Youth trap league teaches shooting skills

Bramwell visits a shoot and finds he has much in common with a talented young shooter.

Last Monday, I dropped in on Coach John Beeman and his Lapel Trap Shooting Club. Youth from APA, Frankton, Pendleton, and Lapel are represented on the team. Many of these young folks are much quicker on the clay target than I and very accurate.

One thing stood out as I approached the range. I noticed one young lady shooting left-handed. I laid out the question for anyone to answer, “Is she left-handed or left-eye dominant.” A lady sitting on the bench said, “Left-eye dominant. How would you know to ask that?” I told her, I was left-eye dominant.

The young lady’s name is Caitlin Calfee. I had a chance to speak with her between rounds. I wanted to know how she learned that she was left-eye dominant? She explained, “I first joined the archery team at school. We had to shoot instinctively and I couldn’t hit anything. Finally, the coach had me cover my finger over a distant object. When I closed my left eye the object moved off alignment, but when I closed my right eye, my finger stayed on the object.”

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Calfee began shooting a bow left-handed to hit the bullseye. Ditto, when she began shooting a shotgun and she shoots it well.

An opposite eye is contrary to your dominant hand. Calfee writes and throws right-handed. Some of the greatest professional baseball hitters of all time had an opposite dominant eye. In other words, the eye closest to the pitcher was the one that picked up the ball and the timing of the pitch.

My father gave me a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun on my seventh birthday. We lived on a farm north of Madison. A year later a friend of dad’s said, “Herald, have you noticed Ricky shoots left-handed?” He had not. Without much instruction, I naturally picked it up and put the gun to my left shoulder.

There are 23 high school trap teams in Indiana. They compete virtually until the state championship, then the competition is head-to-head. The top guns from Indiana will move on to the Nationals being held at Mason, Michigan.

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Beeman explained, “High school trap shooting is safer than high school chess and much safer than ping pong.” Participants are required to take a hunter safety course. Only one shell is loaded and only if you are next up to shoot. There is a coach at each shooting station.

The assistant coaches are Damon Fulp, Seth Biddle, Jamie Lashure, and Randy England. The school board is very much on board with this program.

The Fall Creek Valley Conservation Club is host to these young shooters. Co-sponsors include Friends of the NRA, Indiana Youth Council, Indiana Youth Shooting Sports Foundation, and you. The team is raffling three guns. Raffle tickets are $20 each and can be purchased from coaches or team members, Gunslingers gun shop will have these raffle tickets as well as Friends of the NRA raffle and banquet tickets.

Last Thursday, Scott Underwood and I found 92, mostly gray, morel mushrooms in a two-acre woods. The big yellows are running a few days late. Expect to find them now through May 12.


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Rick L. Bramwell began writing for the Anderson Herald Bulletin in 1972. He likes to hunt small game, deer, turkey and morel mushrooms. Bramwell’s 174-7/8 typical whitetail is the largest ever taken in Madison County. He used to compete in Red Man and BASS Federation tournaments, but is now content to fish ponds and small lakes for bass and panfish. For most of 43 years Bramwell has coached Baseball and softball. He has three grown children and resides in Madison County, near Pendleton.

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Rick Bramwell
Rick L. Bramwell is 74 years old and began writing for the Anderson Herald Bulletin in 1972. He likes to hunt small game, deer, turkey and morel mushrooms. Bramwell’s 174-7/8 typical whitetail is the largest ever taken in Madison County. He used to compete in Red Man and BASS Federation tournaments, but is now content to fish ponds and small lakes for bass and panfish. For most of 43 years Bramwell has coached Baseball and softball. He has three grown children and resides in Madison County, near Pendleton.

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