Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mar 22 @ Gator Skeet & Trap Club

We attended the 1st Annual Armed Forces and Veterans Open Shoot at the Gator Skeet & Trap Club.

A benefit shoot consisting of 100 skeet and 100 bunker targets. Shoot one or both, with shoot proceeds to benefit the Military Support Group of Alachua County, Florida.

I'm a veteran and the wife not, but an open shoot and all invited to attend. I shot both skeet and bunker, Heide shot skeet.

In the 60's and humid, but no wind. When we departed it was 75 degrees.

The club replaced the old Winchester machines that many will remember and NASTA machines are now installed on all fields.


I'm not sure if I've shot off a NASTA machine before, but the targets were right on the money and today's targets may be the best I've seen in several months. We shot on field #2; a field I would practice on if getting ready to attend a big shoot. My wife agreed!

We had a good bunch on the squad and the ref was top notch.

I was lucky and won a nice belt buckle.


As a side-note; three years ago Gator threw the worst skeet targets that I have ever seen and we had the feeling skeet shooters were not welcomed. I was not a happy camper and only returned to shoot at the club last month, taking part in the Florida ATA Chain Shoot. A changed attitude is evident, as the old manager that I dealt with on my initial visit is long gone and I would recommend the club to all.

I would suggest the club downsize (shrink) the huge windows on the skeet houses. I mentioned this before I departed. Looking at the high house on field #2, you see orange targets in the stacks, a huge number of orange targets. A distraction that should not bother most, but a distraction.

We headed over to the bunker when we finished with skeet.

Gator at present has the only Olympic Bunker in Florida.


The bunker and shooting positions are elevated above ground level to alleviate future water/flooding problems. Flagler recently did the same with the two new ATA fields they built.

Heide was nice enough to keep score as she was not shooting.

Prior to the start I was given a few pointers on the game. This was much appreciated.

I was expecting a few more high targets then I received. Just my luck on the setup for the day and easy targets were not to be had : )

For whatever reason, I kept missing straightaway low targets.

100 targets and I used 160 shells. Not what you want to do!

- If you have not shot bunker before, your allowed two shots per target.

- A bunker has 15 machines, three per station.

- A target is launched from one of three machines on your station, computer controlled, on your call. You shoot one target and move to the next station, 25 targets.

- The voice release is controlled by the computer and only at the hot station is the voice release activated. This is signaled by a green light on the stand.

- All shooters at some point receive the same target as all others, but the computer makes it seem random.

- If a no bird, a reset button can be hit on the voice release stand to reset the computer.

Hard lefts and hard rights are the norm. I'm not sure but I think the only targets not legal are those that go straight up or bounce along the ground : )

As always, the Bunker shooters were very welcoming and always happy to have new shooters to the sport join them.

We both enjoyed are visit to the club!

On the route home we passed a roadside stand selling strawberries. We could see workers in the distance picking the fields. We purchased a few quarts.


Shoot Photos

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