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El Reno shooter Gene Sears (Article)

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Aug 24, 2008.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    El Reno shooter Gene Sears would love to do it all over again

    By Ed Godfrey - The Oklahoman

    EL RENO — When Gene Sears' arms and hands went numb several years ago, he asked a doctor if firing a shotgun would have caused it.

    "No, that wouldn't do it,” the doctor replied.

    "What if you have fired 750,000 rounds?” Sears asked.

    The doctor then reconsidered the diagnosis.

    Now, those shotgun blasts have increased to more than 800,000 for the 77-year-old Sears, one of the best target shooters Oklahoma has ever produced.

    Sears has two fused vertebrae in his neck from a lifetime of shooting a shotgun.

    "I am paying a price for it,” Sears said. "Your body is not supposed to take so much recoil. But I wouldn't trade it. I would love to live it again.”

    Here is the short version of the Sears resume:

    •More than 30 national and world shooting championships

    •Made the All-American trap shooting team 21 consecutive years

    •Inducted into the Trap Shooting Hall of Fame in 1983

    •The only shooter in the United States to win his state's titles in trap, skeet and sporting clays

    Sears only competes now in sporting clays in divisions for veteran shooters. His skills have diminished from his glory days.

    "I can't beat those young guys now very often,” he said. "I just don't have the eyesight or the reflexes.”

    Sears had bird-hunted as a kid with his dad, but didn't start target shooting until age 22.

    One Sunday afternoon 55 years ago, he stopped by the El Reno gun range to watch trap shooting. The next Sunday he brought his shotgun with him.

    "It got to be where I couldn't sleep at night because I wanted to go shooting so bad,” he said.

    Sears never received professional instruction. He thinks God just intended for him to be a good shot.

    "I never did even practice much,” he said. "At first I couldn't afford to and then I didn't think I needed to.”

    Sears quickly earned a reputation locally as a good shooter, and it led him to the gun business.

    He started reloading shotgun shells for himself, and then other shooters began buying from him.

    He later opened a permanent store, and now the Sears Supply Co. has been in business for 51 years.

    "I don't know if we ever go a day without having a couple of Texas plates in the parking lot,” he said.

    Like the customer from Amarillo who drove his 16-year-old son to El Reno last week to buy him his first good shotgun.

    His father had brought him to Sears for the same purpose when he was 16.

    "I thought that was pretty neat,” Sears said. "I said I hope his son comes back and buys a gun from one of my great-grandsons.”
  2. mette56

    mette56 Well-Known Member

    Jul 8, 2008
    Camdenton, MO
    I've been lucky to know Gene since the 1970's. And even luckier to have been invited to shoot on his squad for past MO State Shoots in the '80's. He and Betty Lou are GRAND people. Gene was a stickler for ATA rules and always encouraged his squad mates to be at their best. In 1978, before I met Gene, I won a two round Class Doubles shootoff at Vandalia with 40 straight. Gene was the 1st person to congratulate me as the shootoff ended. He even beat the Fed Rep to shake my hand.
    He told me that if I stayed with it, I could be one of the best.

    A super gentleman, successful businessman, and devoted family member. I hope Phil Kiner adds Gene to his list "Living Legends" column in T & F.

  3. Hivoltfl

    Hivoltfl Member

    Jul 8, 2008
    north Florida
    I was born in Enid Oklahoma about 70 miles north of El-Reno I have known Gene for a lot of years and consider him a true genleman willing to help anyone, he also empolyed one of the best shooters I have ever seen his name was Roy Shores and when I was a kid he was a winchester rep. I watched him break 25 straight with a 22 using shorts from the 16 yard line.

    Genes shop used to be like walking into shotgun kingdom, I at one time wanted a Ithica single barrel, called him and he told me to come up and look at what he had.... he had 7 of them, all more than I could afford at the time.

    Glad to know he is still shooting.

  4. ljutic231

    ljutic231 TS Member

    May 18, 2007
    At the Texas State shoot in the mid 70's I borrowed a Ljutic #65 from Gene as I had my TM-1 stolen . I went out an broke a 99 , I think that I was in class
    B . Gene said try it for a few more shoots and if you like it I will send you a bill , I went to Arkansas State shoot and shot it well and when I got Home , I had a bill for the Ljutic. I sold it in 1994 because the dad gum thing never broke down, and I like to tinker with guns.
    Gene is a great man and my pleasure to know him.
    Bob Roberts
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