Saturday, February 28, 2009

Southeast Regional Olympic Trap Tournament @ Gator

I stopped in at the Gator Skeet & Trap Club with my camera to take photos of the 2009 Southeast Regional Olympic Trap Tournament.

Over 40 shooters.

For the shoot the club re-activated the original field that had been retired after the new field was built.

Old style single load traps were used in the re-activated bunker with trappers required in the bunker to constantly load machines.

Hard for a squad to get a good rhythm going on this field, as I thought a rather large amount of no-targets, especially in the early going. Many shooters take 10 - 20 seconds between calls, so it can slow down a squad if more than a few "no bird" call are experienced. I observed a shooter on station #1 receive 3 "no target" calls, one right after another. Each time the shooter reset before calling for the target. A time out was called to make repairs after the third "no target" call. After the delay shooting resumed. The shooter promptly missed the target!

The newer field had few problems and squads were moving along.

Gusting winds. The temperature at midday was in the low 80's.

I met a delightful young lady by the name of Rachael Helden. If she is the future of Bunker shooting, the sport is in good hands. Have no idea how she rates as a shooter, but her personality reminded me of Kim Rhode.

I also talked to Canadian shooter Cynthia Meyer. Cynthia resides on Long Island and is responsible for the installation of the Bunker at the local club in her part of New York. I had heard talk of her, but never met her. For whatever reason I expected a much older women. That was not the case. A very energetic women and a pleasure to talk to.

National Women's Champion Miranda Wilder was in attendance. I had a nice chat with her dad and also took a father/daughter photo. I shot bunker practice with her four years ago. Her Dad and Mom were some of the first people my wife and I met when we first visited the Gator Club. First class people and an asset to whatever club they belong. They now live in Texas.

As for the posted video...

As flash targets were not being used, not many, if any video clips of flying targets despite my efforts to relocate the camera. Much depends on distance, background, and skyline. None that was in my favor, and of course You Tube degrades videos upon posting so that does not help.

Shoot Photos

A farm with a roadside stand, maybe ten miles from the Gator club is usually harvesting strawberries this time of the year. When I drove by last Saturday they had the fields covered with plastic sheets trying to protect them from an early morning frost.

I can report the strawberries were well protected from last weeks frost and I can also report they were delisous...

Gas prices are going up. Wednesday I purchased gas at $1.81 per gallon. Today, the same station was selling it for $1.89. Another station that was also selling gas for $1.81 had a price of $1.99 posted.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Increased seizure of guns at Canada/U.S. border

In the News...

Increased seizure of guns at Canada/U.S. border

CBSA spokesperson Faith St. John said that 191 guns were seized coming into B.C. from the United States last year, up from 161 seized in 2007 and 111 confiscated in 2006.

On Feb. 19, U.S. resident Gerald Eugene Burke was arrested at the Douglas border crossing after CBSA officers inspected his SUV and found a loaded 9mm Sig Sauer handgun and two boxes of ammunition.

St. John said Burke was later charged under the Customs Act and the Criminal Code for smuggling firearms into Canada and possessing a restricted firearm.


Shotguns and Rifles allowed!

Hunters and Sportsmen must purchase a $25 (Canadian) sixty day permit.

Bringing Firearms into Canada

* As of June 2009. A passport or enhanced drivers license will be required to re-enter the U.S. at all land crossings.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Feb 21, 2009 @ Gator Chain Shoot

We attended the Gator leg of the 2009 Florida Chain at the Gator Skeet & Trap Club.

A cool sunny morning, but by noon a change to shorts was a good idea.

A slight wind. Just enough to play with the targets from time to time. I felt they were flying flat more times than not.

Lucky with squadding and we shot with an excellent squad.

My kind of trap shoot. Targets shot over 4 fields, 25 targets per field.

We shot 100 targets in the AM and 100 targets in the PM.

Heide, who just started shooting ATA in January, shot a first 25 straight on the first round and ended the day with a 25 straight on the last.

As is the norm, all fields were checked with radar prior to the start and during the down time between 100s. A few squads asked for targets to be checked during the day. The club checked them without hesitation.

All in all a fine day with Raymond Lee taking the singles event with a 198 after winning a shoot-off with Dave Robbins.

The shoot dinner consisted of Gator Tail, Buffalo, Quail, Pheasant, and Roast Beef.

Shoot Photos

I keep running into shooters from the Robinson Ranch at various shoots, to include this shoot, and have not yet met one that was not friendly or who displays that clickish attitude that we experience from time to time, intentional or not. Several have asked that we attend the chain shoot held at the Robinson Ranch. The shoot is on the calendar for 2010.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Trap Shooting @ Palatka Skeet Club

The loan trap at the Palatka Skeet Club had broken bird issues the last time we shot, but they have been resolved.

A windy day and flat targets.

I only experienced one no bird call.

The field is not staked, so no idea if targets are going the correct distance or have the correct angle, but the speed seemed correct.

The left and right angle seemed wide, with targets being outside the corner of the roof when standing on station 1 or 5. Maybe it was the wind...

Pads for 27 yard shooting, but individual yardage pads not marked.

No voice release.

I would have no problem using the field to get ready to attend an ATA shoot if the club maintains the trap machine at this level of repair!

As I posted in the past. If you plan your trap shooting for 3pm or after, you basically have the club to yourself and no issues with shooters on other fields when going out to load the machine or having to waiting for skeet shooters to vacate the field the trap is located on.

* The clubs lone trap field has not had a machine in the trap house for a number of years, thus the in depth report, as I'm sure there are a number of shooters in the area that would use the field if they knew it was available, as the member rate at the club is more then reasonable.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rhino Rally Prelim

2009 Rhino Rally, Friday Prelim.

A first visit to Williston, Florida.

An easy club to find.

A well organized registration desk.

A variety of ammunition was available, but no deals. It looked like full retail price.

The prelim course did not require more than IC choke, but a challenging course for many.

Some shooters were smashing targets, maybe missing one bird or the other, making the adjustment and doing well. Other shooters had problems with the same targets, never figuring them out. The target setter did a nice job. A challenging course set without requiring the use of modified choke!

I didn't see any eye test or short windows.

A few machine problems during the AM that caused a few waits.

I talked to several refs and they seemed well trained.

The refs were more than generous with show targets. One person looked at eight targets.

At one station the squad was gathering score cards and one of the shooters challenged the ref on a marked lost target. I was leaving and did not see the end result, but did hear the rest of the squad siding with the shooter...

One of the refs asked to use my cell to call for help with a machine, as he had no signal on his phone. My Verizon phone had three bars...

One shooter was having gun problems in the PM and asked if he could test fire his gun. For whatever reason, he shot into the ground in front of the station (both barrels). I think he hit the release cord wire, as the machine to the left started to windmill just after he shot. I said to one of his squad members that I thought he shot the cord. He replied, No, he did not shoot the cord! After a few minutes of watching them working on the machine it was time for me to move on. I saw them checking the cord as I was leaving...

It's a coin toss if you need a cart or not. Not a rough course to walk. All depends if you don't mind shooting with those with carts, as the vast majority have a cart.

I was talking to a shooter who shot in England and he says you never see a cart!

A covered area is available for eating. The club was offering a $5 lunch special.

A 5-Stand was available for practice.

Quebec was well represented at the shoot.

Prelim Shoot Photos

Monday, February 09, 2009

Feb 8, 2009 @ the Azalea Open, Palatka Florida

Sunny skies and temperatures rapidly climbing to the 70's.

Two of the first people I ran into were New Hampshire shooter's Steve Livingston and Marcel Vallencourt.

The serious Steve & Marcel.

Later in the day both shooters shot 100 straight in the 20 gauge event.

A first in the 20 for Marcel, shooting his 28 gauge.

A nice crowd and I saw many who I shot with in the past and I also made a few new acquaintances.

Barb was seen walking up and down the line a number of times taken care of score sheets. She was also doing her usual fine job at the desk.

Shoot Photos

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Feb 7, 2009 @ the Flagler ATA Chain Shoot

We attended the 200 target singles event at the Flagler Gun & Archery Club's first ATA Chain Shoot.

The club is located 30-40 minutes from Daytona Beach, Florida.

Upon registration each shooter was given a goodie bag that included a $10 Gander Mt. discount card.

Shooting Sports Pro Shop, St. Augustine Florida, set up a booth and was selling ammunition at a very reasonable price.

A cool start, but sunny with the temperature reaching 70 degrees by noon.

No wind for the the most part. It did pick up in the late afternoon, but did not seem to bother the targets.

25 targets per field.

Excellent targets and no machine problems that I'm aware of.

Water available on each field.

Between 100's, target speed (radar gun) and height was checked.

No lack of help. Club volunteers were out in force!

A very well run shoot...

A number of first time visitors to the club commented on the targets and how well the shoot was run. All said they would attend next years shoot!


For whatever reason I decided to check my 1100 before taken the field and found the trigger would not set.

Just yesterday it worked flawlessly on the sporting clays range.

It was not the trigger. Something was hanging up and not allowing the trigger to cock.

I ended up changing out the bolt and carrier with spares I carry to get it working properly. Sometime this week I will inspect the replaced parts.


My wife's first big ATA shoot with her only having 100 registered targets under her belt. She did well, with her best score in the PM.


Flagler Club President Jay Beggelman presented me a generous donation on behalf of the club for my support of the club through information and photo postings on the Lost Target.


Always appreciated...

Shoot Photos

Friday, February 06, 2009

Feb 6, 2009 @ WW Sporting Clays

My friend Mike Duquette from New York visited and he wanted to get in some shooting.

We settled on WW Sporting Clays for an afternoon of fun.

A cool week for Florida, but a warm front was moving in.

Sunny and in the low 60's. Almost perfect shooting conditons...

Mike Duquette, Cathy, & Heide

Joe Potosky (Lost Target), Heide, Cathy, & Mike

Mike's first visit and he was impressed with the club.

Thanks to club manager, Ken Branham for being the perfect host.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Odds & Ends, Feb 4 2009

The debate goes on over the quality of Lawry clay targets.

I've shot them up and down the east coast and I don't have a problem with them.

Last month I was at a club that was throwing them off Pat Trap's and not one no bird call. They broke when I hit them...

I don't think my scores on any given month is any different shooting a Lawry target or from shooting one of the other brands.

They are not any harder than Bio White Flyer's. If anything, I suspect the Bio White Flyer is a bit harder.

As for a club considering switching over. Purchase a pallet and see how it goes.

A club can save several thousand dollars a year shooting Lawry targets.


Remington 1100.

In a rather small time frame I had two Remington 1100's suddenly fail to eject the shell.

Either I had an ammunition problem or the same part on both firearms failed at the same time.

After switching out various parts, to include triggers and trying different ammunition, no luck.

Head scratching time...

It turns out it was my gun cleaning routine that was the problem.

I had been using a Bore Snake without cleaning solvent. Over a period of time the absence of cleaning solvent allowed a buildup in the barrel chamber to occur.

I come to suspect this, as I remembered that if I don't give my O/U barrels a good cleaning every now and then after only cleaning with a bore snake, my small gauge tubes will hang when trying to insert.

After I cleaned the chambers using a very fine steel wool and solvent, both shotguns functioned properly.


Lead Shot.

Lead shot prices have stabilized with many seeing shot between $22 - $25 a bag.

I've read of lower prices, but not widespread.


Steel shot.

I was on Walmart and they were selling #7 steel shot ammunition cheaper than Winchester and Remington lead shot clay target ammunition.


Missile Defense

President Obama wishes to freeze the Anti-Missile program and place it back in the testing stage.

For whatever reason, Liberals are against missile defense, but it's to much of a political liability to abandon it, so they always say it needs more testing and can't be deployed.

Yesterday, Iran launched a satellite into space. The same Iran that is trying to develope nuclear weapons.

Try telling Israel and Europe or the U.S. forces that we have deployed overseas that we don't need a deployed missile defense...

Think of the tragedy if one missle was launched by accident from either Russia or China and we did not have the means to shoot it down!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Passport Required as of June 1, 2009

On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI.

All land crossings will require at a minimum either a Passport or an Enhanced Drivers License.

This will be required of all who enter the U.S., to include Canadians and Americans.

Children: Beginning June 1, 2009, U.S. and Canadian citizens under the age of 16, or under the age of 19 traveling with a school, religious or other youth group, may present a birth certificate, consular report of birth abroad, naturalization certificate or Certificate of Canadian Citizenship. Birth certificate can be an original, photocopy or certified copy.

* A number of states and some Provinces in Canada offer the Enhanced Driver License, but the license is not recognized if you fly.