The fourth annual Couples Shoot was held at Generations Skeet Club near Patton, PA, on September 16. The weather was great, upper 70s and partly cloudy with just enough wind to keep it interesting (we wouldn’t want any new skeet shooters to think it was too easy).
The Couples Shoot was initiated by Generations to introduce new shooters, especially ladies and younger shooters, to skeet, to have fun shooting while stressing gun safety, to enjoy an early autumn afternoon with a fine group of people and, of course, to eat! It was begun in 2015 with 14 couples participating. This year, 76 shooters – 38 couples – participated. Who knows what might happen next year; there certainly will be a next year for this shoot!
Shooting began at 11 a.m., and all four of the skeet fields were soon involved. Many of the participants were first-time shooters. Certified instructors were present on each field to help these new shooters, and any not-so-new shooters that wanted it. Generations also provided shotguns, shells and eye and ear protection to those who needed them. Pullers and scorers included Kelsey Krug and Paige McMullen; both young ladies regularly help run the Wednesday night skeet league here and do a great job. They also joined in on the shooting fun and did well!
Squads of 4, 6 and/or 8 people participated. All NSSA safety rules were strictly enforced, but some of the other rules were slightly bent at times to help new shooters. For example, some new shooters shot four singles instead of two singles and a double at times, and congratulating a new shooter each time they smoked a bird was encouraged.
At approximately 4 p.m., after everyone had shot at 50 birds (two rounds), shoot-offs began. Liberal, but top secret, handicaps were applied, which allowed all the couples to participate in doubles at 3, 4 and 5. The shoot-offs were also handicapped with experienced shooters receiving no targets and rookies getting four. Following the first round of shoot-offs, the remaining eight pairs of shooters proceeded to field 2 for the final shoot-off. A large crowd of spectators watched and cheered as the winners were decided. Cindy and Jeff Harding emerged as the Couples Shoot champions for 2018 and were awarded the custom tiara bedecked with spent shotgun shells and a blue ribbon. Shoot runners-up were Shane and Kate Crawford, and third place went to Michael Vescovi and Kiersten Kruise. During the awards ceremony, beautiful engraved wine glasses to commemorate the event were presented to all three couples. Just for the record, the champs and runners-up are experienced sporting clays shooters but first-time skeet shooters. They commented on how much they enjoyed the game and the camaraderie, and I would bet they become regular skeet shooters, as they met some very good friends.
After the shooting was done, people migrated to “The Barn,” about 200 yards from the skeet clubhouse, for a fine picnic-style dinner. After the meal, awards were presented to the Couples Shoot winners, and winners of the recently finished Wednesday night league were recognized.
Many thanks to the Generations Skeet Family for hosting a great event!
– Contributed by George Gleich
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