Saturday, September 22, 2012

Vermont Clay Target Shooting, 2012 Retrospect

From a shooters perspective, a good year for clay target shooting in Vermont.

The Northeast Kingdom Skeet and Sporting Clays club received a spring face lift with a bulldozer and chain saws re-making the sporting clays course. 

The old sporting course was skeet in the woods.  The new course has something for everyone.  Newer shooters should not feel beat up and the more experienced shooters will find several stations with challenging targets.  A well run state shoot with many happy shooters!

The club also installed a trap field.

The club has skeet and an excellent 5-stand.  I’m told a new club house is planned.

A big surprise for me was this year’s visit to Bulls Eye Sporting Clays.  Several years back I was not impressed and had not returned. 

Much improved target presentations.  Mostly hand traps and it is what it is.  The club has shot fall issues and has to be very careful in that regard.  I had a more enjoyable time on this visit. Will be returning next year!

The Montpelier Gun Club recovered from the floods of 2011 and all trap machines were working perfectly at this year’s state shoot.  A club with a Shot Fall Curtain.  Makes for an excellent background.

The Underhill Rod & Gun club, a three field skeet club with trap and a 5-stand once again transformed the club into a sporting clays club for two shoots this year.  In FITASC terms, they setup six parcours.  Very well done! I'm told some type of registered NSCA 100 target shoots are planned mid week once per month.  Most likely built around the 5-stand and an adjoining field.

Registered skeet ended with a bang!  The last shoot held, a 200 target .410 shoot, was a big hit.  Talk is that next year the club will be reworking the skeet program. I’m looking foreword to it. To be honest I had been thinking of dropping my NSSA membership, as not many places to shoot registered skeet in this region. With a revised Underhill shoot schedule and maybe a strengthened Vermont program I will stick around.

The Derby Fish and Game Club just keeps trucking along. A one field trap club that has an aggressive fun shot schedule.  Much larger clubs would be happy with the turnout the clubs sees at some of its shoots.

The Sportsman’s Club of Franklin County held a skeet and trap fun shoot this year.  It seems a few years have past since the last such shoot.  A member only shoot. Maybe future such shoots will be open to all and garner a few extra shooters.  A well run shoot, trophies for both skeet and trap, and a nice lunch.  The club runs an excellent skeet league.  They offer a trap league also, but having a rough time getting it off the ground.

The club is installing a “warming building” near skeet field #2.  A much needed addition.  Call it what you want. but the club has long needed a gathering spot for socializing near the fields.  The club house is not that far away, but far enough that it impacts the socializing aspect of clay target shooting.  Just my opinion and take it for what’s its worth….

The North County Sportsman’s Club has shot fall issues that have been identified and the club looks to have a handle on it. If in the neighborhood, stop in and shoot a round of 5-stand or trap, as the club needs to throw targets to pay for all the changes required to solve the issues at hand!  A relocated 5-stand is planned and the first shoot of 2013 is set for February 23rd, a 100 target shoot. 

A number of clubs have someone working with youth shooters, but a small group is planning on taking it to the next level in 2013, forming a Scholastic Clay Target Shooting Program (SCTP).

Something that we should all be willing to support at whatever level we can afford, may it be a cash contribution, ammunition donation, or reduced cost shooting at whatever Vermont club they visit.

Hopefully, clubs will reach out and offer their facilities for practice and or shoots!



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