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A great insight to what's happening with our sport

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Trap2, Apr 7, 2008.

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  1. Trap2

    Trap2 Well-Known Member

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    **A GREAT INSIGHT REGARDING OUR SPORT**

    Every once in a while, I get an email that really hits home. You know the kind I mean: Gets you right in that spot where reality and fantasy reside in your mind, and gives you a picture clear view of something you haven’t been able to make out, no matter how hard you try. With all that’s been said on T/S.com about target setting, 2 hole vs. 3 hole, 10 yard measurements, 50 yard stakes, etc, have we lost sight of something very fundamental in our sport? I have to admit, I have. Those that follow these threads know I have been argumentative with Neil, and a few others, regarding things I have felt strongly about. I apologize to Neil, and to others that may have been offended by my postings. My motives were, and are, for what I thought was best for our sport. After reading the attached email, my view has softened, as I am guilty of many of the things this lady shooter writes about. This may be a long read for some, but, in the end, I think you will find it well worth your time. Colleen has, graciously, given me full permission to post this email, word for word.

    This email was forwarded to me in response to an email stating that a “big wig” in the PITA was asked about target setting. This gentleman allegedly responded by saying he “didn’t give a sh** about target setting”. Much was said about what was said by whom.


    Bill (and others if you wish to share this):

    All potentially valid points in the originating e-mail... the 'he said she said' thing is unfortunate and completely useless. If someone really said that, name them so they can defend themselves or attempt to back up their statement about target setting - the only way to make changes is with open honest dialogue. If the offending PITA 'big wig' did make that statement, then that is a matter for the PITA board to deal with. Who wants people like that on their board, and if a person feels that way, why are they involved in the sport at all to begin with?
    The economy is really bad; gas prices, ammo prices etc. are through the roof. OF COURSE people are going to complain. WE ALL WANT MORE FOR OUR DOLLAR - and rightly so - to a point.

    It started last year. The whole atmosphere of EVERY SINGLE SHOOT (OK, except Paisley) I attended was tense. Nobody is really having fun anymore. (Maybe I am generalizing, but you get my drift, right?) Someone or something (voice pulls, trap machine, dog barking in camper 200 yards away) was ALWAYS doing something to make somebody mad. The same old stuff that we may have shrugged off in the past has become a major issue. Gone are the days of 'aw gee, I shouldn't have pulled the trigger on that slow pull' - Now you hear 'THAT G-D PIECE OF YOU-KNOW-WHAT VOICE PULL COST ME A TARGET' and off the shooter stomps to berate any official/trap kid/captive audience that will listen to them up and down the line. The anger I observed last year was really frightening. Imagine an outsider, foreign to the sport, seeing a person with access to a shotgun that enraged - ugly, huh? No other shooter, official, or worker on the line should have to put up with that.
    I think the originating e-mail used the phrase 'melt down' - I have been thinking along those same lines - the wheels are coming off the wagon. Since when does automation make a person flinch, pull the trigger when they shouldn't or continue to shoot on a badly set trap, anyway? use your words people! (A simple 'hey, can you please reset this/fix this' goes a long way!!).
    Again - WE WANT MORE FOR OUR MONEY - clubs that don't get that won't survive. A lot of it is how the club represents itself, too.
    A good example - I was shocked to see Cottage Grove's shoot program for the April PITA- $25 targets, and the pay-outs appeared to be the same as the last couple of years, however there were no runner up trophies. (CG is supposed to be a not-for-profit 503-C organization). It may be the turnout is expected to be low, however the fallout from this first shoot program will be less attendance at all shoots - they have set the 'theme' for themselves with this first program. (Pardon the pun - they may have shot themselves in the foot - or the bank account) Shooters pretty much decide early where they will go to shoot registered events - especially when the gas prices are this high and going higher. It is unfortunate; the PITA shoots have historically been their staple to get them through the slow winter. Unless they are shifting their focus from trapshooting, you may see CG struggling mightily.

    Maybe a good first step in getting trapshooting back on track is to return to the basics. To promote a wonderful sport. To provide a positive experience, and to bring people with common interests together. Less hostility, more harmony - after all, everyone at a trapshoot should have a very common goal!! Communication is pretty important, as is a united front (not board members who hate each other, PITA officials who openly disagree, etc.). If the people that run the shoots have a negative attitude - regardless of why, it trickles down to the entire event. If the people running a shoot stand together, I think you are less likely to see the super angry, unreasonable shooter - one versus many in a united stance never works out well for the one. Remind people that no human or machine is perfect, either. I have never been to a shoot where everything ran absolutely perfect. But I have been to many shoots where, when the person/people running things had a good attitude and knew what they were doing, it made it seem a lot less important or stressful. (George Ahart and Ron Johnson's shoots come to mind).

    This has been on my mind a lot, and your e-mail was the trigger (oh, another bad pun) to speak up. Since I recently decided I will not be shooting this year for the above mentioned reasons, I thought I would chime in. I tried really hard last year to HAVE FUN. I wasn't too upset about my lower than usual scores, I really made an effort to NOT let bad equipment, scorers, etc. bother me and I think I did a pretty good job. I even said out loud, over and over 'THIS SHOULD BE ABOUT HAVING FUN' however, the tension around the shoots, and the overall feeling I had after spending my time at shoots made my decision for me. I constantly questioned what else I could be doing with my time and resources, rather than sitting around where people were generally unhappy, and that feeling of community that there used to be in trapshooting was completely lacking. While I will miss all of the nice people at trapshooting, I won't miss the stress and unhappiness I have seen. I value my time a great deal, I value it much more than the money spent getting there or shooting at an event. Maybe this year will be the year to re-group for a lot of clubs and shooters, and 2009 will find us back in a happier place, with better attitudes.

    I hope to see you at a shoot or two this year - if only as an observer, but if I don't - HAVE SOME FUN!

    Good Luck,
    Colleen


    In closing this post, I want to thank Colleen for helping me, as a shooter, once again realize what is really important to me in this sport, and what is trivial……..Dan Thome (Trap2)

    PS: The author of this email happens to be Colleen Wedin. Colleen is not just an "average" registered target shooter. She is a member of the PITA Ladies All Star Team......Dan
     
  2. setter

    setter Member

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    Amen!
     
  3. Trap2

    Trap2 Well-Known Member

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  4. dynapro

    dynapro TS Member

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    this is happening in Sporting Clays.

    They have loosened the Class structure, meaning downgrades are being given out more commonly, and shooters are accepting them. Everybody that shoots in a tournament wants to win the class, and the money, and the fingerpointing and acrimony, to use Colleen's words are over the top.~

    Sandbagging, cheating, referee intimidation... You've never seen anything like it, both praticed and the accusations of the same are like an elementary school playground.... and it's all over money. Nobody is having fun shooting targets in the woods as it used to be. It's high stress, and cut throat, to win.

    So, if you can't beat them, join them, do what the crowd does. Get in there and work the system, get your piece of the cake. Or really, just play, just shoot for your skills and seriously don't give a crap about prizes or winnings.

    OR quit.

    These are only three choices.
     
  5. Paladin

    Paladin Well-Known Member

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    On that note, I think I'll stick with trap.
     
  6. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Read into her response and the others ... money is the ruination of shooting sports. But beyond that, to attend any sporting event - baseball, basketball, football, hockey tickets to observe sport is beyond the reach of most middle America.

    Take money out of our sport and we end up with sport for sport's sake. Like Collen said, it should be about the shooting.

    Thanks for the post,

    Jay
     
  7. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Did Colleen say anything about shooting for money being the cause of all the unhappiness?

    Neil
     
  8. K80433SC

    K80433SC Member

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    You message was read in its entirety, and is well taken - as this "cancer" pertains to the shooting sports.

    My fear is that its roots pervade a much deeper soul of our society, and its evil cannot be denied (or contained) in nearly every aspect of human life today.

    Gone is nearly every form of common courtesy and decency. The selfish wickedness of people can be witnessed upon any number of occasions in your every-day travels, if your eyes are open to see and realize it. For those who do not, I fear you might be just like THEM, and I hold no hope for your salvation from yourselves or each other.

    Drive in any large parking lot, and watch how people will nearly kill each other for that premier space. Come to a 4-way intersection, and watch for the guy / gal who just HAS to pull out first - devil may care about safety. How about people who literally injure one-another in a desperate struggle for the last "ELMO WHATEVER" on a Black Friday shopping trip ? How many people were shot dead years ago, simply because an errant snowball struck a passerby? Or armored car drivers blatantly murdered in broad daylight, simply doing a job to provide for their families? Men brutally beaten waiting for a subway, by those who "just wanted to beat someone up" ?

    Extreme examples, you might say.......................

    But - let's face it. When this country lost the attitude of consequence or accountability for action, it bred an uncontrollable society of MEs and what (I) want-types, whose only regard is for their own gratification - no matter what that might entail ; no matter how instant or short-lived that may be.

    People ARE angry. Those who have less feel as though they are entitled to more, mindless of any effort on their own parts to better themselves. Those who have toiled to do it under the guise of "The American Dream" are seeing the fruits of their toils being depleted, merely to appease those in the above category. It is a vicious cycle ; proliferated by a government who wants it just that way. After all - if the classes are at odds, it takes the negative spotlight away from their inadequacies in developing any real policies to rectify the ill.

    I've always said that the "boomer" generation will see the most sweeping cultural change that American society has ever witnessed. I grew up by getting my butt kicked by my father ; I lived through Woodstock ; the acid and flower-child years ; hippies ; yuppies ; generation X-ers..........right up to the present. The degredation of morality and decency within the human race has been very difficult for me to conprehend, much less swallow. And yet, it thrives ; it grows and festers, with the gravity of the proverbial snowball rolling downhill.

    Call me what you like. The "disease" is called liberalism, folks. And it WILL eventually destroy the very fiber of society.
     
  9. J.Woolsey

    J.Woolsey Member

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    The main group of people that shooting for money bothers, are those who feel they've no chance of winning. That's why you don't have to play the money. That's also why the word option is used to describe the purses. They are OPTIONAL. Money shooting shouldn't have anything to do with unhappiness amongst the ranks. MHO

    I think K80433SC has a pretty good grasp of what's really wrong. J.Woolsey
     
  10. jbbor

    jbbor Active Member

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    Most of you commenting here must shoot in a whole lot different part of the world than I do. Other than an occasional malcontent (correct Neil) we here in Texas play among the most friendly group you would ever want to meet. We don't have the biggest shoots but you would be hard pressed to find a friendlier bunch. Jimmy Borum
     
  11. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Correct on all counts, Jimmy. But Jeez- can't I type one word five years ago and get a pass on it now and again? Especially from a friendlier bunch than which I am unlikely to find?

    Neil
     
  12. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    I agree with JB. I shoot in a lot of different places in several different states and I find friendly, helpful people and meet new shooters all the time. I love going to new places for that reason. Yes you find cranky, fault finding individuals but you find them in real life so why should trap shooting be different. After many years I still find going to shoots fun and entertaining.

    Some feel they have to justify to others why they are quiting or they want everyone to notice that they are not there. Trap shooting existed before I got here and it will exist when I am gone.

    It's a great sport, accept it for what it is, enjoy it, have fun and laugh a little or a lot. Quit trying to pick it apart.

    Don
     
  13. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    A trap shooter must be competitive against himself and/or others. When things do not go well for a competitive person, they get unhappy. Things do not always go well in trapshooting.

    This site provides an unhappy competitive person the opportunity to fuss and not be responsible for his comments.

    Pat Ireland
     
  14. birdogs

    birdogs TS Member

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    Hooray for Neil Winston! I think he has put his finger on the real reason for the anger on the part of some shooters - MONEY! There is a coterie of shooters who only enjoy a shoot if they win money. Otherwise, it was a complete waste of time end entry fees. These shooters are the ones doing the most complaining and exhibiting the most anger towards fellow shooters, officials and staff.

    It is always nice to win something, the purse, trophies, etc. but if you don't enjoy the shooting itself, stay home and let the rest of us enjoy the sport.
     
  15. Mr Newbius©

    Mr Newbius© TS Member

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    Birddog - couldn't agree more. Take the money out of it and shoot for the fun of it. Let the ATA make a large blanket type purchase agreement with a trophy company for prizes and if its an ATA event that is the prizes you get, no money, no nothing other than the ATA approved trophies.

    Take the money out of it and let it get back to what its all about ...
     
  16. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Actually, birdogs, I didn't express an opinion of the effect of money. I just wanted to point out that Colleen didn't either, as far as I can tell. My personal opinion is that it's all to easy for each of us - you, I, the guy or lady on the next post - to forget that trapshooting is a game that most of our members play for the fun of it. Comparing "recreational" and $$ members, I have never found "money shooters" to be any less personable than anyone else.

    Neil
     
  17. jbbor

    jbbor Active Member

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    If you trace the history of organized trapshooting clear back to the live bird days, there was "always" money involved. How then do we "get back to what it's all about". That's why compulsory purses are not allowed and the rest are called "options". Jimmy Borum
     
  18. saluki68

    saluki68 TS Member

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    For all of those that are unhappy about something in our sport (money, trophies, handicap system or whatever), be thankful you are still able to shoot. In recent years I've generally shot 15,000 or so registered targets but this year, due to a shoulder problem, I've only gotten in 400 (poorly shot)targets & I miss it! Hope to be back in time for Texas State & the Grand.
     
  19. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Keep the shooters happy. Food, money, components, ammo, and good targets are a few of the things that make shooters happy. HMB
     
  20. RogerNRA

    RogerNRA TS Member

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    I don't know where you guys shoot, but in the last several years I have only shot with one a-- hole. That was a chair shooter at the state shoot ( He thought the kid in the house was setting his targets poorly and had a fit to remove the kid from the house.) Out of several thousand birds I can live with that...............Roger
     
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