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Attending the Grand - 1st Time in 40 years

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by cwbanker, Jul 23, 2010.

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  1. cwbanker

    cwbanker Member

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    Location:
    Silver City, NM
    After a 40 year absence I will be attending this year's Grand in Sparta. I am planning to shoot the entire program. Any tips out there so I am not overwhelmed when I first arrive?
     
  2. V10

    V10 Well-Known Member

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    Read Dave Kaiser's article in the July Trap & Field (p. 62.)
     
  3. Tom Ruble

    Tom Ruble TS Member

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    Joel, Don't expect Sparta to be anything like the Vandalia you remember when Bud was still around. The size and scope of Sparta will amaze and maybe overwhelm you. You will be completely tethered to your vehicle as the distances are much too great to walk, and there is no shuttle service like the wagons at the old place. Expect the temperatures and the humidity to be high and oppressive, especially to one who now hails from the Southwest. Allow yourself extra time to get to your banks as that is no place to to have to hustle to keep from missing your squad. The people of that area are genuine and friendly and are willing to help strangers. Have fun, shoot well, and Break 'em all! Tom Ruble
     
  4. Trapshooter1

    Trapshooter1 Member

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    I would not pay for all events in advance until I shot a couple of days. If the heat and humidity are really bad and you are not from the midwest it can be a grueling two hundred target day. The heat index can get really high. They will have cooling centers around the area to help. There are no shade trees as this is a fairly new complex. The good thing is you can drive you're car right up behind youre bank and wait there if its tooo hot. Last thing have fun and enjoy the hospitatly of Southern Illinois.
     
  5. Hill topper

    Hill topper Member

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    You might schedule a couple of "down days" to shop the venders and recover from the heat and humidity.

    If it is really hot, I restrict myself to one event a day.

    Your comment , "Its been forty years since I attended", leads me to assume you are about my age.

    The good thing is you can drive to your trap and not have to skip ten traps between each 25 targets like you did back when.

    The best food in located in the tent vendor area.

    Great icecream to cool you internally.

    Ok to squad early, but I wouldn't pay more than one day ahead .

    The place is so huge, it can be hard to socialize unless you use cell phones to plan where to meet.

    If you are staying on the grounds in a RV you can watch closed circuit TV and see when you need to think about getting to your trap.

    I try and shoot on the traps behind my RV site.

    Golf carts are available for rent if you have need for one.

    Welcome to the new Grand.

    ed.
     
  6. slugbug1

    slugbug1 Member

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    Ed..why did you say it's ok to squad early but don't pay more than one day ahead? Just curious as I pre-squadded early for all the 16 yarders. GaryL.
     
  7. 4EVRYOUNG

    4EVRYOUNG Member

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    Me Thinks they are calling you OLD with out saying, having not taken in a Grand in 40 Years. If you don't like hot and Humid it maynot be the place for you but there will be plenty of fun. If you think you may need a lift I will be around bank 16-20 with an enclosed trailer with Geese on the side and a Nebraska awning side, stop by and we will take the Golf cart where you need to go. Jeff
    We will be there Grand week
     
  8. cwbanker

    cwbanker Member

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    Location:
    Silver City, NM
    OK - Don't want this thread getting out of hand. I turned 55 last month and exercise 5-6 times (when my wife is closely watching me) per week. I am up to any physical demands that the Grand will dish out. I shoot in 110 degree heat here in Arizona so I think I will be OK with the humidity in Illinois (I moved here from Michigan 6 years ago). I even read the article in Trap & Field but true experiences from fellow shooters such as yourselves is much much more valuable and honest than some writer's canned article in a shooting magazine. So many thanks to all that have responded and hopefully our paths may cross some day.
     
  9. trapwife

    trapwife Well-Known Member

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    Come to the events center first, that is where you will classify, squad, cashier. We have a Membership Services desk there and we will be happy to answer any questions you have (If I don't know the answer, I will try my best to find someone who does know the answer) In here, you can also get local area info. If you need a locker or a golf cart, we can point you in the right direction. Welcome to the new Grand.....
     
  10. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    Nothing you wouldn't have encountered in Vandalia. Very new and very large.

    Jim
     
  11. V10

    V10 Well-Known Member

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    That isn't "some writer's canned article in a shooting magazine."

    It was written by Dave Kaiser, past ATA President, present Alaska Delegate. It covers all the basics pretty completely.
     
  12. 1oldtimer

    1oldtimer TS Member

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    I DO THE SAMETHING AS TRAPSHOOTER1. Pay for 1 day at a time. The heat factor is usually pretty nasty. You may want to skip a day to recover. I drink 2 quarts of gatoraid per event to keep hydrated. Don't want a heat stroke. Its a great facility,I just wish they could schedule it in October. You sound like you are in pretty good shape,at 76,I have to be carefull. Clyde Doll
     
  13. schockstrap

    schockstrap Active Member

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    The big heat wave was three years ago... I think it's time to let it go. The last couple of years the temperatures have been in the 80's. Humidity is pretty much the same as everywhere else in the midwest at that time.

    You'll be able to socialize with lots of people in the event center (during the day) or behind the grand stands in the shootoff area (in the evening). Not sure why some people haven't figured that out yet. The homemade ice cream and cobbler in the tent vendor area alone is worth the trip.

    If you want to sit outside, it's best to bring an ez-up or other canopy-style tent -- there's plenty of room to set up. Bring a cooler and a small bbq grill and have a nice little tail-gate party within site of the bank you'll be shooting at. Bring a fishing pole and try your luck in one of the lakes.

    Enjoy the trip, enjoy the facility.

    --Dan
     
  14. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Hi cwb, I'm a native of Southern Illinois and welcome you to The Grand. You have gotten a lot of good information here. I'm so glad that the contributors here have been accurate and positive.

    A lot of our northern visitors have problems with the heat here but it's the humidity that is tough. Others here have told you about the oppressive heat and it worked the natives over pretty good too one year. That can happen. The last couple of years things have been much nicer and more normal. Mid to high 80's and fairly high humidity with breezes.

    The Vandalia Grand eventually reached 100 traps, crammed into about a mile and a half. The Sparta Grand is 120 traps in about 3 miles. That's why you will be very vehicle dependent. It's really nice to be able to drive up behind your trap and that pretty much alleviates a lot of walking. If you remember the trap spacing in Vandalia, especially on the east end, was very tight. Not so in Sparta. You will like that feature.

    I sure hope you have the time of your life and we get to meet. I'm usually riding around in a half size golf type cart. It's bright yellow with a white top. I'm hard to miss so if you see me, give me a holler.
     
  15. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    "You will be completely tethered to your vehicle"

    This is a good thing. You'll be able to drive directly to your desired location in air-conditioned comfort whenever you want. You could likely drive from end to end in 4-5 minutes. If you leave something in your car, it should be just a short walk away. You have free, locked storage for your valuables and your wife can sit in air conditioned comfort if she chooses. And no shortage of parking, anywhere. Good luck.
     
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