The 6th Annual Couples Shoot was held at Generations Skeet Club near Patton, Pennsylvania, on September 20. The weather was lovely, low to mid-60s, not a cloud in the beautiful blue sky, and not too much wind.
The Couples Shoot was initiated by Generations in 2015, and 14 couples participated that first year. The goals of the shoot were, and are: 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! Twenty-two couples shot this year. This was down a bit from last year, but with COVID-19 and everything else going on in the world right now, it was a nice turnout.
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 to help new shooters. Generations also provided shotguns and shells to those who needed them. Pullers and scorers included Paige McMullen and her sister Andrea. A group of students from the Mount Aloysius clay-target shooting team also participated. This newly formed team practices and competes at Generations under the direction of Tim and Joe Vescovi.
Squads of four or six 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 shoot doubles at 3, 4 and 5. The shoot-offs were also handicapped with experienced shooters receiving no targets and rookies getting 4. 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. Brock and Aubrey Shirk emerged as the Couples Shoot Champions. Aubrey was awarded the custom tiara decorated with spent shotgun shells, and Brock received a custom blue ribbon. Shoot runners-up were Frank Smithmyer and Paige McMullen, while third place went to Ben Greitzer and his mother Carley. Mugs commemorating the event, custom-made by Jeff Meidinger, were presented to all three couples.
After the shooting was done, people migrated to “The Barn,” about 200 yards from the skeet clubhouse, for a fine picnic-style dinner. Ryan Holtz and Frank Smithmyer cooked the chicken on-site and many people brought covered dishes and desserts. There was plenty of food and drink on hand, but best of all had to be the new friendships that were formed.
Many thanks to the Generations skeet family for hosting a great event. We are already looking forward to next year and the seventh iteration!
– Contributed by George Gleich