The 7th annual Couples Shoot was held at Generations Skeet Club in Pennsylvania on September 19. The weather was lovely, in the low 70s, not a cloud in the beautiful blue sky and almost no wind.
The Couples Shoot was initiated by Generations in 2015, with 14 couples participating that first year. The goals of the shoot 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, the same number as last year. Not too many skeet shoots in the country can boast having 22 lady shooters. For example, this year’s Pennsylvania State Skeet Shoot, one of the largest in the country, had 22 lady shooters in the 12-gauge event.
Shooting began late in the morning, and all four of Generations’ skeet fields were soon involved. Many of the participants were first-time shooters, and several had never handled a gun before. NSSA Certified Instructors were present on all four fields to help new shooters. Shotguns and shells were provided to any who needed them. Scorekeepers included Andrea McMullen and Rachel Nelen, along with a bevy of experienced shooters who offered to help.
Squads of four or six shooters were assigned. 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 strongly encouraged.
At approximately 4 p.m., after everyone had shot at 50 birds (two rounds), shoot-offs began. Liberal handicaps were applied, which allowed all 22 couples to shoot doubles at 3-4-5. The shoot-offs were also handicapped, with experienced shooters receiving no targets and rookies getting 4. Most shoot-offs are somewhat subdued with no injected noise, but not with this group. Up and down the line of fields, you could hear hootin’ and hollerin’ as the ladies were busting targets at doubles. Following the first round of shoot-offs, the remaining eight pairs of shooters proceeded to field 2 for the final shoot-off while everyone else gathered around to cheer on the competitors. New shooter Denise Serbin was comical because as she hit targets, the crowd could hear her play-by-play commentary. During the shoot-off, she kept the pressure on her husband Tim to keep hitting targets and not use up her handicap. It worked, because Tim really came through by crushing 7 pairs at 3-4-5 in his first shoot-off and first attempt at doubles. The pair captured third place for their first-ever win in skeet.
Renee and Tom Hillard emerged as Couples Shoot Champions. Renee proudly wore the custom tiara decorated with spent shotgun shells! Shoot runners-up were Ashley and Chris Kline, Denise and Tim Serbin took third, and Denise and Al Agostinelli finished fourth. Custom-made mugs commemorating the event were awarded to the winners (thanks to Jeff Meidinger for making the lovely mugs).
After the shooting was done, people flocked to “The Barn,” about 200 yards from the skeet clubhouse, for a fine picnic-style dinner. Ryan Holtz cooked the chicken on-site, and many people brought covered dishes and desserts. There was plenty of food and drink on hand, but more importantly, many new friendships were formed.
Kudos to the Generations skeet family for hosting a great event; we are already looking forward to next year. If you would like to be added to the list of competitors, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. No prior experience is necessary, and the Generations family will definitely show you a good time.
– Contributed by George Gleich