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Shooting stars arrive at NY state trapshoot

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Jul 9, 2010.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Shooting stars arrive at state trapshooting championships this week in Bridgeport

    David Figura/The Post-Standard - Friday, July 09

    More than 700 shooters are expected to gather this week at the home grounds of the New York State Amateur Trapshooting Association in Bridgeport for the 149th annual state championships.

    “We have members from trapshooting clubs all across the state, in addition to others from outside the state who will be shooting for non-resident trophies,” said Douglas Duncan, of Tonawanda, state president of the association.

    Share Following a series of preliminary rounds Tuesday, the competition kicked off Wednesday and will continue through Sunday. The schedule features a wide variety of divisions and categories of shooters.

    There are three big competitions. On Saturday, there is the singles championship, during which shooters will shoot at 200 birds each. Sunday morning, the doubles championship (a single shooter shoots at two clay birds at time) will begin, followed in the afternoon by the handicapped championship.

    The sport entails shooting from five different locations on a trap (a concrete or asphalt pad) at clay disks sailing away from the shooters. The disks or “birds” are launched out of a rectangular-shaped “trap house” in front of them. A judge sitting behind the shooters scores a hit if any piece of the bird is hit.

    Among the noteworthy shooters competing this week is David Shaffer, of Maryland, who last year set an association record after hitting 2,160 targets straight from the 16-yard line (that’s 16 yards away from the trap house) while competing in various tournaments and competitions.

    Also in the mix are two of last year’s state winners: Chris Vendel, of Rochester (singles champion) and Catherine Barney, of Cicero (handicapped champion).

    Barney is also state coordinator of AIM, the official youth program of the Amateur Trapshooting Association, which serves shooters ages 12 to 18. That program held its state championships at the Bridgeport range Tuesday. A total of 38 youngsters competed.

    Duncan said a little publicized fact is that this week’s state championships, along with the two to three other major shooting championships held each year on the home grounds, contribute heavily to the local economy. For example, this week alone, the state association has hired 50 part-time workers to help at the championships. The 2010 Eastern Zone Championship, which will feature shooters from throughout the East Coast, is scheduled for July 21-25, he said.

    “All week long, you have people staying this week in local motels, eating at local restaurants, playing golf during the off hours, buying gas, food, doing their laundry— when you combine that with the other tournaments, the impact has to be in the millions of dollars,” he said.

    Duncan noted while the association is striving to bring in more younger members, its ranks have been swelling lately with older members, retirees, who often are shooting for the first time. There are 1,800 registered ATA members across the state, he said.

    He noted participation in the sport is particularly competitive in Central New York, pointing to the Central New York Trap Shooting League, which has some 800 shooters shooting at various clubs each week.

    Keith Welch, of Fulton, a past New York State ATA president, compared trap shooting to playing golf, tennis, bowling — or any sport that emphasizes eye-hand coordination. The only difference, he said, is that “your tool” is a gun.

    It’s all about consistency.

    “Everyone stands a chance,” Duncan said. “You just never know when you walk to the line if it’s your day or not.”

    If you go

    There is no charge to attend the state trapshooting championships being held today and this weekend at the home grounds of the New York State Trapshooting Association, located at 7400 Bull St. in Bridgeport. In addition to the various competitions, the event features gunsmiths and vendors selling a wide variety of shooting accessories. For those want to shoot, the grounds also offer three practice areas, where individuals can shoot a round of 25 trap for $4.50. Bring your own gun and ammunition. Ammunition is also sold on the grounds.

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