Monday, September 30, 2013

Talk Boards and Club Meetings!

What do both have in common?

I see or hear a lot of, the club should do this and the club should do that, but hardly one person doing the posting or doing the talking, willing to take on the responsibility!

They want (to help promote shooting)!

Additional hours (or days) the club is open.

Fun shoots.

4H, AIM or SCTP programs at the club.

Shooting clinics for youth and women shooters.

League shooting.

Registered shooting.

Open house.

Sponsors for shoots.

Articles in local papers.

Club newsletter.

Up to date club website or Facebook account.

Cheaper targets (don't normally attend meetings and have no idea of cost to run the club).

Complaining about the other discipline taking over the club, but they don't attend meetings, not on the board, and don't show up to support there own discipline when a function is planned. I just threw that one in, but so true!


They want all this and more.

In reality we're burning out the help. It's getting worse each year, and not only at shooting clubs!

For every 100 members, you have how many that faithfully help out throughout the year?

At many member run clubs a handful is all that is keeping the club running.  Sometimes a club is only one volunteer away from not being open on any given Sunday, and said shooter wants the club to be open on additional days?

League not being run?  Steve can't make it down to the club each week to run it, no one else willing, are you willing to take it on?

Sponsors for shoots.  I suggest you approach your business friends and ask them to support the club, as the guy running the club from day to day has just so many hours that he can commit to the club, and in many cases does not have a relationship with local businesses that you might have.

The lawn does not get mowed by elf's, nor is snow removal.

Targets don't magically appear in the trap house.

The bathrooms are not being maintained by a cleaning service.

Those willing to run registered shooting programs is only two people at some clubs. If one stopped doing it to so would the other.

The small kitchen with snacks and soda is taken for granted.  A volunteer is making a trip to restock the kitchen and most likely also removing the empty soda cans and keeping the kitchen area clean. 

Next time you have an idea, be willing for yourself and your friends to volunteer, and not have the handful that is keeping the club running have to take consider taking on additional responsibility (or not)!

First FITASC shoot held at NEK (Vermont)

A beautiful setting for the first FITASC shoot held in Vermont in over a decade.

Parcour 2
 The shoot was hosted by the Northeast Kingdom Skeet and Sporting Club, Lyndonville, Vermont.
For those not familiar with FITASC.  Twenty-five targets shot per parcour. A low gun game, 1oz. (no reloads), and you can't move your gun until you see the target.  The squad first shoots singles (two shots allowed) and then the squad shoots report pair or doubles, before moving on to the next station.  I think three stations per parcour is what the rule book says.   Only one gun/ammunition failure per 25 targets. A dress code is enforced!
The shoot was 50 targets (two parcours).

* Best viewed at full screen!
An early morning fog, but it burn burned off.  Serious sun issues on Parcour #1 was experienced by early squads. Almost any other time of the year target setting would have been perfect, but low sun seen at this time of year was a killer.  The club recognizes they had an issue and the target setter(s) will take that in account for future shoots.
Rules are rules and boy does FITASC have rules.  Many NSCA shooters, first time exposed to FITASC, were a little taken back by the number of rules and enforcement.  Who knew you couldn't come out and watch squads shoot before it was your squads turn to shoot?  I suggest in the future steps are taken to get the word out in regard to rules before the shooter shows up at the parcour, especially for clubs holding there first couple of FITASC shoots (ever). Use the shoot flyer (program), in email notifications, a point paper handed out at the registration desk, a briefing to squads before they depart for the parcour. Any or all is recommended. Don't go overboard, or no one will read them, but include the major rules (point paper style) that will be enforced, without fail.
 * Received via email from a Canadian. Your note about not viewing targets at a Parcour is false. There is no such rule in FITASC Sporting. It is bullshit by people that don't know the rules. The waiting area is there to prevent distractions from interfering with the squad shooting.   Thanks for the information!
Maybe a little heavy handed in my critique as a first time shoot, but if shooters are to return and bring there friends..... 
Targets pretty much beat me up, but I made the trip (2hr 45min) to primarily take photos and video (I don't pretend to be a FITASC shooter), but as long as I was there  : )    A good squad and I had fun!
As always, the good shooters overcame any hiccups experienced and shot the scores expected!
In conjunction with the shoot the club also offered 50 targets Sporting Clays. During the course of the year the club holds 100 targets sporting clays shoots with the option to shoot 5-stand.
Club volunteers did an outstanding job getting the club ready for the shoot and were out in force throughout the day.  Thanks to all that came out to lend a hand!
Five Canadians traveled down from Quebec.  One won the FITASC event and a one took the Sporting Clays event!
The kitchen was up and running. 
The building used as a clubhouse is slated to be torn down this week and a new club house will be built and fully functionally for the 2014 shooting season.
As a side note, I highlighted Vermont Sub Junior Andy Kachmarik in a video, a young shooter with a lot of potential.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Olympic Bunker Trap (Minute Man Sportsman's Club)

Good news for the New England Region....

New England International Junior Shooting Sports

New England International Junior Shooting Sports a 501c3 has raised private funds and is building an International Bunker on land provided by Minute Man Sportsman's Club. This is the only bunker in New England and we look forward to it's completion.

Minute Man Sportsman's Club
Burlington, MA

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What it cost to attend a shoot?

First, shooting is expensive, period.  Even in the old days, shooting was expensive, period! 

Yes, many can remember $35 for a case of shells and on and on. You could also purchase a new car for under $4000 and many were more then happy if they were making $200 a week.  See where $200 a week gets you now days!

Attended a skeet shoot this past weekend and after reading a few postings on the cost of registered shooting (and the impact on attracting new shooters and keeping old ones). I sat down and figured out what it cost me to attend this one day shoot.

200 Registered Targets = $94   Did not play purse or options!

8 boxes of shells = $48

Gas = $13.69

Brought my own lunch.

Total: $155.69

You can reduce the cost of shells if you reload (good luck finding powder and primers), but those who don't reload can expect to pay $6 or more per box of shells. More if your shooting .410 or 28 gauge.

I don't have issues on what was charged, matter of fact paid $55 per 100 a few weeks back, but my choice to attend or not.  By the way, two shooters in the family, you do the math!

And, those figures are only for one day, 200 targets.  Two or three day shoot and you also have motel and meals to consider, as well as additional shoot fees and shells.

The conversation is about the cost of shooting registered and it's impact on attracting new shooters and keeping shooters!

I think a bigger impact then we realize....

If I was shooting practice, the $94 would allow me to shoot 26 rounds of skeet or trap. The figure is based on the low end on where I shoot, but I plugged in the lowest cost to shoot practice in my region.

A shooter raising a family and on a budget; does he (she) attend a one day registered shoot and shoot 200 targets or spread it out and shoot practice for six weeks (100 targets per visit)?

I think the decision has already been made by many, going by the number of shooters I see at various clubs shooting practice viruses the number I see at many registered shoots (skeet and trap) I attend each year. .

Saying that....

A few things a club could do to lower cost:

Look at is the price charged for registered targets. We sometimes forget a profit is already built into every target thrown at the cub, practice or not. Does the cost of that same target have to be raised because a shoot is being held?

Shoot fees.  Outside of ref fees and association fees, where is the additional money going? Do we need $15 or $20 returned to shooters?  You want to do it for the once a year big shoot, go for it, but is that really needed for every shoot?  I'm comfortable at $10.

Sell shells at cost during the shoot. 

Don't include the FREE meal in the cost of the shoot.

Get a sponsor!  Prizes (awards) cost money.  I've won car washes, tools, blankets, clothing, shells, lawn chairs and more in my years of shooting. 

Shooting is expensive, period, but maybe we can shave off a few dollars for those who are thinking of joining are ranks!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Personal Firearm Record (for lost or stolen firearms)

U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives National Tracing Center Lost/Stolen Firearms If have not done so already, an easy to use PDF form to list the firearms you own. Personal Firearms Record (ATF P 3312.8) "The Personal Firearms Record was developed to provide you an easy and complete way to maintain a record of their firearms. By completing this record and maintaining it in a safe location, with your other important documents and separate from your firearms, you will be taking an important first step in the effort to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. This record is for your personal use only. The information will not be collected or maintained by ATF or any other Federal Government agency."

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Starbucks Coffee, the Gun Letter (an video)

An Open Letter from Howard Schultz, ceo of Starbucks Coffee Company
Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dear Fellow Americans,

Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns. In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners (employees) who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. That’s why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.

From the beginning, our vision at Starbucks has been to create a “third place” between home and work where people can come together to enjoy the peace and pleasure of coffee and community. Our values have always centered on building community rather than dividing people, and our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life.

We appreciate that there is a highly sensitive balance of rights and responsibilities surrounding America’s gun laws, and we recognize the deep passion for and against the “open carry” laws adopted by many states. (In the United States, “open carry” is the term used for openly carrying a firearm in public.) For years we have listened carefully to input from our customers, partners, community leaders and voices on both sides of this complicated, highly charged issue.

Our company’s longstanding approach to “open carry” has been to follow local laws: we permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws don’t exist. We have chosen this approach because we believe our store partners should not be put in the uncomfortable position of requiring customers to disarm or leave our stores. We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement—not by Starbucks and our store partners.

Recently, however, we’ve seen the “open carry” debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening. Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called “Starbucks Appreciation Days” that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of “open carry.” To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.

For these reasons, today we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas—even in states where “open carry” is permitted—unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.

I would like to clarify two points. First, this is a request and not an outright ban. Why? Because we want to give responsible gun owners the chance to respect our request—and also because enforcing a ban would potentially require our partners to confront armed customers, and that is not a role I am comfortable asking Starbucks partners to take on. Second, we know we cannot satisfy everyone. For those who oppose “open carry,” we believe the legislative and policy-making process is the proper arena for this debate, not our stores. For those who champion “open carry,” please respect that Starbucks stores are places where everyone should feel relaxed and comfortable. The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.

I am proud of our country and our heritage of civil discourse and debate. It is in this spirit that we make today’s request. Whatever your view, I encourage you to be responsible and respectful of each other as citizens and neighbors.


Howard Schultz


In my opinion, Pro-carry overplayed it's hand....

I was thinking a year ago that some type of action was going to be taken by Starbucks, as an annual call for everyone to bring a firearm to Starbucks was an "In Your Face" directed towards anti-gun people that no company can allow, especially when guns are involved on company property. An incident waiting to happen!

You may count on anti-gun people contacting the police anytime they see someone carrying a gun in Starbucks Coffee.

Will be interesting how police handle this, as only a request not to carry not an outright ban...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Farnham Fun Trap Shoot (Quebec)

Club de chasse, pêche et tir de Farnham inc.
Farnham, Québec

Tournoi annuel de tir aux pigeons d’argile NAPA

An annual 50 target fun trap shoot.

I live in NY and the club is about 30 miles north of Swanton, Vermont.  For me, an 1:45 minute drive. No problems at the border, going or returning.

We always have a good time when we attend this shoot and everyone (shooters and club workers) are always friendly and make everyone feel welcomed.

New this year was new trap buildings (2) and a PAT trap.

A wind day.  For the most part targets flying high.

A number of hunters in attendance.

The club throws black rim Lawry targets.  I recommend they try a couple of cases of all orange targets, as I don't think the orange tops on the Lawry targets pops enough on overcast days.  Could just be me and my old eyes, but I think not!

A shooter I know said he only learned of the shoot via my posting on Clays Quebec and was not even aware the club offered both trap and skeet (the club is more known for rifle/pistol).  The club is closer then the club he shoots at.  Maybe the club gained a new member....

No voice release.  An interesting change from instant release.  I missed the first target out.  For years I shot with a trapper hitting the button, but have not done so in the recent past.  A button release sure brings out the bad habits you have when your used to voice release.   Maybe next year we will see the addition of voice release on at least one of the fields?  An addition that all volunteer clubs should consider, as there use increases rounds shot (shooters don't have to wait around) and the club does not have to dedicate someone to pull targets during weekly practice.

As in the past, for a dollar you could have either a hotdog, fries, or soda.  A nice lunch for a total of $3.

Squads were still forming up when we departed....


Todd Murphy Memorial Shoot Report

Todd Murphy Memorial Shoot

Underhill Rod & Gun Club
Westford, Vermont

Two times a year this three field skeet club (with 5-stand & Trap) transforms it's property into a five parcour sporting clays course.

Three start times, 100 NSCA targets.

A cool overcast day.  Sun started to pop as the day went on.

Based on scores and results of Master Class and AA shooters, targets were not soft or even moderately set.  HOA was won with an 81?

The shoot brought in someone to serve lunch.  I paid $6 for Sausage & peppers on a roll.

Five young people from 4H helped out at the shoot!

Photos / Video / Results

The club is located northeast of Burlington, Vermont.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Patrick Londero Sporting Clays Shoot at La Roue du Roy (Shoot Report)

A fun shoot.... 200 shooters!

The club is located in Hemmingford, Quebec. Fifteen minutes from the NY I-87 border crossing.

Smooth sailing driving into Canada. You do need a passport or enhanced drivers license to return to the USA, so something to think about if you thinking of crossing the border to attend a shoot. Keep your handguns at home, long guns only. You have to pay a fee for a 60 day permit if you don't have a Canadian Firearms License.

The clubs first shoot under new ownership. The clubhouse is almost completed, but several more weeks of work is needed to finish. I think on the first floor the only thing that is not new is the bar.

Was on the cool side and the wind picked up at times, but the sun was out....

Plenty of ammunition on hand if you needed to make a purchase.

Several gun companies were at the club with try it guns. Three skeet fields were used for that purpose.

The club has a podium (fancy 5-stand) and they used that for a side event.

A hunters field (decoys) was set up for the Epilepsy Foundation and shooters could pair up shooting clay targets from the sitting position and at the same time donate to a good cause. From what I saw it was very successful. I have a few shots of it in the video.

A nice lunch was had for $5.

16 stations.

Shotguns were given to class winners (shown at the end of the video). The part where there given out the guns is in French and as I don't speak French, your going to have to guess what is being said : ) The young lady winning a shotgun works as a trapper at Club L'Acadie. A club just southeast of Montreal (three Olympic bunkers). She also fills in where needed during shoots the club host.

Also, a number of random draw prizes were given out, to include cases of ammunition.

YouTube video from the shoot.

A second video.