It’s that time of year again, time for the Grand American!! As you read this, I hope to be seeing many of you are at the Grand American shoot in Sparta. As I write this, I just got home from the Ohio State shoot and only have a few more days to get ready for the Indiana State shoot. I truly hope and assume we had a fantastic 2016 Indiana State Shoot, and many of you were able to attend successful ATA Central Zone shoots at either Evansville Gun Club or St. Joe Valley Conservation Club.
Looking at the Trophy reports for several big shoots in late May and June in the surrounding states, there is no doubt a lot of trophies were brought back to Indiana.
At the Great Lakes Grand shoot in Michigan, our very own Tom Neal brought home the Great Lakes Grand Handicap Championship! Congrats to Tom on this major accomplishment. Satellite Grand Championships are hard to come by and Tom certainly deserves this victory.
There are lots of Indiana shooters listed on the trophy list from the Buckeye Open at the Cardinal Center in early June. Trophy winners there from Indiana included Michael Stephenson, Ben Morriston, Curt Lunsford, Dave Winn, Frank Craft, Devon Harris, Garl Gresley, Tom Neal, Devon Harris, Vern Brown, Chrissy Byrd, Tim Miller and Tank Lunsford. Tom Neal kept his Handicap Champ streak going from the GLG by winning Friday’s Handicap event with a 99! Congrats to all of these shooters.
It looks like numerous Indiana shooters made it to the Illinois State shoot, as was the case with the Ohio State shoot. I assume the same will be true for the Michigan & Kentucky State shoots. I know we rely heavily on support from our out-of-state friends at the Indiana State shoot and it’s good to see Indiana shooters traveling to State shoots of our geographical neighbors!
At Ohio State, Devon Harris was the Non-Resident Singles Champion. Three non-Ohio shooters ran the 200 program targets that day, including Devon, David Shaeffer Jr. from Maryland, and my good friend Andy Suda from Michigan. I was especially impressed with Andy breaking the 200 as he had to do it after watching me miss targets all day right in front of him (he lead off, I was on Post 5). All three shot off under terrible pre-dusk lighting conditions and all three proceeded to break another 100 straight in the shoot-off! After deciding to crank up the speed and the width of targets on the 5th round, Andy missed #124 to put him out, and Devon & Dave opted for a coin-toss resolution, with Devon winning the Championship!
On Friday’s Handicap event at Ohio, the top of the leaderboard certainly reflected well on our shooters from Indiana that day. Out of 958 entries, there was only one single 99 broke and only one 98 turned in, and they both were from Indiana shooters! Congrats to Ron Christman on his 99 for Non-Resident Champion, and to Paul Rode, Senior Vet Champion with his 98 in the Rio Handicap event.
It’s great to see so many Indiana shooters enjoying success at these big shoots. But equally if not even more important are all of the shooters that support and compete at our local Indiana clubs. Please send me information on any shoot reports, highlights, special accomplishments/milestones, etc. that take place so I can include it in future writings.
As I wrap up my first year as Indiana Delegate I would like to thank all of the Indiana shooters for their overwhelming support this past year. It has certainly been an enlightening experience so far and I am appreciative that you have chosen to allow me to represent the great trapshooting State of Indiana.
Looking back over this past year it pleases me to know how much better I have gotten to know a great number of you. Several people have asked me what I like most about being Delegate, and that’s an easy answer: the people. I want everyone to know that so far there is only one single part I don’t like about this Delegate position, and unfortunately have to do it again this month. What I don’t like is when I am writing this monthly article for Trap & Field and have to share with you unfortunate news about one of our fellow trapshooter’s that is no longer with us.
I’m sure most of you have heard by now, but in late June we lost Derek Knowling, who was killed in a tragic accident while working as a Surveyor on Interstate 69, at the young age of 31 years old. Derek has been an ATA shooter since 1999, which is probably about the first time I met him. He was always at the Indiana State shoot, both working & shooting for many years of his youth. Even when he wasn’t shooting much while going to school he would always come to the shoot to visit with his fellow shooters. His participation in the sport had really increased the past couple of years and he was managing the Roachdale Gun Club until his untimely death. I last saw Derek at the Indiana Central Zone shoot at Kingen in May and when he was leaving he shook my hand and said “I’ll see you at the State Shoot”. I really wish that was case. Please keep his wife Kim and two young children, Kendall & Ben, ages 4 & 2, in your thoughts & prayers. Cherish each and every day you have here on earth with your loved ones.
Good luck at the Grand American!! And don’t forget to support our local Indiana clubs!