Information for Around the ATA is provided to Trap & Field by state and provincial ATA Delegates and/or their designated representatives.
Shooters and local officials: Please inform your ATA Delegate of news about shooters and clubs in your area.
I attended the Dixie Grand in Odessa, Fla., and found it to be a good and well-run shoot. Shelby Sockwell seemed to be having a good time and was shooting well.
In reviewing Grand American results, I noticed a couple of our Alabama trophy winners that I believe I overlooked previously. Bill Wilbourne placed fifth in the Kolar Handicap with 97, and Kenneth Gordon was sub-veteran runnerup with 96. In the President’s Handicap, Juston Trimback was 25-26 runnerup. I’m sorry if I missed others.
The new ATA Average Book has just arrived, and many familiar names have found their way to the top of the lists. Jackie Howard led men’s singles with .9824, with Lauren Hyde pacing the ladies with .9461. In the handicap Robert Martin led the way with .9293, and Lauren was again high lady with .8982. The doubles found Bill Parson Jr. on top of the men’s list with .9307, and Autumn Trimback high lady with .8564. Congratulations to all of these fine shooters.
Our Alabama AIM shooters are also continuing to make a fine showing. The 2013 All-Star team included four Alabama shooters. Mason Bragwell was captain of the pre-sub team, and Landon Hill also made the team. Logan Taylor placed on the sub-junior team, and Cody Willingham made the junior team. This is a national competition, and these fine young people can be very proud of their accomplishments.
Three Alabama shooters placed on the AIM All-Zone teams for the Southern Zone: Collin Herban, junior; Cheston Tucker, pre-sub; and Levi Hargett, sub-junior.
The Alabama All-State team has been announced. Junior captain is Evan Hargett, with Brian Boyd, Austin Carpenter and Cameron Boyd joining him. The pre-sub group shows Zeb Shaneyfelt as captain. Sub-junior captain is Cole Willingham, with Porter James, Colton McCay, Jon Morrow and Aren McNutt following. Congratulations to all. Until next month, keep your head down.
We have just finished all of our winter shooting tournaments. For those of us who are year-round residents, I think we can all claim that this was one of the nicest and mildest winters we have had in some time. We are very fortunate to host two Satellite Grand tournaments. Those plus our FTA Hall of Fame Shoot and Chain shoots give us ample weekdays and weekends of winter trapshooting pleasure. I also see some big bonuses, like getting out and exploring our diversified state (which, by the way, has vastly different winter climates and two time zones). Restaurants in every part of the state take on the uniqueness of the area. So if you didn’t get out, you missed a great winter of Florida sunshine, trapshooting and other opportunities to explore our state.
Our FTA shoot card has many weekday and weekend shoots on it for the remainder of the ATA target year. If you can’t make it for a weekend, look at the many clubs that are pretty much geographically dispersed that hold Big 50 shoots on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Clubs holding Big 50 shoots include Silver Dollar, Sarasota, Volusia Co. and Robinson Ranch. All are first-rate clubs, and each offers something just a little bit different.
The Santa Rosa club that I wrote about in a prior issue of Trap & Field hosted their first ATA tournament in February. I expect to see them begin to populate our FTA schedule in the future.
Congratulations to the 2013 Florida state team members. Just a note on combined scores: the ATA tallies the singles, handicap and doubles scores for each individual trapshooter. With those three totals, it is then divided by three to get the composite average. So following is a listing of this year’s Florida state teams:
Men’s first—captain Matt Trammell, .9593; Vincent Valois, .9292; William Vosnos, .9276; Gerald Armstrong, .9238; Ken Culver, .9219. Men’s second—Alex Reira, .9209; Jerry Bryant, .9158; J. Hohman, .9152; Gary Bonnell, .9145; Mack Bissette, .9085. Women’s—captain Marilyn Lehrfeld, .9014; Kim Ayers-Wright, .8427; Sarah Jacobs, .7998; Scarlett Ehlers, .7768; Delia Sippel, .7468. Junior—captain Justin King, .9096; Matthew McBride, .9089; Zachary Taylor, .9016. Sub-junior—captain Andrew Loitz, .8988; Matthew Vega, .8786; Tate Turner, .8552; Harry Franklin, .8477; Tristan Sheffield, .8178. Veteran first—captain Louis Carter, .9301; Morris Stinebring, .9188; Marcellus Osceola, .9173; Nick Mazzarella, .9091; Ron Ward, .9041. Veteran second—Ralph Bechtold, .9027; Randy Richards and Bob Hutson, .9016; Raymond Lee, .8954; Ronald Kot, .8843. Senior vet first—captain Don Kerce, .9127; Jess Crofoot, .9053; Joe Fordham, .8970; Buster Ingram, .8951; Angel Estevez, .8902. Senior vet second—Wes King, .8885; Thomas Mann, .8806; Larry Hill, .8803; Gene Greisling, .8801; David Christy, .8783.
The FTA lost another trapshooter after a long illness. Paul R.Welden passed away in February. Paul started his ATA career in 1992. Besides being a formidable trapshooter, he had served the FTA for many years as a director. My experiences with Paul were viewing his willingness to help at any trapshoot he attended. His services and trapshooting knowledge will be missed.
As always, if you have any newsworthy items, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 321-427-6553.
The Dixie Grand was nice this year, with the weather cooperating. The shoot was up just a tad. Larry Williamson took home a singles trophy. Jack Phipps, Teddy Bilbrey and I took home handicap trophies. Bilbrey also shot his 100,000th handicap target at the Dixie. When this article comes out, the Southern Grand will be behind us. I hope you got to go and shot well.
We had a KTL meeting the first of March to discuss the state shoot. I will try to update you after the meeting on what is new. I’m sure we are going to have another great shoot, as the past years’ have been.
If you have news you wish to see in this article, let me know. If I can help you, give me a call or come up to me at the shoots and give me your ideas for the betterment of our sport.
May God bless you with great heath and many broken targets.
Outstanding weather conditions start in Mississippi this month. It’s time to get ready for all the state shooting events in our area. Please visit your local gun clubs.
Our state association and the Capitol GC continue to plan the Mississippi State Trapshoot. Please plan on being in Jackson May 24-26 for the six events. You can see an advertisement for the event in this magazine. MTA president Will McCarty has put in a lot of work to build the program. Our sponsor is supplying support for Will to get the program published.
A limited number of camping spaces are available at Capitol GC. You can call 601-362-0653 for information. The club is open on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Capitol GC has a limited number of traps, so we are using presquad.com for advance reservations. We will make every effort to accommodate all who want to come to our shoot. You can read about the club on the Internet at www.capitolgunclub.com.
We are getting good attendance at Gulf Coast R&PC for ATA events. We need to thank Charlie Boggs and Brian Harmon for their efforts to bring this club forward in Mississippi.
I do have some distressing news about Corinth GC. Our friend Larry Rickman has sold his trap machines from the club. However, the club venue is still there, and we hope Larry can sell it to a new owner who is interested in having trap events.
We need you to get out and get involved to promote more trapshooting events in Mississippi. Supporting clubs in our neighboring states is important, too. Have a great shooting year.
I hope you will have some time to come and shoot with us at the N.C. Homegrounds for the annual Dogwood Open Shoot April 25-28. It is our first homegrounds shoot this year and should be a fun one. I expect everyone is ready to get out and break some targets under warm Carolina blue skies. Come on over to Bostic and check out the new vendor area, grounds landscaping and maintenance building.
Over this year’s relatively warm winter months, Gastonia, Rockingham and Buckhorn hosted several shoots. Old Hickory Rocky Mount, Rockingham, Ft. Bragg and Coharie SL joined them in March, with Buncombe, Charlie Brown and Durham starting in April. The high-country shoots will start at Watauga when things thaw out in May. Weather is getting better, and all our clubs are holding or planning to hold registered shoots. Dust off the trap gun and plan to shoot at some of our great N.C. clubs. All are putting on some good shoots and can use our continued support.
The folks at Old Hickory R&PC are having great success with the Big 50. It is a good way for clubs to increase shooter participation, and I encourage other clubs to try the Big 50 format. Check the shoot calendar on www.nctrap.com, tarheeltrap.com and in this issue for Big 50 and other N.C. registered shoot dates.
Several North Carolina shooters attended the Southern Grand at the Silver Dollar SC near Tampa and the Southwestern Grand in San Antonio. I will report on successes next time.
Remember to visit www.nctrap.com and www.tarheeltrap.com for N.C. shooting information. You may also want to check out the tarheeltrap trapshooting chat room. If you have any information you would like to see in this article, please send it to me. I can be reached at email@example.com or 336-674-8655.
ATA Southern Zone Vice President
We have our state shoot program settled. Trophy count has increased by more than 30, as we are giving about 220 trophies plus added money. Some of us think that by going from open trophies to non-resident, we will draw additional out-of-state shooters. We have a two-year trial to prove or disprove this idea, so if you out-of-state shooters want additional chances at trophies, come to our shoot. We have also revamped Friday’s events to comply with ATA regulations to allow All-American points to be earned in all three events.
Shooters, with all the extra efforts listed above plus White Flyer targets thrown by Pat-Traps and just plain good folks and our famous free fish dinner, how can you stay away?
I need to talk a bit about David Capps, who passed in February. He was primarily a skeet shooter, but he did shoot in some of our state shoots. Most of us trapshooters knew David by his great work on Krieghoff shotguns at a reasonable price, hence his nickname “Dr. K.” He will be missed.
We have our motel reservations for the Georgia State Shoot. I have to say, the changes made at South River GC (Tater Hill) are a great improvement (Field 1 is gone!). I hope to see you there and at our state shoot.
If you have any questions or need motel info, let us know. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In last month’s report, I omitted the shooters who made the 2013 AIM All-Star Team: sub-junior, Trent Payne; juniors, Tiffany Bledsoe and Joseph Hickman. AIM All-Zone Team: sub-junior, Makayla Boisseau and Wes Nesbitt; junior, Thomas Lochridge.
Tennessee was well represented at the Dixie Grand in January. Winning trophies were Trent Payne, Amy Dement, David Pearson, James W. Fuller, Andrew Krick, Wes Nesbitt, Dillon Tosh and Michael Watters. At the Spring Grand in February, Garrett Sweeney and David Pearson both won trophies. According to the above winners’ list, Pearson is really enjoying the retired life. Congratulations to all.
As you read this article, it’s April, so that means it’s time for the Hog Heaven Spring Shoot April 17-21. The 2013 Youth Team Shoot is the following Saturday. Wade and Anne Frazier, both members of our Hall of Fame, put on a great shoot. Be sure not to miss the Saturday night supper; as Anne says: “Good food; better company.”
Let’s make plans for 2013: Tennessee state AIM program, June 11-12; state shoot, June 13-16; Southern Zone Shoot, July 18-21, Bostic, N.C., Berea, Ky., and Silver Dollar in Odessa, Fla.; AIM Grand in Sparta, Aug. 3-6; Grand American, Aug. 7-17.
Check out our new website at Shootatatn.com for more information as well as our state shoot program. For questions or further information, contact me at BCook27@Bellsouth.net or 731-217-9957.
On Feb. 23 the W.V. Board of Directors had their annual meeting at the Marietta (Ohio) GC. A lot of good things came out of this meeting.
Our annual West Virginia Hall of Fame Shoot will be May 25-26 at the Moundsville GC. This shoot will honor two new inductees and one who was inducted in 2002. New to this honor are Scott Ross of Dallas Pike and Robert Harden of South Charleston. Our 2002 inductee to be honored is Harley Barr. All three of these shooters are very deserving of the award.
The Moundsville GC is adding $300 to the added money list to be split between the Doubles and Handicap championships. A memorial trophy in honor of Emerson Lilley will be awarded to the high-over-all winner in Events 1, 2 and 4.
Our West Virginia State Shoot will be July11-14 at the Brooke Co. S&FA on McAdoo Ridge in Wellsburg. We will again be offering pre-squadding on Presquad.com.
To be creative, new to this year’s state shoot will be an opportunity for someone to win an ATA life membership. Details are being worked out, but two life memberships will be given away. All W.V. resident shooters who compete in Event 5, our preliminary handicap, and/or Event 7, our Singles Championship, will be eligible to win a life membership at no cost.
At the conclusion of Event 5, we will pull two pills from 0 to 9. Shooters whose scores ended in either of those numbers will be eligible for a shootoff to win the award. The shootoff will occur after the final event for the day. The same will apply for Event 7. You can already be a life member to be eligible for the shootoff. If a life member wins, he or she can donate the membership to another individual. We will be making decisions related to the shootoff and how it will be conducted at the state shoot.
Special recognition goes out to Pat Swartz for winning veteran runnerup in the Remington Nitro 27 Handicap at the Dixie Grand with 96.
Any person who has information they would like to see in Trap & Field related to West Virginia can contact me at 304-532-6149 or send me an e-mail at Markisner@aol.com. Also, please take a look at our webpage on www.wvata.com.
This shooting season is off and running, and I look forward to our first shoot dates in Arkansas. I want to invite you to the Arkansas State Shoot June 12-16 at the Remington GC. I hope you will mark this on your calendar and join us for a great shoot. Arkansas Trapshooting Federation president Chuck Sharp and the BOD are working hard to make this even better than last year’s. More added money, along with the $1,000 shoot-outs and a really nice trophy package, make this one you do not want to miss. I would also like to thank the EC for the new money and belt buckle they have added to all state shoots. You will be able to go on our website ArkansasTrapshooting.org and find our state shoot program there.
Congratulations to our state team:
Men’s—Alan Sharp, Bronson Castleberry, Robbie Pennock, Jim Cooper, Woody Barnes, Benny Holtzclaw, Steve Mathis, Richard Thielemier, Kurt Hays, James Kiddy. Women’s—Wendy Pennock, Jessica Self. Junior—Daniel Grubbs, Haden Zirbel, Derek Brown, Jordan Harper, William Hulen. Sub-junior—Tanner Cooper, Blake Campbell, J. C. Tune, Austin Scrogin, Dustin McGowen. Veteran—Sam Weaver. Senior vet—Doyne Williams.
As most of you know, our youth shooters are some of the best in the country, and our own Tanner Cooper made a clean sweep in the high shooter by category, as he had the highest average in singles, .9856; handicap, .9407; and doubles, .9600. Great job, Tanner.
I had a call from Chuck Cross, northern zone vice president, who told me that northern zone shooters have two chances to make the zone team for our Colorado zone shoot: July 13 at Pawnee GC and July 14 at Berthoud GC ,with singles, handicap and doubles at each club. The higher scores at either club will represent the northern zone.
I received additional information from Delbert Richardson on the Memorial Day Shoot. One dollar per 100 targets will be donated to the charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. Pikes Peak GC will also have a silent auction to raise additional funds and will add a day and throw marathon targets. I hope all will plan on attending.
I went to the Spring Grand in Tucson, and weather was not as nice as it usually is. The shoot was well attended, and Colorado shooters held their own. The following shooters were winners: David Newell, Victor Nebeker, Tom Thomas, Phil Vasquez, Ron Ramsey, Ray Stafford, Michael Beldon, Cliff Haycock, Zachary Bibik and Claude Hemsi.
Please feel free to contact me regarding any concerns or questions about trapshooting in our state. I can be reached at email@example.com or 303-808-6152. For the most up-to-date information about trapshooting in Colorado, please check out www.rmclaysports.com/CSTA.html.
After extensive negotiations with Raton TC, the NRA Whittington Center and Albuquerque TC, an agreement has been reached between the clubs to establish a Southwestern Zone Shoot host club rotation that will bring the Southwestern Zone to New Mexico every year. Albuquerque will be a host site this summer, followed by Raton in 2014 and back to Albuquerque in 2015. The NRA Whittington Center will host in 2016. This rotation will continue as long as the clubs involved agree to this rotation. Part of the agreement includes Albuquerque passing on hosting the New Mexico State Shoot in 2014 in order to make the number of major shoots each club hosts even. The state shoot rotation now is Alamogordo in 2013, NRA Whittington Center in 2014, Truth or Consequences in 2015, and Raton in 2016.
Thirty-two New Mexico shooters traveled to Tucson for the Spring Grand in February. Weather conditions were all but spring-like, as a snowstorm blew in on Wednesday and postponed the afternoon handicap event until Thursday morning, which pushed the Thursday afternoon doubles event to Friday morning. Temperatures are historically in the 70s for the Spring Grand, but this year, seeing a day with a high in the 60s was a rarity. Other than the weather, of which club management had no control, the shoot was a pleasure to attend. Shoot management did all they could to make everyone welcome and put on a great tournament. New Mexico shooters made a great showing and again demonstrated what talented shooters we have in our state. Rather than risking accidently leaving acknowledgment of one of our shooters out of this report, please see the full report in this issue.
Bits and pieces: NRA Whittington Center, Silver City, Albuquerque and Alamogordo all have two-day shoots in April. The Albuquerque TC launched a website in February, www.abqtrapclub.com. The two clubs that have certified traps that no one knows about are the Del Norte GC outside of Albuquerque and a club at Cannon Air Force Base near Clovis. The 2012 Average Book is out, so calculations can be finalized as to the New Mexico state teams and high-average awards.
As always, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me in the evening at 505-299-7842.
Congratulations to 2013 ATA All-American team members: Patrick Stacey, men’s second; Corbin Grybowski, sub-junior first; Jim Moody, veteran first; William Dayton, veteran first; Gary Nichols, senior vet second.
By the time you read this, Duncan will have held their first registered shoot in calendar year 2013. March starts a full schedule of registered shoots with one every weekend. Please check Trap & Field for the schedule or the OTA website www.otatrapandskeet.org/2013_Registered_Shoots.html. Enid, Ada, Duncan, Tulsa, Shawnee and El Reno will hold registered shoots this year.
The power feed to OTA has been upgraded, so there should be no problems with the power feed to the RV sites as we have had in the past. Mr. Parsons will be sending letters or contacting those who had RV sites last year to see if you want them again this year.
There was a board meeting held after the derby at OTA Feb. 10. The next meeting was to be after the registered shoot at OTA on March 10. If you have any items you want brought up at a meeting, please contact myself, Mr. Parsons or a board member. Board members can be found at www.otatrapandskeet.org/officers.html.
Please remember our military men and women.
I can be contacted at 405-203-2439 or George_wise@att.net.
What a difference a day can make in the Texas Panhandle. Yesterday (Feb. 25) it was 62º and sunny. Today there is a raging blizzard. Right now the temperature is 28º with winds 25 to 35 mph and gusts to 50. Just mentioning the weather so you will know that there is not a lot of shooting going on here right now.
It will be April when you read this, and the weather will be much better (I hope). April brings the Southwestern Grand to the National SC in San Antonio. If you have never had a chance to shoot there, you are missing one of the premier facilities in the country. Great place, great people, great targets and most of all, a great time.
The Texas Trapshooters Association selected two new members to the Texas Trapshooters Hall of Fame. Inductees for this year are George Hanna from Ben Wheeler and M. L. (Monk) Palmer from Post. Both of these gentlemen are great ambassadors for the trapshooting game. My sincere congratulations to both.
As you plan your shooting calendar for the upcoming year, don’t forget the Southwestern Grand that I mentioned above. The Texas Zone IV will be at Waco S&TC May 3-5. The Texas Zone I will be at the Amarillo GC May 18-19. The Texas State Shoot will be hosted by Amarillo July 2-7. The state association has put together another great trophy package. I promise you’ll have a good time at Amarillo GC. The directors at Amarillo always work their butts off to make sure the shooters are treated to the best of Texas hospitality.
I sure wish some of you who attended the Spring Grand would have called, texted or e-mailed me with some information about how our Texas shooters did. But you didn’t, so I guess I don’t have anything to report. Please, please, please if you have any news, contact me or Princess, so we can get it in Trap & Field. You can e-mail email@example.com, call the house at 806-394-7752 or call my cell at 806-679-6889.
Til next time, y’all shoot well, y’all shoot often, and y’all have a great time.
It has been a busy winter for Albertans in Arizona this year; it’s been a cool one, but the sunshine makes up for the temperature on most days. The Winter Chain circuit has seen Alberta shooters have their day, including earlier this season in Casa Grande, where Gerry Gau shot at and hit his 100,000th singles target. Yours truly followed at the Pre-Spring Grand in Tucson.
The Spring Grand is now complete; we had 19 shooters from Alberta in attendance, one of the best ever in recent years. It was good to see Don Dick and Tyler Kuhn down for the shoot. It seemed that with new participants in the categories, it was a bit tougher to bring home trophies this year, but we still got our fair share. I will mention a few, but I am sure there are others I have forgotten.
In prelim week we had nice weather and big scores. Alberta winners included yours truly, Art Peyton and Allan Radway. Neil Burbidge shot a couple 99s in doubles but was in a tough crowd for trophies.
Grand week was cool, windy and snowy. In spite of the conditions, Bill Peterson showed he still has the stuff to win when he shot a 97 in handicap on a tough day. Peyton and Radway earned their way to shootoffs with 199s in the championship singles.
Overall the Tucson club put on a great shoot, as they always do. Attendance was up around 250 entries before the snow and wind cut mid- and late-week numbers.
I look forward to seeing everyone back in Alberta in a month or so, but in the meantime, if you wish to contact me, you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Spring Grand is completed, and we had high attendance, great scores, tough competition and superb weather. (All but the last is true!) We had 1,122 shooters shoot one or more events. Spring Grand week suffered from snow and strong winds for Sunday’s handicap with wind gusts in excess of 35 to 40 mph. John Godwin, Fred Nagel and Chris Vendel led the field with 95s. The champion was Godwin, and Vendel was runnerup.
Arizona’s own Sam Roehrich shot a 92 to head the junior category. Sam had the high score among Arizona shooters. Other Arizona winners include Tim Robb, Scott McClelland, Mike McNeeley, John Robidoux and Ed Hutchison.
Okay, I’m going to have to eat some crow. For months you have read my Chamber of Commerce line about no snow. Well, Tuesday the temperatures dropped, the wind blew like it does in Vegas, and Wednesday it snowed in Phoenix and Tucson. Shooters hid in their RVs, huddled in the clubhouse, and watched the snow fall, and eventually one of the doubles events was postponed. The meteorologists didn’t call the fluffy stuff snow; the technical term they used is graupel, which is soft hail or snow pellets. Tucson had about three to four inches of the stuff. It was mostly gone by Thursday afternoon.
Just another reminder, it looks like the Western Zone will not be held in Flagstaff. As the next few months proceed, we will have a final determination regarding the location. Stay tuned.
Have you ever been in a trapshooting slump? Most of us have; our scores have taken a tumble, we question what is happening and why. Well, I have, and speaking strictly for myself, shooting at 10 or 15 tournaments and spending several hundred dollars to come home with only memories of others taking home the trophies and option money has caused me to think, “Do I need a lesson (help)?” We all spend thousands of dollars each year trying to diagnosis ourselves; we ask our buddies to watch and “tell me what I’m doing wrong,” and we never get it fixed.
I have taken clinics from three of our best, with great results for a while. This year many shooters I asked suggested Harlan Campbell. Mark Anderson from Phoenix formed a clinic at Ben Avery before the Spring Grand, and I signed up.
Harlan’s approach is, “Shooting better is a choice, and that choice is yours.” Joining me in the clinic was Art Hammer from Idaho plus Randal Snell, Mike Dennis and Jesse Zamora, all from Phoenix. Art and Jesse are relatively new shooters. The clinic runs two days and is full of classroom sessions and on-the-line time.
Harlan also believes “better planning equals better shooting.” Planning well before the tournament and during the tournament will improve your shooting. The competition is you against yourself; it’s between your ears, and you are the only one who can win!
What was impressive for me, being an architect, was all the technical points Harlan spent time to describe and detail: geometry of target flight, where to hold, what to look for, things like “lines” on the field. He summarized four things he believes are important to becoming a better shooter—determination, commitment, courage, and confidence—plus something I heard from my father many times: “Failure is not an option.”
All of us went to the pattern board to check vertical and horizontal point of impact. Three class members’ guns were shooting too low, and one had to add about a 3/8-inch spacer on the comb. A couple had slight horizontal misalignment, and an adjustment of the comb fixed that. So a valuable lesson, go to the pattern board with every gun to confirm where it shoots. We all hope our guns are shooting where we are looking; however, three of our guns didn’t.
Some other things we worked on included stance for each post, hold points, gun mount, gun and body alignment, and posture. He stressed that the basics need to be reinforced every time—especially with the first target, the last target and the 98 in between.
I can tell all of you I’m working on corrections that will improve my scores and confidence. I have made adjustments to my stance on each post in doubles and can now see the second bird sooner and with clarity.
Being left-handed, hard rights in handicap from Post 5 are a challenge. Making small adjustments to my stance and hold is allowing me to see the target better, and my turn is more controlled. For a number of years I have dipped my gun on the call, then chased the bird up and left or right, often covering the bird, and we all know what happens then. With slight stance changes and more level gun hold and focus area, the dipping is happening less often.
So Harlan’s clinic is well worth it if you want to shoot better. Take a clinic, learn to shoot well, and this will make your hobby and passion much more enjoyable.
I can be reached at www.arizonadelegate.com, 520-907-1895 or email@example.com.
I want to reminnd everyone to know the ATA rules and shoot and live by them and really look at the ATA webpage for the latest revisions. Also keep the “wood on the wood,” and shoot Arizona.
At the time of writing this article, the Spring Grand in Tucson has just completed. Utah was well represented again this year. Excellent scores were shot by Sean Hawley, Travis Aiello, Sharred Oaks, Jeremie Summers, Chad Sorensen, Pete Martin, Bobby Smuin, James Patten, Brad Spencer, Linda Gibson, Joe Roach, Lori Martin, Ed Wehking, Peggy Smuin, Brent Epperson, Craig Hart, Craig Necaise and Corey Stubbs. All these shooters were at the top of the leader board of their various classes or categories at one point during the shoot. Excellent shooting!
Coming out of one of the coldest winters in our state’s history, thoughts of spring weather is exciting. I know I’m tired of shooting in a bulky coat. With four ATA shoots and one AIM shoot on the calendar in April, let’s pray for some good weather. Ogden has an AIM Shoot April 6 and an ATA program from the 19th to the 21st. Vernal has an ATA program April 6-7 followed by Spanish Fork the 13th and 14th. Kanab GC closes out the month with their program on the 27th and 28th.
I offer my condolences to the family of Marlin McDaniel. Marlin was an avid supporter of trapshooting, and over the course of his ATA career registered 33,800 singles, 29,150 handicap and 31,800 doubles. Marlin was captain of the Utah state veteran team the past three years. He will be missed by all his friends.
Only three months until the Utah State Shoot June 18-23. This is going to be one of our best state shoots in recent memory. A fantastic trophy package has been put together along with $50,000 in added money from Bill and LeeAnn Martin. Mark your calendars, and save your vacation time! If you have anything you would like to see in print, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to see you at a shoot soon.
First, we offer our condolences to the family and friends of Minnesota Delegate Ron Noren. I didn’t know Ron until he was elected to represent Minnesota on the ATA Board of Directors. I quickly realized he was a quality person whose decision-making was sound and always with the best interest of the shooter in mind. Though I had only known him a short time, I am going to miss him. We all mourn the loss of a good man.
I have been hearing and reading a lot about the demise of trapshooting. I don’t believe it for one minute. I personally believe that our nation’s poor economy has affected attendance more than anything else. I also feel the youth shooting movement will keep trapshooting alive for a very long time. I remember when I was first chosen to represent the northern zone on the ISTA Board of Directors. At the first meeting (1986) I attended, we were discussing youth shooting and what we could do to improve participation. Being discussed were reduced fees and free shells. One of the directors was against both, saying we would spend a lot of money on a few people and never see them again once they were grown and on their own. Thank God that thinking has changed. The growth started with the SCTP program, and now AIM has become the official youth program of the ATA. Participation has grown here in Illinois every year. Jack Miller, our state AIM director, has advised he expects in excess of 250 youngsters will be coming to this year’s state shoot. The volume of shooters has caused a problem with holding the AIM event in conjunction with the state shoot. This year the AIM state championships will be June 1-2 at the Rend Lake SC. I want to thank Jack for his hard work and dedication. He is the person most responsible for the success of our program. Information about AIM can be found on the ATA and AIM websites. There are 15 coaches listed on the site. Stu Wright’s name stood out to me; my friends in the southern zone have advised me that Stu has really done a lot of work to facilitate youth shooting. We thank him and all the coaches for their hard work.
SCTP is still going strong also, as well as 4-H and FFA. Locally here in Grundy County, Mark Matteson (no relation to me) has a group of youngsters in the 4-H shooting program. He is teaching safe gun handling and the techniques necessary to break targets. These folks could easily progress into ATA shooting.
The success of the youth program is measured by participation numbers, but I cannot help but brag about the competition success of our Illinois youth shooters. There are Illinois youth shooters on this year’s All-American team. Anthony Fortino is captain of the junior squad, and Dale Gerlich is captain of the sub-junior team. Dale is also the AIM Grand sub-junior champion. I just checked the Spring Grand high gun list, and Andrew Narvick, Gerlich and Drew Strohecker continue to shoot well, and as usual, Fortino does well in Florida. Jack Miller’s Chip and Crack team has enjoyed a great deal of success in the AIM program.
All of this bodes well for the future of trapshooting. I say with confidence that our sport is in good hands.
As always, please contact me with any information and newsworthy items of interest. I can be reached at 903 Center St., Mazon, IL 60444; 815-448-5120; 815-735-2974; or email@example.com.
I hope everyone weathered the winter well and is getting ready to shoot some registered targets. Here in Indiana it is starting to warm up enough so we can get out and shoot.
The AIM program will be shot on Tuesday, July 9 this year. This is the first day of the state shoot. Coaches of the AIM shooters will need to get their teams pre-registered and pre-squadded. For any information about the AIM program, you can contact Indiana AIM director Keith Weller at keithwelleraetnaplywood.com.
For anyone who wants to shoot a large number of targets in a short period of time, there are several marathons offered by our Indiana gun clubs. Marathons will not only allow you to get your target requirements, but also help get rid of the rust after not shooting all winter.
Now is also a good time to volunteer at your local club. I am sure our clubs could use our help, as they are getting ready for a new shooting year. Even if it is just setting targets, club managers really appreciate the help. Also support your local clubs with shooting there. They need our help more than ever.
Plans are already being made for another great Indiana State Shoot July 9-13. I hope our state shoot will be part of your plans for this coming year. Also remember the Indiana zone shoots: May 10-12, northern zone, Fulton Co. GC and southern zone, Indian Creek SC; then May 3-5, central zone, Roachdale GC. If you need to contact me, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
February has been a tough month in Minnesota due to the passing of our Delegate Ron Noren. Ron suffered a severe stroke from which he was unable to recover. He will be sadly missed throughout the trapshooting community. In addition to being a great volunteer to our association, Ron was an even better father and person. Look for a complete write-up for Ron in this edition of Completed Careers.
Registered shooting takes a break during most of the cold Minnesota winters, but several clubs keep shooters sharp with jackpot shoots. St. Cloud, Minneapolis and Buffalo all have great programs each weekend. I encourage shooters to give them a try. You only have to stand outside for 50 targets, which makes the weather tolerable.
With spring fast approaching, we all need to make our plans for the season. I hope yours include attending your zone shoot June 21-23 and our state shoot July 8-14. As always, there will be a separate shoot for each zone, allowing shooters to compete close to home. The state shoot will again be one of the top state tournaments in the country. The MTA board, along with the crew from Alexandria SP, invites you and your family to come hungry and enjoy some great food. Tuesday’s pork chop feed after shooting is completed is sponsored by the MTA. On Thursday we have brats and Polish sausage and a miss-and-out shoot sponsored by Bob Schultz of Target Shotguns. In recent years the youngsters have dominated this event, and it’s great to see how well the kids shoot from unusual positions and distances. If you happen to run into Bob, please thank him for what he is doing for youth shooters in our state. There will be a donation jar at both of the feeds, and all funds collected will go toward our youth fund. Everyone is invited. Come and enjoy the great food and fellowship.
This year three will be inducted into the Hall of Fame: Glen Lonneman, our current MTA president; Ed Brophy, former owner of Shamrock Leathers; and Summer Johnston, who was a pioneer in getting registered trap started in Minnesota. After the induction banquet Friday night, we have our youth program fund-raising auction. Come enjoy a great meal, help induct some great people into our Hall of Fame, and help us raise money for the kids.
News for the Minnesota High School Trap League continues to be better than one could imagine. Just when you think it’s reached its peak, it grows some more. In the 2012 spring league, there were 59 teams representing over 100 schools. The state championship shoot, which the MTA started and has continued to support, had over 900 kids and 59 teams registered, with just short of 900 kids actually participating. These numbers were basically double those from the previous year. Four years ago, two trap clubs had kids shooting leagues at their site. In 2012, 32 clubs had teams shooting. These kids don’t just shoot leagues; there’s practice, team tryouts, and moms and dads joining the kids practicing on weekends. Some clubs have reported their yearly targets thrown have doubled in just two years.
New this year was a fall league. There were less then 10 teams that participated. The initial spring league team count from four years ago, before the MTA started the state shoot, was eight. I would expect the fall league to grow at a rate close to the spring league’s. It is possible in four years we may see another league with more than 2,000 kids shooting. Think of what that will mean for the clubs with teams participating.
In 2013 it is likely the doubling of teams and kids will continue. The league already expects over 3,000 kids to register. The number of schools has already reached 100, with another 30 possible. The 2013 state shoot will likely include over 100 teams and 1,500 shooters competing over three days at Alexandria SP. The Minnesota State High School League, the same organization that holds every other state meet, plans to sponsor an elite team shoot in 2014 to be held after the Minnesota Scholastic Clay Target state tournament. Imagine trapshooting as a state high school tourney event—just like all the other sports, only the boys and girls will compete together!
If there’s any bad news for this program, it’s the fact that many teams have already had to limit their numbers due to available trapfield limitations. Some schools have 50 kids on their squad, with another 100 on the waiting list! If there was ever a time for us to help, it’s now. The MTA helped establish a not-for-profit (c3) organization for the purpose of enhancing our fundraising capability and making your support of our efforts easier and more attractive. Any item you donate for our auction will earn you a tax deduction for its value. Any item you buy at auction will earn you a tax deduction for every dollar you spend over its market value. The money earned through our auctions will go toward funding the MTA’s youth day and half-price targets; it will help fund the high school league tournament and events that promote young shooters entering the world of registered shooting in the future, and it could help fund range growth for clubs requiring more capacity to support the high school league. All of these are very possible, but it will take more generous donations from MTA shooters to make it happen. Record earnings from our state shoot auctions were over $30,000. Let’s see if we can break this record and help ensure trapshooting continues to be the fastest-growing high school sport in Minnesota. We already have a new Remington rifle and one of Lindsay Zauhar’s original artworks for our auction. What do you have that we can sell to support the growth of our sport? Your donation can be arranged by contacting Mark Zauhar or Jim Walkowiak. Mark’s e-mail is MarkZ@Pride-Eng.com, and Jim’s is JimW-MN@earthlink.net.
You can reach me at 218-393-8927 or Duluthgeorge@aol.com.
Thanks from Minnesota; I hope to see you at shoots.
Congratulations to all the shooters earning spots on the state team:
Top team—Richard Marshall Jr., .9694; Wayne Hunnel, .9349; Brad Lech, .9343; Frank Hoppe, .9324; Brian Kasuske, .9307; Wyatt Lanik, .9302; Stanley Welte, .9295; Zachary Jeffery, .9248; Zach Bryant, .9210; James Gelinne, .9177. Women’s—Morgan Mavis, .8746; Christine Coash, .8688; Traci Hoppe, .8538. Junior—Carson Kettelhake, .9225; Ryan Glow, .9141; Nick Bowman, .8982; Adam Florian, .8843; Charlie Buckles, .8743. Sub-junior—Bradyn Snell, .9058; Tanner Wilson, .8588; Jack Bowman, .85303; Spencer Ellwanger, .85295. Veteran—Roger Hudson, .9142; Steven Elliott, .9033; Martin Hockemeier, .8879; William Schoch, .8869; James Runge, .8765. Senior vet—Joe Miller, .9111; Ralph Clark, .8960; John Hakola, .8878; Marvin Cox, .8788; Lyle Hall, .8752.
Just around the corner is the 44th National Cornhusker Junior/Senior High School Invitational Trapshoot, May 2-4 at the NTA Homegrounds in Doniphan. It is jointly sponsored by Nebraska Game & Parks and the Nebraska Trapshooting Association. NGP takes the role of shoot management, and the NTA provides the facility, complete with 24 new Pat-Traps and electrical upgrades to the campground and a staff of directors. All school shooters must be academically eligible and full-time students or mid-term graduates who have completed a Nebraska recognized hunter education course. Over 2,000 shooters are expected. Junior shooters include grades 6 through 8 and compete in a 100-target 16-yard event on Thursday. The senior shooters compete in a 100-target 16-yard event Friday and a 100-target handicap Saturday. There is also a 4-H division. The NGP provides more than 100 awards and 232 medals over the three-day event. As seasoned shooters, we could learn a lot from these kids. They don’t complain about the wind, rain, snow, noise, how high or low the targets are, etc. They’re just shooting targets and having fun!
Doug Brown for ATA Delegate John Burke
It’s been a couple of sad days here on the prairie during the middle of February. Ron Noren, fellow Delegate from Minnesota, suffered a massive stroke and passed away Feb. 10.
Ron was a frequent visitor at our clubs in South Dakota, as both his daughters are located here. We will miss him on the line and in helping to make our sport better. Our condolences to his family and friends.
Also, Tom Muilenburg passed away Feb 14 due to complications from diabetes. Tom gave freely of his time, spending more than 25 years as part of our state board of directors and just as many years on the board at Crooks GC. He won the S.D. handicap championship in 1975 and the singles title in 1979. He also served as ATA Secretary under Randy Clark in 1983 and Larry Scott in 1984.
Tom was instrumental in starting me on my registered trapshooting journey, continually pestering me to come to the gun club and shoot a little. We spent a lot of time at the clubs competing and also in the field chasing ducks, geese, pheasants and crows. He was a great companion in the blind, being handy with a call as well as the gun. Rest in peace, Tom.
At our winter board meeting, the group decided to add the new categories to our S.D. state team. The adjusted team is as follows: captain Fred Nagel, .9746; Matt Bartholow, .9713; Todd Hanson, .9547; Foster Bartholow, .9492; Greg Johnson, .9472; Rod Larson, .9431; Troy Balk, .9422; Scott Myren, .9377; Scott McIntire, .9372; Darcy Schlecht, .9220; Kylie Kintigh, Lady I, .9005; Tessa Myren, Lady I second, .8951; Marlene Hettinger, Lady II, .8371; Judy Bonefield, Lady II second, .8015; Hunter Weaver, junior, .9035; Hunter Serfoss, junior second, .8910; Jordan Hart, sub-junior, .9027; Nathan Hofer, junior gold, .9611; Mitch McIntire, junior gold second, .9373; Darby Fast, sub-vet, .9381; Mike Hettinger, sub-vet second, .9240; Chuck Manning, veteran, .9303; Dave Thorson, veteran second, .9194; Bob Barker, senior vet, .9226; Ron Putzier, senior vet second, .9225.
If you need camper spots for the state shoot at Mitchell this year July 16-21, you can call Marlene Hettinger at 605-770-7682.
Remember to bring a friend to the gun club next time you go shooting.
Let me kown if I can be of any help. I can be reached at 605-336-7285 or email@example.com.
Greetings to all, and I hope to find everyone doing well. By the time you read this, spring will be upon us; therefore, it will be time to get in some serious practice for the season. Congratulations to this year’s Connecticut state team and high-average winners for 2012. Representing Connecticut as the 2013 state team: Dave Bicknell, .9408; Antonio Lobo, .9389; Hani Hafez, .9315; Joseph Wheeler, .9278; Brian Scussel, .9277; Bill Boudreau, .9175; Daniel Gutt, .9149; Michael Lipetz, .9115; Frank Morton, .9052; Rody Bertolini, .9020.
The 2012 high-average winner in the men’s singles was Bicknell with .9825. Category winners were Lady I, Theresa Bellerive, .9486; Lady II, Diane Slovak, .8162; junior, Louis Raab, .9464; sub-junior, Brian Raab, .9089; sub-veteran, John Russo, .9687; veteran, Frank Morton, .9663; and senior vet, Rody Bertolini, .9658.
In the men’s handicap was Brian Scussel with .9290. Category winners were Lady I, Noelle Feucht, .8857; Lady II, Diane Slovak, .8030; junior, Louis Raab, .9005; sub-junior, Brian Raab, .8668; sub-veteran, George Janosov, .9029; veteran, Ben Giaquinto, .9135; and senior vet, Frank Blish, .9029.
In the men’s doubles was Bicknell with .9400. Category winners were Lady I, Theresa Bellerive, .8381; junior, Louis Raab, .8218; sub-junior, Brian Raab, .8364; sub-veteran, Hani Hafez, .9333; veteran, Fred Noell, .8444; and senior vet, Bill Boudreau, .9100.
I look forward to seeing you all soon. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at Mrtrapaa@att.net.
Winter shooting continued at Wilmington TA after the clubhouse was damaged by vandals last fall. Fire damage left the clubhouse unusable, so a group of volunteers wrapped the open-air pavilion with plastic to give shooters a place to get out of the weather while shooting winter weekend practice plus the January Tundra Shoot and February Icicle Open, hosted by the DTA at WTA. A contract to rebuild the clubhouse has been awarded, and by the time you read this, it should be back in use.
At the Icicle Open Feb. 10, past DTA president Curt Jones was high gun with 48x50 in the Stump Shoot, where all the shooters were required to shoot at 25 singles and 25 handicap while sitting on a stump. All the entrants said it was fun. Thank you to Dave Mortez for providing and delivering the stumps we used. Curt Jones was also high gun in the second event, a 50-bird shell Lewis shoot. George Barber was the only successful one of 15 entries shooting at the long bird. George donated most of the long-bird jackpot back to DTA to seed the pot at the next fun shoot. Thanks for sharing your good fortune, George. A big thank you to Curt Jones, Ron Lindsey, Allan Brown and Merlynn Wegter for providing the free lunch that all the shooters enjoyed.
WTA has 10 ATA shoots scheduled for the remainder of the 2013 season. The annual Buckle Shoot April 7 will be followed by the Hodgon Powder Shoot April 28. WTA’s complete schedule is printed in the Delaware State Shoot book, and we need all Delaware ATA shooters to turn out and support the club. WTA will be hosting the 50-target Spring Twilight League April 2 to June 18.
The Delaware Trapshooting Association has been working hard on arrangements for the 110th annual state shoot to be held at Millington (Md.) SA May 24 -27. The state shoot book was sent to the printer the last week of February, and copies are available at most trap clubs near Delaware and the Newcastle County sporting goods vendors that helped sponsor the book. Webmaster Dan Miller has also posted it at www.dtatrap.org if you want to download a copy. There are 199 trophies on the program. DTA is also holding a special event handicap shootoff for a Browning reproduction Model 12, Grade V, 28-gauge gun, generously donated by Lou Goodwin. This gun is unfired, in the original box, and something that every shooter would enjoy owning. Check out Event 12 in the state shoot book for details on how you can be eligible to shoot for this prize. State team plaques and high-average awards will be presented at the state shoot. We need the Delaware ATA shooters to attend the DTA Board of Directors meeting and election of officers after completion of Saturday’s events. If you would like to run or nominate someone for a position, contact Bill Alfree or any other DTA officer. Nominations can also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the secretary-treasurer will get the name on the slate of candidates.
Writing this at the end of February, there have been a number of small snow accumulations so far here in the Garden State. Winter 2013 hasn’t been all that bad. Hopefully the snow gods will be kind to the Middle Atlantic states during the remainder of winter and the beginning of spring.
By now, if you’re an active shooter and have made it to your local gun club, you’ll be the proud owner of the 2013 New Jersey State Shoot program. Again this year, Rudy Torlini has taken ownership of gathering advertisements that fund the printing of the book with the help of the NJSTA. The different event options have been streamlined to allow the shooter to understand the various ways to win money. You will notice the binding for the book needed to be changed this year because of all the verbiage and ads packed inside.
If you haven’t been able to get out this winter, you can go to www.njsta.com and look at the 2013 program online. You will notice that the website format has changed for the better!
The telephonic zone shoot will return this year with an additional nine trophies for the host club. The southern zone starts May 3 at the Pine Valley club in Pine Hill. There will be singles, handicap and doubles on Friday, and all trophies are open. Saturday starts the championship events with 200 singles; shooters can participate at either Pine Valley or North Jersey CTC in Fairfield. Southern zone shooters must compete at Pine Valley if they want to be eligible for the zone trophies on Saturday and Sunday and for the team race at the state shoot.
Shooters wishing to get targets for target requirements can shoot for open trophies at NJCTC Saturday and Sunday. Out-of-state shooters can venture over to Pine Valley or NJSTA and compete for open trophies alongside New Jersey residents. Everyone is welcome and has a chance to win.
Page 20 in the 2013 program spells out the changes to the zone shoot.
I just received word that Groundswipers is having a 200-bird handicap shoot April 6. There will be cash prizes of $125, $100, $50 and $25. If you are planning on going, you need to call 609-618-8191 to pre-register.
I also received information from Len Fennimore on the 48th Cricket Shoot April 27. The shoot will be returning to a three-club event, starting off with breakfast at Pine Belt, lunch at Pine Valley followed by a trip down to the Wilmington TA in Delaware for the final 100 singles. A sit-down dinner at the Christiana Hilton with choices of prime rib or chicken will be offered. Cost will be $165 per shooter and $60 for a guest; reduced room rates are available if you want to stay overnight for the Hodgdon Powder Shoot on Sunday at WTA.
Pine Belt had registered shoots Feb. 3 and 17; Fred Minus led the singles on the 3rd. Conditions on the 17th were cold and windy, hence the name Polar Bear Shoot. Jeff Whalen led the singles, with Joe Lombardi winning the handicap and doubles.
This month we’ll be honoring and highlighting our second 2013 Hall of Fame inductee, Eugene (Gene) Salomon. It’s been a pleasure knowing and shooting with Gene for the last 45 years.
Gene was born in Moonachie in 1936. At the age of two, his parents moved to Yellow Brook Road in Farmingdale. Gene still resides in the family homestead. Back in the day it was a working farm with chickens, corn and various vegetables. Growing up on the farm with his brother Hans, Gene was very familiar with all the mechanics of the tractors and associated machinery. He attended Howell Township public school and graduated from Freehold High School.
While growing up, Gene soon was out hunting with his brother and dad. In order to get proficient with the shotgun, he and his friends were buying clay pigeons from the local sport shop. With the aid of a hand thrower, they were easily breaking targets. Gene told me that because of the cost of components—targets and cash being a scarce commodity—he and his friends would reload a box of shells and shoot 12 shells on one Saturday and the remaining 13 the next Saturday.
In 1954, when he was 18, Gene’s wishes and those of his hunting and shooting friends led to the establishment of the Farmingdale GC on some vacant land, where now resides the Eagles Golf Course on Cranberry Road in Farmingdale. Back in those days, you just went out and did things and basically “squatted” on the land. A traphouse was erected, and people came and enjoyed trapshooting. The club prospered, and eventually three traps were erected.
After graduating high school, Gene started working for a local non-union excavator. He was able to get into Local #825 of the Operating Engineers and was soon traveling for work up and down the coast of New Jersey, working in five counties of New York State, New York City, Maryland and Connecticut.
During the establishment and growth of Farmingdale GC at the old location, Gene was buying all his components and targets from the sport shop in town. He was told of a fellow in Vineland, Lou Pagliughi, the father of Bob Pugliughi, who eventually established Robert’s Shell and at one time was the biggest supplier of targets, ammo and components in the state. Anyway, Gene started buying components, shells, guns and targets at wholesale prices and then started his own business working out of a garage behind his house. In 1966 burglars broke in, stole some guns, and started a fire, which destroyed the entire wooden structure. Gene was able to rebuild, and a larger cement block structure was erected.
In 1967 Gene married his late wife Jenny; they had two children, Eugene Jr. and daughter Hope. When they became old enough, the two worked, with Junior setting targets and Hope pulling. Hope still helps her dad, pulling during registered shoots.
In 1968 Gene relocated the three traps to family-owned property, and the Howell TC was established. Besides running the trap club, working as an operating engineer, and running the store, Gene made deliveries throughout the state with his red Ford pickup with a tarp covering all the supplies. Some of his clients were Roger Taylor up in Smoke Rise, North Jersey GC in Fairfield, the Winchester range in Englishtown, Grouse Ridge out past Clinton and Pam Olsen’s, Old Mill in Secaucus.
Gene’s first registered targets were at the Westy Hogans on the Asbury Park boardwalk. It was a 50-target event on Friday, a preliminary day back then, and he was squadded with Toots Tindall, one of the Garden State’s premier lady shooters of the day. Gene was shooting a Remington Model 58 automatic with a cylinder choke. He broke 42x50. What Gene was impressed most by was the way Toots was smashing her targets with her Winchester Model 12.
Gene’s first trip to the Grand American in Vandalia, Ohio, was in 1965. He broke 195 on Monday of Grand Week, and in Wednesday’s Clay Target Championship, he broke 198 and was tied for third place in Class B. Gene returned in 1966 with his shooting buddy Hans Barkalow. He broke 98 in one of the handicaps. Not knowing what was high, he and Hans were heading out to dinner when he heard his name being called for shootoff. This time Gene was victorious and secured third place. Back then Federal gave out a six- to eight-inch oval patch with your name and score during the event you won. Gene put the patch on his shooting vest, which was lost in the fire at his business.
At the Grand in 2004, Gene shot a 199 in the White Flyer Championships and secured third place after a 100-target shootoff. In 2007 he again broke 199 to win Class B after a 25-bird shootoff. In 2009 he won senior vet with 98 in one of the handicaps, and at the 2011 Ohio State Shoot in Marengo, he won a senior vet trophy in each of the two handicap events that day.
Gene won a class singles trophy at the New York Athletic Club shoot at Travers Island, and he has earned trophies in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. At this writing, he has registered 116,925 singles, 74,875 handicap and 38,950 doubles targets.
If you have a question or an idea for a future column, I can be reached at 732-546-7910 or email@example.com.
Greetings from Ontario, Canada.
Permit me to remind Ontario shooters that the fight to protect our firearm heritage in Canada is never over. It took us over 20 years of persistent efforts to eventually unravel the long gun registry. That minor victory pales in the face of gun control measures still in place that can and often are used by law enforcement for bullying, intimidating, and subjugating law-abiding firearm owners to the criminal justice system for seemingly trivial infractions.
The only way we were able to obtain changes to the legislation was by changing the legislators. Federal Conservatives have thus far only tinkered with changing the firearm laws, but it is a start.
The Quebec provincial government has no intention of giving up on even the registration of long guns. Quebec’s Bill 20 will, if passed, create a new provincial gun registry to replace the federal one, publicly predicting the price to be “a few million dollars.” Twenty years ago Federal Justice Minister Allan Rock predicted the cost of the national registry to be a mere $2 million (in actuality it cost over $2 billion). In Quebec, not one politician stood up to defend farmers, hunters and target shooters who own guns. These are the same politicians who refused to support a registry for convicted pedophiles. So for Quebec politicians, there is more concern over criminalizing an otherwise law-abiding firearm owner who fails or refuses to register his or her long gun than there is to inform parents of a neighboring convicted pedophile. Go figure.
For those of us who have been through the gun control fight, there are alarmingly similar tactics being used by the Obama regime in garnering public support. In Canada the Federal Liberals paraded family members of victims of the Montreal Polytechnique massacre (1989) before the media. Obama is doing the same.
But there is a difference in our fight and the battle south of our border. Americans have the Second Amendment (constitutional right to bear arms). The NRA is a powerful ally. But the NRA needs our assistance—moral and financial. I strongly encourage the firearm owners of Ontario (and the rest of Canada) to send a donation to the NRA. Become a member, too, if you like. Although we are “non-resident aliens,” we too have a stake in this fight. In fact all members of the ATA will be impacted.
I have encouraged our ATA Executive Committee to take a stand on the gun control issue. I am not suggesting the ATA play a pivotal role but rather at least take a position that would add our collective membership numbers to the debate. We may not support the NRA on every single issue, policy and approach, but by and large, the NRA needs to be supported by the ATA and its membership. We don’t want to undermine its efforts or detract from its message, but the NRA needs to know we are supportive.
At the time that this article was written, our ATA Executive Committee has not, to my knowledge, taken a position. Some EC members have advised me that they are concerned about jeopardizing the ATA’s tax status. In my opinion, the ATA’s role is multifaceted. The ATA cannot morph into a lobbyist organization. But on our own website, our mission statement is “to promote and govern the sport (of American style trapshooting) throughout the world.” As the “faithful protector of trapshooting,” does our role not include, in part at least, the protection of our members’ firearm heritage? Are firearms not an integral part of the very sport the ATA is entrusted to protect and enhance?
When I was president of the Shooting Federation of Canada, we faced similar issues and concerns over jeopardizing our charitable tax status. The SFC had a similar mandate in Canada to protect and enhance recreational and competitive shooting from the novice up to and including Olympic athletes. We sought and obtained intervener status at the Firearms Reference (a constitutional challenge that originally went in front of the Alberta Court of Appeal and later to the Supreme Court of Canada). The SCC upheld the legislation as a constitutionally valid exercise of the Canadian Federal Parliament’s authority to enact criminal laws (backed by the power to enact laws for “peace, order and good government”). The SCC held that registration of long guns was a valid federal power that trumped the provincial government’s power to enact laws over “property and civil rights.” The SCC added a dimension to the overall debate that other organizations could not. Our national tax-exempt status was not in jeopardy. The SFC was protecting its sport and its members from intrusive legislation.
There is often the tendency to let someone else “fight the fight” and to find ways to follow the course of least resistance; i.e., an excuse to do nothing. History teaches us many lessons if we choose to pay attention. In England a few short decades ago, the anti-gun movement targeted handguns. Owners of handguns reached out for support from long gun owners, who in turn distanced themselves from them. The theory of shotgun and rifle owners was presumably that if handguns (and their owners) were sacrificed, then rifles and shotguns would be spared. So handguns were banned in England (to the point that even the elite British handgun teams have to practice and compete out of country). Rather than leave the rifle and shotgun owners alone, the anti-gunners were all the more emboldened and next went after semi-automatics, etc. Australia followed, with Canada and other countries on their heels. We in Canada fought to preserve our firearms heritage against all odds, including a liberal media; an unsympathetic, non-firearm-owning urban population congregated in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver; and opportunistic politicians. Nevertheless, we have won some minor battles and reversed some oppressive laws.
To the readers of this column who live and vote in the U.S., don’t think for a moment that banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, for instance, is not your battle. It is the “slippery slope.” The anti-gun sector will never give up and will be emboldened by any success. By and large, reason and common sense play minor roles. As we found out in Canada, it is all about the numbers—in your case, the numbers of politicians who vote a bill up or down. Also, it is invariably the numbers of your Supreme Court representatives that will determine the constitutionality (for instance) of putative legislation.
My point is simple: the ATA has a role to play in all of this. What that role is will be up to our EC, and it may be one of supporting the NRA. But to do nothing is, in my view, unacceptable and akin to the captain and crew of the Titanic ignoring icebergs.
Enjoy our sport and have a great competition season.
TRAP & FIELD Magazine, 1000 Waterway Blvd., Indianapolis IN 46202
(C) Copyright 05/02/2013, Curtis Magazine Group, Inc.