Apr. 21, 2011

 Elissa's Notebook


Jan. to Dec. 2008

Apr. to Dec. 2007



Well, the 2011 Southwestern Grand is in the history books, and it was a great one. Congratulations to the champions: Dave Kelly, singles; Harlan Campbell Jr., doubles; Leo Harrison, handicap and all-around; and Rick Marshall, HOA.

The shooting season is starting to heat up. Be sure to let me know what’s going on at your club at elissa@trapandfield.com.

Shooters enjoyed dinner during Saturday evening’s Championship Party sponsored by National Shooting Complex, Winchester and White Flyer.
Tournament director Royce Graff draws raffle winners during Saturday’s party.
Shooters wait for their turn to step to the firing line.




ATA Southwestern Zone Vice President Rob Taylor congratulates David Rhoads for registering his 100,000th singles target Friday.

Barb Rocheford updates the board.

Bud Milner collected Class D doubles awards on Friday and Sunday.

Vendors row




Three shooters posted perfect 150s in the Singles Championship, and Mike Herman prevailed in shootoff to claim the title.

There were 638 shooters who competed in the Singles Championship.

Feb. 27, 2011

Shooters woke up to snow on the day of the Spring Grand Handicap Championship. Despite the unusually cold weather for Arizona, many stepped to the line to compete.
Congratulations to Mike Herman for securing the singles title and Sean Hawley for capturing the doubles crown. Sean broke 100s in the doubles and handicap events Friday to win both outright.
Also congrats to Hardy Musselman and Michele Decker Durr, who broke their first 100s this week.

Watch for the April issue for complete coverage of the 2011 Spring Grand.

A crowd gathers to watch shootoffs.

Collecting White Flyer commemorative targets.




Nov 8. 11, 2010

Congratulations to Tim Robb! He won the Autumn Grand singles championship for the second year in a row. Five posted perfect scores in the program, and Tim prevailed after six rounds of shootoff. Robert Youngblood took runnerup honors. Other excitement included the shootoff for veteran runnerup. Bill Whalen and Gene Hapney were perfect after four rounds, so they decided to step back and shoot from the sidewalk—about 37 yards away! Bill ended up winning with 16 over Gene’s 13. Everyone had fun watching that one!

It was a warm, sunny day for shooting Saturday, and everyone has been having a great time. Competition heats up today with the Doubles and Handicap Championships.

Tim Robb is congratulated by Bob Munson after winning his second straight singles title.



It was a beautiful day for the Autumn Grand Singles Championship.


Oct. 11, 2010

The 2010 Autumn Grand begins in just three weeks, and I can’t wait to get there! The weather is beautiful in Arizona this time of year, so if you havent’ made your travel plans yet, do it right away.

I’ll be there for the championship events, so be sure to stop by to see me and let me know how you’re shooting. And don’t forget to enjoy the live music provided by the club Friday night and the steak dinner on Saturday. It’s sure to be a great time!



Aug. 12, 2010

A storm just rolled through, causing shooters to be called off the line for two hours. I’ve heard stories of port-a-potties tipped over and golf carts being blown down the trapline with no one in them. I made the mistake of stepping outside to take pictures, and got thouroughly soaked. I’ve included some pictures I took during the storm and some from Alan Loveless, the official Grand photographer.




Aug. 12, 2010

There were 31 200s in yesterday’s Clay Target Championship, and three are left still tied for the title. Defending champ Dave Shaeffer; Pat Stacey, who won in 2003; and Eric Munson, who has three Doubles titles and an All-Around championship but has never won the Clay Target. Rachel Hopkins broke 200 in this event for the second year in a row and was one of the last five shooters standing last night, along with veteran Dempsey Gottschalk.

Rachel also broke 100 in this morning’s Champion of Champions as did Cathy Wehinger.

I was happy to see Bob Scheonrock of Michigan here at the Grand. He was recently injured while horseback riding and was unable to take part in his state shoot. He didn’t think he would be well enough to shoot here but is feeling much better and enjoying his time in Sparta.

Shooters have been called off the line twice so far today because of weather. Check back tomorrow to find out all the happenings.


Scenes from the 2010 Grand:



Mary Lee VanArsdall and Cathy Wehinger were inducted into the Trapshooting Hall of Fame last night.

Rachel Hopkins has won 17 trophies so far at the 2010 Grand.

Janessa Beaman won the women’s title in the NRA Singles with 200.

The homemade ice cream at the Randolph Co. Farm Bureau tent is popular again this year.

Ethan Hastie, 2009 Trap & Field Rookie of the Year, stopped by the T&F booth

Aug. 11, 2010

Congratulations to Steve Huber! He won yesterday’s President’s Handicap, qualifying for Saturday’s $100,000 Grand American Challenge.

The Hall of Fame banquet took place last night, celebrating the induction of John Hall, Tom Lynott, Mary Lee VanArsdall and Cathy Wehinger.

I enjoyed listening to Mary Lee and Cathy speak about the trials and tribulations of taking part and excelling in a male-dominated sport. It was pointed out during the ceremony last night that shooting has been open to women at least since the days of Annie Oakley and it’s unique in the sports world that women have the opportunity to compete with men.

During the Grand when two women are being honored for their contributions to the sport, I want to recognize two young ladies who are just starting to make their mark on the sport. Rachel Hopkins has won 17 trophies already at this Grand, including the championship over the entire field in the Great Lakes Sporting Doubles with 100. This was the fourth twin-bird 100 of her career. Rachel has broken 999x1,000 in the last five 200-bird events at the Grand (three in 2009 and two so far in 2010), with her only miss happening on Monday in the Class Singles. She ended up with the women’s runnerup prize with 199. Janessa Beaman has broken 996x1,000 of the last five 200-bird events at the Grand, missing two Monday. She was a member of the women’s third-place team in the National Team Race last week and won the ladies’ championship in the NRA Singles with 200. These two young women are ones to watch.

Grand Week kicked off Monday with opening ceremonies. The evening included a moment of silence for Southwestern Zone Vice President John Hiter, who passed away July 25. A 21-gun salute with 21 Georgia shooters will take place Friday at closing ceremonies to honor John and his 21 years as Georgia Delegate.

Today is the Clay Target Championship. Who will be the first championship ring winner at the 2010 Grand? Keep reading Elissa’s Notebook to find out, and be sure to check out the Trap & Field page on Facebook, too.

Shooters have placed flowers in John Hiter’s parking spot.






Aug. 9, 2010

Last night was the AIM awards ceremony, and many youth shooters were honored for their great shooting! Congratulations to all the individuals and teams who took home trophies. Watch for complete AIM results in the September issue.

I got to meet Jake Turner today. He’s a member of the USA Shooting team and just returned from Munich, Germany, having placed sixth in Men’s Trap at the World Championships. Jake was introduced to the sport by his dad and uncle and started shooting at nine years old. He began with ATA shooting and made the USA Shooting National Development Team in 2006. He said he’s having lots of fun at the Grand so far.

I also got to meet Shena O’Brien of Kansas, who just arrived in Sparta and is ready to start shooting. She recently did well at the Southwestern Zone Shoot and was excited to have ATA President Gary Sherrod punch her card. She couldn’t participate in her own state shoot this year because she was a contestant in the Miss Kansas pageant. Her friends asked her if trapshooting was going to be her talent, but since it’s not the best acitivity for indoors, she decided to show off one of her other talents, which is singing. Shooting did influence the platform she chose, which was firearm safety for youth. Shena is getting ready to start her freshman year at Ft. Hays State University, where she will be a member of the shooting team.

Congratulations to Harlan Campbell Jr. for winning Prelim Week’s All-Around and High-Over-All.

It’s getting hot here, but there’s a lot of great shooting going on. Keep checking back for more updates from the 2010 Grand.

Shena O’Brien is not only a good shot, but she’s a talented singer as well.
Vendor row


ATA’s Mindy Greer and Nick Aycock present the AIM awards.

Despite the heat, a large crowd of AIM shooters and their families gathered for the awards ceremony.

Jake Turner just returned from Munich, Germany, where he placed sixth in Men’s Trap in the World Championships.

The trapline



Aug. 8, 2010

I arrived at the Grand American yesterday, and it’s great to be here!

Congratulations to Kyle Kratzer of Frankfort, Ky. Kyle shoots on the Franklin Co. SC AIM team, and he won the TechPro Shoot Out last night. Five names from each category were drawn, and those shooters got to participate in a miss-and-out shootoff for a new laptop. The last shooter left standing with Kyle was his teammate Jordan Foley. I bet that’s one proud coach! Kyle has been shooting since 2004 and was introduced to the sport by a friend of his father’s.

The AIM shooters enjoyed a pizza party last night hosted by ATA and Beretta, and everyone is getting ready for tonight’s awards ceremony.

Also, I met Robb Mulbergerof Virginia, who fired at his 180,000th ATA target today. He’s been shooting since 1965 and has attended every Grand since 1976 except for the last two. He’s taken a bit of a break from the sport for the last two years but is happy to be at the 2010 Grand. Welcome back, Robb!

I’ll be keeping everyone updated all week on what’s happening here at the Grand, so be sure to keep checking back!

               Barry Bourdage of TechPro presents                                    Robb Mulberger registered his 180,000th target    
                 Kyle Kratzer with a new laptop.                                        on Sunday after a two-year break from the Grand.


Aug. 6, 2010

I’m heading out to Sparta tomorrow morning and looking forward to seeing everyone at the Grand.

Your official ATA magazine is working hard to keep you informed about everything that is happening at the Grand as it happens. Watch the T&F website for updates on the qualifiers for the $100,000 Grand American Challenge, plus Terry and I will be reporting what’s happening in Editor Papers and here in Elissa’s Notebook. Also, become a fan of Trap & Field on Facebook to make sure you stay informed.

If you’re at the WSRC, be sure to stop by the T&F booth to say hi and let me know how you’re shooting.

See you in Sparta!



June 25, 2010

The competition is heating up at the California State Shoot!

Tuesday started with the class singles, with three shooters posting 200s—California’s Russell Pierce plus Rich Bullard of Nevada and Gerry Williams of Arizona. They day also included a 499 squad in the second half of the event. Squad members included Jimmy Heller, Dan Bonillas, Dave Bonillas, Alan Pinoli and David Kelly (with Dan being the one to let one fly unbroken).

On Wednesday Richie Clodt won the handicap with 99, the highest handicap score to be posted in the tournament so far.

During today’s Doubles Championship, Ronnie McMahan will fire at his 100,000th twin-bird target. Shooting with him during this milestone are Ed Wehking, Charlie Long, Al Yapelli and Steve Williamson. Together the members of this squad have registered more than 900,000 doubles targets. They’ll be hitting the one million mark before we know it! Congratulations, Ronnie, and also to Al, who broke a 97 in Thursday’s handicap.

The Hall of Fame committee is busy selling lots of raffle tickets. If you’re at the shoot, be sure to stop by their tent and show your support and also take a walk through the Hall of Fame building to see all of their great memorabilia.

The championship events start today; stay tuned to find out all the winners.

Ed Wehking, Charlie Long, Al Yapelli, Ronnie McMahan and Steve Williamson.


June 11, 2010

It’s a rootin’, tootin’, shootin’ time at Vernal R&GC.

The class doubles started with three blasting 100s: Mike Stears, Jimmy Heller and Leo Harrison. They carried over to the Doubles Championship, where Leo won.

In the feature twins David Kelly posted the lone 100. Jennifer Wilburn won women’s, and Claude Hemsi took senior vet with 96s. Drake Dillon and David Jacquot were junior and sub-junior winners with 93s.

Stu Welton and Tim Reed had 100s in the handicap, with the winner to be determined by carryover today.

There was a lot of exitement and fun surrounding the miss-and-outs. Good shooting to Stu in those as well.

Last night’s feast included barbecue chicken roasted over hickory, sausage, scalloped potatoes and all the trimmings. Entertainment was provided by Kahuna Beach Party Band (http://www.bluemoontalent.com/kahuna-beach-party.html).

Sounds like they’re having a lot of fun in Vernal. Check out the Phil Kiner blog for more on what’s happening there.

The cooks prepare a feast for the shooters at Vernal.

Jennifer Wilburn, ladies’ winner in the Doubles Championship, takes a break between events—perhaps she’s sharing her shooting secrets.



April 8, 2010

Good luck to the shooters heading to San Antonio for the Southwestern Grand. The Warm-Up Shoot starts Saturday, with the Satellite Grand tournament beginning Monday.

I’m excited to make my way there for the championship events. I always love going to the Southwestern Grand. It’s a fun shoot and a great chance to see old friends. Be sure to stop by to see me and let me know how you’re shooting.

If anyone is planning to be in the Indianapolis area during the next week. I recommend checking out the “Pistols: Dazzling Firearms” exhibit at the Eiteljorg Museum. The exhibit also includes a chance to talk with an actress playing the part of Trapshooting Hall of Fame inductee Annie Oakley. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about this shooting legend. For more information, click on http://www.eiteljorg.org/ejm_WhatsHappening/Exhibitions/details.asp?id=2516.

Don’t forget to e-mail me at elissa@trapandfield.com to let me know what’s happening at your clubs.

On the grounds of the National SC, San Antonio, Texas.

T&F Circulation Manager Rebecca Brazzell enjoyed “meeting” Annie Oakley.



February 27, 2010 

The Handicap Championship gets under way in the rain at the 2010 Spring Grand.

Good shooting to Jason Folvag, doubles champion with 100 plus 40 in shootoff, and Mike Jordan singles champ with 150 plus 150 extras.

Also, congratulations to Frandell Johnson and Ron Creutz for firing at and hitting their 100,000th handicap targets on Monday. They celebrated with friends and a cake in the clubhouse.

Almost 700 shooters participated in Saturday’s Singles Championship.

The Handicap Championship got off to a rainy start.

J. A. Browning gives some indication as to how his day went, “showing off” his homemade award for breaking six straight.

Squadmates Fred Nagel, Nathan Hofer and Dale Stockdale all broke 100s in the Doubles Championship. Fred ended up with the runnerup trophy, Nathan took the junior title, and Dale was AAA winner. Since Fred was out of shells, Dale gave him some to use for the shootoff then joked about how he gave Fred the shells to beat him.


February 19, 2010

Good luck to all the shooters heading to Tucson for the Spring Grand. I’ll be there for the championship events, so be sure to stop by and tell me how you’re shooting.

I’ve heard the weather in Tucson is perfect, and with the amount of snow we’ve been getting in the Midwest, I’m ready for some sunshine.

For those who can’t make it to Tucson, keep watching Elissa’s Notebook and the Trap & Field page on Facebook for updates from the shoot.



February 15, 2010    

This Indiana winter weather is starting to get to me, and I’m ready to head to Arizona for the 34th Spring Grand. Go to T&F’s Facebook page to see pictures of the first Spring Grand in 1977. While you’re there, leave a message about your favorite Spring Grand memory. If you don’t have a Facebook account, send me an e-mail about the fun times you’ve had at the Spring Grand at elissa@trapandfield.com. I’d love to hear from you!



January 20, 2010

Do you recognize the shooters in these pictures? Your official ATA magazine has been covering the sport since 1890, and we’ve accumulated a lot of pictures over the years. We’ve shared these plus more on Trap & Field’s page on Facebook. Look us up on Facebook to see them all and to become a fan of T&F. Shooters have been enjoying the pictures and leaving messages about their trapshooting memories. It’s been great reading all of them.
Not on Facebook? Write to me at elissa@trapandfield.com and share your trapshooting stories. I’ll include them in Elissa’s Notebook, and don’t forget to let me know what’s going on at your club too!



November 6, 2009

Hello, everyone! It’s been awhile since I’ve written. The time after the Grand marks the end of the season for many shooters, but for us at T&F, it is the busiest time of the year. Finishing up state and zone shoot coverage, not to mention the Grand, can be a daunting task.

This year has been no exception. However, I took a break from work a few weeks ago to test my stamina and blow off some steam by taking part in the No Skirts Allowed Adventure Race. The event included running, biking, canoeing, and other events. I raced with my oldest friend Erica (we met at the age of three) and her friend Nikki. Although tipping our canoe twice in 50° weather wasn’t the highlight of our day, I had fun and look forward to trying a race like this again.

I’m heading to Tucson this weekend for the Autumn Grand, and I am really looking forward to some warm, sunny weather. This is a great time of year to visit Arizona. If you’re there, be sure to stop by and say hi and let me know how you’re shooting.

If you can’t make it to Tucson, send me an e-mail at elissa@trapandfield.com and let me know what’s happening at your club this fall.

Nikki, Erica and I regrouped after getting dumped in the White River twice. We returned to our bikes to find they had been tied together.


We had big smiles and felt relieved when the race was done.




August 31, 2009

Shooting continues across the ATA, and we’re keeping busy at the Trap & Field office writing up all the reports. Tomorrow is the beginning of a new target year. Time for a fresh start and to achieve new goals. Good luck to everyone!

I’d like to recognize a few shooters who have reached shooting milestones recently. Buffalo GC vice president John Farrell shot at and broke his 25,000th singles target Sunday, while Darrell Scott and Bill Sullivan celebrated registering their 100,000th 16-yard birds during OTA SP’s Aug. 22-23 shoot.

Congratulations to all these men!

John Farrell (middle) with squad members Tim Rawerts, Larry Pederson, Gene Lack and Jim Block.

Darrell Scott & Bill Sullivan


August 15, 2009

The 2009 Grand American is winding down, and it’s been a great one.


A big congrats to Dave Shaeffer! Last night he won both the Clay Target Championship and the Remington Nitro 27 Handicap with 100 from the back fence plus two rounds of shootoff over runnerup Glenn Ash and third-place winner Sean Hawley. Glenn is 82 years, and this was his first perfect century in handicap.He attended 32 straight Grands in Vandalia and this is his first in Sparta. It’s great to see people of all ages competing at the Grand.


Also, congratulations to Doubles champ Stu Welton.


Look to Trap & Field for complete coverage of all these winners.


I forgot to mention that ATA President Bruce Reed celebrated his birthday on Thursday. Happy Birthday, Bruce!


Shooters line up to watch shootoffs Friday night.



August 14, 2009

Congratulations to Pat McCarthy for winning the Parliament Coach Handicap with 100 from the 27-yard line plus shootoff. Entries in that event were up by more than 30% over last year. Also, congrats to Gerald Demulling, who won the Champion of Champions.


Dave Shaeffer Jr. and Denis Bringelson are the only two left still tied for the Clay Target Championship after 400 in shootoff. See Terry’s blog, Editor Papers, to find out about Dave’s record long run. He’s done some amazing shooting!


Local radio station 1230 AM WHCO has been broadcasting live from the Grand American, and I appeared on DJ T-Bone’s show yesterday to talk about the event and Trap & Field, the Official Magazine of the ATA. It’s great to see the local community promoting our sport.


Shooters are competing in the Remington Nitro 27 Handicap and Doubles Championship today. I’ll be back tomorrow to let you know what happened.

I appeared on 1230 AM WHCO with DJ T-Bone.


Along Vender Row



August 13, 2009

There were 59 200s in yesterday’s Clay Target Championship, and several shooters are still vying for the title. Good luck to everyone shooting off tonight for the prize.


Congratulations to Ondrea Weikum. She broke her first 100 Sunday and then carded her first 200 straight Wednesday. Great shooting! Ondrea, who says 97s are common for her, was disappointed after breaking a 90 on Saturday but feels great with how she has done since then. Her parents weren’t here to see her shoot Sunday and missed the first 100 Wednesday morning but hurried to get here and witness Ondrea finishing her first 200 straight. They couldn’t have been more proud.


I met 14-year-old Sidney McGowan, who registered her first ATA targets during the AIM competition. On Wednesday she shot on a three-generation squad with her grandparents, Bob and Judy McKinney, and aunt and uncle, Kim and Doug McKinney. Sidney, who also enjoys playing softball, often helps her mom take care of her two younger brothers and has enjoyed a trip “just for her” to the Grand.


The Champion of Champions and Parliament Coach Handicap are taking place today. Stay tuned to Trap & Field to find out all the winners.


Ondrea Weikum carded her first 100 straight Saturday and ran her first 200 in the Clay Target Champioship.


First-time All-Americans Mark Zauhar and Cyndee Gullett at the ATA/Trap & Field Meet the All-Americans events Wednesday evening.


Members of the audience assist exhibition shooter Scott Robertson with his show.


A crowd gathered to watch Beretta exhibition shooter Scott Robertson.



August 12, 2009

Congratulations to Frank Bentley III, winner of yesterday’s President’s Handicap. He broke 99 in the program and prevailed over six others in one round of shootoff.


Also, I’d like to congratulate sub-junior Tyler Nunes, who’s had a great Grand. He has collected nine trophies so far and earned a first-time punch to the back fence with 99 in Sunday’s handicap. Tyler, who has been shooting for almost three years, is getting ready to start ninth grade. Introduced to the sport by his dad Tony, Tyler shoots a Browning BT-99. Tony says Tyler, who hasn’t taken any lessons, has learned shooting from the “the School of Hard Knocks.”


Three great shooters were inducted into the Hall of Fame last night—Jimmy Heller, B. E. Morrissey and Dick Baldwin. It was a very nice ceremony. If you’ve never attended, put it on your list for next year.


It’s Clay Target Championship day. How many will break 200 to vie for the title? Check back tomorrow to find out.


Frank Bentley III, President’s Handicap champion


Tyler and Tony Nunes. Tyler made it to the 27-yard line this week.


Scenes from the Hall of Fame Banquet

B. E. Morrissey, Kevin Hartwig, Sally Baldwin and Jimmy Heller



Rich Bullard & Eileen Williamson


Bob & Eric Munson


Tim Robb & Jim Copsey


August 11, 2009

It’s Day 2 of Grand Week, and the competition is heating up.

There were 46 200s in yesterday’s Winchester AA Singles Class Championship. Congratulations to junior Collin Bigras for breaking his second 200 of the tournament. Also, junior Nathan Hofer, who has done well in singles this year, participating in some long shootoffs at the Southwestern Grand and South Dakota State Shoot, broke his first-ever Grand American 200 yesterday.


The opening ceremonies took place last night, along with the Kolar Shoot-out. Congratulations to Bryce Holwick of Ft. Smith, Ark., for winning a new Kolar shotgun. Bryce was a member of the Harrisburg AIM team that won the Federal sub-junior championship. He was planning to leave Sunday evening but decided to stay to participate in this shoot-out. I think it was worth his time!


The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is tonight. Congratulations to Jimmy Heller and B. E. Morrissey plus Dick Baldwin, who is being enshrined posthumously.


Stay tuned, and I’ll be back tomorrow with more updates from the 2009 Grand American.

Sub-junior Bryce Holwick won the Kolar Shoot-out Monday.

Shooters got to enjoy a beautiful sunset at Monday evening’s opening ceremonies.


August 10, 2009

Hello from Sparta, Illinois! I’m so happy to be at the 2009 Grand American. There’s a lot going on, and I’ve hit the ground running.


The AIM competition concluded yesterday, and it was so much fun to see all those young shooters enjoying themselves. Look for early results in the September issue of T&F.


Congratulations to Ethan McCauley, who completed his Grand American Grand Slam with 100 in Thursday’s handicap. Ethan won the event, while Denis Bringelson and Paul Rode Jr. placed second and third, also with 100s. Others carding perfect handicap scores so far include Jacob Dunn, who won Friday’s yardage contest, and T&F columnist Phil Kiner, who topped Friday’s event. Great shooting, everyone!


Keep checking back because I’ll be updating Elissa’s Notebook with all of the latest happenings all week.


AIM teams celebrated and had their pictures taken after the awards ceremony Sunday evening.



June 16, 2009

I wanted to share an idea that I received from Pat Burton of Carrollton, Texas. Texas Highways is a travel magazine published by the state Department of Transportation, and this year’s edition includes the dates and information for the Texas State Shoot. Check it out at www.texashighways.com/events?event=45829.

I’m sure most states have similar publications, and this is a great way for state associations and clubs to let the public know about their events and get the word out about our sport. Thanks, Pat, for sharing this idea!

The fifth Ladies Only Handicap took place May 24 in Republic, Wash., and this non-registered shoot proved to be successful once again. Following is information we received from shoot coordinator Cheri Nansen:

Participants of the Ladies Only Handicap included Rita King, Marylou Kirkham, Sue Cram, Jaimie Poling, Molly Avey, Marissa Dormaier, Maria Delger, Brenda Dormaier, Colleen Delger-Smith, Jessie Poling, Betsy Guenther, Kris DePaulo, Mae Thomas, Andrea Bergstresser, Cheri Nansen, Linda Bergstresser, Kelly Baley, Diane Poling, Coral Hansen, Becky Marshall and Lu Hergesheimer. Betty Skelton (not pictured) also participated in the shoot.

We thought nothing made a lady trapshooter madder than missing a target. But after talking about it at the 2008 Ladies Only Handicap Shoot, we decided two things make us madder: breast cancer or other female-oriented cancers and anti-gun activists. Why? Neither one discriminates. Female-oriented cancer has struck the families of more than half of the ladies who participate in the Ladies Only shoot without regard to age, race or other characteristics. The anti-gun crowd seems unable or unwilling to discriminate as well and appear happy to include responsible, safe gun owners in their negative rhetoric. So we decided we would use our shoot to show that lady trapshooters are good, responsible citizens and we can use our guns to “target cancer”!

The 150-target shoot is comprised of three 50-target events shot 25 at a time, a slower pace than registered shoots to accommodate shooters on the younger and older spectrum. Trophies were special coins, selected after ATA shooter Nyla Johnson donated one to the shoot. Only one trophy was allowed per person.

Jessie Poling won the HOA with 131x150. Event 1 winner and runnerup were Kris DePaulo and Lu Hergesheimer, while Mae Thomas and Becky Marshall placed one-two in Event 2. Maria Delger won Event 3, and Coral Hanson was runnerup. A fun 27-yard warm-up buddy shoot was won by Marshall and Poling.

The Ladies Only Handicap is designed to offer a place for ladies interested in getting into trapshooting to come and have fun in a safe and stress-free environment, where prizes are given based more on effort and fun than target prowess. On another level, trophies are offered for those ladies who are accomplished ATA shooters and take competition seriously. It is always a day of fun, laughter and camaraderie, and everyone goes home with goodies, whether earned from success at hitting their very first target or a trophy for high-over-all in the day’s competition. This year participant ages ranged from 10 to 80.

Billy McClendon of AA-Signs and Screen Print in Spokane worked with Cheri on a design for a specially-made pink T-shirts for participants. They included a shotgun and target and said “Lady shooters Target Cancer.” Cheri and Billy surprised the group with the first run of T-shirts and sweatshirts with extras to use as additional fundraisers and to take to other shoots to take more orders.

Sue Cram introduced the idea of a silent auction and amassed products and baskets. She also collected breast cancer pink ribbon products for door prize totes given to participants. Baskets and products came from Spokane, Colville and Kettle Falls and included watches, live plants, baked goods, kitchen ware and specialty items. Pink crystal bracelets with pink ribbon charms were made and sold out.

Special effort came from Kettle Falls shooters Kris DePaulo and Betsy Guenther, who campaigned ahead of the shoot for cash donations that totaled $725 and served as inspiration. When the day was done, participants had collected $1,289, which was sent to the American Cancer Society headquarters in Oklahoma City.

Special targets are always thrown at the shoot for prizes. Of course the special targets this year were pink. John Nansen got the tedious job of creating the 70 targets by spraying them with a two-fold process of primer then bright pink spray paint.

Shoot sponsor ATK/Federal Cartridge provided all the shells free for participants. Local owners of Miller’s RV Park & Storage, Cathy and Pete Winchester, continued their support. Shoot participants stay with them each year and enjoy the evening barbecue and clean and friendly environment.


May 14, 2009

I have been seeing some stories about trapshooting and trapshooters in the news lately. It’s great when our sport is introduced to the general public.

The April 24 edition of The Drummer, based in Buffalo, Minn., included an article by sports editor Heather Reinhart on her experience shooting at the Ladies Day event at Buffalo GC.

Reinhart said she had been invited to the club many times by president Wally Shelstad but had always declined. However, this year she thought, “Oh, what the heck,” and decided to give it a try, bringing along a friend and her mom.

Forty-two women attended the event, and many club members were on hand to assist, including Shelstad, Mark Stevens and Gene Lack. After an instructional portion, those who had never fired a gun before started on stationary targets before everyone broke into groups and headed to the trapline. While the women took their shots, club members stood nearby to offer assistance.

Reinhart broke 9 of 25, hitting six of her last eight birds. “While it wasn’t anything to brag about, it was something,” she said.

“Before the class, I figured that if I could just make it through the day then I could say I had tried and would get Wally off my back,” Reinhart said. “But I liked it and would love to go out and do it again. It was challenging and rewarding to be able to point the gun at a target flying through the air and break it into pieces. My husband is thrilled because he used to shoot trap for fun in college. He hasn’t done it in years but now has someone to do it with—me!”

She added that the club members were all very patient and helpful and took time to make sure all were enjoying themselves.

The April 18 event was free for all participants and included instruction, one round of trap, a box of shells, and lunch.

Reinhart added that many of the women who took part were making plans to return and even discussed forming a team for league shooting.

“The sport of trapshooting just might become a regular pastime for the Reinharts, and I have the Buffalo Gun Club to thank,” she said.

For more information about Buffalo GC, go to www.buffalogunclub.org.

Also, the Columbia Star, based out of Columbia, S.C., published an article by John Dixon about Bob Clarkson, canine companion of Robert Clarkson.

Bob Clarkson's various duties at Mid Carolina GC includes carrying shells.

Born Nov. 20, 2004, Bob’s immediate pack includes two humans and several Canine Americans, but his expanded pack includes the membership of Mid Carolina GC, where Bob performs various duties. His work at the club inlcudes carrying ammunition, helping with hunter education classes, providing pet therapy and generally keeping an eye on things. He also serves as greeter, goodwill ambassador and occasionally as food tester and organic garbage disposal.

Clarkson says he named his dog Bob in case he turned out to be dyslexic (because every dog should be able to spell his own name). However, the article’s author theorized it was because Clarkson, who prefers to be called Robert, can go about his business and let his canine companion answer when someone insists on calling him Bob.

In an e-mail to Trap & Field, Clarkson identified himself as Bob’s manager and included a price list for “Bob, Inc.”: “Pawtographs, $1, $5 if personalized; photos are $2.50 or three for $5; petting allowed by appointment only, children under 12 pet for free; cats chased—never caught, prices vary; tires marked, still a bargain at four for a quarter.”

For more information about Mid Carolina GC, visit the club’s website at www.mc-gc.org.

If you see a story about trapshooting or a shooter in your local paper, let me know at elissa@trapandfield.com.



April 15, 2009

The May issue is at the printer, and it’s another great edition of your Official ATA Magazine. Be sure to check out Dale Stockdale’s column on changing problems into opportunities. You can also find out more about the ATA’s new youth program , AIM, in the next issue. For more information on AIM, log onto www.aim4ata.com. Also, look to the May issue to find out how many shooters age 90 and older are participating in ATA shooting. It’s great to be part of a sport in which individuals of all ages can participate.

I’ll be arriving in San Antonio on Friday and can’t wait to see everyone at the Southwestern Grand. Be sure to stop by to say hi and let me know how you’re shooting and keep watching Elissa’s Notebook for updates from the shoot.


March 6, 2009

Promoting our sport and inviting non-shooters to try it is important, and we all need to look for opportunities to do this when we can. Editor Terry took advantage of such an opportunity recently. She had taken her vehicle to the dealership for some maintenance work, when the service manager noticed a Trap & Field that she had in her car. He asked her about it, and she gave him a copy of the magazine and told him all about the sport. He said that he likes to hunt and expressed interest in giving trapshooting a try. She told him some places nearby where he could shoot and encouraged him to try it. Hopefully he’ll be an ATA shooter soon. We all need to do what we can to recruit new people to our sport.

Shooting season will be upon us before we know it. I hope you’re making plans to attend lots of ATA shoots, and I’m really looking forward to the Grand this year.

Also, don’t forget that because the 2008 target year ended two months later, the Average Book is being sent out later too. It’s at the printer now and should be in your mailboxes before long.


February 26, 2009

I’m back from the Spring Grand, and what a great shoot it was!

Congratulations to the champions: Gerald Reid, singles; Harlan Campbell, doubles and all-around; and Rick Marshall, handicap and HOA. Rick won the handicap title after a six-way tie of 99s and a five-round shootoff with Jim Foster. It was a lot of fun to watch!

In addition, I heard that Harlan not only displayed shooting skills during the tournament but was spotted on the dance floor one evening. Unfortunately I missed that photo op, but I did catch Jerrie Finfrock cutting a rug with one of the Beaudry RV reps. Jerrie does a great job passing out the trophies at the Tucson shoots, and she always helps me a lot with whatever I need while I’m there.

*    *    *

I heard from ATA Delegate Joe Sissano, who shared with me some information about North Jersey CTC in Fairfield, N.J. This club is where Joe registered his first targets in 1967.

The club held its first registered shoot in 1934, drawing shooters from New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In 1936 the state shoot and Eastern Zone Shoot both took place there.

In the early 1940s the club was relocated to its present location on Horseneck Road. A clubhouse was built but was unfortunately destroyed by fire in 1980, and the club lost its many pictures, trophies and mementos that were on display.

Today a double-wide trailer is utilized, and it includes a porch, wood stove and kitchen. The club has five fields with all new walkways, Pat-Traps and voice calls. North Jersey enjoys much success because of the time and dedication of its many members.

For more information on North Jersey CTC, call 973-227-1139 or check out their website www.northjerseyclaytargetclub.com.

Look for more information about North Jersey CTC in the April issue. Thanks, Joe, for letting us know about this great club!



Jerrie shows off her dancing skills.

2009 Spring Grand



Ross Willey (right) won the Class B trophy in the Doubles Championship. He and Paul Johnson traveled from Cody, Wyo., to attend the shoot.

When they weren’t on the trapline, shooters took the opportunity to shop the many vendors.

February 22, 2009

Hello from Tucson!

Things are great here at the Spring Grand. Congratulations to Harlan Campbell, who won the doubles championship last night in a four-way shootoff of 100s, which included Mike Grady, Charlie Long and Robert Youngblood. Great shooting to everyone!

Also, congratulations to Hayden Oertli, sub-junior runnerup in Friday’s handicap, for winning her first trophy in ATA competition.

The weather is great here, and we’re all having lots of fun. Keep checking back for more updates from the Spring Grand.

Patricia Matthews registered her 25,000th doubles target during the tournament. She is congratulated by CHC chairman Dick Marascola and Arizona ATA Delegate Doug Hawkins. Dick is participating in the tournament, registering his first targets since having shoulder surgery 13 months ago.

Shooters enjoyed a dinner Friday night sponsored by Beaudry RV.



February 18, 2009

I’m getting ready to head to Tucson for the Spring Grand, and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s been a long winter, and I’m itching to see my old friends.

If you’re at the Spring Grand, stop by to say hi and let me know how you’re shooting. If you can’t make the trip, keep watching Elissa’s Notebook for updates on what’s happening.



February 11, 2009

In my last blog, I had some fun with names. And thanks to Trapshooting Hall of Fame Director Kenny Ray Estes, I have learned that my own name may have some roots in trapshooting as well.

Kenny sent me an article from the July 20, 1912 issue of Sporting Life, which shows B. B. Cronk (who shares my last name) as the winner of the duPont Trophy at the National Gun Club in Riverside, Ill. He broke 47x50 to win the prize.

My daughter Avery is doing a genealogy project for 4-H this year. Maybe we’ll find a connection to B. B.

Thanks, Kenny, for sharing this with me. It was fun to see.

Speaking of the Hall of Fame, inductees for this year are Jimmy Heller and B. E. Morrissey plus former Hall of Fame Director Dick Baldwin, who will be enshrined posthumously. Watch for an article detailing these fine shooters’ careers in an upcoming issue of Trap & Field.



February 2, 2009

Okay, I admit it. Cabin fever is starting to set in. The weather kept me locked indoors most of last week, so I took the opportunity to follow through on an idea I had during the Grand last year.

While I was in Sparta, I met new ATA member Rob Stock and wrote about him in Elissa’s Notebook. Also, I noticed on the trophy list that Harvey Shell broke 200 in the Clay Target Championship and ended up with the AA third-place trophy after shootoff. Taking note of both of their names, it got me to thinking about how many ATA members there may be who have trapshooting-related names. However, that time of year is our busiest here in the office, and I just didn’t have the time to research it. But last week, while I was working from home and starting to get a little stir crazy, it seemed like a good time to revisit the idea.

From looking on the ATA website, I found that there are 15 other ATA members joining Rob with the last name of Stock. In addition, beware if you end up in a shootoff with one of the shooters whose names include Stockman, Stockmaster and Stockwell. Of course, we’re all familiar with Trapshooting Hall of Fame member Merle Stockdale and his son Dale Stockdale. (Be sure to check out Dale’s column “Finding help in an unexpected place” in the February issue, which is in the mail now.)

Including Harvey, there are 15 ATA members with the last name Shell in addition to Jack Shellhouse of Ohio.

It seems that the 12 ATA shooters with the last name of Gunn took up an appropriate hobby as did the four shooters whose last name is Trapp and the three shooters who share the name Shott. As a fan of corny jokes, I can only guess what I would say if I had the opportunity to ask Beth Shotwell how she did in an event.

When choosing their ammunition, might name play a part in the decision for the shooters whose names are Remington (there are seven of them) or Winchester (count 11)?

And while his name may not fit as well as the ones above, I’m glad to see Gary Skeeters of Kentucky as part of our ranks.

Well, thanks for taking this little break from the usual with me. It’s just two weeks until the Spring Grand in Tucson, and every time I look at the piles of snow that are everywhere here in Indiana, I get a little more anxious for it to get here. If you make the trip to Tucson, be sure to stop by and see me.

Keep me posted on your trapshooting accomplishments at elissa@trapandfield.com.


January 16, 2009

It’s currently -12° in Indianapolis, and I’m wishing I could fast-forward a month to when I get to jump on an airplane and head to Tucson for the Spring Grand.
For now, I’m trying to stay warm and am content to receive reports from shooters in warmer climates. Although some like to rub it in a little about their good weather (one in particular who I won’t name, but you can read about him in this blog and a handicap milestone he recentely reached in California), I do enjoy getting these reports. Keep them coming!
Editor Terry is in Florida at the Silver Dollar covering the Dixie Grand. If you’re lucky enough to be there, stop by to say hi to her. If not, check out www.rjstuart.com for results and Terry’s pictures from the shoot.
The Arizona Chain is under way, and I received some results from Casa Grande’s Chain Shoot Dec. 30-Jan. 3. It looks like Gerry Williams did well there, carding several perfect scores in singles and winning the all-around and HOA. Good shooting, Gerry!
Also, congratulations to Ed Christian, who registered his 75,000th handicap target during the tournament’s main handicap.
I heard from White Flyer’s Bill Daniels about Ben Avery’s Chain shoot, which took place last weekend. He had a lot of great things to say about the club.
“After visiting the clay target center for their first 2009 Winter Chain shoot, I witnessed a newly renovated facility that was thriving under new management,” Bill said.
Ben Avery CTC in Phoenix has 18 trapafields, each with its own shade stucture, benches, signs, lights and water. Bill said the fields were immaculate with plenty of parking next to them, and the pro shop has nice selection of ammunition and the necessities for a “newbie” showing up without gear.
Dan Twitchell was hired to run the clay target center. Bill, who has known Dan for about six years, said, “Dan is one of those guys who loves to shoot. It doesn’t matter if it’s trap, skeet or sporting clays, he’ll shoot them all and do it well.”
During the Chain shoot, experienced trapshooter and shoot coordinator Tom Rocheford handled registration with the help of his wife Barb and Donnie Doetsch. Tom also takes care of RV registration and booked the entire park for the winter. The RV park has 46 spots with 50-amp power, and the club has plans to expand during the summer.
Paul Doetsch has formed a company that runs Ben Avery’s trapshoots, including hiring staff, registering the targets and cutting the checks. He’s working on getting a PA system or closed circuit television network to notify shooters in their RVS when it’s their time to shoot.
The club’s Outdoor Expo is March 28-29, which includes hands-on acitivities, demonstrations and workshops on hunting, archery, shooting sports, fishing, off-highway vehicle recreation, watercraft recreation and wildlife/conservation education. Last year 26,000 people attended the event.
“The club has a bright future under the Arizona Game & Fish Department,” Bill said. “The management is doing a fantastic job of funding, rebuilding and staffing what was already a food facility.”
I’ve also heard from some California shooters about Redlands’ New Year’s Shoot. Al Yapelli, registered his 200,000th handicap target during the shoot. He broke 24s in the first three rounds and ran the last trap for a 97, one bird shy of Sean Hawley’s event-winning score.
Squadmates included Steve Williamson, who has shot more than 235,000 ATA handicap targets; Charlie Long, 252,000; Russ Hawes, 157,850; and Ronnie McMahan, 118,850. Steve, Charlie, Ronnie and Al have shot together while completing several milestones.
Eleven-year-old Logan Mountain, a 2009 All-American, took part in the shoot as well, breaking 100 in singles, the third of his career.
Logan’s father John is working in Korea for Korean Air and comes home once a month for nine days. With his dad’s work schedule Logan has not been able to shoot as much as he’d like, but his scores aren’t showing it. Like me, he’s looking forward to going to Tucson soon. He’s planning to compete in both the Spring Grand and Arizona State Shoot.

Let me know how you’re shooting this winter at elissa@trapandfield.com. If you want to tease me a little about the warm weather you’re enjoying, I won’t mind too much.

Tiger Volz presents Ed Christian with a cake in honor of registering his 75,000th handicap target at Casa Grande.


January 7, 2009

Happy New Year!! It’s been awhile since I’ve written. I hope everyone had a great holiday season.

There’s been a lot of talk about the economy, but I’m happy to report that we’ve received some word here at T&F that trapshooting is still alive and well.

First of all, look in the January issue for coverage of the Autumn Grand, which had record attendance in many events. That’s great to hear!

Also, Dave Price wrote in his Around the ATA column for the February issue that attendance has been good at local shoots around Michigan. I hope other states are seeing the same thing.

The Dayton Daily News published an article about Middletown SC and trapshooting in the area. Middletown has seen steady growth in its membership during the last five years and gained 300 new members just last year. Wow! Look for your February issue for more on this story.

I think 2009 is off to a great start. I look forward to hearing from everyone about your accomplishments. Let me know how you’re doing at elissa@trapandfield.


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