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The Very Best Trapshooters Are Unknown By Most

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by phirel, Jul 22, 2009.

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  1. phirel

    phirel TS Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    The very best shooters are not the ones with the highest scores. They are the shooters who volunteer their efforts a few hours Wed., Th., Fri., Sat., and all day Sunday so we can shoot on Sunday. These people devote a major part of their lives working so we may shoot. They get scant thanks and much criticism. But, without them, our sport would quickly die.

    Pat Ireland
  2. jeffprigge

    jeffprigge Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    I know the best trapshooter in Kentucky , all you have to do is just ask him
  3. 2 kluk

    2 kluk Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Pat... well said.

    Most shooters don't see the effort that goes into a registered shoot or for that matter, league or practice sessions. The pre and post work many times equals the hours worked during the shoot.

    We are very fortunate at the Chillicothe Sportsmen's Club (Illinois) to have many great volunteers dividing up the work. One individual stands out for his tireless efforts to insure the shooters have a good experience. Kevin Wunder chairs our registered shoots and gives up his own shooting to devote more time to the many details that need addressed.

    You are 100% correct and maybe this thread would be a good place to recognize some of these "VERY BEST TRAPSHOOTERS".

    Dennis Kerns
  4. CalamitySJ

    CalamitySJ Member

    Oct 30, 2008

    You are so right. The head of our club is tireless. He does all the ordering, fixing, replacing, cleaning, marketing and press releases, and so much more without any fanfare. He is always behind the counter, eager to help, and welcomes everyone by name (and if you're new he asks your name and welcomes you heartily). He's there before anyone shows up loading the houses, taking out the mics, putting out buckets, and is always the last to go home after mopping the whole place down. No pay, just the knowledge that he's doing a job as best he can (and an excellent one at that) and providing the best shooting environment he can provide to his fellow shooters because he loves trapshooting that much.

    Funny thing, he's so busy running the place that he rarely gets a chance to shoot. This year at the State Shoot he took the Doubles State Championship with only 300 practice targets under his belt! He keeps the club alive and has made it more than a gun club, but a place where people look forward to go for fellowship and fun.

    If you're ever in Buffalo, Minnesota shoot a round (or 5!) at the Buffalo Gun Club and make sure you shake Wally Shelstad's hand. He's one of the best.

  5. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

    Jan 29, 1998

    You and I might disagree about a lot of things but I can assure you that we agree on this issue and subject 100% ... I have said for many years that without the little clubs and the people who operate them from the cook to the pullers, scorers, setters, and the people who clean the toilets there would be no trapshooting and or ATA for that matter ... I have met a lot of people who have forgotten where they came from over time and their claim to fame is taking credit for what other have done ... You can see it everyday in someways in many different ways but the facts remain the same and thats without the little guy there just ain't never going to be any big guys ... They know who they are and you can usually tell them by them special hat they all wear ... To all of those "if the shoe fits, wear it" to all of the others "Thankyou" ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
  6. Trapmanjohn

    Trapmanjohn Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Pat Ireland,

    Thanks for this post. I often hear shooters complain about a gun club, I believe that if a gun club is not to to one's liking then the shooter should do what he can to make it better. Don't just complain and bad mouth a gun club. We can't afford to loose any more. Maybe if more of the complainers would offer to help all of the clubs would be better.

    Hit 'em hard,

    John Kirksey
  7. Bob Schultz

    Bob Schultz Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

    Jan 29, 1998
    Tuxedo NC

    Amen. Thanks for all the hard work all of you volenteers!

    Bob Schultz
  8. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Oxford MA
    Pat this one thread that we are in 100% agreement on hands down. With out these people none of us would have anything to discuss on TS.com.

    Trapmanjohn the only that makes it worse is when the complainers are your own club members

    Bob Lawless
  9. max trap

    max trap Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Pat...You are 100% correct. This in my opinion is the best thread this year.
    Thanks Ed
  10. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

    Jan 29, 1998
    Prairie State
    Hear, Hear!

    To those who open and those who close the traps... those who volunteer their vehicle to load targets at the end of the day or night... those who unasked, load the trap machine with targets... those who volunteer their time to score... those who offer their time to observe and/or instruct a new shooter... those who collect the target cardboard and empty the hull buckets... those who man the hot and greasy grill so the rest can eat...


  11. old tex

    old tex TS Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Right on Pat.

    In Texas Ben Dobson, Jerry O'Connor, Ernie Wooten and some others are truly Great Trapshooters (even if Ernie has quit competing)


    Uncle Dick
  12. StonewallRacing

    StonewallRacing Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2008
    Pat..... When can I shake your hand for this one?

  13. matttrapn

    matttrapn Active Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    Thanks Pat,

    Your soo right.

    To me,,, the GREAT club at Cheyenne, WY. stand out with two men. One (thank God) is still with us, and will be for a long time, Phil Kiner.

    The other was Dave Allan.

    We lost Dave this year. He gave much to this sport, and to the club in Cheyenne, as well as to the trap-shooters in the State of Wyoming. I miss him!!!

    The Cheyenne club, I'm confident will continue to prosper because of the leadership which Dave showed by example. I am very proud to know a good deal of the members at this club, and know it is in good hands.

    Matt Nicol
    Perrysburg, OH.
  14. trapwife

    trapwife Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

    Jan 29, 1998
    I've always thought that the success of the MTA at Linn Creek was because of the dedication and hard work by the board of directors and many volunteers and a handful of staff. Our directors can often be found at the club in the middle of the week working on something to improve our shoots. They don't hear "THANK YOU" often enough..
  15. Mono3811

    Mono3811 Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    I've never seen anybody that works harder to keep a club running than
    Dick Hewett at Wallum Lake in Rhode Island. Not only does he work on the facility, but also promotes trapshooting by helping the new shooters.

    However, his sense of direction isn't what it used to be.

    Dick Richards
  16. JB Logan Co. Ohio

    JB Logan Co. Ohio TS Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    I may not be a "very best trapshooter" but I am one of those types who "run" a small trapshooting (and many other shooting sports) club. Very few shooters realize what it takes to operate a shooting organization. Kudos to Mr. Ireland for pointing out this fact. I'm not honking my own horn as many people put more time in than I do. When someone complains to me about a particular situation I'll listen to them if they make their criticism fair. Give me a way to solve the problem (constructive criticism). If they don't I won't listen and if they persist I have asked them to hit the road (although rarely). I want to solve problems but most of the problems come from those who have no Idea what the real situation is and have not spent any time on the "other side of the counter."

    To all those who have a part in running a club, a hats off and a thumbs up!!

    JB=Jerry Beach 8503917
  17. mike b.

    mike b. Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    In the San Diego area, I nominate Dennis Denardi and Larry Fontana. They contribute trap volunteer time to 2 different clubs I frequent in the area. We all appreciate what you do and usually don't express it. mb
  18. mastiff711

    mastiff711 Member

    Mar 29, 2009
    Savannah Tn
    Guys this is the BEST post I have seen posted on this forum yet! To all of those that go unnoticed by some....THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR HARD WORK!!!!

  19. gdbabin

    gdbabin TS Member

    May 15, 2006
    Well stated Pat, but we DO know you.

    Thank you sir,

    Guy B.
  20. fssberson

    fssberson Active Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    I'm proud to say that our Club President, Gary Bombalicki, received the ATA Volunteer of the Year award last year. Below is the nomination letter that I wrote that got him selected and I am sure that I could have inserted the names of 100's of other members around the Country that do the same things at their clubs. So, if you are one of those members, this one is for you too!

    Jim Tyner
    North Hollywood Sportsman's Club

    To the ATA

    "I am pleased to take this opportunity to nominate Gary Bombalicki for Volunteer of the Year. Gary grew up in the trapshooting hotbed of Ohio in the 1970s. Because his dad was heavily involved in competitive Trapshooting and in fact served as the President of the Ohio Association, Gary had the opportunity to meet several of the icons of Trapshooting and attend several Grand Americans while learning the ropes of gun club operations.

    Like the majority of young people involved in the sport, Gary had to take about 20 years off as he made his way in the world. However, he returned to his roots and rejoined the Trapshooting community about three years ago. While his talent and dedication to competitive shooting enabled him to earn his way to the 27 yard line within two years, his natural gregarious nature quickly established him as a well-liked and respected participant at registered shoots throughout Southern California.

    He also joined the North Hollywood Sportsman's Club, a private trap and skeet club that owns and operates the Santa Clarita Clay Target Sports Park. His natural leadership capabilities were soon recognized by his election as Club Secretary for the 2007 calendar year. However, as events would turn, the original elected president resigned in February and the vice president who had taken his place resigned in August. Gary stepped into the breach and assumed the responsibilities of President in September.

    In addition to his club leadership responsibilities, he had also volunteered to be the ATA shoot director, midyear. Because of his tireless promotion of the club at all the shoots which he attended, soon the North Hollywood shoots grew from 10 to 20 participants to 50 to 60 participants. Even with a late start, the club increased its registered targets from 19,700 in 2006 to 54,400 in target year 2007. This 176 % increase made North Hollywood by far the established club with the largest increase in targets thrown. Obviously, this is an impressive growth rate for a two trap club.

    This momentum has carried forward and the club, by the end of June, will have more than doubled the 54,400 from last year. This growth has been aided by the fact that under Gary's leadership, the club completed a new trap field in October of 2007 and added its fourth trap field in March of 2008.

    In December, Gary was elected to a full term as president for the calendar year 2008. In addition to the new trap fields mentioned above, the club has undertaken a significant improvement and ongoing construction program over the last 14 months. The property has been completely regraded to provide for the construction of up to two additional trap fields, making for a total of six, a small pistol range and a potential sporting clays course. The grading also has corrected some serious drainage problems and has created the basis for a complete lead management best practices program.

    The physical improvements in the club, along with a Gary's tireless promotion, have also resulted in recruiting new members to enjoy the new facilities. The new facilities have also enabled the club to expand its membership shooting which, coupled with the ATA shoots, will generate over 15,000 rounds in 2008 resulting in the club being able to operate well into the black.

    While Gary's leadership has been instrumental in the physical development of the club facilities and the membership growth, he has used his business expertise to restructure the club's financial operations and controls to ensure that the club will always operate in a financially responsible manner and have the financial reserves necessary to ensure the club's future survival. His expertise in the nonprofit sector as a volunteer, particularly as chairman of the Mission College Foundation and his ability to recruit new club officers and directors has resulted in the club establishing various funds for the maintenance of the facilities and for the renewal of the various permits under which the club operates.

    Gary's tireless contributions to the furtherance of ATA registered shooting in Southern California has also been acknowledged by the California Golden State Trapshooting Association with his appointment to its Board of Directors. There is no reason not to believe that his recognized and proven leadership capabilities will result in his assuming increasing responsibilities within that organization.

    The foundation of ATA registered shooting lies within the willingness and the capability of local gun clubs to promote and conduct registered shoots. Gary's ability to not only strengthen his club through the substantial physical improvements to the facilities but to provide the leadership necessary to organize the volunteer staff required to run ATA shoots with 50-60 participants is a strong testament to the dedication and expertise of his volunteer capabilities.

    The fact that he leads by example, whether it's cleaning the restrooms before a shoot, organizing volunteers, handling the pre-squad requests, or picking hulls and loading trap houses after all the competitors have gone home, inspires and encourages other members to invest their time in making the club and the ATA shoots successful.

    In closing, I would like to suggest that you contact Eileen Williamson, our ATA delegate, Ray Brasser, secretary of our state association and Terry Bilbey of Redlands Shooting Park as they all have had the pleasure of working with Gary and can vouch for his effectiveness in promoting his club, providing leadership to his club and significantly increasing participation in ATA registered shooting.

    I am confident that the ATA will be well served by pointing to Gary as a shining example of the type of volunteer that will inspire and encourage other members across the country to step up and make their contributions to our sport.
    Thank you for your consideration.
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