Hi, everyone. I have finally recovered from the Grand, and it was great! Wonderful scores and people all 10 days. Illinois shooters scored regularly in all the categories, yardage groups and classes throughout the tournament. There are so many I can’t mention them all, so look at the shoot reports in Trap & Field Magazine. There are some notable events that I do want to talk about. In the team races, the veteran, senior veteran and junior gold teams all won first place. The junior, sub-junior and Lady II teams won second place. Good shooting, everyone. Ricky Merriman came out of nowhere and won the Grand American Handicap with 100 straight. This is one of those Cinderella stories that the Grand is famous for through the years. Congratulations, Ricky, on a job well done. Finally, Landon Sievers continued his scorched earth summer by winning the HOA. Landon has won wherever he has gone this year. It is fitting that he wins the award that shows continued excellence throughout the entire shoot. Congratulations, Landon; you continue to amaze me.
Because of all the shooting that has gone on the last month, I have a boatload of milestones that have been reached. At the 25,000 plateau, David Buker, Thomas Clark, Stacie Segebart and Debbie Hale have reached this in handicap. Stanley Crow and David Masko reached this in singles. At the 50,000 plateau, Ian Lawrence, Norman Lemay, Dennis Baker and Rick Arkebauer have all done it in handicap. At the 75,000 plateau, Marvin Kuebler did it in doubles, and Lynn Hamlin did it in handicap. At the 100,000 plateau, Frank Payne did it in handicap and Kent Temple, Mark Johnson, Garrett Helms and Ron Wolf did it in combined targets. Finally, Leland Hassler has shot 200,000 doubles. If you add all these targets up, this is one hell of a lot of shooting. I am in awe of all this shooting.
Sadly, I have to report the passing of two Illinois trapshooters. Eldon Trent was a very colorful individual. When he showed up at a trap club, you knew you were in for a laugh or two. He was also a really good shot in his day. I know his friends miss him terribly. Mike Miller was a fixture at southern zone clubs and clubs across the Midwest for years. He was a good man, a better friend and a damn good shot. It is hard for me to think of going to shoots knowing they will not be there. Rest well, gentlemen.
I want to tell you about a gun club that everyone should go and shoot at some time in their shooting career. The Chillicothe SC is located a few miles north of Chillicothe on Route 29. It is affectionally called Chilli by everyone who shoots there. It has four trapfields and a nice clubhouse with some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. The club is unusual in that you shoot into a levee that holds back the Illinois River. Because of the brown, green background, they shoot white targets day and night. I know this sounds strange, but they stand out well and are easy to break. It is a great place to go, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a good place to shoot.
Shoot well, have fun and support your local clubs.
I’m writing this just after the Cardinal Classic, which was just after the Grand American. Because of my wife’s untimely fall and subsequent hip replacement, I couldn’t get to the Grand this year. She’s much improved and able to get around reasonably well with a walker. I saw and talked with many Michigan shooters at the Cardinal Center. I won’t try to name them all, as I certainly would forget three or four. I did have a chance to shoot doubles with OTSA and MTA Hall of Fame member Carl Chadwell, which is quite an excellent experience. He did share an odd fact; he’s never shot handicap from the 26-yard line. He was at the 25.5 and got punched a yard and a half to the 27 and has stayed there for many, many years.
On my singles squad was MTA Hall of Fame member Roberta Rutledge. Bobbi noted that she’s about 1,600 singles targets short of 75,000. I didn’t hurt her singles average any, as I was shooting right behind her. The laughter had time to die off by the time she had to shoot again.
Henry Bahr has gone over 100,000 total combined targets, and F. Darryl Hayes is just a few short of 25,000 doubles targets. That’s a lot of good shooting, guys!
By the time you read this, the MTA will be done for the season. The Fall Team Shoot will be in the record books, and the Fall Brawl will be done for another year. The Fall Brawl may not be familiar to some; it’s a one-day, non-registered event for high school seniors and younger youth. It’s not a huge shoot, but more than 400 are expected, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that number is exceeded.
Remember, even though the homegrounds in Mason is wrapped up, your Schedule of Invitational Events booklets show lots of clubs are having shoots pretty much every weekend.
Until I see you at one of the clubs around the Great Lakes State.
- B. Lewis
Greetings from the North Star State. I am writing this one day after returning from the Heartland Grand, where the Stockdale GC was hosting the 16th annual event. HOF inductee Dale Stockdale, Matthew and the rest of his crew did a great job running the shoot. Despite very hot weather conditions for the first two days, attendance was up slightly from the past year. There were 51 Minnesota shooters who classified and participated. If you have never been to one of Dale’s shoots, bring plenty of shells, as you have an opportunity to shoot a lot of targets over the week. Among the top finishers from Minnesota were: Jack (Sprat) Knaus, who took a few days off from his studies at NDSU to win the singles with 200 and 75 in shootoff. Peter Walker continued his great shooting, especially in the handicap events, as he posted three 98s and a 97, winning trophies in all four handicaps. My traveling partner, Troy Haverly, came out of a mini-funk to break 99 in the championship handicap, although he had to settle for the sub-vet title after a 22 in the shootoff. Dean Neumann topped all vets in the HOA. Among the trophy winners from Minnesota were: Abigail Malecha, Nick Kubasch, Leo Brand, David Smith (Bemidji), Rochelle Bethel, Scott Gens, Mike Peck, Randall Jones, Brennen Boltjes, Glen Linden, Glen D. Lonneman, Mike and Ann Huper and Derek Fischer. A number of these shooters won multiple trophies. Congratulations to all of you. As always, my apologies to anyone who I omitted.
A short history lesson is in order at this point. Beginning in 1682, Peter the Great was the Tsar of Russia. His methods were often harsh and autocratic. That sounds a bit like how our version of Peter the Great treated the handicap competition for most of July and August. He followed up the 100 in handicap in Wisconsin and the $10,000 win in Iowa with another 100 in the Trap & Field Handicap (winning in a shootoff), giving him three 100s in a span of 19 days! He was also able to win the Krieghoff Handicap with 99 at the end of Preliminary Week. Congratulations to Peter. As I wrote earlier in this article, he continued his torrid handicap shooting at the Heartland Grand.
Huntersville SP hosted their second annual shoot in August. A total of 46 shooters participated in hot and steamy conditions. New MTA President Perry Nodsle led the handicap with 96, while Randy Cook finished four birds better than the competition in the doubles with 97.
In addition to the great shooting by Walker at the Grand, other Minnesota shooters fared quite well. Among the 58 200s on Clay Target day were Leo Brand, who did not end up with a trophy, despite his good shooting. Michael Beck was third in Class D after a 198 in that event. Knaus was one of 25 shooters to break 100 in the Doubles Championship, and after getting to the last four in the shootoff, settled for the junior gold title. In the GAH, Walker was 27-yard runnerup after 98, and Frank Redfield was third in vet with 97.
When you read this in your October issue of Trap & Field, trapshooting in Minnesota will be nearly over for the season, and many shooters will have their hunting shotguns out. Good luck to all of you hunters this fall.
I can be reached at 507-456-2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul T. Cyr
For ATA Delegate Randall Jones
With the Grand American and Cardinal Classic over and done, the end of the target year is here. There were 144 Ohio shooters at this year’s Grand American. Congratulations to all who won trophies at the Grand American and the Cardinal Classic. I hope everyone achieved the goals they set for 2023 and have set higher ones for 2024. Now is the time to get the calendar out and make plans for the 2024 season. Shoots include Karen’s Cup, May 24-26; Buckeye Open, May 29-June 2; Ohio State Shoot, June 17-23; Cardinal Classic, Aug. 13-18; and Freedom Fall, Sept. 13-15. I hope to see you on the line this year.
I just got back from the Grand American, and South Dakota had a great turnout of local shooters. Forty-two made the journey and shot at least a part of the tournament. Twelve shooters won trophies: Tanner Becker, Mark Policky, Bill VanNieuwenhuyzen, Chad Vinatieri, Tim Reed, Nick Seiter, Bernie Merchlewitz, Matt and Foster Bartholow, Fred Nagel, Todd Hanson and Jacob Mudder. Matt Bartholow continued to shoot extraordinary doubles, winning the championship for the third year in a row. Had quite a shootoff with 25 total shooters with 100 straight. He gathered 15 trophies at the shoot, including winning every doubles event except the Kubota Doubles. For the year, Matt missed three doubles targets out of the 1,100 he shot at. Amazing! Congratulations to all of the South Dakota shooters who won trophies, and continued good luck to all.
In 2024 the South Dakota State Shoot will be held in Sioux Falls at Crooks GC. Dates are July 10-14. Also on the weekend before, July 6-7, Crooks GC will be holding the 49th annual Fourth of July Shoot. That means shooters can have seven days of shooting in nine days. For camping info, e-mail email@example.com. Sioux Falls has lots of hotels, motels and restaurants in all areas of the city. If you need any info, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 605-940-4578.
Remember to take someone new to the gun club next time you go shooting.
I said to Mike at the Heartland Grand, “I think those new tennis shoes you bought to shoot in at the Grand American are bad luck. Seems you have not shot the same since you have been wearing them.” The next day Mike decided to put an older pair of tennis shoes on. In his attempt to put them on his feet, this was not going to happen. Two left shoes don’t fit very well. The other two rights ones were still at home in his closet. Thank you for the good laugh. Sure, the shooting is important at a shoot, but the laughs are what we remember the most.
A word from your Delegate Kevin Doerring, “ I would like to say thank you to the folks that stepped up to help with shootoffs by scoring or refereeing or any other help that you did”. This really helped out by making shootoffs go smoother and faster.
The Grand American, the biggest and baddest shoot of the year, was held with high honor for Wisconsin shooters. The full list of event winners is in this and future issues of T&F. So much to write about, so many to congratulate for their wins.
The Champion of Champions needs a mention. Brianna Thompson, Lady I, and I shot next to each other in this event, and both ran 100 to win Lady I and Lady II, and congrats to Gerald Demulling for his 100 straight to win veteran runnerup. This was Brianna’s first time competing in the CofC, and she won, so awesome.
This Grand was a very tough one for the squad that I shot with. A dear friend of ours and squadmate completed his career during the Grand. So many of us look at our squadmates and never think twice about seeing them at the next shoot, shooting next to us just like we do at all of the events attended together. But, yes, this is not always going to happen, not always will this special friend be next to you to share the laughs and scores with at the end of the day or shoot. Cherish every gosh darn moment with your squadmates. Awe heck, even give them a hug and be proud to be their friend. It only takes one moment in time to have this slip away and only have memories left. We will miss you, Mike Miller, Illinois shooter.
The Heartland Grand was steaming hot, in the upper 90s for many days. Shooters and workers were looking for relief, but that did not happen for five days. Saturday’s Singles Championship brought cooler temps but wind. This was probably one of the hottest Heartland Grands in a long time. Wisconsin showed strong attendance, with 28 shooters having fun. Congratulations to all of the shooters and to the trophy winners, Dave Mansell, Sandra Jo Jack, Gerald Demulling, George Hass, Kevin Longberg, Donald Labarge, Robert Gropp, John Reeb, Cheryl Demulling, Rich Weisensel and Keith Moldenhauer.
So this is farewell to 2023 shoots and a welcome to the 2024 target year when you read this article. Thank you to all of the clubs that hosted events, volunteers, staff, scorekeepers, trap loaders and board members all across the U.S. Now is the time to get your shooting bag cleaned out and gun polished up for the 2024 season.
Please e-mail me with information you would like to share to email@example.com. Help get your club shined up for the new year ahead; help out in any way you can.
Sandra Jo Jack
For ATA Delegate Kevin Doerring
Hello from the Atlantic Provinces.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Trapshooting Championships were held as a satellite shoot on Aug. 20. Shooters at the St. John’s R&GC and the Stephenville SC participated. Troy Coldwell won the singles, doubles and high-all-around titles. Ed Strickland topped the Handicap Championship with a shootoff win over the 2022 handicap champion John Tucker.
I’m writing this month’s article before the start of the 2023 Atlantic Provinces ATA Provincial Shoot, which runs Aug. 30-Sept. 2 at the Highland GC in Yarmouth, NS. However, complete results will be available on www.shootatlantic.com by the time you receive October’s Trap & Field Magazine. Pre-squad numbers are on par with other years, and we’re expecting a good turnout. In addition to local shooters, we always get a great turnout from visiting shooters. So far we have shooters from Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Alabama attending.
A number of congratulations are in order this month. Barry Turner of Bedford, NS, decided to get his life membership after 142,000 registered targets and 37 years of ATA shooting. Aubrey Spinney from Argyle, NS, and one of the main volunteers at the Highland GC near Yarmouth, NS, shot his first 50 straight in doubles Aug. 19. And Glenn Perfect of St. John’s, NL, who shoots out of the St. John’s R&GC, broke his first 25 straight in singles Aug. 17. Congratulations and good luck at this year’s Atlantic Provinces ATA Provincial Shoot.
For more information on the Atlantic Provinces Trapshooting Association, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit shootatlantic.com.
Well, here we are. Where did the summer of 2023 go? As you may have heard by now, the ATA Board of Directors had voted to increase the daily fees to $4 from $3 and to increase the Big 50 fees from $1.50 to $2, starting Sept. 1, 2023. As we all know, doing business throughout the country has escalated over the past couple of years. The fee increase will be used to increase trophy budgets, help defray the rising costs of operating the ATA office and will result in a 33% increase in the ATA rebate to state and provincial associations attributable to the daily fees. I am happy to report that Grand attendance was up 5% this past August, and with the economic times we are living through these days, that was great, in my estimation. Thank you to all those who were able to attend.
We have several target attainment recognitions. Leading the crowd is Jack Godwin, who reached 500,000 singles targets at the 2023 Grand in August! It was just four years or so ago when he reached 400,000 singles at the Grand. Joe Clarke reached 100,000 combined targets, both David Brown Sr. and Jr. reached 25,000 singles, and Tom Clarke reached 50,000 handicap targets. All of you, continued success in the sport.
The last month has seen the Grand American in Sparta, the Westy Hogans in Elysburg, the Poor Man’s Grand in Pine Belt, the Memorial Shoot at the Mallard TC in Monroe and the Pine Belt Club Shoot.
I cannot say the weather out in Sparta for the Grand was cool; there were a few brutal temperatures to deal with, and for the rest of the 11-day event, it was bearable. Wednesday morning I went out to my bank and was talking with Greg and Sue Smith from Rhode Island, who were on the squad just ahead of mine. They went out to shoot, and I was left looking for the remainder of my squad. Needless to say, it was a one-person squad! Since the Smiths were backed up when I walked to the next trap, I asked the line supervisor if I could join their squad, since there was a vacancy. So thank you, Sue and Greg. Thursday of Preliminary Week saw a lightning strike near a sub-station on site that caused a three-hour delay of the first event of the day. The doubles needed to be moved to Friday morning, and some brave souls needed to shoot at 400 targets that Friday.
Scott Kalnas of Mullica Hills had two 100s in doubles at the Grand. One of the hundreds was during the Doubles Championships. The only problem was, there were 24 other people scoring a 100 that day. Scott’s name had been submitted to be on the Eastern Zone doubles squad. I am happy to report that Scott led the team to a victory this year. The team consisted of Kalnas, 100; Justin Slater of Pennsylvania, 99; Chris Vendel of Pennsylvania, 99; Nicole Hood of Pennsylvania, 98; and Mike Blaisdell of New Hampshire, 97; for a 493×500. Great shooting!
One night I was watching shootoffs, and I ran into Jason French. Jason used to live in Lakehurst. He and his dad had just driven up to Sparta from Alabama, where he now resides. I was happy to read, when I arrived home, that Jason had shot a 98 in the Grand American Handicap on Saturday and took home an 11th-place trophy after the shootoff. Nice going, Jason.
Bob Jarvis recently had an old shotgun that he received from his dad refurbished by Briley. The shotgun was one of those eligible to compete in the Fiocchi Nostalgia Shoot, held during Grand Week. Bob shot well enough to win second place in the event. Others winning trophies at the 2023 Grand were Justin Malone, Tom Clarke, Kalnas and David Brown Jr. To see who won what, just go to the ATA website or see this issue.
The Poor Man’s Grand at the Pine Belt SC in Shamong was being held at the same time as the Grand in Sparta. Tony Pietrofitta, who normally attends the Sparta event, took this year off and channeled his energies to post a 197 to win the singles on Saturday. Marc Invidiato won the doubles on Sunday. John Conway from New Hope PA, led the handicap, and Carey Clark of Tannersville, PA, led the hundred singles on Sunday.
The Dennis Hughes Memorial Shoot was held in late July at the Mallard TC in Monroe Township. The club champion title went to Dan Fishman in the handicap, with Greg Menshoff taking the open title, after both tying with 93s, John Messeroll was runnerup, Mark Sciaraffo took 19-20, Sofia Granata took 21-23 yardage and Fred McDonald and Charlie Lehmann Jr. split the 24-27 yardage award. I forgot to mention free hot dogs and hamburgers were available for the contestants.
Pine Belt had their Club Shoot early this year, Aug. 26-27. They traded dates with the Jersey Devil. The Devil shoot was Sept. 9-10. Bob Jarvis won the singles, Keith Barton topped the handicap, and Rick Batesko won the doubles. To see all the classes and open winners, please go to their website at Pinebeltsportsmansclub.com.
The Mallard TC will be holding Big 50s Oct. 7 and 21. The 13th annual Mallard Fun Shoot will be Oct. 14 with free barbecue for all the shooters.
On a sad note, Nyda Wright informed me of the passing of Jere Cossaboom of Upper Deerfield Township on Aug. 4. He was 78 years old. Jere was born in Bridgeton and graduated from Bridgeton High School in 1963. He then attended gunsmithing school in Colorado. Upon graduation, he moved to Upper Deerfield Township, where he resided until his passing. Besides gunsmithing, Jere enjoyed going to Quinton SC on Friday nights and Sundays, bowling, and being a ham radio operator, He was a member of the NRA and the Free Masons. Jere registered 38,850 singles, 21,000 handicap and 22,300 doubles targets during his ATA career. He is survived by his wife Constance (Connie); a daughter Betsy; a son Andrew and wife Crista; three grandsons; and a sister, Kathy Swift Farmer.
If you have a question or an idea for an article, I may be reached at 732-546-7910 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Eastern Zone Vice President
Greetings from New York State. I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe and healthy.
Some target achievements to be mentioned are: Wally Wagner Jr. and Randy Lineman, 25,000 handicap; Brian Euscher and Don Rada, 75,000 singles; Tammy Wildenstein, 100,000 combined ATA targets; and Don Alderson, 100,000 singles. Excellent, and keep on shooting those targets.
The ATA Eastern Zone Shoot was held July 20-23 at the PA homegrounds in Elysburg. A total of 88 New York shooters attended. Trophy winners from New York were David McMasters, Keith Miranda, Michael Waschitz, Bob Edwards, Chad Landon, Simon Grech, Urban Womer, Heidi Womer, Tomasso Schiavo, Jim Woodhams, William Wallis, Brian Euscher, Don Alderson, Vincent Barranco and Dave Cichelli. All trophy winners can be viewed on Bob Stewart’s webpage www.rjstuart.com and in Trap & Field Magazine. Good going by everyone.
The Grand American is now history. A total of 44 shooters from New York made the trip to Sparta, IL, to attend the Grand. I believe everyone who attended had a great time.
The New York State ATA will host four tournaments in 2024 at the homegrounds in Cicero. They are the Empire Grand American, May 8-12; New York State Shoot, June 26-30; ATA Eastern Zone, July 18-21; and Northeastern Grand American, Sept. 4-8. All of us on the board of directors of the New York State ATA hope you 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. May God bless you all.
Greetings from Ontario, Canada.
As I write this article in late August, the current target year end, Aug. 31, is quickly approaching. Ontario shooters have had some impressive accomplishments, both inside and outside our province. I will recognize some of them, as the list is extensive.
For the first time ever, one of our shooters was the captain of one of the All-American category teams (Lloyd Beecraft, 2023 veteran captain). Verne Higgs got his ATA Grand Slam by shooting 100 straight in doubles during the Grand Prelim Week. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this, a Grand Slam is a combination of 200 straight in singles in an event of that length, 100 straight in doubles, and 100 in handicap from the 27-yard line. According to the ATA website (courtesy of Trap & Field Magazine), at the end of the prior target year (Aug. 31, 2022) there were a total of 517 shooters throughout the ATA who have achieved this distinction. We now have five Ontario shooters on the list: Pete Tsementzis (1995), Paul Shaw (2004), Dave Storring (2014), Lloyd Beecraft (2017) and now Verne Higgs (2023). There will be more to come; we have some very good shooters.
I have commented recently on the pleasures and challenges of RVing. Many trapshooters have Class A motorhomes, some have fifth wheels, others have Class B units, and others yet have Class C units. Years ago I towed a pop-up tent trailer. My wife Bev has been waiting for more than three years for a knee replacement.
Our Canadian health care system has advantages in that it is universal care. Some say it is free. It isn’t. Our tax dollars pay for the service we get. And sometimes service is poor with long wait times and inefficiencies. RVing has been fun for the most part, but when she eventually gets her operation, hopefully in October, there will be a convalescence period, and we will be finding a hotel that takes pets or a kennel that takes humans.
I have written about Lloyd Beecraft many times in my articles, but I have one story that, in my opinion, needs to be told.
Lloyd has had some health challenges for much of this target year. It has impacted negatively on his shooting, on his work and otherwise. However, it looks like he is on a fast track for recovery. Lloyd and his (our) shooting buddy, retired veterinarian Bert Blackburn, each got German shorthaired pointer puppies. The puppies were siblings, and Lloyd’s female puppy is now about 14 months old. Both of these dogs have been going through extensive training, and both recently qualified for “natural ability” from the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association.
The breeder offered to help Lloyd during his health challenges by taking the dog back and looking after it for a while until Lloyd was able to resume. Well, the dog is back with about seven to eight puppies with her. Apparently, a stray lab paid a visit. Lloyd’s wife, I am told, is not impressed. Lloyd is likely not going to be able to attend the Heartland Grand. I asked Bert whether the offspring will be pointers, retrievers, both or neither. Bert says it is too early to tell, but chances are these puppies may be excellent hunting dogs. Time will tell.
Anyone want a hunting dog pup? Maybe call Lloyd?
One last thought. I have always been impressed with the honesty of our shooters. As I hurried to leave Sparta to return home, I finished the Grand American Handicap and inadvertently left my shooting bag behind. I talked to Katy at the ATA, and someone turned my bag into the lost and found. Thank you.
Good shooting in the new target year!
We finished the month of July hosting the ATA Eastern Zone at the PSSA. Leading up to the shoot, the weather reports were for rolling thunderstorms for the first three days. Fortunately we didn’t get any of the storms during the event. Attendance for this year’s shoot was off compared to 2021, when it was last held in Elysburg. Overall attendance totals were 3,296, down 15.3% from 2021 and championship totals, were 1,278, down, 14.6% from 2021. The championship totals still qualified the event for an All-American points factor of 5. Congratulations to our Eastern Zone champions: Chris Vendel from Glen Rock, PA, singles; Richard Batesko from Whiting, NJ, doubles; Ben Snyder from Middleburg, PA, handicap; Shane Biser from Thurmond, MD, HAA; and Michael Fontello from Middletown, DE, HOA.
From the Zone to Sparta, IL, for the Grand American. Pennsylvania had 92 representatives in Sparta, with 28 of those shooters bringing home 72 trophies. Deborah Ohye-Neilson continued her season-long dominance of the Lady II category, hauling in 25 trophies, including placing in all the major cumulative HOA and HAA events. Brandon Deal (two) provided a spectacular show during the ATA World Clay Target Championship with a 200 in the event and taking the extra rounds to 800 more before settling as the runnerup. Wesley Beaver (four) smashed 100 from the 27-yard line in the Grand American Handicap to shoot off for the title, ending as junior gold champion. Congratulations, gentlemen, on a fantastic showing in these prestigious events. Keystone’s other winners in Sparta include: Joseph Bowers (two) with a class HOA, Evan Wirth with a preliminary class HOA, Kim Bateman with category preliminary HOA placement, William Natcher (two) with preliminary category HAA and HOA placements, Brandon Hood (three), Genevieve Davis, Donna Natcher (two), Cody Davis, Clare Schaffer (two), Chris Vendel (two), Elmer Ebling, Bethany Breighner (two), Ben Snyder, Douglas Worrell, Jacob Bonser, Justin Slater (three), Dexter Pratt, John Vandine (two), Nicole Hood (two), Ken Darroch (three), Sheldon Hostetter (two), Ian Darroch (two), Marcy Plunkett, Ron Ostrowski Jr. and Travis Foose. Congratulations to all for your accomplishments at the Grand!
On the way home from the Grand, we had 106 shooters stop at the Cardinal Center in Ohio, with 24 shooters winning 60 trophies. Handicap seemed to be of importance to Keystone shooters, as we crowned champions in three straight events. Event 7 was won by Evan Wirth (four), Event 9 was won by Stephanie Wrisley (three) with 100 straight, and Event 11 was won by Chris Cohoon (two). Donna Natcher led the way with eight awards, including category HAA and HOA, Brandon Deal (five) earned Class HAA, Richard Milbert (three) captured category HOA, and Christina Byrd (two) won category HAA. Our other winners were Jon Zadzora (three), John Guda (three), Joshua Bok, William Natcher (two), Connie Kern (three), Nicholas Wertz (two), Bruce Schmidt, Kelly Ramsey (two), Chris Vendel (three), Richard Stefanacci, Wesley Beaver (four), Mark Ferdinand, Ian Darroch (three), Philip King, Cody Patrick, Nicholas Oyler and Eric Welsh. Congratulations to all of our PA shooters!
We also finished the shooting season at the PSSA homegrounds with the 117th Westy Hogans. Overall, attendance was down 10% from last year with 1,674 total entries and down 7.5% in the championship events with a total of 849. The All-American points factor was set at 4 for this event. Congratulations to our championship winners: Daniel Fadden from Cicero, NY, singles; Ronald Wechsler Jr. from Schnecksville, PA, doubles; Michael Fontello from Middletown, DE, handicap and HAA; and Bethany Breighner from Abbottstown, PA, HOA. Congratulations on a fantastic ending to the season!
I’d also like to thank our sponsors of this year’s Bash-for-Cash at the Westy Hogans. These sponsors provided additional monies and prizes for shooters who completed the HAA events. Thank you to USA Pork Packers, Liberato Steel, Miller Recycling, Nick Fantanarosa, Breckinridge Paper, Brian James and Pat Geiser. With the help of Shyda’s Services, Lincoln Traps and White Flyer, we were able to host a 5-stand event on Friday and Saturday of the Westy Hogans this year, which provided a fun outlet from the competition trapfields. Shooters had the opportunity to win various prizes provided by White Flyer, Federal, Winchester, Breckinridge Paper and Shyda’s Outdoors Center. The event turned out to be a huge success, with more than 200 shooters participating. Thank you to the sponsors for making this event come to fruition.
Plans are already in place to have it back at various shoots next year. Next month I’ll have some personal milestone achievements that shooters achieved throughout the year and hopefully some updates on year-end awards from the ATA All-American Teams and PA State Teams.
ATA Alternate Delegate
I start this article off on a sad note. Shelby Sockwell of Cherokee has passed away. Shelby was a longtime shooter in Alabama with more than 371,000 lifetime targets. Please keep Shelby and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
I hope everyone had a good time at the Grand. There were some good scores, good food and as always, good ice cream. Even though there wasn’t any mint chocolate chip, concerns were noted! Check out all the scores and highlights from the Grand in this month’s Trap & Field.
I hope everyone can make the Rebel Yell Shoot at the Dixie TC Oct. 28-29. As always, Bill Parson is making sure everything will be ready to go.
Joke of the month: A sign seen on the front door of a local business: Praying is the best way to meet the Lord . . . but shoplifting is faster!
Word of the month: Git: To acquire. “If you’re goin’ to the store, git me a six-pack of beer.”
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 any news to report, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello all from the most Southern, Northern State!
Florida trapshooting is in full swing, and there are just too many shoots for me to post who did what. Please refer to Gun Club Scores in this issue or shootscoreboard.com.
Recently I have been asked, “How can I make it into Trap & Field Magazine?” Good question. A few ways come to mind, and the first being you or your gun club representative contact me about your outstanding achievement. Another is by ATA recognition. For example, shooting your first straight or making AA or AAA and the 27-yard line status.
I just got back from the Grand, and it was awesome!
There were more than 3,000 shooters from all over the world, from I don’t know how many countries. Dee and I were there for 12 days. Had some excitement too. On Friday, the 4th, in the wee morning hours there was a nasty storm including a lighting bolt that a hit and left the entire complex crippled until lunch time. Talk about a panic! But being the professionals that the ATA management are, we/they got through it without losing an event.
Florida is in great shape with our shooters and especially with our youth. We had 55 shooters who represented Florida, and that was about 14th for entries.
I don’t really want to start naming names in this little article because there are so many who need to be more than just mentioned. But I’ve got to tell you Dax DeMena was a giant among men. Dax had missed one target on each of his first two boxes in the championship singles then went more than 400 straight without a miss (that’s two misses in more than 600 targets). He ran the first 50 in the shootoff with some pretty stiff competition. I also have to mention Cody Meredith. Cody is a sub-junior, meaning he is 15 or younger. Cody was on the leader board for about every event. He is a special, dedicated individual. For example, we had a scheduled time for 8:30 a.m. on Thursday for a Florida group picture. When Cody wasn’t at the shoot, I gave his father a call to see if they were running late. Nope! Cody was at the practice field getting ready for the day’s first event. That’s dedication, folks. The Rangel brothers entered the 28-gauge challenge on a last minute thing because they could and won! Another shout-out needs to go to Ken and Delia Sippel. They received their 35-year patches for Grand attendance. Great going, Silver Dollar, for another Mega Target Award (fifth overall in the nation).
The list below is Florida event trophy winners:
Event 3 doubles, Cody Meredith, sub-junior third. Event 11 handicap, Adolfo Miliani, seventh place; Meredith, sub-junior runnerup. Event 14 doubles, Lewis Knack, vet runnerup. Event 15 singles (200), Hidalgo Rangel, AA third; Jim Godez, C; Jake Jacobs, D runnerup. Event 16 handicap, Miliani, sub-vet runnerup. Event 17 doubles, Scot Lauderback, D fourth. Champion of Champions, Meredith, sub-junior. Event 19 handicap, Patrick Larsen, vet third. Event 21 singles (200), Jacobs, D runnerup. Event 23 handicap, Chris Coomer, sub-vet third. ATA HOA, 1,000 targets, Jacobs, D third. ATA HAA, Jacobs, D third. HAA Prelim Week, Meredith, sub-junior runnerup.
So congratulations to all of the above for representing Florida.
I will try to keep all of you informed and entertained with what’s going on in Florida. I want to especially recognize shooters and clubs.
My e-mail is email@example.com. Thanks for the opportunity to serve.
As I write this note for the October edition, the date is Aug. 25, and Mississippi, not unlike other states, is in the midst of a massive and intense heat wave. Today is the 20th day that temperatures have been over 100º F. Numerous high temperature records have fallen already, and no relief is in sight. We are not alone, as most of the country has been suffering very high temperatures. As I look back at recent weather records, the last hundred years or so (keep in mind the span of a hundred years is very, very brief in geologic terms) the data indicates weather is cyclic—as it has always been. One must wonder what people thought in Mississippi in 1902, the 1920s, the early 1940s, the early 1950s, 1990, and 1980 when the temperatures were setting record highs and record number of days over 100º F. The record for days over 100º F in central Mississippi is 46 days in 1902. In 1980 there were 29 days over 100º F, and 1952 had 26 days over 100. In 2011 there were 20 days over 100º F, and 2023 may have exceeded that by the time this is printed. The point I am making is that weather and climate have been changing and has been cyclic since God created the Earth and set it on a path of landform evolution, resulting in the landscapes as we know today. Weather has always been a topic of conversation as we live at extremes and talk about averages. Sorta like standing with one foot in boiling water and one foot in an ice block—on average you feel okay. Not really, but you get the idea. We live at extremes and talk about averages. I have lived my entire life in Mississippi, and it has always been hot in the summertime, but I have never been this old before, so I try to take it with moderation. In my work in cotton production, a weather factor I looked at closely was dew point. We all know what dew point is and understand that when it is over 70, it is very oppressive (to plants and people). Being in the humid south, it seems our dew points have been well in the mid 70s all summer. Living here all my life really does not condition you to think those conditions are comfortable.
Fall is approaching, and hopefully the weather is moderating. Fall conditions for us are usually excellent for registering and stockpiling targets before the onset of cold-wet-rainy-windy winter days. There are several things I have learned this year that I hope I can remember next year—I would write it down, but I would probably forget where I put it. One of those things is the importance of staying properly hydrated. Dehydration can lead to other health issues that can be serious for shooters of all ages, especially those of us in the older shooter ranks and the younger ones too. This past summer, the importance of staying hydrated became very evident as I witnessed shooting friends succumb to its ill effects. One lesson learned is that water is great, but often needs a little help. There are numerous sport drinks available to supply electrolytes and hydration. If you have blood sugar issues, be very conscious of the sugar content of the products you use. There are several specialized products available that provide more than ample electrolytes but are low in sugar. I am not going to recommend a program for you, but this fall and winter is an excellent time to study that and develop a personal hydration strategy for next year. Just know that there are several excellent products available, and my advice is to choose one and not only drink water but include an electrolyte beverage in your hydration protocol.
Just to mention a few great trapshooting opportunities in Mississippi this fall: Capitol GC in central Mississippi, Starkville GC in northeast Mississippi, and Coast R&PC in south Mississippi all have monthly trapshoots set on the ATA calendar. Visit the ATA site for dates and programs.
If you are looking for a short getaway near the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, a shoot you should not miss is the Fall Classic hosted by Coast R&PC, just north of Biloxi. The Mississippi Gulf Coast offers many family activities and some of the finest fresh seafood in the country. CRPC always provides excellent hospitality and shooter support. Dates for the Fall Classic are Oct. 12-15. Make plans to attend.
As shooting days begin to wind down for winter, it is an excellent time to do cleaning and maintenance on your shooting equipment. Have vest or shooting belts that need repair? Do it this winter so you are ready for next spring’s shooting. The winter months are excellent times to clean your guns, check all your springs, firing pins, etc., and have needed repairs done before next spring. I generally use the winter months to disassemble my trapgun, replace firing pin springs, replace the top lever spring or any other items in need, properly lube it and have it ready for the next shooting season. That does not mean that nothing will break next year, but it sure helps.
Everyone, be safe, and I look forward to seeing you on the trapline.
What a wonderful Grand American! North Carolina was well represented by Marty Hill, Greg High, Hunter Galloway, Jeff Galloway, Brad Barnett, Tiffany Decker, the Cantrell family, Steven, Rademacher, Gary Parker, Curtis, Mathews, Terry Roush and a few others from around the state. Brandon Cantrell ran his first 200 straight during the Grand. Hunter Cantrell won his first Grand American trophy!
The weather held out for the most part with a few scattered showers and plenty of summer heat. The grounds were in really good condition. The targets were excellent, and the scores were high almost every day. If you haven’t been to the World Shooting & Recreational Complex, you owe it to yourself to visit at least once. The director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources spoke during the opening ceremonies and assured us that the folks in Illinois want the WRSC to be successful and there for the long haul.
Once again, if I can be of service to any shooter regarding ATA issues, please e-mail me at Bob.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Grand was like many other Grands with a wide variation of weather conditions. Preliminary Week had the big storm, which knocked out power for quite a while, which resulted in one event being moved to the next day. Grand Week was really pretty nice with just one morning with some light rain for about 30 minutes. Some partly cloudy skies and one hot day. Not unbearable but hot.
South Carolina had 14 registered shooters. Teresa Knight had some great scores during Preliminary Week and earned a trophy. Doug Stenback won C class doubles with 97.
Rodney Raines shot some 96s in handicap and earned two half-yard punches. He also had a good 16-yard total, but you have to break them all. Some of the rest of us shot some really good scores that would have won something at our local shoots but not at the Grand. In the Clay Target Championship there were 58 200 straights. Competition was super tough; you needed to break them all then get ready for a shootoff.
As you know, daily fees are going from $3 to $4, and Big 50s get a 50 cent increase. We all know inflation has hurt us in our everyday needs. Well, the ATA got hit as well. For most of us, it will be a pain but won’t kill us. For the 20,000 per year shooters, it will probably add $50 to $60. Our South Carolina association has the same problems. We have lost money the last six years (don’t know about this year yet), so we have followed the ATA numbers of $1 per day for regular shoots and 50 cents for Big 50s. There were no other rule changes.
In the achievement department, Randy Knight has reached 75,000 singles. Keep smoking them, Randy.
With fall weather ahead of us, more 100-bird events at local shoots should be coming up.
I hope to see you at the next shoot.
Hog Heaven’s Mountain Days Shoot is Oct. 19-22 at White Pine, TN.
There were 118 Tennessee shooters who classified at Sparta, with the following shooters winning trophies: Robert Smith, Bubba Burks, Caleb Clayton, Graden Duckworth, Hunter Tipler, Herman Chandley, Channing Garrett, Brooke Barnett, Richie Bolin, Allie Watson, Riley Bellomy, Brady Duren, Jacob Harmon, Rodger Hawkins, James Spruill, Jeffrey Duren, Steve Russell, Mitchel Loveless II, Colby Lancaster, Scott Hawkins and Tyler Honnold.
Several shooters have recently reached target milestones: Vernon Beasley reached 50,000 doubles, while shooting at the Southern Zone in Berea, KY. At the Grand Bubba Burks shot his 25,000th singles target. Rick Sweeney shot his 25,000th doubles target, and Barry Allen shot both his 25,000th singles and 25,000th handicap target. Bob Pierce shot his 100,000th singles target at Sparta, becoming only the 20th Tennessee shooter to reach that goal.
Colby Lancaster shot his first 200 straight during the CTC. Jeff Duren shot a 99 during the Blaser Handicap for a first-time move to the 27, and Allie Watson arrived at Sparta on the 21-yard line and left on the 26-yard line.
Read the new rulebook, please. For more info, visit out website at shootatatn.com. You can reach me at email@example.com.
Congratulations to our Arkansas 2020 All-Americans: Logan Applegate, sub-junior; Rhet Baxley, junior; Logan Henry, junior gold; and Alan Sharp, veteran. Great shooting, guys; you’ve represented Arkansas well.
I would like to share a story about a little gun club in southern Arkansas doing big things:
The Camden GC was built in 1947 by the Army Corps of Engineers. At that time, the armed forces thought if the gunners practiced on shooting moving targets, they would become better at their job. In the 1960s, the Shoemaker Facility was bought by Lady Bird Johnson, and the airport and surrounding buildings came under the control of the city of Camden. There was a time when the gun club sat empty until a few shooters leased the property and opened it back up to trapshooting.
The club has had many owners over the years but continued to throw ATA targets a few times a year. Ben Forte started managing the Camden GC in 2001 after moving to Arkansas in 2000. In 2002 Ray Bearden bought the gun club from the previous owners, and although we have had two owners since, we throw ATA targets every Saturday from March until October.
Our state has been blessed with our Arkansas G&F Youth Shooting Sports Program. They started the program (AYSSP) for all schools in the state to participate. They give each school enough targets and shells for five rounds to get started each February. Most schools raise funds to shoot as often as they can. In May there are four regional shoots. The top 16 from each region make it to state. Sixty-four teams from the juniors (sixth through eighth grade), and 64 teams from the seniors (ninth through 12th grade) shoot for the state championship. Camden has been blessed to be the home range for Camden/Fairview, Harmony Grove and Smackover. We also have Magnolia and Columbia Christian using our facility a few times a year. All told, we have over 200 young shooters coming to Camden for practice and instruction. Other than our ATA shoots, we have two AYSSP tournaments a year. We host 60 teams (300 shooters from all across the state). Each shooter fires at 50 targets. Teams consist of five shooters, with most schools having multiple teams. The top three teams receive trophies in each of the junior and senior divisions. It is a very busy day for us, as we shoot 15,000 targets on three traps. Nora Martin Ross just gave a clinic Sept. 12-15 at the club. Our young shooters had nothing but great things to say about Nora and had a great time learning.
The Camden GC has three traps. The fourth has the posts poured and will be up and running in the next two years. We have a completely remodeled clubhouse with a brand-new front porch (12×32), an 800-square-foot pavilion with picnic tables, and a grill for entertaining. There are two covered table areas behind the trapfields and three large shade trees for those hot Arkansas days. Camden has one of the best backgrounds in the state, combined with throwing the straightest targets with the most spin. The club has a few campsites, and if you’re traveling through south Arkansas, they would love to have you stay and break some clays.
A special thanks to Ben Forte for taking the time to give us this information. I definitely encourage you to check out this club when you get a chance.
Be sure to check out the ASTF website for a list of shoots to get your 2020 target year started. There are several going on around the state.
Galatians 5:25—If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless.
This Old Gun
I was at one of the local sporting goods stores, just killing time, browsing slowly along one of the many racks of new and used shotguns on display. I stopped when I heard a female voice say, “Dear, you know we can’t afford a shotgun that costs this much, not even at the sale price.”
Looking to my left, I saw a young man and woman standing at the end of the rack. The man was of average height and weight, and the woman was attractive. When she turned sideways, I could see at a glance she was in a family way (or as the young people like to say, she had a baby bump).
As soon as the couple left, curiosity got the best of me, so I hurried to where they had been to see which gun they had been looking at. To my surprise, the gun in question was a very nice old Winchester Model 12. Picking the gun up, I realized it was almost the same as the one I had at home in my gun safe. It had the same Winchester duckbill three pin rib that mine had. They both had American walnut stocks and forearms. While both guns looked to have been made about the same time, this gun hadn’t been used nearly as much as mine, for the original bluing was still about 85 to 90%. Opening the action, I could see no pitting and no primer cupping around the firing pin hole, and the bolt face looked new and unfired. In short, this gun looked to have spent its life hidden away in someone’s closet. I looked at the sales tag and saw the gun had been marked down from $700 to $500, and still no one had bought it. I thought the price of Model 12s must have come down, for I had paid more than $500 for my Model 12 over 30 years ago.
When I got home, the first thing I did was open up my gun safe. I took out my Model 12 and put it to my shoulder then looked down the rib. The feel on my shoulder and the look off the end of the barrel, along with the balance of the gun, made me wonder why I had ever stopped shooting this gun. I thought, “If this old gun could talk, what stories it could tell.” I looked at the scratches in the stock and forearm it had received after falling out of faulty gun racks at more than one ATA shoot. I could see the dent in the rib it had gotten when it had been stolen, only to turn up at the bottom of a drained irrigation canal almost a year later. It would tell of the many ATA tournaments it had won and lost over the years. It would tell of the many happy hours its owner had spent taking it apart, cleaning every part, then carefully reassembling it. It would talk about the happy hours hunting rabbits, doves and pheasants in the farm fields of Colorado and the hundreds of hours it had spent in the cold duck and goose blinds of the western part of the state. Yes, this old gun loved to hunt, but the thing it liked to do best was break clay targets.
I bet a lot of you are just like me, that is, you probably still have some of your favorite old guns hidden away in a closet or locked up in a gun safe. Why not get them out and take them to the Grand American this year? Then if your old gun qualifies, you can shoot it against other guns of yesteryear in the Nostalgia Shoot. You will be shooting against other old guns, just like yours. There may be a few younger shooters who inherited the love of these old guns from their fathers or grandfathers, but they will be shooting old guns as well. Sounds like a hoot to me, so come join the fun.
As I looked at my old gun, I couldn’t help but see myself as a young man with little money. I hoped the young couple at the gun store could somehow manage to buy the gun they had looked at, then take it to the field or the trap range were it and all other guns truly belong, along with their owners.
Labor Day Shoot
I got an e-mail from our northeastern Colorado friend Tim Brough about the Labor Day Shoot out at the Pawnee GC.
The day dawned bright and sunny over the northeastern plains of Colorado for the 11th annual Pawnee Harvest Handicap. The good weather, along with some mighty generous sponsors and volunteers, helped bring out 47 competitors for the shoot.
As we all know, sponsors, along with volunteers, are the backbone of any club and deserve much more recognition than they get. Many times sponsors have opened up their purses so everyone will have a little something extra to shoot for. As we all know, money is just part of what it takes to have a successful shoot. It also takes many volunteers, most of them working behind the scenes. Tim readily admits that this wouldn’t have grown into the successful shoot it is today without the help of sponsors like Don and Barb Blanch of Don’s Diesel; Tappy Oil, Kevin and Kimberly Davis; and NE Irrigation, Gary Fiscus. I’m sure the $1,200 added money helped entice more shooters to the tournament. Tim asks that you join with him in thanking these sponsors and the many volunteers who pitched in to help make this a successful shoot. A big thanks to a great bunch of folks.
Jack Brackett shot his first 100 straight in singles; congratulations, Jack. It is shooters like you who give the rest of us hope.
Winner of the 200 singles was Shane Gillespie; AA, Dale Lebsock; A, Brett Renck; B, Daryl Kindvall; C, Jack Brackett; D, John Buchanan; women’s, Stacy Rehor; junior, Brennan Bringelson; veteran, Thomas Rezanina. Saturday’s handicap, 21-23, Lori Linderman; 24-26, Tom Thomas; 27, Renck. Doubles Championship, winner, Adam Rehor; A, Denis Bringelson; B, Leon Rose; C, Raymond Knox. Sunday’s handicap, 19-21, Jeff West; 21-23, Jim Curtis; 24-26, Scott McIntire; 27, Denis Bringelson. High handicap for the 200 was Bringelson, who also won HOA. Thanks to all the shooters who supported Pawnee and ATA.
Colorado split zone shoot
Once again Colorado had a split east-west zone shoot with four zones on the east side and one on the west. What the shoot lacked in participation, it made up for in camaraderie and determination. This shoot has become what can only be called a friendly rivalry among the five Colorado zones, with southern zone coming out on top this year.
This year’s winning team: AA, Clinton Phipps; A, Dave Petrouske; B, Phillip Schmauch; C, Garrett Murphy; D, Jeremiah Steines. Be sure to congratulate these shooters. Go team go.
Other shooters to be congratulated are ladies’ winner Ashley Teal, junior winner Derek Knutzen and veteran winner Lynn Greenlee. I understand Tammye Macaluso shot her second-ever 100 straight, and Harvey Martinez posted his first ever 200 straight. Congratulations go out to all these fine shooters. Southern zone will have little time to bask in the glory of this year’s triumph, for I know Kyle Vickers, manager of Golden GC, and Delta’s new president Tim Arrasmith are already hard at work preparing to host next year’s east-west zone shoot-out.
A big thanks goes out to incoming ATA President Mike Herman and Jennifer Cartmell for their part in keeping both clubs lined out and running smoothly, and to Carla Lindley, who did a bang-up job with the zone trophies.
I would also like to give a personal thanks to ATA Alternate Delegate Bob Semsack, southern zone VP Dolores Semsack, Pikes Peak’s new trap manager Jerimiah Steines and Carla Lindley for all the e-mails they sent me on this year’s Colorado zone shoot.
The 2020 Colorado State Shoot is not far off. So make your plans now to join me and Steines at the Pikes Peak GC June 17-21. I understand RV spots are going fast, so don’t wait. Call 719-683-4420 or e-mail email@example.com. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fall is in the air—cool nights, hot days. I would like to congratulate Mike Grady on shooting 74,675 handicap targets. I’m sure it is more by the time you read this. The Southwestern Championship was Oct. 3-6. I hope it will be a yearly event. I hope to see y’all down the road. Shoot well and often.
Iowa Park’s shoot Aug. 24 had 35 shooters, and 11 from Oklahoma attended. Pat Stacey won the doubles with 98 and the singles with 100. Chance Fleming’s 96 won AA in doubles, and Dennis Patrick took C. Nathan Lemke’s 99 won AA in the singles. Vickie Farmer’s 96 topped C, and Kya Funkhouser claimed sub-junior. Kelly Thacker and Don Rackley had 99s in A singles. Randy Farmer and Fleming along with others broke 95s for the high handicap score. Randy won champion after several coin flips. My 92, along with four others, was the second-high handicap score. It was hot; we had a southeast wind to keep us cool, but it made the targets difficult. The next day, severe storms rolled through central Oklahoma, leaving destruction and flooding everywhere. There were 96,587 left without power, shutting down entire school districts and affecting some hospitals, police stations and many businesses. Winds were reported at 87 to 90 mph, and one tornado hit north of Edmond. On Tuesday trucks and teams from surrounding states arrived to help restore power. By Wednesday they had the number down to about 38,000, but it took some time due to some sub-stations that were damaged.
Shawnee Twin Lakes TR had a light turnout for their Sept. 1 shoot, probably due to the holiday weekend. Justin Cavett’s 99 won the singles, Johnny Wilson’s 91 won the handicap, and Brian Stoa’s 93 won the doubles. Jeannine Stevens won lady in all three events.
OTSA held the annual Red Earth Handicap Sept. 7-8. Weather was beautiful with bright sunshine, warm temperatures and light south winds. Oklahoma City averages more than 300 days of sunshine each year. The Saturday 500 doubles event had good attendance and great scores. Pat Stacey won champion with 487. He led the third and fourth 100s with 99s. Pat and Nathan Lemke tied on Sunday’s 200 singles with 197s, winner decided by long run. Nathan won champion, missing his eighth target, and Pat missed his first target. Kenyon Bert ran them all on the second 100. In the handicap, Colt Quisenberry and Lyndon Shumaker tied with 96s, again decided by long run. Colt won champion when he missed his 21st target, and Lyndon missed his first target. Look for a complete list of all winners under Gun Club Scores in this issue of T&F.
On Sept. 11, I made a trip to inspect three trap ranges in northwest Oklahoma. My first stop was just west of Hennessey, where I met Rose and Rick Shaffer, Melvin Pospisil and Delbert Torrey. A trapfield has been there since 1978, and recently they built another very nice new field. They have a past schoolhouse and one all-metal pavilion, and they plan to build a second pavilion. They have a large parking area. The traps face northeast and have a clear background. We then met at the restaurant in Hennessey, where Rick bought lunch for everyone. We looked at a packet I brought for them and discussed future plans for the club.
The second stop was just west of Nash, where I met with Troy Skaggs at his farm to inspect his trap range. It faces northeast with an open background. It is a very nice layout with concrete walkways and gravel fill in between.
The third stop was on the east side of Jet, where I met with Roger Diller for the Alfalfa County TR. They had just installed a traphouse acquired from the Hank Davis estate. The house is all metal and faces northeast with a clear, open background. I took pictures and measurements so they can be ATA certified. I left them information packets to help them get started. This gives the area 4-H boys and girls three more places to practice and shoot targets.
Duncan GC and Oil Capital GC held shoots Sept. 15, and weather was beautiful. Duncan is operating on a volunteer basis, so I offered to assist Mike Cook on the classification and anywhere needed. When I arrived at 7:30 a.m., Mike was loading targets on Field 1. We loaded the traps, put out voice pulls, set targets, and set up classification. They had smoked brisket sandwiches for lunch. After only two shooters had signed up by 9:30, Mike had no choice but to call off the shoot. It was decided to cancel the October shoot also. They have some improvements planned over the winter and may schedule more shoots next year. They have a person with a bulldozer coming to clean out the trees and improve the background for shooters. Shooting slows down this time of year, but it does not stop. There was talk that they may have to cancel the last two shoots, but they did get the shoot on the ATA e-mail notification a week before. It went out to 280 shooters in our area. Also the state fair was going on, and a lot of 4-H’ers show animals during the fair. Another factor was the Oil Capital shoot with $2,500 in purses on the same date. It turned out only two shooters from our area attended, but it kept the Tulsa area shooters from coming to the Duncan shoot.
The Oil Capital shoot had been advertised for more than three months. Jeff did a good job of getting the word out, but for some reason, attendance was very low. They had 10 on Saturday and 17 on Sunday. There are more shooters than that in the Tulsa area alone. Oil Capital is a great place to shoot, and it is hard to understand why a two-day shoot with $2,500 in purses would draw only a handful of shooters on Saturday’s singles. Jack Murphy and Pete Wedelin’s 96s were high. Jim Cooper, Jack and Jeff were high in the handicap with 90s. Jeff won the doubles with 95. In Sunday’s singles Nathan Lemke was high with 198, and Jeff was runnerup with 196. Woody Barnes and George Wise led the handicap with 96s, and Pete and Jim were next with 94s. Justin Cavett’s 97 led the doubles, and Woody’s 96 was second. Woody was HAA with 385 and Jim HOA with 649. All scores and pictures are on the website.
Randy and Vickie Farmer shot at Monk Palmer’s gun club in Texas, where they won his special belt buckles. Vickie won two and Randy one.
Mark Medlock won Ada’s Tuesday evening shoot with 49. That target he missed was a 16-yard bird.
I read where an off-duty policeman was denied admittance to the Frontier City amusement park here in Oklahoma because he was wearing his service weapon. A policeman is not going to shoot up an amusement park, but he just might stop someone who would. In the last month we have lost more policemen and military members protecting our freedom. Keep them in your prayers.
Yahoo! It’s nearly my birthday. I know that many of you will have already purchased my birthday gift. Please don’t waste extra money shipping it to me; I’ll just get it next time I see you. Thanks for thinking of me.
Twelve Texas shooters were named to the 2020 ATA All-American team: open first, Dalton Jennings; open second, Randy Foster (Randy finally became a Texan, and we are glad to have him); Lady I first, Jennifer Wilburn; Lady I second, Bridget Bearden; Lady II first, Joneel Harris; junior gold second, Patrick Hopson; sub-vet second, Jeff Webb; senior vet first, Larry Tagtmeyer and Joe Altom Sr.; senior vet second, Gary Sherrod, Charlie W. Long and Marvin Allbright. Congratulation to a wonderful group of people.
I doubt many of you who read this (yes, I’m talking about my three dedicated fans) have ever refereed shootoffs at the Grand. It is lots of waiting and very little refereeing. It takes away a large part of your evening. It’s necessary, but it ain’t much fun. I would like to both thank and congratulate Billy Hopson. He gave up his evening five times at the Grand to referee. There were some who did more, but there were a heck of a lot who did less. Thanks, Billy, for going above and beyond.
I would like to send my congratulations to Dale Clayton. Dale has now registered over 100,000 targets. Way to go, Dale. Keep it up.
I did the classification for a shoot not long ago, and I am still amazed how inconsiderate some people are. There were people who pre-squadded and for one reason or another were unable to attend. I understand that an emergency can happen, or plans can change. What I can’t understand is why you don’t call or send a message to remove yourself from the squad. It is inconsiderate on your part. It also causes people with no control over it to have to shoot short-squadded. It may also cause someone who made a long drive to attend the shoot have to shoot much later than necessary. Please, please, please be considerate of your fellow shooters.
Read the Rulebook. Have an up-to-date average card. Read the Rulebook. Have an up-to-date average card. Read the Rulebook. Have an up-to-date average card. (I bet I wasted time and ink on this paragraph.)
If I forgot something, just let me know, and maybe I will remember it next month. If you have news (or gossip, for that matter) let me or Princess know, and if I remember it, I’ll include it in my column. You can reach me at 806-679-6889 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Till next time, y’all shoot well, y’all shoot often, and y’all have a great time.
With Arizona summer in full force, shooting in the Grand Canyon State is a bit limited, but some clubs are throwing targets to keep the locals in the game. Tucson held a shoot Aug. 20, with 24 shooters participating, and Pleasant Valley TC hosted the Summer Buckle Series with 28 shooters in attendance. Saturday’s singles saw a three-way tie, with Dave Landwerlen, Jacob Juhas and Eric Kaiser sharing the honors with 98 (Dave won the carryover on Sunday with 99), and Walter Allen shot a 100 on Sunday to win the event.
August also brought the ATA Grand American, with several Arizona shooters in attendance. Even with the weather being a bit cooler than average, several days were shot with rain during part of the day.
The Champion of Champions senior veteran trophy was won by Greg Holden with 100. Sophie Nostrom and Dave Landwerlen represented Arizona in this event as well.
With September right around the corner, shooting will be picking up with Casa Grande, Tucson, Pleasant Valley and Flagstaff all hosting shoots during the month. For more information on upcoming Arizona shoots, please visit the Arizona Trapshooting Association website at www.aztraps.com.
Before we dive into the big event, known as the Grand American in Sparta, IL, let’s talk about the precursor shoot that takes place prior to it. The Western Zone Shoots takes place all over, and California is no different. This year the Western Zone Shoot for California had one location in the state, It took place at the Kingsburg GC. The Western Zone shoot takes place at 11 clubs on the West Coast. Kingsburg was able to bring home five of the trophies from the Western Zone. The first trophies for Kingsburg came from the Event 3, class doubles: Chayton Vega, AAA, 98; Jimmy Heller, vet, 99. Event 5, championship doubles: Joseph Banaducci, A, 97; Heller, vet, 99. Event 6 Handicap Championship: Maximus Workman (a sub-junior), 96.
Next up we have quite a few shooters who make the pilgrimage to Sparta, IL, for the Grand American. I would tell anyone who has the opportunity to go to Sparta and compete, just do it; you will not regret it. Some noteworthy milestones achieved at the Grand American this year: Doug Gustafson reached his 100,000 handicap target attainment on Tuesday at the Grand American. What a milestone, Doug, and that is some great achievement. On Friday of Grand Week, Chayton Vega achieved his combined 100,000 target attainment. Winners included: Event 4, MEC Outdoor Singles, A, Keith Baker, 100. Event 8, Gipson-Ricketts Handicap, junior, Ethan Prescott, 99. Event 9, SOS Clays Doubles, junior, Cory D. Walker, 99. Event 12, Graf & Sons Doubles, junior runnerup, Walker, 99. Event 13, Blaser Handicap, junior, Prescott, 99. Event 15, Winchester AA Class Singles Championship, AA fourth, Walker, 198; vet, William Sergent, 199. Event 17, Wenig Class Doubles Championship, A fifth, Dale Sterling, 98. Event 18, Wendell August Champion of Champions, vet, Steven R. Smith, 100. Event 19, Challenger Ammunition Handicap, 27 third, Walker, 97. Event 23, Caesar Guerini Preliminary Handicap, vet third, Smith, 97. Event 24, Fiocchi Grand American Handicap, Lady I, Ellie Alvarado, 98.
That was some great shooting by all who attended, and hopefully some memories were made. I look forward to seeing everyone back in California. Safe travels, everyone. Thank you, everyone, see you at the next big shoot.
First I’d like to recognize a couple of target milestones. Scott Abo just went over 75,000 singles targets, and James Larson is getting very close to the 25,000 mark. Congratulations to these dedicated shooters!
Well, the Grand American is over, and champions announced in the magazine. But here’s just a little news pertaining to Idaho shooters. We had a great showing, with 15 shooters participating. Those shooting were: Scott Abo, Marc Banner, Levi Bradley, Bruce and Keith Bradley, (the whole Bradley family was there participating in one way or another), Chester Carter, Kent Graham, Michael and Gwendolyn Houser, Kelli Kennedy, Kyle Perry, Russell Pierce, Butch Watson, Leonard Wehking and Grant Williams.
In the Champion of Champions event, we had four shooters representing Idaho. Michael Houser represented the Idaho champion, while his daughter Gwendolyn was shooting for junior gold. Also shooting were Russell Pierce for sub-vet and Bruce Bradley for sub-junior. We should be proud of these shooters.
On top of all the contests, each state was allowed to submit a team for the championship singles. It was based on the high shooters from their state Singles championship. Thirty-three states and provinces submitted teams. Idaho placed eighth. Not too bad! Shooting for Idaho were Bruce Bradley, Kent Graham, Russell Pierce and Michael and Gwendolyn Houser. They shot 988×1,000. The winning state was our neighbor, Washington, with 995. Next year we’ll take ’em!
In other news at the Grand, Chester Carter (Alternate Delegate) and I attended the annual Board of Directors meeting (includes all Delegates and the Executive Committee). We were given a very thorough overview of where the ATA was financially and how the target world fared this last year. As a result, the board voted to raise the daily ATA fees from $3 to $4. The vote was not unanimous, but there was a majority, with some abstaining and some against. Other voting resulted in Ryan Constanti becoming our new Western Zone Vice President and William Cook as ATA President.
Meanwhile, back on the homefront, Pocatello held their 40th annual Gun Shoot. They threw 1,100 targets and averaged about 100 shooters. This is a shoot everyone should attend. To find the scores and winners, go to SOS Clays and find “40th Annual Gun Shoot.”
The 2023 target year ended Aug. 31, as did my term as ATA President.
August was a slow month for shoots in Utah, with only Helper and Spanish Fork registering targets. Attendance was good at both locations with plenty of good scores.
The big news, of course, was the Grand American. Twenty-one Utah shooters ventured to Sparta, IL, to partake in the festivities. Most were glad they went. I know of several first-timers who made the trek. Seeing the wide-eyed look on their faces made me smile, while they were in awe at the spectacle. It was nice to visit with Shalako Gunter; her parents, Bobbi and Jared; and her trusty sidekick, Cal the dog. Dale Erickson was also a first-timer, as was Paul Niemeyer.
The weather at Sparta was typical for the Grand—hot, humid, rainy, windy and sunny. In other words, the whole gamut. One day during Prelim Week, it rained very hard, and lightning caused a power outage. The third event of the day (doubles) had to be postponed until the next day. That meant the next day was a 400-target day. Management and staff did a great job pulling off a very busy day. The sweat bees also added to the environmental issues. Those little buggers are a real nuisance.
The scorers, loaders, line managers and trap-setters did exceptional work. The trap help was some of the best I have ever seen at the Grand.
As for Utah shooters and good scores (I am sure I will miss some), Joe and Quint Sudbury, Grayson and Mike Stuart, Bobby Street, Sean Hawley, Sharred Oaks, Craig Hart, Pam Wright, and Robert and Leslie Hight all put up top scores.
You can look up each event’s score and query by state to see how all the Utahns did.
Attendance for the Grand was up about 7%. That was a nice change. Ammo was also in abundant supply.
On the first preliminary day, I shot handicap with a few people I did not know. A gentleman named Charles Howard (Kentucky), who was shooting from the 26-yard line, posted a 97. I asked him if he had ever been on the 27-yard line, and he replied, “No, but I hope to make it soon.” I replied, “Well, you just did! That 97 was an automatic yard increase, and you are now on the back fence.”
I asked him if he knew who I was. He did not. I was wearing my official Mickey Mouse shirt and not an Executive Committee shirt. I told him who I was and that I had a 27-yard pin in my bag, which I gladly presented to him while his wife took a photo. They were both pleased.
As if that wasn’t enough, I shot with two young shooters I didn’t know in the afternoon doubles, Kelan Kinion (Missouri) and Aidan Master (Arkansas). They both pounded all 100 targets as if it was an everyday occurrence for them. I said, “The way you two hit those, I would assume that was not the first time for either of you to break a 100”. They both said, in unison, “That was my first time!”
I asked them if they knew who I was (still wearing my official Mickey shirt), but neither did. I told them who I was and I had Grand American 100 straight pins in my bag. I had one of their fathers take a photo, while I presented each of them with their pins. They both attend Lindenwood University and are on the shooting team. Kelan was also the 2018 Grand American Handicap champion.
Moments like this make me happy to see the joy on people’s faces when they hit a new milestone. I was glad I could be part of the excitement.
ATA Past President