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Grand American Newbie Question/s

Discussion in 'Shoot Information, EVENTS, Clinics & Results' started by mpslabman, Mar 29, 2013.

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  1. mpslabman

    mpslabman TS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
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    Hey guys! I have never attended the Grand before. My 15 year old son will be shooting in the AIM portion this year. He shoots about a 94 in 16 yd singles.

    I found a motel in Chester, IL with a vacancy. I waited too late to get a campsite on the grounds. That would have been ideal, I know.

    What should we expect when we get there? What should we bring or not bring as a daily drive-in participant? Food, canopy, lawn chairs, grill, little red waggon, cooler, ice, parking fees? I am clueless and would like to hear from you veterans. I don't want to hear what I should have done (what's done is done). I want to hear what I should do or bring, or not do or not bring. I don't want to get up there and say "Next year I'm doing ________, or not doing ________." I want to go prepared THIS YEAR.

    What events should he participate in? Are there insructional clincs? Can he get his Browning XT tricked out with Gracoil hardware on the spot? Should I leave my 5 pound yorkshire terrier at home, or bring it along?

    Don't leave anything out.

    Everybody is welcome to pipe in with suggestions.

    Kent Watkins
     
  2. SD Trap Family

    SD Trap Family TS Supporters TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
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    1,158
    Congrats on coming to The Grand. You will have a great time. I will send you a PM as well with our contact info.

    I think you might still be able to find a camping spot. Camping on the grounds is really nice.

    You will find some great places to eat. Pioneer's Cabin is one of them.

    Are you staying for both weeks? Plenty of places to get Gracoil's installed. Keith Hegg has done our work and has done a great job.

    Bring cooler, umbrella, sunscreen, camera, etc...

    I would be willing to meet you onsite and show you the facility/area.

    I will PM you as my sons would be glad to work with your son if timing works out.

    Bud
     
  3. JT 27

    JT 27 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Messages:
    616
    I am attending my 46th Grand this year. You have a lot of questions that may require a lot of back and forth. Give me a phone call at 309-922-6954. I am currently in Arizona so please call after noon east coast time.
     
  4. JT 27

    JT 27 Member

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    Dec 13, 2012
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    The layout is about 5 banks on the west end with permanent vendor buildings and the sheel house, then the main entry building and some service buildings then 20 banks of traps with tent vendors behind 5 banks. The layout is approximate.

    First stop will be the main entry building, to save a lot of time, pre-squad on line, I'm not sure if it is RJ Stuart or Presquad.com.. You classify then pay. I would pay for all events to avoid lines everyday.

    1: Weather, rainwear, can be beastly hot with high humidity with little to no shade. Bring clothing for any weather and changes to get out of sweat soaked.

    2: There are food & drink vendors but they are somewhat expensive, there is a restraunt with a full bar in the main entry building.

    3: Shoot all you can afford. New shells required for all handicap
     
  5. cwatt

    cwatt TS Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Messages:
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    Dear Sir; We have a small campground 15 minuts from the complex and we have been recommended by shooters that have stayed with us in the past. Sites are full hook-up and we are close to food, gas, bank ect. Five blocks from the PISTOL CITY RESTAURSANT. 618-758-3029 CWATT
     
  6. frostyman

    frostyman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,038
    Location:
    missouri
    You the answers to your question, may be different if you are talking about the AIM portion of the Grand American (August 3-6), versus the Grand American (August 7-17).

    I have never been to the AIM portion but I assume they use less traps. Not sure what they will have for food vendors (during the actual Grand there are all kinds of tent vendors selling food but not sure during AIM). There is one permanent food vendor on site. The prices are not extreme like they are at a ball game. It is August so anything you can do for shade helps. Parking is free. There is more than enough parking for everyone. I would also think that you could definitely find a camping spot. There is a phone number on the SHOOTATA.COM web site for that.

    Now for the Grand. The first week is Preliminary week but the crowd starts showing up about Friday the 9th. Still free parking, still all kinds of places to park. Still August so yes if you can make shade that is great. During the Grand there will be all kinds of tent vendors selling food, gun repair, guns, clothes, etc. You could definitely get anything installed or fixed. The food and ice cream are great and very inexpensive.

    Chairs, cooler, ice, water, it never hurts to have all these things. Wonderful place, not much shade because of new trees. Also since it is August it could be 100 degrees or there could be a tornado or anything in between.
     
  7. frostyman

    frostyman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    missouri
    I forgot to say. Someone above indicated that new shells were required for Handicap. That is true (or has been true for the last 3 years) for the Grand but am not sure it is a requirement for the AIM portion. You would have to go the AIM web site to see if they have any speical requirments. New shells are probably priced cheaper at the Grand than most people can get them for at home. New shells are available on site and also at Wal-Mart in Sparta (not a typical Wal-Mart when it comes to shells unless your Wal-Mart brings in trailer truck loads). Very little difference in price between the ones on-site and the ones in town.
     
  8. Martinpicker

    Martinpicker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,177
    Great advice from the above posts. PLEASE...re-read SD TRAP Family post and by all means take him up on his offers to show you around and for his sons to coach your son! Wonderful opportunities, both.

    A few things which have not been answered:

    1.) There are no parking fees.

    2.) Your dog will be welcome. There are ample places to walk him or let him have a run.

    3.) Although I have heard good things about the campground Watt is talking about above, I also heard good things about the Chester motels. They are closer than Fairview Heights/O'Fallon, Ill. area to the north.

    4.) You won't need the little wagon...you will drive your vehicle to the bank of traps you are squaded for and it will be a short walk to the shooting area. (The trap banks stretch on for 3 and a half miles!)

    Hope this helps. You guys are in for a wonderful experience!! Martinpicker
     
  9. todddietrich

    todddietrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    Marissa, IL
    Kent,
    I live about four miles from the Grand. If you can get into the Best Western in Chester, it would be as good as anything else. Air conditioning at night can be the difference between miserable and wonderful. My son and our local team have been shooting the AIM shoots for the past 5 years or so. My best suggestion would be to bring a portable picnic tent for shade, lawn chairs and coolers with bottled water or gatorade. If it's really hot, throw a handfull of wash cloths in a cooler filled with ice water. After you get your trap assignment you will shoot one bank and then shift one over for the second 50. The next day you will shoot the same traps, but the flights are reversed. If you shot afternoon one day you will shoot morning the next.
    They are supposed to keep placards on the back of the scorer's chair with the squad numbers. The scorers are mostly mostly high school and college kids. All have had training, and most have experience. If they miss a call, you need to teach your kids how to correctly contest a call. They are usually pretty good, but sometimes they get lazy and don't update the numbers as fast as most of us would like. Timing between flights almost never goes as fast as they expect, you will need to keep track of who is shooting and when. Once you find you trap set up your tent city in the general area. I've met a lot of great folks just walking around to meet the neighbors. There will be a number of golf carts running around, if your kids are shooting sporting clays, they are very helpful. If they are just shooting trap or skeet, they are not really needed unless you have squads shooting far apart. If you have any, specific question, feel free to send a PM.

    regards,

    Todd
    Marissa, IL
     
  10. trapwife

    trapwife Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,610
    Leo Harrison will be offering clinics at Rend Lake Gun Club during the week prior to the Grand. Dates are still flexible/in the works. If you are interested, contact the email address above. Thanks.
     
  11. blade819

    blade819 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    4,468
    Bring COOLER - WATER- $$$$$ - Rain Gear - appetite for root beer floats or peach cobblers or ribeye sandwiches - sweatbands. Good luck and enjoy! (leave dog)

    blade819
     
  12. trapwife

    trapwife Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,610
    Your dog will be one of many, many others. We always took ours. We are in the search for a new one, as we lost our little Otto (schnauzer) in Jan. Dogs are not allowed in the events center, but vendors make their own rules.
     
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