Stu is one of my friends.
I don't know if you know Stu or not, if you do, perhaps I may even know you. Stu is very well known in the West, but is perhaps very underrated nationwide. He has proven himself at the grand as evidenced by him finishing second (tie)in the high overall. I believe he finished two targets of the thousand out of first. Going in to the last 100 he WAS in first. Unfortunately, a 2 inch downpour happened upon us as we were shooting the final handicap. Stu fired a 95 and Leo was able to overtake him to win the HOA.
Stu has hit a 400x400 in the all-around, one of only three to do that. I would say, if he is not a household name in trapshooting, that he is underrated.
Stu did not attend the grand last year and perhaps that is why he is off the AA list.
Idaho has a couple other shooters that can give anyone a run for their money are probably are not well known and they are current AA Mike Stears and High Average leader for the state Alan Olmstead. Both are extremely good shots.
What makes Stu an even better shooter than he is given credit for are the targets he shoots in Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Idaho, etc. Those targets are some of the hardest targets to shoot anywhere. Those clubs know the meaning of "more spring", and they aren't afraid to use it. Most of the clubs he normally shoots don't throw "gimme" targets. They set their targets to the stake, no matter what it takes to drive them there. They also seem particulary fond of 9' targets. They can be low and fast! And don't even get me started on the weather. Man, those places can really get cold and windy! Another pretty good shooter from that area is Danny Kirkland. If you take these shooters and put them in a shoot on the West Coast, where many clubs throw high, slow targets, they have a heck of a time trying to get adjusted to them. I shot with Stu many years ago at the PITA Grand, in Salem, Or., and he was having a hard time adjusting to the targets being as slow as they were. He kept telling me he just couldn't help shooting over them because he was so used to the faster targets. He definately is underrated....Just my opinion...Dan Thome (Trap2)
Lyle probably knows, but my guess is that Stu Welton has been spending a lot of his time building his business the last year or so, and not much shooting. I really doubt any of the big name shooters in the country don't know of him or don't take him seriously if he shows up at a shoot.
For several years Mike Stears and Ray Stafford had tight races for HOA at the Delta, CO Labor Day Shoot, with Mike winning about half the time. Mike placed third in the doubles championship at the Grand in 2005, and scored well at several other events there. I've been trying to convince him to go to the SW Grand this year, and if he does, he won't embarrass himself like I do.
Another Idaho shooter who can give most shooters a run for their money is Lyle (Bayley).
Correct on Stuart building his business. I think the man is busy. ha.
He tells me he is shooting more this year. We shall see. Also, thanks for the kind words. I think I shot a 76 in the caps the other day. lol.
I would agree that Stu Welton is one of the under-rated shooters in the ATA.I have had the pleasure of shooting with him a couple of times and not only is he a great shot but a gentleman also.In the Northwest we definately know the meaning of a long spring time or maybey extended winter shooting. Sincerly George Jr.