When I became a member of Wawarsing in the early 70's, Art
Smith was the Trap Chairman and we had two
trap fields. The trap house was a "pit" house, meaning you couldn't stand in
it because it was only four feet from
the floor to the roof. The handicap walkways were black top and the traps
were hand operated.
Art resigned as chairman in 1974 and I was asked to take that position. I
agreed to take the chairman job along with Phil Moore as my right hand man.
In 1975 Phil came up with the idea of holding a trophy shoot that included
trap shooting and a running deer rifle shoot and he called it the "Wing and
Antler Shoot". This grew to be a big success over the years but it was
finally discontinued in 1989.
In 1976 we started league shooting and had as many as ten teams competing
until we stopped them in 1993. In 1985 when the league shooting was at its
peak we decided to add a third trap house for 16 year shooting only. Cement
handicap walkways were added to this field in 1987. In 1979 we hosted the
first "Three Club Shoot" (Wawarsing, Tri-State from Port Jervis and
Shawangunk from Middletown). We at Wawarsing have won more of these shoots
than the other two clubs combined.
In 1985 when the skeet field was built we put in all new electric to the
trap houses with all breakers located in the skeet house.
1988 was a big year for the division when we purchased our first fully
automatic trap (no more trap boy liability). In the Spring of 1989 a second
automatic trap was purchased and one of the original pit houses was rebuilt
to house the new trap. Now we didn't need to pay any trap boys. Through the
years we were indeed fortunate that none of them were injured while setting
In 1989 we hosted our first ATA (Amateur Trapshooting Association) shoot. We
hosted one shoot during the summer and also ran a winter ATA league. In 1993
we discontinued the winter league.
In 1990 the parent club built a new rifle range house and we renovated the
old range house to be used by the trap and skeet divisions. The renovations
included running a water line from the Shockers source to our building,
installing a gas furnace, building a bathroom, kitchen and meeting room. The
building was also insulated at the time.
In 1994 we started a memorial shoot to honor those Wawarsing shooters that
have passed to the big trap field in the sky. When a shooter passes on his
or her name is added to a plaque that is on display in the trap/skeet
building and a shoot is held in their memory.
In 1995 after 21 years as trap chairman I decided I would resign and Herb
Gray was appointed to replace me and has done an outstanding job. In 1995 we
replaced the black top handicap walkways on trap 3 with cement walks. In the
Spring of 1997 we rebuilt the trap house and walkways on trap #2.
At present we have the strongest trap team in the Ulster County Trap Circuit
We have won the Circuit team Championship every year for the past thirteen
years. We have three modern trap houses with ample headroom, 2 modern
automatic traps and all three fields have cement handicap walkways. One
field is lighted for night shooting. During the years that I have been trap
shooting -I have seen our club shooters excel in this sport. Debbie Moore
Hooton won several New York State Lady Championships and a lady handicap
championship at the National matches in Ohio. Our latest success has been
Matthew Pondi who was named to the "All America Sub-Junior Team" in 1996.
His list of major shoot championships is too long to list here.
Many Wawarsing members have won the Ulster County Championship, held each
Fall. They are, Eugene Smith (1), Phil Moore (1), Ray Markle (3), Steve
Boniface (1), Marty St Clair (1), Chris Dawes (1), Guy Goldsmith (11), Larry
Van Wagner (1).
Note: For its accomplishments at the range we congratulate the
trap division. For representing the club in such fine fashion we thank them
and for contributing to the overall functioning of the parent club and its
other projects we thank them. The relationship we have with each division is
the reason why we are such a successful organization. Each of our divisions
has been blessed with excellent leadership.