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Keystone Shooter
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Nothing as fantastic some of the previous posters. But for only being in the sport for a few years I’d have to say that there are two instances that I’m quite proud of. The first one was beating the local club champion at this small clubs league, in 2019, buy two birds. No one could ever beat him.
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The second was at the Zippo Classic at the Bradford Gun Club in Bradford. Pa., in 2020. I tied for second place handicap from the 20 yard line. Which put me into a shoot off with another young guy. I never was involved in a shoot off, since I’ve only been shooting for a few years. At 70 years old it was a very stressful situation. To top it all off there was a half a dozen or more local shooters from my home area, watching the shoot off. My opponent dropped two birds, and I ran all 25. When I turned around all those people from home were cheering, and applauding. I was in shock. I couldn’t talk. I shook the hand of my opponent. He was a true gentleman. My wife took a picture of him and I standing by the scorer’s chair. It was the most spectacular thing that I’ve experienced since I starting shooting trap.

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If your not having fun, why do it?

The most fun I have had, score wise is such a dud that I cannot remember what I shot. But what makes it memorable is that it was one bird better. A special one bird better, then the guy that was so proud of his $40,000 shotgun and filling my ears with it while bad mouthing my choice of shotgun. "WHAT MAKES YOU THINK, that your 400 dollar shotgun can compete with MY fourty thousand dollar wonder gun!?!?" I just said it isn't the gun it's the shooter. I had been shooting poorly, but walking onto to the first trap I prayed, "LORD please help me be one bird better." I didn't worry about the score sheet until the "dead and out call" on the last trap. And I didn't really need to look at the score sheet then, because the body language of the blowhard said it all as sulked off the field without going near the scorer's chair. It told the entire story. Not just to me but everyone that had heard his mouth. I had that one bird!

And yes it was a $40,000 DOLLAR Krieghoff with everything either factory custom or in someway built for him. I feel sorry for that shotgun!

Al
understand that. have won several state sporting clay titles with an 870 pump gun. $300 gun.
 

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Perazzi MX10RS 32/34 Combo w/Allor tuned barrels, K80 Parcours 32"
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The most exciting was my first 200, 2008 in the Clay target. Only came up 650 short from tying Foster & Leo.:LOL:

The most gratifying was at the 2013 Iowa State Shoot, after 200 in the rain and another 218 that evening in the shootoff and losing to Scott Gens for out of state Singles Champ, ending up the HAA out of state AA champ.
Also got a cool nickname from Scott.
 

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I don’t know if this qualifies or not? Here goes: We were having a Christmas holiday meat shoot at Our small 2 trap club, and there was a good crowd there. Now, I am not a very good shot, but every once in a while I have My moments. We are shooting for a Prime Rib Roast, and We are shooting a 4 gun last miss with a buy back. I get put out right away, but buy back in. I can’t explain it, but I decided right then and there, I was going to win that roast. I proceed to put Everybody that was left on that line out, a lot of them twice. At the end it comes down to Me and a young boy. I realize that I can’t win here. If I put the kid out, which I had already done once, I am going to be an Ogre for putting the kid Out, if I miss, I lose. I decided I was not going to throw this thing, just because he was a kid, and I put Him out. I then gave the kid the winning ticket for the roast. It was a win-win-win, as the kid was happy, Grandpa was happy, and I think I was happiest out of all of Us. I can still remember the grin on that kids face to this day. That’s what is so great about this sport, even Us average shooters can have good days, with good friends.
 

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Sliding into a skeet shoot once in a while and winning guns is always fun.
Did it 3 times at the Great Eastern when it was in Richmond. Sold or traded the other two, but kept this one.
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As a non resident at the Maine state shoot ran 100 in the morning and after a long delay because of a broken trap on the third field in the afternoon I still was able to finish with a 200, but I had a feeling that I was gonna be tied with the only other guy that ran 100 in the morning…. when I saw all four squad mates rush over to shake his hand when they finished, I knew we had tied . In the shoot off he only dropped his 73rd bird, then a calm came over me and I finished with 75 straight for the win.
i shot with some good friends that pretty much ignored me in afternoon, wouldn’t make eye contact or talk with me, especially as the trap was being fixed. A friend and his wife came over after congrats were over and handed me a gift bag with two ice cold beers in it, man were the good!
#2 was watching my son shoot in the champion of champions as a sub junior at the Grand in vandalia in 2003.
 

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1st place: Shooting next to my son on his first 200 x 200 at the Kansas State Shoot in the Championship Singles Event.

2nd place: Running 100 straight in a shoot off at the Kansas State Shoot Championship Singles Event. We both agreed that if we both ran 100 we would flip...then flipping for it for the win.

3rd place: Shooting in the Champion of Champions Event at the Grand

4th place: Hasn't happened yet...getting to shoot alongside my grandson when he starts shooting.

5th place: My first hundred straight while shooting with my son.

Like a horse race...5 places....the 99 in the handicap at the Grand was OK too....
 

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Perazzi TMS/Browning Citori XT
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Almost forgot until I noticed a picture on my laptop today posing with all three trophies on the hood of my '86 Toyota 4x4, lol. I won HOA 300, HOA 400 & HOA 500 at a 500 Singles Marathon One Day Shoot in 1987....I shot 487/500 posting 13-25's that day. It was my second season of shooting ATA, I was 23....seems so long ago now....
 

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Not a competitive shooting experience, but once in my life I shot a perfect limit of 15 dove, with 15 shots with a 16 gauge Remington Sportsman 58. I was a much better wing shooter 40 years ago. Also took a triple with the same shotgun back when I was too young to drive and had to ride a bicycle.
 

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I did some thinking about this, given that I just started shooting trap when I was in my 60's I don't have a room full of mugs and trophies, I have my share and have had some good day's I won 4 out of 6 events in my class plus the handicap with a 96 on day 1 at provincials this year along with the HOA in A with a 380/400 so that was good.

However I think my most satisfying experience is every time I attend a shoot and get to shoot with my friends, don't get me wrong I am competitive and I try to break every target, but for me anyway it's never been about the score or the mug or the silver pickle dish, I love the atmosphere and the comradery of our registered shoots, everyone knows everyone and that makes for a great weekend burning gun powder.
 

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At one of the Grands near the end of Vandalia shooting from 24 yrd line. I had the good fortune to beat Ray Stafford shooting from 27 yrd line in the shoot off of the Nitro 27 Handicap we were the last two out there. I took 12th and he took 15th. I had just bought a K5 that morning.
 

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At the last Grand in Vandalia in 2005, I broke 98 in the GAH. There were no yd. group trophies in the GAH then ,Category and top 20 places. There were three 100 straights , several 99s and over 50 98s !!! Those of us with 98s were shooting for the last few places. Two took their categories and didn't shoot off . The rest of us shot for place. I went 25-24-23 in the shoot off and wound up in 19th place ( my first ever Grand trophy). To me shooting off under the lights in the last shoot off at the last Grand was the thrill of a life time.
 

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Krieghoff K-80 standard trap (32"/34" unsingle) & Beretta ASE-90 (29 1/2" tubed set)
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I love reading all of everyone's "special" wins and accomplishments. Really amazing how each has a different level of what is special to them; some folks it is their first 25 or 50 straights. Others it is local club shoots awards while others are "special" moments with family and friends on the line with them. I didn't start shooting clay targets til a couple of years after my father passed away at the "way-to-young-age" of 50, and I was only 24. He never got to see me shoot, but I also know he's seen ever good day (and bad day) I've had while wielding a shotgun. Sure wish I could have shot at least one round with him !!!

My 2 best days on the trap line was when I won the Texas State Handicap Runner-Up in 2002 (my 2nd year of registered targets) with a lone 98 from the 24 yard line. No shoot-off involved, and I was floating on a cloud. A Junior shooter with a 99 was State champ, and I was happy to come in 2nd.

My other great Handicap event was in 2012 at the Southwestern Grand in the Friday "Nitro 27 Handicap Championship", where I shot a 98, and was kind of bummed out thinking I had gotten such a good score, but after recent handicap event scores from earlier in the week of 99's and a 100 by Mike Jordan, I figured I was "close but no cigar". As I was talking with Charlie Long before shooting the Doubles event, he asked how I finished up; I told him I dropped 2, but was kind of upset it wouldn't be good enough, he then told me he had been watching the scores before heading out for his Doubles, and when he quit watching the monitors, (3) 97's were on the board, nothing higher. It was a crappy, misty and rainy day, so LONG story short. I ended up winning the event outright.

I just hope I am able to continue to have fun, shoot decent scores, and help influence future shooters to join in on the fun.

Mike* (MH*)
 
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