Arizona State Field Target Championships
September 14, 15, & 16, 2018 - Mormon Lake, AZ
Sunday morning, Day 2 of the rifle matches. There is a strong smell of smoke in the air and a blanket of haze has settled over the area due to the Platypus and Perkins fires burning west and southwest of Flagstaff. It is not a direct threat to the match (over 30 miles away) or more importantly to our shooters (other than respiratory), so the match moves forward.
We have a 9:00 am start today (Saturday was a 9:30 start) with the anticipation of finishing earlier which would allow for those who have to travel more time to do so. Although the air is hazy, there is little movement and the sun is bright above the haze. That will change during the match when the winds picked up and blew out the smoke showing high clouds and bright blue sky.
Today I am teamed up with Russ Cronk from CA on the white course. This is much more open terrain than the red course and subject to the wind to a greater extent. Also, the entire area is covered with volcanic rock which makes moving around a bit tricky if you don’t watch where you walk. It would not take much to sprain your ankle if not careful. I admire the hunter class shooters because of having to use reduced power magnification in their scopes. My eyes are pretty good, but even when using my 24X scope, it is difficult to discern distance past 45 yards. Russ is using a 12X scope instead of a 16X scope because that is what he has. He was still making some amazing range guesstimations and knocked down a lot of targets. It was fun to watch and we enjoyed shooting together. We also made pretty good time and by 11:45 we were back in the assembly area with most of the other shooters.
And finally, no event can be successful without a strong crew of hard workers. We want to recognize the above and beyond efforts of the following; Steve and Robin Montgomery, Bobby and Sandy Corcorran, Don Boyer, Wayne Smith, Scott Rogers, Mary Ann McLeod and the twins; Sam and Emma (they love to help), Bill and David Corder, Pat Callihan, Keith Knoblauch, Kent Gladden, Barry Diehl, Terry and Adam Markham. If I missed anyone, my apologies.
Thanks to all of you for all your help setting up, tearing down, putting stuff away, handling logistics, and all the little jobs that need doing. We could not have done it without you.
One last item; a shout out from all of us to Chris Corey who could not make the trip due to tropical storm/hurricane/PITA Florence. Hope all is well with you and your family. See you at Nationals.
Above are all WHITE Course photos
Steve Montgomery - Freestyle AZ state champion
Samson - wonderdog
David Corder - WFTF 2nd place
Garrett Kwakkestein - Open PCP 2nd place & AZ state champion
Kelly Hawe - Open PCP 1st Place
Bobby Corcorran - Open PCP 3rd place and High Senior
OK, here’s the drill. You find your targets and get into position, mount your rifle, adjusting it to get your natural point of aim. You range your target and adjust your sight settings while watching wind conditions, direction, and trying to get an idea on speed. You do some quick mental gymnastics, mostly based on past experience to determine where to hold the scope’s reticle on the target, while loading and cocking your rifle. Reacquire your sights as you slow your breathing while minimizing your wobble area and accounting for what appears to be your EKG as you watch the crosshairs bouncing around in your aiming area as a result of your heartbeat.
You are now taking up the trigger for a practiced release when the wind changes! Do a quick check, adjust your hold-off as needed, and take up the trigger and break the shot clean while maintaining your aim in order to get a good follow through. Your target goes down. Great shot! Now do it once more on this target, shift to your second target and do it all again twice more. Oh, and it all has to happen inside of 5 minutes! And this is only your first lane. You have 11 more lanes to go; 22 more targets with 2 shots on each. And that is just for today. You do it all over again tomorrow on a different course. 96 shots identical to above over a two-day match.
Welcome to the Arizona State Field Target Championships.
The usual suspects were already on site on Wednesday and had the sight-in range set up. Different location, but using the rationale that it was not facing into the morning sun. Early on Thursday morning, Steve, Don, Bobby, Sandy and I started laying out the two courses. This continued for most of Thursday and was finished up on Friday morning. The red course was laid out in a box shape extending to the south of the camping area in the more heavily wooded section.
Lanes 1 thru 5 were facing west, lanes 6 and 7 were facing south, and lanes 8 thru 12 were facing east. There was a short walk of about 20 yards to get from lane 12 back over to lane 1. Each lane was separated by about a 15 yard walk to make the box compact, but not shoulder-to-shoulder and with a convenient central staging area for air bottles.
The white course was identical in layout, but was situated in the more open wooded area adjacent to the meadow east of the campsite. Lanes 1 thru 5 were facing south, 6 and 7 were facing east, and 8 thru 12 were facing north. As luck would have it, lane 10 on each course was the designated kneeling/standing lane. The red course had a calculated Troyer factor of 35.37 and the white course had a calculated Troyer of 34.47.
Saturday dawned bright and sunny with clear, sapphire blue skies, and temps in the mid-40’s but quickly warming to the mid-70’s during the match. We had 31 total shooters signed up, but only 28 at the beginning of the match. After the shooter’s safety meeting and course instruction information was disseminated, the shooters were sent on their way to their assigned course and lane designations. I was paired today with Dan Fujimagari on the Red course which was located in the thicker wooded area.
What I personally found interesting was the way the wind made its presence known. One moment it was calm, then very subtly, the air was moving from nothing to about 7 mph, then drift off again only to come from a different direction. It tended to catch you off guard. Less subtle was the lighting. With the wind moving about, the clouds started to roll in. Big, puffy guys that blocked the sun very dramatically. One moment it was bright and sunny and the next was “who turned the lights out?” It would stay darker for a few minutes, then again, without warning, brilliant sunshine. Between the wind, lighting, and target positioning and direction, we had a good time. Could have shot better, but enjoyed Mother Nature playing with our heads.
The sight-in line
Friday also saw Bill, Dave, and Pat arrive and start setting up the 10 lane pistol course on the north side of the camping area with the targets facing off to the northwest. For all of the courses, the existing terrain features were used to the best of our abilities to locate and make use of them. We played with wind and lighting directions, deep shadows and bright open areas, but kept most of the shooting positions shaded……most of them. Some were blatantly set up in the open to take advantage of the extremely bright sunshine as well.
Bill Corder - WFTF 1st place and AZ state champion
Above pictures are from the pistol course using Bill's personal targets
We finished the course and collected in the central assembly area where we picked up our lunches and found a nice shady spot to sit and relax. We had looked at a number of options for lunch but decided on Subway sandwich box lunches, augmented by chips, dips, veggie trays, cookies, and coolers filled with various drinks. We looked into a number of gourmet food trucks for hot meals made on site, but most wanted a premium to travel (we are about 22 miles southeast of Flagstaff) and provide a customized menu for us and almost all of them had weddings booked that same day. Really? A food truck for a wedding? Must be a really good gourmet food truck! Seriously, of the 8 or 9 that we contacted, they all had weddings! Also found out it is best to contact them before February to lock in a September date. I would have never guessed!
With lunch completed and everyone feeling fat and happy with a full stomach, we started our annual raffle. Each year we use this as our main fund raiser to help defray the cost of insurance, lease fees, target acquisition and maintenance, and the multitude of other costs to keep the club running. Each year, Robert Buchanan, owner of Airguns of Arizona, graciously and unselfishly roams through his warehouse and collects a pile of items that he gives to us to raffle off. This is not an auction and we sell raffle tickets and everything is distributed on a random draw. It has become a highlight of our state shoot with anticipation growing as we near the end of the raffle and the BIG prizes. This year Bobby and Sandy “volunteered” to run the raffle with Bobby selecting and handing out items while Sandy drew and called out numbers. She was also assisted in this venture by Sam and Emma, the 7-year-old Rogers twins. Here is what was raffled this year:
3 Wolfpack red tee shirts – XL
4 Daystate gray tee shirts – M, M, XL, 2XL
1 RWS Airgun cleaning/lube kit
1 MTC range finder
1 Weirauch moderator
2 6.8oz Aerosol spray cans of Napier Airgun oil
1 Action Armor quadrant target
2 Meisenheimer Leather pellet pouches
1 Wilkins molded leather Airgun pouch
10 tins .177 / 8.44 JSB Exact pellets
18 tins .177 / 10.3 Sovereign pellets
50 tins .177 / 8.02 JSB Match wadcutter pellets
1 Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 AO target scope
1 Centerpoint 4-12x44 FFP Spectrum scope
1 Centerpoint 4-16x56 scope
1 FX 6-18x44 SFIR scope
1 Umarex .22 cal MPP pistol
1 Walther .177 Terrus spring piston rifle
1 Walther .177 Parrus spring piston rifle
Additionally, club member Anthony Turchetta donated a bum bag and club member Terry Markham donated two handmade pellet pouches. We also thank these guys for their willingness to make a positive contribution to the club.
There is one peculiarity that seems to occur each year; Ron Jobbes, from CASA, shoots our match, buys raffle tickets, and each year always manages to win a rifle! Every year!! It is uncanny. It is obviously the luck of the draw, but this guy is the luckiest s……fellow that we know. This year he won the Walther Terrus spring gun. Ron, you really need to go to Las Vegas! LOL.
Seriously though, we want to publicly thank Robert and Airguns of Arizona for their generosity. One of the things that Robert wanted to make sure that happened this year was that everyone who registered received a tin of pellets from the case of JSB wadcutter pellets. The remainder of them went onto the raffle table.
Above pictures are from both the red and white courses. Note the dark shadows and bright target placements. My favorite is the buzzard
Above photos are all RED Course images
As the shooters finished and score cards turned in, the score board was constantly being updated by our club VP, Wayne Smith. With club Pres, Larry Piercy being away on business, Wayne decided he would not shoot but rather work the “stat office” and registration and keep busy behind the scenes. We greatly appreciate what Wayne does for our organization and cannot thank him enough.
Once all the scores were FINALLY collected, the leader board became clear and we were fortunate not to have any ties which would have required a shoot off. Everyone was tired, but a happy tired.
There were some great scores posted and without further ado, here are the scores along with equipment stats:
John Knapp - 1st place Hunter pistol
Barry Diehl - AZ state champion Hunter pistol
Secretary, Airgunners of Arizona
Bill Corder - Unlimited pistol 1st place & AZ state champion
Airgunners of Arizona
Field Target Club
Hi Chris. We missed you, buddy!
John Knapp - Hunter PCP 2nd place
Ben Spencer - Hunter PCP 1st Place and AZ State champion
Anthony Turchetta - Hunter PCP 3rd place
Al Padilla - Hunter PCP 4th place
Sandy Corcorran - High Lady shooter
The Pistol match kicked off on Friday at 2:00 pm with a grand total of………4 shooters; 2 in each class. Bill Corder shot a 36/40 over his brother Dave’s score of 31/40 to take first place and state champ in Unlimited class. In Hunter class, John Knapp shot 24/40 for first place over Barry Diehl who shot 13/40. Barry still garnered the state champ title as being the AZ resident.