Look at the broken tree in the middle of the first picture, then the close-up shot in the picture on the right. There is also a target at the base of that tree.
Pistol FT Hunter Second
Open PCP - Third
& State Champ
Freestyle First & State Champ
2017 Arizona State Field Target Championships
September 16 & 17, 2017 - Mormon Lake, AZ
The 2017 Arizona State field target championships saw 35 rifle competitors and 14 pistol competitors from 6 states, CA, CO, NV, NM, NC, and AZ, come together to play this game we call air gun field target. The club leases a parcel of land from the USDA forestry department just north of Mormon Lake and on the east side of Lake Mary Road.
We set up three separate courses on this property to accommodate both days of shooting rifle and one afternoon of shooting pistol. The Red Course used the area to the east side of Perry lake pit, and continuing to the south before making a right turn and ending at the sight in range. It resembled a reverse “L” shape and the entire area was cluttered with volcanic rock amongst the grassland and forest. We positioned the lanes and firing lines in such a way as to provide as much shade as possible. Not sure what was more challenging, shooting the targets or walking from lane to lane.
The White course was laid out in a straight line from the west side of the sight in range and continuing to the west and utilized the entire south side of the property. This area is heavily forested and we used a lot of tight spaces in between trees to position targets. We also had a turkey target on top of a broken tree that was about 15 feet up in the air. Considering the fact that we cannot use the pit this year or next due to mitigation of noxious non-native weeds, this tree top target was a pretty cool alternative.The pistol course (I would like to call it the Blue course, but the stakes were unpainted) was situated in a shallow arch and faced to the north towards the pit. This gave us an almost wrap-around course layout with the camping area and our base of operations situated in the middle. Everything was reasonably close at hand without having to do an excessive amount of walking.
At this time also, Larry Piercy gave a brief history of the club which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Larry is one of the four founding fathers of Airgunners of Arizona, along with Robert and Stephen Buchanan, and Seth Staples. The club had engraved glass plaques made for each of them and we presented Larry with his. He will see that the others receive theirs as well. Everyone who registered for the match received a 25th anniversary tee shirt, and those who pre-registered received a commemorative 25th anniversary silver medal on a silver ribbon. (Larry had forgotten to mention that Phoenix Airguns, <not to be mistaken with Phoenix Airgun and Benchrest club> which was started by Brett Reno, and then taken over by Bobby Corcorran, merged with Airgunners of Arizona and continued to build into the club it is today. He asked that I include this info in the match report).
Pistol FT Limited Third
Open PCP - Fourth
Pistol FT Hunter Third
WFTF - First
Hunter Piston First & State Champ
WFTF - Second & State Champ
With the lunchtime festivities concluded, the program was turned over to Bill Corder, the match director for the Pistol Field Target match. Bill had 14 shooters competing; 7 in Limited class and 7 in Hunter class on a 10-lane course. This was added at almost the last minute to try to gauge the interest for pistol field target within the club. As such, there was no time to pre-order medals, so tins of pellets, donated by Airguns of Arizona, were used as prizes. It was not even known how many would be shooting until just before the match. The Troyer factor was calculated at 33.69.
Open PCP - Fifth
Views of the pistol field target course layout. Note that it is on a slight arch and lanes reasonably close together.
The Troyer factor for both courses on Day ONE was 31.47. On Day TWO the Troyer factor, due to the wind, increased to 38.65. The lighting and dark shadows could have increased the T factor on both days, but was not accounted for on an individual target basis.
Airgunners of Arizona
Field Target Club
Open PCP - First
After all was completed and the scores were turned in, we discovered that we had a tie at the top. Both Kelley Hawe and Doug Miller were both locked at 96 out of 104. So, we arranged a shootoff. We had a Rhino target with the circle faceplate and various sized holes in it positioned out at about 40 yards. We set the kill zone for ¾” and had each shooter fire one shot in one minute….in a pretty stiff cross wind. After the first 3 shots they were still tied, so the Kill zone size was reduced to ½” and the time limit dropped to 30 seconds. After 6 shots each, they were still tied. These guys were putting on a clinic for the large group gathered behind them. So, the KZ size was reduced once more to ¼”. They didn’t even bat an eye. After another 4 shots, Doug emerged the winner by putting a pellet in a ¼” hole at 40 yards in a cross wind. Amazing shooting by both of these Titans!
Here are the scores;
An event of this size cannot go on without a lot of help, and our club members came together as a team to do just that. That being said, a large THANK YOU goes out to the following;
Steve, Wayne, Don, Larry, Bobby, and Sandy for helping to set out the targets on the rifle courses.
Bill, Dave, Pat, Mike, and Chris for setting out the targets on the pistol course.
Wayne for helping with registration, the stat office, selling raffle tickets, and an assortment of other tasks.
Natalie and Lynnette for taking care of lunch on both days and just being the perfect hostesses. I understand that Robin and Larry Smart assisted as well.
Scott Rogers 6-year-old son, Sam, for carrying the spray paint cans and being my little helper when repainting the target paddles after Day ONE. The little guy has lots of energy and lots of questions and was a joy to have around.
Tony, Penchetta Pen and Knife, and Airguns of Arizona for the raffle prizes.
Larry, Greg, and Bill for taking and providing all the pictures for this match report.
All the club members that assisted with taking down the course and packing the targets, pins, strings, etc away for the next time.
All the competitors who attended and supported our efforts to put on a quality shooting competition, especially those whose camaraderie contributed to everyone hopefully having a good time. Thank you all for coming.
And thank you to everyone who may have helped in any way that I may have missed. My apologies if I overlooked your contributions.
Hunter PCP First & State Champ
Open PCP - Second
Pistol FT Limited First
As a final note, we experienced something that should happen more frequently to everyone. I was informed by phone at home, prior to packing for the match, that several campers were occupying the site that we use for the monthly matches and had plans of staying, seeing that it was national forest and they had the right to do so. When we got to the site on Thursday, we approached them, introduced ourselves and showed them the lease permit allowing us to use the property. We also let them know that they were free to remain where they were but also to let them know that they were going to be inundated with air gun shooters all around them, and to please feel free to interact with them. This amiable conversation continued with one of the campers opting to move to a different location while the other stayed put.
Greg became so enamored by the friendliness of the group and was offered and shot air rifle on the site in range. The more he saw, the more he liked what he saw. Long story short, Greg joined the club, bought a tee shirt, and is now looking at buying an Airgun to join in the fun that we have. He claims that it was divine intervention that put him and our group together. He even took some of the pictures at the awards ceremony.
Welcome to Airgunners of Arizona, Greg!
Secretary, Airgunners of Arizona
Hunter PCP Third
With the first day’s rifle match completed, it was time for our favorite pastime; LUNCH! Natalie went above and beyond with pots full of sloppy Joe’s, potato salad, cole slaw, various chips, etc, etc, etc, and all augmented by Lynnette’s peach cobbler. Good stuff! Thank you, ladies for all that you do for us. Besides, we know that you just languish in all the attention from the guys anyway….LOL!
With lunch complete, we gathered around for another favorite at the state shoot; the annual raffle. Tony, a customer of AOA, Penchetta Pen & Knife, and Airguns of Arizona donated all of the raffle items, with Airguns of Arizona kicking in almost $1300 worth of merchandise! There was a scope and scope mounts (Tony), bum bag and pellet pouch (Penchetta), a S&W bb pistol, co2, BB’s, pellet loaders, cleaning equipment, BKL scope levels, bunches of pellets from Crosman, JSB, H&N, and RWS, bum bag, Crosman 1377 pump pistol, gun cases, and 2 Walther Parrus .177 spring piston rifles! We are very grateful to the contributors for their unselfish desire to expand the Airgun shooting sports, especially Field Target. We cannot thank them enough for their generosity.
Pistol FT Hunter First
Pistol FT Limited Second
Sunday, Day Two started similar to Saturday with the exception of a little wind buildup. After the 8:45 shooters meeting, we started at exactly 9:00 with the shooters paired according to their finish status and on the opposite course from the previous day. Today I was matched up with Vince Pacheco. Vince and I have known each other for years and have shot together and roomed together at different matches. He is a good guy and loves airguns, LOTS of them. Anyway, today the wind was a bit more prevalent, anywhere from 6 to 12 mph with gusts much higher and then interrupted by BRIEF lulls. The NWS history for the area stated that the winds were 15 to 20 mph with gusts of 26, but that must have been above the tree levels. Down at ground level it swirled and changed direction frequently. Fun stuff. I could tell Vince was having a great time from some of the words of encouragement that he offered. We were psyched with some of the hard shots that we made and were totally amazed at the easy ones that we missed. All part of the game and all part of the fun, and gives us something to talk about over a brew or two. The Red course presented targets in a more open setting, but still used the existing vegetation as a screened barrier in places.
Saturday morning, Day ONE dawned clear with temps in the low 60’s which would only warm to the mid 60’s by the time the match was over. We had our shooters safety meeting at 9:15 and lane assignments handed out. We were ready to go by 9:30. Today I was paired with Dave Corder, Bill’s brother. What a character he turned out to be. We had a blast. I initially had him by a couple of shots early on, but he inched back into the game as I was running on fumes towards the end. He edged me by two shots, but we still had a great time. The targets on the white course were situated in the heavier forested areas and lanes were set up to present minimal clearances in between trees and behind bushes. It was like threading the needle on some shots and made things quite interesting.
The light and shadows played over all of the targets throughout each day. Follow the strings to find the targets.
Hunter PCP Second
We arrived on site on Thursday and immediately started to sort the targets and arrange them by KZ size and lane designation, which we had previously laid out several weeks before. We had little orange numbered flags all over the place, so it was an easy process to match the right targets with the right positions. Each rifle course had 13 lanes with 2 targets per lane which equates to 52 shots per day and 104 shots overall. The pistol course was 10 lanes of two targets each for a total of 40 shots. We used just about all of the targets we own on the rifle course and borrowed targets for the pistol course.
We got caught in a rain shower that turned to sleet, and then the winds picked up to almost 25 mph when measured with a Caldwell wind indicator set at shoulder height. The wind kept up for the rest of the afternoon. We returned on Friday morning to finish setting the targets and fine tuning each lane, then set up the sight in range. Everything was ready to go for the rifle courses by noon when we opened the sight in range for practice. The pistol range set up continued through the afternoon and was ready by early evening. Fortunately, the weather held out on Friday and we experienced only patchy skies and moderate winds.