting for their turn to sight in their guns.
Just to the west of the club was a very large gravel pit. This was the demise of the club. It slowly encroached on the skeet fields and four west-facing traps, undercutting the bench like Pac-Man nibbling away at it. The last five or so years is when 5-stand had become popular at the club, since the 5-stand course, along with the rifle and pistol ranges, were the last areas to be eaten up by the growing hole from the gravel pit.
This is actually the club that started it all for me and my trapshooting career. One blue-bird day, my father, brother and I were sitting in a duck blind with no luck at all, when my brother Leonard said, “Let’s go up to Holladay Gun Club and shoot a round of trap.” Approximately half a million targets later (including practice), I am still at it.
ATA Western Zone Vice President
I sincerely hope that by the time you read this, we are enjoying some spring weather instead of the frigid temperatures being experienced as I write in late February.
A number of shotgunners from the Evergreen State escaped the Northwest’s winter for at least a week to attend the Spring Grand. I love to brag about our homegrown competitors when they travel out of the area to test their skills against those from all over the ATA world. I’ll let you read the results in later pages of this issue, but I’m going to give accolades to one Moses Lake resident who showed what he is made of on the last day. Mark Vandeweghe blasted a 99 from the 27-yard line and 25 straight in overtime to walk away with the handicap championship.
Mark’s achievement that day at the Tucson T&SC was not a surprise to those of us who know him. He has been a double tough clay buster since early in his career, and a lot of hardware has been packed home to his Columbia Basin residency to prove it. Mark should never be counted out in any event, especially a handicap. As he showed in February, it doesn’t matter who else is there. Each shooter just has to break the targets presented, and Mr. Vandeweghe did a good job of that!
We are in the heart of our registered shooting season now, as almost every weekend in April and May has some ATA targets flying. Walla Walla is the destination for the Washington State Shoot in May. I’m going to let the cat out of the bag and announce that Mark and Travis Icksic will be inducted into the WSTA Hall of Fame during this year’s festivities. Mark has been a threat to win at any shoot, and Travis has won almost everything there is to claim in these parts as well as several notable victories at the Grand American, the most prestigious of those being the 2016 All-Around with 397×400. We are proud to have this father-and-son team join our hallowed wall in 2022, and the ceremony in which we do so is reason enough to attend the shoot and see just what you can do over the four- day run at the Walla Walla GC.
I would like to thank WSTA Past President Dale Kinzel for applying his talented woodworking skills toward displaying the Hall of Fame at its new location at the Colton GC. Several ideas had been tossed around, then Dale and Margie stopped by the club one day and inquired as to what we were thinking. Not one to sit idle in retirement, Dale put his creative gears in motion and is making an incredible backdrop to display the images of our Hall of Fame members. We think you will be impressed with the finished product and hope you will make the trip to Colton in June or the ATA Western Zone in July to put some ATA targets on your resume and see what Dale has created.
Don’t forget to check our website www.shootwsta.com for the schedule of shoots happening in our state and take the time to take a kid or new shooter to your club and get them hooked. We look forward to seeing you on the line and in the clubhouse at all of the clubs supporting the WSTA and ATA this spring and summer.
Shoot straight and keep your powder dry.