The shots ring out for miles. Lovelock’s Flying Saucer Trap Club has sounded off since 1956, and they’ve never missed a Fourth of July shoot.
This year they observed the holiday on Saturday, June 29.
Dozens of trap shooters fired away at clay birds.
In the doubles portion of the contests, they blasted 25 pairs of simultaneously released targets.
In the old days, the contestants vied for homemade pies or cans of beans. Later this season, they’ll compete for holiday turkeys.
At the 2019 Fourth of July shoot, seven sharpshooters walked off with championship buckles that gleamed in the sun.
Blue stones set off some of the designs, which featured shotguns and the title of the individual’s championship.
There were four divisions of competitors: men, women, veterans and youth.
Fallon’s Chase Ackerman, 10, was the all-around youth winner with 72 points.
He and Cameron Radli, 14, fired neck-to-neck as the division’s only competitors.
“We’d like to see some Lovelock kids out here,” said Mike Schottel, the club president for the past six years.
All youth shooters receive free shells and targets courtesy of the Powder House, Chukars Unlimited, Big Meadows Chukars and Steve Young from Chevron, he said.
“This was my first trap shoot,” said Radli. Everyone here is friendly and talkative. They help you improve.”
Fred Hawley walked off with two buckles – the veteran’s singles (49), and all around (93). Schottel won men’s singles (49).
In the handicap shoot, the top singles shooters back off from the 16-yard line to give everyone else a head start.
Katie Simpson topped the women’s singles (42), handicap (42) and doubles (29) divisions. The FSTC welcomes women, says Schottel.
His daughter, Karen Hogue, practically grew up on the range and has won several high-level contests.
Dave Bequette led the men’s handicap (45), doubles (45), and overall (137) categories.
Greg Wright scored big in the veteran’s doubles (45).
Mike DeWitt, a founding member, aced the veteran’s handicap (42).
He remembers shooting out at the county dump in the early days. In the mid-seventies, the Trap Club moved to Airport Road. Conditions were spartan, consisting of a couple of outhouses and the shooting range.
Today, a sparkling clubhouse with all the amenities beckons.
According to the trap club’s Facebook page, there’s plenty of season left.
Trap shooters will compete tor meaty prizes at the Thanksgiving (Nov. 23) and Christmas (Dec. 14) turkey shoots.