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Dave Price Blog



June 6, 2010

Hello shooters!  Our 100th Michigan State shoot is only weeks away now.  The MTA Board of Directors is committed to making the 100th anniversary of this prestigious event the best ever.  Many exciting events are on schedule during the week, you won’t want to miss a single day.  Please plan to attend and be a part of history.  Remember Michigan shooters this is your club, come out and support the MTA and experience a sensational shooting event.

Let’s drop back in time to the 1920 Michigan State Shoot.  The article from The Sportsmen’s Review begins with: The 1920 Michigan State Trapshooting Tournament held at the Battle Creek Gun Club, on July 5th and 6th was a success in every letter of the word.  George Slaughter is mentioned as the dark horse in the competition several times throughout the article.  George went on to win the State Championship by breaking 287 X 300 outpacing 114 competitors in the event.  The State Handicap championship went to T. Danaher from the 19 yard line with a score of 94 X 100.  George Slaughter tied Mr. Danaher for the handicap title but lost in the shoot-off.  The handicap yardage was noted as 19 – 22 yard.  Evidently the 22 yard line was the longest yardage shot during this era.  The article also noted that the best work in this event, however, was turned in by Homer Clark, who smothered the smithereens out of 96 from the 22 yard line.  Unfortunately, Mr. Clark was classed as a professional and was not eligible for State Championship honors.  Claude Eckman captured the Doubles title with a score of 40 X 50.  His score was topped by seven other individuals who were either non-residents or professionals.  It appears that several of the competitors were classed as professionals and were not eligible for State Championship honors as they shot in a class of their own.

The 1921 Michigan State Trapshooting Tournament was also held at the Battle Creek Gun Club on June 12th, 13th, and 14th.  J. A. Fesler captured the Singles championship with a 198 X 200.  It was noted that S. M. Hanna close at his heels as he powered 97 of the first century and his only miss in the second century was a balk target.  Harry A. Bauknecht and H. F. Bopp tied in the main handicap event with 96 X 100.  Bauknecht won the shoot-off by a single target and was the popular winner demonstrated by the ovation of the crowd upon completion of the shoot-off.  George Slaughter returned to capture the Doubles Championship with a score of 45 X 50 and the HAA with a score of 329 X 350.  Mrs. L. G. Vogel captured the Lady’s crown with a score of 182 X 200.  The 1921 event featured a two man and five man team race.  The two man race was won by Mr. Slaughter and Mr. Vandervort with 98 X 100 and the five man team race was won by Fesler, Hanna, Galbraith, Slaughter, and Babcock with a score of 484 X 500.  Howard Hall was praised at the event as the efficient, ever-willing manager of all Michigan tournaments.  Mr. Otis C. Funderburk presented a $300.00 (Wow! $300.00 in 1921, what a trophy) watch to be given as a trophy for the highest score in the last 100 targets of the Singles event.  Fesler, Slaughter, and Hanna all tied with 99 X 100 the shoot-off went two rounds with Slaughter winning with a perfect score.

The 1922 Michigan State Trapshooting Tournament was held at the Jackson Gun Club.  Unfortunately, there was no date given for the event.  However, it does say in the article that the Championship Singles was shot on Decoration Day.   Since that is a term for Memorial Day I must assume that the event was held during the Memorial Day weekend in 1922.  The Championship Singles title was captured by J. N. McLoughlin, of Detroit, with a score of 198 X 200.  No Handicap or Doubles champion was mentioned in the article.  The Michigan Gun Club League held a meeting at the shoot to determine where the 1923 Michigan State Trapshooting Tournament would be held.  It was unanimously decided that the 1923 event would be held at the Petoskey Gun Club.

The 1923 Michigan State Trapshooting Tournament was held under sunny skies at the Petoskey Gun Club on July 7th and 8th.  The event opened with the Championship Singles.  Eighty-five contestants competed for the Singles Championship crown.  Gunners Howard Benson, Henry Bauknecht, R.O. Heikes, and Emil Jahnke all tied with scores of 195 X 200.  Michigan Secretary Galbraith immediately announced that the shoot-off would be completed prior to starting the next event.  Howard Benson smashed 48 X 50 to win the shoot-off and capture the Singles crown.  Maud Root was the Lady Champion with a score of 177 X 200.  Charley Bublitz, noted as one of Michigan’s favorite sons and leader of the Bay City Gun Club, captured the handicap title with a 97 X 100 from the 20 yard line.  The Doubles Championship title was captured by Frank Holznagle in a shoot-off against Will Cavers when they both deadlocked at 45 X 50 in the championship event.  The most remarkable shooting and notable win was staged by R. O. Heikes of Detroit, known to every shooter in the land as Pop Heikes.  Pop was high in the 300 Singles event with 292 X 300; he also led the field in the combined Singles and Handicap with a 387 X 400; and in the combined Singles, Handicap, and Doubles Pop again led the field with a score of 431 X 450.  His wonderful shooting exhibition won him HAA honors.  The article noted that Pop shot his handicap targets from the 23 yard line.

The 1924 annual State tournament of the Michigan League of Gun Clubs was held at the Past Time Gun Club at its attractive grounds at Westwood on July 26th & 27th.  It was one of the largest State shoots of the season.  Howard Hall, Earl Feitz, and Ray E. Loring ran the office with J. A. Groves and W. I. Spangler running the trap fields.  The event had $200 added money for the championship events and another $100 added to the top five Michigan amateur high guns.  The Michigan League of Gun Clubs provided $400 in trophies and the ATA provided an additional $100 in trophies.  The Michigan State Singles Champion was captured by R. C. Miller with a 199 X 200, Mr. Miller was also the HAA Champion; the State Handicap title went to H. F. Bopp with a score of 98 X 100; and the State Doubles title went to G. H. Slaughter with a score of 47 X 50.  A picture of Mrs. Newton Root and Mrs. Ed Cullin was displayed within the article.  Mrs. Root was the 1923 & 1924 Ladies’ State Singles Champion.  The caption on the picture read “Two Fair Michigan Shots.” 

The 1925 Michigan State Shoot was held at the Lansing Gun Club.  Unfortunately, no date for the shoot was listed in the article.  The attendance was more than expected and was the largest ever held in the history of Michigan trapshooting at this point in time.  One hundred eighty shooters took part in the event and ideal weather prevailed during the entire tournament.  Karl Maust captured the Singles title with a score of 197 X 200.  It was noted in the article that many thought that Maust would break them all as he was straight until the last trap when trap trouble developed.  The squad drew a batch of broken targets that spoiled the “swing” and caused him to lose three targets.  Maust has demonstrated on several occasions that he has the nerve and ability to go the route.   Three tied for the Handicap title with 96 X 100.  Shooters E. C. Boice, Fred Ford, and W. C. Roach went to the shoot-off line with Boice breaking 24, Ford 23, and Roach 22.  The Doubles Championship title was captured by W. C. Roach with a score of 46 X 50, Roach also was awarded the HAA award with a 338 X 350.  Mrs. L. G. Vogel, after a year away from the sport, came back and won the ladies’ Championship with a 181 X 200.  The Michigan professional championship trophy was awarded to H. W. Benson.  The annual meeting of the Michigan League of Gun Clubs was held at the Kerns Hotel on Saturday.  H A. Bauknecht was elected President; George Slaughter Vice President, and C. A. Galbraith Secretary/Treasurer.  During the meeting it was determined that the 1926 State shoot will be held at the twin cities of Benton Harbor and St. Joe.

One thing that I noticed in the article from 1911 – 1924 is that it appeared that the Singles and Handicap events were based on twenty targets per sub event.  I find this to be unusual as every box of old shells that I have in my collection are boxed 25 per box.  Maybe one of you folks out there can enlighten me on the reason for this as the articles clearly state five traps of twenty targets.  I hope that someone can clear this up for me.

I have enjoyed going through the history of our Michigan State Shoots.  I hope that everyone out there had the opportunity to read and enjoy the blogs I wrote about these events.  I am looking forward to seeing all of you at our 100th State tournament.  Good luck to all shooters who attend!  It will truly be an event to look back on and remember for the great times that will be had by all.






May 12, 2010

Remember shooters, this is the 100th Michigan State Shoot and the 43rd time that it will be held at the MTA home grounds at Mason, Michigan.  Clean those guns, grab that ammo, and come out and enjoy shooting at the best clay target facility in the USA.

Wow, another added attraction at the State Shoot—All attendees at the 2010 Michigan State Shoot will have the opportunity to attend the wedding of Mark W. Stadler and Kathleen M. Stewart on July 2, 2010 at 7:30 PM in front of practice trap 2.  Please plan to attend and enjoy a real trapshooting wedding.  Light snacks, lemonade, etc. will be served after the wedding.  Congratulations to Mark and Kathleen on their upcoming nuptials, and we all thank you for choosing the MTA home grounds to celebrate this important life event. 

Trap & Field’s 1968  headlines read, “Michigan’s First State Shoot Held at Mason Has Record Attendance.” 

For years Michigan had been struggling with the problem of its State Championship tournament outgrowing all shooting facilities in the state.  The association’s directors and their representatives had been looking for enough land to provide ample space to build a trapshooting facility.  They found just what they were looking for three miles south of Mason, Michigan.  The original parcel purchased was 228 acres.  (Note: The MTA grounds covers approximately 360 contiguous acres today) Several members of the board pooled money together and purchased the land.  It was the only way to obtain the property at the time as the property did not have enough assets of its own to secure a large loan.

More than 150 volunteers worked during the winter to cut trees, clear fields, and develop the area.  Unfortunately, when spring hit May was a very wet month, then June took over with a whopping 17 ½ inches of rain recorded.  The inaugural shoot for the grounds was held and there was another 1 ½ inches of rain recorded between events one day.  At that time the girders of the clubhouse were in, only half the cement floor was poured, no masonry work was done, and the sidewalks were not finished.  Less than two weeks later, on July 11, 1968 the first day of the Michigan State Shoot, the floor was finished, the sidewalks were fully laid, and the twenty trap fields were ready. 

The Michigan State Shoot was held from July 11 – July 14, 1968.  A record number of attendees were present, 308 entries more in comparable events, were recorded.  Overall, 281,000 targets were thrown at the event. 

Robert Nufer, Art Hickey, Muriel Pace, and Hugh Driggs were major ATA trophy winners at the new Michigan home grounds. 

The first race of the event was a singles event and was up from 164 entries to 185 entries.  Three perfect scores were shot in this event.  Shooters tied with perfect 200s were Jack VanHoose, Forest Toler, and George Snellenberger.

The Doubles Championship started promptly after the firing of the traditional cannon Friday morning.  Art Hickey and Darrel Stringfield tied for resident champion with 98s.  Art was perfect in the shoot-off  breaking a pair of 20s and Darrel ended with 20 and 19,  missing the tenth bird out in the final round.

The resident Championship Singles title was captured by Robert Nufer with a perfect 200.  A field of 533 shooters competed in the event, and he was the only Michigan resident to break a perfect score.  Robert had only broken three 100 straights during his 10-year shooting career.

He thought that his gun was shooting too low to break targets consistently.  So on Friday night he banged it three times against a pipe in the basement of his Kalamazoo home.  He told friends after the singles championship, “I must have banged it just right.”

Championship Singles Parent and child honors went to B. (Mac) McDaniel and son Joe with a score of 391 X 400.  Husband and wife honors went to Vernon Kollar and Mary Lou Kollar with a score of 386 X 400.  Mary Lou was also the Singles Lady champion with a 194 X 200.  Earl Bentley was the Veteran Champion with a 99 X 100; and Bill Slack captured Junior honors in the singles event with a 197 X 200.

Muriel Pace bested the field of 659 shooters to win the Handicap Championship crown with a 99 X 100.

Hugh Driggs won HAA honors with 391 X 400 and HOA honors with a 778 X 800.

The Upper Peninsular shooters registered targets for the first time in 1967.  This provided four different Zones to compete for the Zone singles championship versus the three that had competed in the past.  The four zones were the upper peninsular, southwest lower peninsular, northeast lower peninsular, and the upper lower peninsular.  The southwest lower peninsular zone team prevailed in the competition breaking 974 X 1000 to capture zone champion honors.

Individuals who were instrumental in the purchase and development of the MTA home grounds were Art Hickey, Boyd Williams, Russ Saathoff, Jake Kolassa, Bill Harrington, and Jack Gibbons.  Plus the hundreds of volunteers who gave their time unselfishly to prepare the MTA home grounds for the 1968 State Shoot.  Many of these folks praised Jack Gibbons for his efforts managing the construction activities.

Cliff David installed the PA system for broadcasting the events of the shoot.  Bill Johnson, a professional TV and radio broadcaster for thirty years manned the microphone during the shoot, relieved at times by Cliff David.  Together the broadcasting team assured that the shoot ran smoothly during the entire event. 

Each night Bill Johnson called six TV stations and newspapers with results of that day’s events.  The Lansing paper used a story and pictures every day, and the night’s television broadcasts were filled with news of the championships.

Bill announced on Saturday that 193 life memberships had been sold.  Shooter Robert Mitchell purchased the 200th life membership on Sunday.  I guess 200 must be Bob’s lucky number as his ATA card number ends with 200. 

Several of the attendees utilized the camping area within the new grounds.  It was noted that 111 tents, trailers, and campers were on the grounds during the shoot.

The most improved shooter on the grounds was Junior shooter Scott Morton, The 13-year-old had increased his average by 10 points over his 1967 average.  It was noted that Scott evidently has inherited some of his father’s humor.  On the biography sheet which he filled out for Trap & Field, he answered the question about other members of the family who shoot as follows: “Ben C. Morton, father; Brett C. Morton, brother; (Mother shoots off her mouth).”

Michigan’s growth was rather unique in one respect.  Seldom has any one club or association installed 20 trap fields at the same time. 

The sheer physical operation of the line of traps presented some problems.  The association had never had to deal with manning that many traps before so they were faced with a great number of young adults that they didn’t know and probably wouldn’t learn to recognize before the shoot was over.  Velma Hickey who was in charge of the trap line personnel help solved the problem.  She gave each worker a card to be pasted to their sleeve, identifying them by name, type of work performed, and trap number assignment.  It was attention to details such as this that helped make Michigan’s first shoot on its permanent home grounds a total success.

Trophies for this event were outstanding: tankards, silver carafes, chafing dishes, full tea and coffee services, walnut cheese boards and knives, walnut pepper mills, silver martini sets, etc. 

Many shooters noted that the facility showed evidence of great potential as a leading shooting center for the ATA.

As I wandered through the information related to the 1968 Michigan State Shoot I was very impressed by the outpouring of shooters who volunteered their time to make this the great organization that it is today.  That is the spirit that we need to get back today.  I realize that many individuals today are busy with day-to-day life and have little time to volunteer for outside activities.  But, we all need to remember that it takes but one moment in time to make a difference.  Please try your hardest to volunteer your time for this great organization.  I know any effort that you put forth will be welcomed by the MTA Board of Directors.

In closing I would like to mention one more thing about the 1968 Michigan State Shoot.  I took a moment to read through the names of the attendees and I was saddened by the number of shooters who I recognized that were no longer with us to compete.  I would like to list their names now as some of you might remember them and think back on a time when you walked with them and shot with them: Orville Ashley, William Barringer, Don Crowley, Don Dusseau, Fred Ford, Bill Harrington, Art Hickey, Bill Kasdorf, Orville Koepp, George McKay, Ben Morton, Kathryn Snellenberger, Bernard Tobias, and Boyd Williams.  These are just the individuals that I picked out quickly from the list of shooters.  I’m sure that I missed a few in this listing, but I’m sure that we will all remember them from past shooting experiences.  I think it would be good if everyone took the time to think back on those who are no longer with us today and reflect on the good times that you had with them.

I received some information recently about the 1920s era of the Michigan State shoot so I will cover that material in my next blog.  I thank the folks who take the time to read about our Michigan Trapshooting history, it really is very interesting.

Dave Price






April 30, 2010

Attention Michigan shooters—your 100th Michigan State Shoot is only two months away.  The MTA Board of Directors is working very hard to make this the best event ever held at the MTA grounds.  Remember, this year vendor vouchers will be given for many of the events.  You will be able to redeem these vouchers for merchandise from any of the vendors on the grounds.  If you want a trophy instead of merchandise you can do that by giving your voucher to our on-site Linden Awards representative, Ron Allie.  Linden Awards has a wide selection of trophies to choose from so I’m sure you’ll find one that you like.

As I promised in my last blog, I will review the Michigan State Shoots starting with 1965 in this blog.  It is really interesting to read these articles from the archives of Trap & Field.  I recognize many names and faces of shooters from the past who still enjoy shooting clay targets today.  But sadly I recognized many names and faces of shooters from the past who are no longer with us.  This is a great sport and I know the shooters in these articles have many fond memories of competing at the Michigan State Shoot throughout the years.

The 1965 Michigan State Shoot was hosted by the Detroit Gun Club and headlined as the largest state shoot with the main handicap event increasing in attendance by 131 entries when compared to the 1964 event.  The event was held from July 9 – 11, 1965.  The singles champion was Charles Boston with a 199 X 200, handicap champion was Russ Russell with a 99, and doubles champion was Hugh Driggs with a 96 X 100.  I recognized the names of many other great shooters who attended this event, Cecil Trammel, Robert Mitchell, Boyd Williams, Rita Piccobotta, Bill Harrington, Clae Montgomery, and the list goes on and on.  Prior to the event Fred Ford asked to be relieved of his duty of firing the cannon to start the shoot.  He said it got him up too early, and he wanted to provide plenty of competition for the boys this year.  I guess it worked because he broke 97 X 100 in the handicap championship to win Veteran honors.  The great Ned Lilly was bothered by flinching throughout the entire shoot.  A record was set for the distance traveled to shoot at Michigan by Hal and Cindy Geizan.  They traveled from Spenard, Alaska to attend. 

The 1966 Michigan State Shoot was hosted again by the Detroit Gun Club from July 8 – 10, 1966.  The Singles Champion was Don Cohagen with 199 X 200, Handicap honors went to John Nixon with a 99 X 100, and Doubles Champion was Dell Page Jr. with a 98 X 100.

The 1967 Michigan State Shoot was hosted by the Detroit Gun Club with the condition that some of the singles may be shot at the neighboring Birmingham Gun Club.  However, that did not happen as it was determined that all singles targets shot could be contained by the Detroit facility.  The event was held from July 6 – 9, 1967.  This was the first time that the event was held as a four consecutive day shoot.  A total 229,000 targets were thrown during the event.  The article noted that ATA Central Zone Vice President Earl Toliver attended a meeting of 16 Michigan Upper Peninsula clubs in April, and 14 indicated a desire to register targets at that time.  As of State Shoot time, three had scheduled ATA competition.  This also marked the first year that the Michigan Trapshooting Association awarded 100 and 200 straight pins.  The very first shooter to be awarded a 100 X 100 was Michigan resident George Whiting.  George went on to break the next 100 of the preliminary singles event to also be the first person to be awarded a MTA 200 X 200 pin.  The Singles Champion was Darrel Stringfield with a 199 X 200, Handicap honors went to Robert Fowler with a 99 X 100 (Mr. Fowler missed the 95th target, the article noted that it was a straight away), and Doubles Champion was Hugh Driggs with a 98 X 100.  Stringfield also won the HOA honors.  Mr. Stringfield refused to have his picture taken for Trap & Field until Bill Harrington got off the line with Darrel’s ten gallon hat.  Darrel said, “Why they wouldn’t recognize me out West without that hat.”  There are some great pictures in this article, and Trap & Field has posted a few for your viewing pleasure.  Boyd Williams punching Jay Howlett’s card to move him to the 27 yard line for the first time, Dr. Robert Graham for preliminary AA Singles runner-up, Bud Loucks for AA HOA honors, Les Quass for AA Singles Champion, Lucy Epstein for breaking her first 100 straight, and Don Dusseau for runner-up handicap champion.  The article also noted that TV cameraman Jerry Chiappetta was on hand to take photographs during the event.

 Wow, this information about our history is great stuff!  I will cover the 1968 Michigan State Shoot in my next blog.  The 1968 Michigan State Shoot is headlined as the first State Shoot at the new MTA grounds in Mason, Michigan.  It will be interesting to review the information related to this historic event.

I urge all of you, residents and non-residents to come and enjoy our 100th Michigan State Shoot.  The grounds are in great shape, the people in attendance are great, and the competition is great.  Come out and enjoy yourself and reminisce about the past State Shoots with your friends and family.






April 20, 2010

We are going to drop back in time and review some of the early shoots.  I have received some great documentation from Trap & Field editor Terry Heeg and ATA HOF coordinator Tami Daniel.  I appreciate their assistance with articles from The Sportsmen’s Review (Trap & Field’s predecessor) and many thanks to both of them.

The 1911 Michigan State Shoot was a Wisconsin-Michigan Tournament held in Milwaukee.  The shoot was organized by the Upper Michigan Trapshooters Association with no mention of Lower Michigan shooters.  No dates were given for the event.  The format was 150 singles targets each day and the champion was Lester German with a score of 294 x 300.  The article states that the 1912 Michigan State Shoot will be held at Escanaba, Michigan.  But, as you will read in the next paragraph, the shoot was actually held at the Bay City Gun Club.  Very confusing to me, it almost appears that there was some problem between the Upper and Lower Michigan shooters.  But, I’m only guessing.  Maybe one of you folks out there can solve this mystery for me.

The 1912 State Tournament was held at the Bay City Gun Club and boasts the largest and best shoot ever held in Michigan.  The tournament was held on September 2 – 3, 1912.  The rounds shot were singles targets, 150 targets each day.  The champion of the 300-target total was William Ridley with a 292 x 300.  They even held a five-man team event during the tournament which was won by Bay City Team No. 1, with Bay City Team No. 2 being runner-up.  Per the article the trophies for the events were handsome silver cups.

The 1913 Michigan State Tournament was held on July 23 – 24, 1913 at the Caro Sportsmen’s Association.  Like the 1912 event 150 singles targets were shot each day.  The champion of this event was J. R. Graham with a score of 296 x 300.  I noticed that eleven of the competitors in this tournament, including J. R. Graham were classed as professionals.  There was no mention of a five-man team event at this shoot.

The 1914 Michigan State Tournament was held on July 22 – 24, 1914 at Detroit, under the auspices of the Pastime Gun Club.  This tournament added one day, but the same format of 150 singles targets were shot each day.  The 1914 champion was W. R. Crosby with a 440 x 450.  The tournament noted that nine shooters including W. R. Crosby were classed as professionals.  The five-man team race was won by Bay City with a score of 226 x 250.  The Michigan State championship was won by W. L. Stonehouse with a 96 x 100.  I assume that this was a handicap event as it is not clear by the article.  The article also includes the death notice for Max E. Hensler.  Max was one of the founding members of the Michigan Gun Club league and won the champion medal three times before he was nineteen years old.  The obituary noted that “Max passed away after as game a struggle against the white plaque as any man ever made.”

The 1915 Michigan State Tournament was held at the Saginaw Gun Club on August 4 – 5, 1915.  This tournament varied somewhat from the previous tournaments as 150 singles targets were shot the first day and 175 singles targets were shot on the second day.  The champion was J. R. Graham with a score of 311 x 325.  This tournament also noted ten contestants as professionals.  No mention was made of a five-man team event.

The 1916 Michigan State Tournament was held at the Battle Creek Gun Club on June 14 – 15, 1916.  The format for the shoot was 175 singles targets each day.  The champion was Kirkwood (no first name mentioned) with 341 x 350.  The article also mentions that the interstate association state amateur championship was won by Joe Bryant with a score of 98 x 100.  Again, there was no mention of a team race at this shoot.

The 1917 Michigan State Tournament was held at the Birmingham Gun Club on June 20 – 21,  1917.  The shoot format was changed to 150 singles on the first day and 200 singles on the second day.  The champion was Joe Bryant with a 339 x 350.  Dr. Stocking was congratulated for winning the Kellogg trophy during this shoot.  The article reads that Dr. Stocking is the President of the Pastime Gun Club, of Detroit, an enthusiastic trap shooter and one of the most popular members of that organization.  His genial personality and unselfish devotion to the Pastime Gun Club have won him the esteem of the shooting fraternity.

The 1918 Michigan State Tournament was held at the Flint Gun Club on June 13 -14, 1918.   The 1919 Michigan State Tournament was held at the West End Gun Club in Muskegon, Michigan on July 16 – 17, 1919.   Unfortunately no shoot report was in the Sportsmen’s Review Magazine for either of these shoots.  If anyone has further information about these shoots please contact me at zoowie@peoplepc.com.

I will be covering the Michigan State Shoots that were held in the 1960s in my next blog.  This will include the very first state shoot that was held at our homegrounds in Mason, Michigan.  Photos from this era are interesting and we will try and put some online to see if you could guess who the person is in the photo. I know it was difficult for me until I read the captions under the photos. Watch for them soon.   Remember shooters, this is part of the history of our sport.  Help make history and come and compete at your 100th Michigan State Shoot.  Please plan to attend the festivities at your homegrounds.  I assure you that much fun will be had by all in attendance.  The MTA Board of Directors is dedicated toward making this event memorable for everyone in attendance.

D.Z. Price Sr.
Michigan ATA Delegate






Michigan State Shoot



Hello shooters!  Let’s continue our talk about the 100th Michigan State Shoot.  The MTA Directors have decided to provide money vouchers for a portion of the shoot this year.  These vouchers will be redeemable at any of the Vendors at the MTA grounds.  So whether it’s a case of shells you want or, a new trap gun you can use your vouchers toward the purchase of anything the vendors have for sale.  Shoot well and win more!


More good news from your MTA Directors!  They have established a flea market/garage sale event for the campers in the MTA campground.  All campers will have the opportunity to sell their hidden treasures on Friday July 2, 2010 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, and on Saturday, July 3, 2010 from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM, in the campground.  Bring all those great sale items with you to the grounds and make a few bucks during our 100th State Shoot.


Let’s continue with the history of the Michigan State Shoot.  According to the 1947 program, the Michigan State Trapshooting Association State Trap Shoot was held at the Detroit Gun Club at 17244 W. Nine Mile Road, Detroit, Michigan on July 11 – 13, 1947.  The events were as follows: 100 Singles, 50 Handicap, and 25 pair of Doubles on Friday, 200 Singles Championship on Saturday, and 50 pair of Doubles Championship and 100 Handicap Championship on Sunday.  The program lists a Calcutta Auction with a Calcutta entry fee of $3.00 for the Saturday handicap.  Entrance fee for the 200 Singles Championship was $9.00 (targets ATA and MTA fees) plus a $10.00 Class purse.  The shoot included $1,000 added money disbursed throughout the program. Check out the 1947 Michigan State Shoot story as published in Sportsmen’s Review, (Trap & Field’s predecessor) in the August 15, 1947 edition.


The 1958 program states, the Michigan Trapshooting Association State Trap Championship was held at the Berrien County Sportsman’s Club in St. Joseph, Michigan on July 11 – 13, 1958.  The club was located twelve miles south of Benton Harbor, Michigan.  Entrance fee for the 200 target Singles Championship was $15.50 (200 targets, ATA and MTA fees, B.C.S.C. trophies) plus $10.00 for the class purse.  The shoot included $2,300 added money disbursed throughout the program.


I know that many people believe that Trap Shooting is expensive these days. However, MTA past President Tom Stewart created an inflationary table to exhibit how trapshooting has remained very cost competitive over the years.  Based on the 200 target championship singles event, if you compared 1938 targets at $10.50 versus today the cost would be $159.76, 1947 targets at $9.00 versus today the cost would be $86.58, and 1958 targets at $15.50 versus today the cost would be $115.06.  So the sport has really kept a low cost profile when adding the inflation factors in over the years.  I will compare the costs again to the next set of prior State Shoots that I review in my next blog.


I would like to know how many shooters would like to shoot the Championship Singles event on Saturday, July 3, 2010 dressed in clothes of the 1911 era.  If enough shooters are interested in doing this I will press forward with the MTA Directors to have an award for the best dressed in era team and the best dressed in era shooter.  Please contact me at the email address below so I can move forward with this idea.  I think it would be a great opportunity for everyone.


Stay tuned for more information on the history of the Michigan State Shoot and our upcoming Michigan State Shoot in my next blog.  If you have any information related to the history of our State Shoot from 1911 – 1937 please forward it to me via email at zoowie@peoplepc.com.



D. Z. Price Sr.

Michigan ATA Delegate






Michigan celebrates 100 years!

I was just sitting here thinking about the upcoming 100th Michigan State Shoot.  Think about it—our first state shoot was held in 1911.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to find information regarding our state shoot from 1911 to 1937.  But thanks to MTA past President Tom Stewart we have some very interesting information from 1938 to present.  Our 1938 Michigan Gun Club League State Championship Trap Shoot was held at the Wyoming Park Gun Club in Grand Rapids from July 22 – 24, 1938.  The grounds were located three miles west of the city on M-21.The program consisted of 100 singles, and 50 handicap on Friday, 50 pair of Doubles Championship, and 100 Handicap Championship on Saturday, and 200 Singles Championship on Sunday. The High Gun Trophy open to all shooters was a Nash-Kelvinator Refrigerator.  Saturday was titled Nash Kelvinator day.  A $5.00 prize was awarded to the oldest and youngest shooters in Sunday’s Singles event.  The program noted that, “According to ATA ruling, handicap loads will not be permitted”, “Purses and Nash-Kelvinator Refrigerator open to all amateurs”, All popular brands of shells will be sold on the grounds at $.85 per box” and “The Annual Meeting of the Michigan Gun Club League will be held at 8:30 p.m., Saturday, July 23, 1938 at the Shooter Headquarters, Pantlind Hotel.”  Entrance fee for the 200 target singles event was $10.50 (includes ATA fee of $.50).

The 1939 Michigan Gun League State Championship Trap Shoot was also held at the Wyoming Park Gun Club.  The event was held from July 14 – 16, 1939.  The program changed slightly, 100 handicap and 25 pair of doubles on Friday, 100 Singles and 100 Handicap Championship on Saturday, and 200 Singles Championship on Sunday.  The program reads, “Open to all Michigan Resident Shooters-Amateurs and Professionals.”

Entrance fees for the 200 target singles event remained at $10.50.

I will continue with the history of the Michigan State Shoot in my next blog.  I would like to give you some information about our 100th Michigan State Shoot now.  The MTA BOD has approved the casting of a special medallion as a commemorative coin that will be distributed to all shooters classifying at the 100th Michigan State Shoot.  Additional commemorative medallions may be purchased for the price of $2.50 during the shoot.

Special awards will be donated by Keith Heeg Stock Works.  Keith will donate $100 to any shooter who breaks their first career 100 straight or 200 straight in singles, doubles, or handicap.  Keith Heeg Stock Works is also donating $100 plus a trophy to the high overall handicap yardage group champions ( 18 – 21, 22 – 24, 25 – 26, & 27) for events 8, 10, 13, & 15 combined.

Our friends at Trap & Field will be donating $100 to a lucky shooter participating in the Championship Singles on Saturday, July 3, 2010.  A shooter number will be drawn from the entries in the championship singles event.  The lucky shooter selected in the drawing will receive $100 from Trap & Field Magazine.

Stay tuned for more information on the history of the Michigan State Shoot and our upcoming State Shoot in my next blog.  If you have any information related to the history of our State Shoot from 1911 – 1937 please forward it to me via email at zoowie@peoplepc.com.


D. Z. Price Sr.

Michigan ATA Delegate









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