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Trapshooting will NEVER be the same

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by FIB, Sep 10, 2012.

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  1. FIB

    FIB Member

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    I remember a while back someone wrote a very well written explanation as to why trapshooting will never be the same as it was from the 1950's-'70's. I wish I had printed it but basically it stated how especially near Vandalia there were many large corporations that all had trap shooting leagues and people had more time/disposalble income to shoot. Does anyone else remember this?
     
  2. Pipe Layer

    Pipe Layer Well-Known Member

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    Boy I hope it's never gonna be the same! I hope it gets better ever year.That's my goal anyway:)

    TD
     
  3. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    I kinda like the change that occured when they invented the Pat Trap.

    Bob Falfa
     
  4. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    The PAT's more than the calls Roger. JMO
     
  5. FIB

    FIB Member

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    Guys/Gals, I should have perhaps clearifed myself by saying participation in the sport has declined as well as the reduction of the middle class.
     
  6. TD1958

    TD1958 Member

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    I agrre our middle class and it's money are disappearing and without the younger generation having the money and means to shoot it will be very noticable in the very near future. It is sad, i go to a shoot at least twice a week and i am close to being the youngest there at 54. I sure hope who ever is elected ( I doubt it) will do something to create good paying jobs in the numbers we need!!! Tim
     
  7. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    We don't have the rural and urban gun base that we had before either. Everyone grew up with a gun in the house, pheasant and rabbit hunted, or deer hunted. Now we have 1/2 of 1% are farm raised kids, and exposing kids at a young age to shooting is an up hill battle in the suburbs.

    Now it's all about electronic games.

    Heck, my dad used to take his shotgun on the bus and leave it there. The bus driver would drop him off a mile from home so he could hunt on the walk back.
     
  8. John Galt

    John Galt TS Member

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    If the economy is the cause then please explain why trapshooting was far bigger on a per capita basis then than it is now.

    PS- Where are the thread location police?
     
  9. Big Heap

    Big Heap TS Member

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    Some believe the economy is in the tank. Unemployment, declining family wealth and a "lost" decade for the stock market has taken a toll.

    It's in all the papers!
     
  10. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    As requested...no need tooting my horn, but I do still believe it has a lot of truth to it.

    -------------------------


    Subject: Is the Grand American @ Sparta doomed?

    From: buzz-gun

    Date: Tue. Jan 19th, 2010 - 8:08 AM ET

    -------------------------

    I agree that things will keep going down. And also that it can't be helped. I think it's all about demographics...I'll try to explain.

    I grew up near Dayton, Ohio, so humor me while I tell you some important things about my home town. Even before 1900, Dayton was a powerhouse of industry. Maybe not a NYC or Chicago, but a pretty damn productive place for its size. The Wright Brothers, Charles Kettering, the inventor of the automotive starter, the list goes on and on. If you have a few minutes, look it up on Wikipedia and look at the history of what was invented and manufactured there. From WW2 on, everything you can think of was made in that town. You had Frigidaire, National Cash Register, a Chrysler plant, and 6 (count 'em) SIX GM plants (Delco Kettering Chassis, Delco Home Avenue, Delco Wisconsin Blvd. brakes, the Moraine truck assembly plant, Harrison Radiator, and don't forget the GM Inland division right up in Vandalia next to the trapshoot grounds). I've missed plenty, but this gives you an idea...a hell of a lot for a town of 100,000 people.

    What does this mean to trapshooting? Simply this: during the time when trapshooting was in its golden years (and when American Manufacturing was in ITS golden years), trapshooting's Mecca was located next to the I-75 industrial corridor running between Detroit and Atlanta. The workers in those plants had rural backgrounds. They liked to hunt and shoot. They made good money, for what they did. And, they either got off work at 3PM, or else worked a night shift...leaving them open for shooting on weekday afternoons, if they planned their day right.


    Now, let me tell you about my favorite trap club in the world, Middletown Sportsmens' Club, about a half hour south of Dayton. Around 4PM in the afternoon on Wednesdays, the parking lot would start filling up, and the shooting didn't stop until they finally turned the lights off about 10PM. Go down in the basement, by the restrooms, and look at the old team pictures of the shooters in the Dayton Industrial Athletic League. Forget about the weekend shoots; this place had REGISTERED TRAPSHOOTING EVERY WEDNESDAY OF THE YEAR FROM MARCH TO OCTOBER. This is not your local Wednesday night calcutta night I'm talking about; you could _register_ ATA singles and handicap targets every Wednesday of the year except for a couple of months - and this is back when you had to have 5 people sign up to register an event! They got as many REGISTERED shooters on Wednesdays as many smaller clubs could get on a weekend. You could register six thousand birds a year without ever setting foot in a club on Saturday or Sunday, if you didn't want to.


    What does this, plus a bunch of other area clubs, all add up to? A whole lot of trapshooters, with time and money to do it, based right around where the Grand was held. The Grand American literally grew its own participant base around itself! It couldn't have been in a better place. If you looked around the parking lot at Vandalia, you saw a HELL of a lot of local plates. I could sit here and rattle off a list of these guys who won major trophies, GAH champs, CTC champs, All-Around champs, from within an hour of Dayton, but it would just bore you.


    Sparta will _never_ have that.

    I'm not saying this to run Sparta down. What I'm pointing out, is that Dayton had something, in the era the Grand was held there, that no place on Earth will ever be able to repeat, ever again, no matter what. Once we lost that, the Grand was permanently diminished - it's just taken us a few years to realize it.


    To this day, you can go to the ATA HQ building in Vandalia, stand on the North side of the flagpole, and read a metal plaque set in the ground, listing the names of the men who started that place up back in the 1920's. Read those names. They were as rich a bunch of sumbitches as you could imagine in those days. They were captains of industry...and the people who worked in those industries made the Grand what it was for so many years.


    Dayton doesn't have that much anymore. And we don't have Dayton anymore. And it has little to do with official ATA decisions. Let's face it: you could hold the Grand in Pootskatoonawaka, British f'ing Columbia, and most of the MOTOR HOME DELEGATE TYPES would still attend. It doesn't make one goddamn bit of difference to those people. It would just be a nice change of scenery for them. It was us "little" schmucks, who grew up and worked and learned to shoot trap right there, trying to make the most of our two weeks of vacation, that the Grand's location made a difference to.


    If you still have those memories, hold them dear. No place or time will ever be able to recreate what was there. You can never go home.

    Sparta with its one automotive foundry plant, one Holiday Inn, and its little strip of candle-dipping shops is never going to be anything like that. No place ever could be. Even the people who sing Sparta's praises most loudly will be doing well to make it there once every 5 years. But thanks to the willingness of coal companies to deplete the Earth - and the willingness of corrupt arrogant asshole politicians like Rod Blagojevich to buy the land and spend their taxpayers' money to build on it - we now have the greatest shooting range in the world. In the middle of f'ing nowhere.


    You take what you can get.
     
  11. BigBadBob

    BigBadBob TS Member

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    I wish I could have gone to Vandalia for the Grand. I remember seeing pictures when I was a kid. Now that I have 2 boys shooting and shoot a little myself, I am damned glad that it moved to Sparta. I would much rather drive 90 miles than 300.

    I have been to the old offices and toured the Hall-of-fame, and can visualize what it would have been like.

    Things change, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. I have got fond memories from Sparta that I will never forget. My oldest son's first 25, 50, 75 and 100 straights were all shot at Sparta over the last 6 years he has been shooting and my younger son has shot his personal best at Sparta.
     
  12. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    Tim, Keep telling yourself that, and it might come true. NOT.

    We don't have the potential shooter base that we had in the 50's and 60's. A lot of those guys came out of WWII and Korea, were rural gun based, and looking for entertainment after work as their paychecks grew.

    I look at the past youth shooters supported by our local clubs, and few stick with it.

    the question is "Will they be back?"
     
  13. gdbabin

    gdbabin TS Member

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    Thank you Buzz for reposting your wonderful article.


    My only connections with Vandalia are stories like yours, those told in Dick Baldwin's book "The Road to Yesterday", and other antidotal sources from those who were there.


    I simply started a year too late to make it to a Grand in Dayton.


    In my bedroom on the wall by my side of the bed I have a large copy of "The Last Sunrise", a photograph capturing the Vandalia trap line looking east on that fateful last morning in 2005. Every time I fully look at it, it stirs a sense of unrealized nostalgia and appreciation for what happened there over the years, and the significance of the era it punctuates in such a final and quiet way.


    The story is but one of many that can be recounted of a time and place that can never be duplicated. That's neither good, nor bad--it's just reality.


    Nothing stays the same forever, which garners nostalgia. Change also plants the seed for the creation of new experiences, memories and tradition.


    Guy Babin
     
  14. Ljutic111

    Ljutic111 TS Member

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    If the comparison is with recreational vs ATA events I would say recreational will win out as far as I have knowledge . In our club of 25 members , only 6 shoot ATA and I personally have dropped 90% of my ATA shooting since 3 years ago . When I total our clubs gross income thru range sheets since 1990 , the income went from $2000 per year to $25000 in 2010 , a drop of $5000 in 2011 and this year we have a possible $30,000 by the looks of things . A 2 trap club and we are seeing a lot of new 25-35 year old shooters coming at a regular basis . WE are open 2 days a week and 1 day for members . I also counted 10 shooters who stopped shooting who we could count on as regulars but others have taken their place . When the parking lot is full , we make money .
     
  15. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    Ditto what Setterman said.

    Don
     
  16. slide action

    slide action Well-Known Member

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    Probably won't be. The Hay Days of the sport are gone. I'm too old to be very competitive anymore but, I still love the game! A chance to renew old friendships,make new ones, and enjoy life what little I can. I miss Vandalia, but, I won't spend my life whinning and crying about it's passing! It's GONE. Get over it! You can't live your life wishing for the past. As long as the Good Lord gives me the ability and means to shoot trap, I will. Shoot Well and Shoot often! :)
     
  17. AEST BOSS

    AEST BOSS Member

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    Why are Pistol Sports (USPSA, IDPA, Steel Challenge) growing like mad? These guns are flying off the store shelf. 9 month waits for the Top Tier makers.

    I guess people don't think they can stop a home invasion with a $12,000 P or K Gun that shoots 70/30.
     
  18. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    You don't see Perazzi's and K-guns in the movies. Look at the shooting shows on TV. TOP SHOT for example...mostly pistol/rifle. I've seen one show where they shot a flying clay.

    Everyone wants to be a BAD A$$ PISTOL GUY!
     
  19. NJCOP

    NJCOP TS Member

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    Or a EBG (evil black gun) guy. As a cop I shoot all three and enjoy all three. Pistol and rifle to younger shooters have the cool factor. You know runing around and shooting lots of rounds and not hitting crap? ANd the Teminator though having a shotgun had a tactical pump. Fancy wood and and breaking clays doesn't let the video game guys pretend to be fantasy action heros.

    Also, trap shooting like bowling takes talent and practice to make a real shooter. There's no BS on the line as you either hit a bird or it cracks on a ground. With semi auto pistols and rifles on local ranges it's largely about shooting a lot of rounds fast. Not that there's anything wrong with it. But my local pistol range guy is always taking me to the side trying to sell me the sporting guns that he can't give away. I tell him to spray them flat black and they sell in two days.

    Will the sport be the same? Nothing is ever the same. Like a lot of you guys I was lucky enough to be taken to a trap range shortly after I was able to walk by my Pop who's 81 and still shooting. I got two grandsons and they'll be going with me shortly to pass on the ways of old. I hope they enjoy shooting my old 870.
     
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