WOW, what an article I just read in the October 2022 issue ( page 14-16 ) of Muzzle Blast.
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The things written in this article is the main reason why I seldom attend organized shoots. Most of you know I really could care less whether I win, lose or draw.....I'm just out there for the shooting fun. Others may not look at matches the same as I do.
Peter Allen writes:
"This is actually a way of guaranteeing that the low
class shooter will never get anything, including the desire to shoot another match."
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WOW, that's the harsh reality of the truth. I've talked to shooters that has been to club shoots where they are shooting at a 9" gong targets at 100 yards away. Geez....I can barely see a small target out that far, let alone hit it. Am I likely to attend another shoot at that club?? Probably not, because we know the best shooters usually wins.
I had an wise shooter once tell me:
If you are hosting an 18 target woods walk:
* 6 of those targets should be easy enough that a novice shooter could hit them.
* 6 of those targets should be of medium size so the average shooter can hit them.
* 6 targets can be tough so the experienced shooter can hit them.
That would be a VERY fair woods walk course than anyone could attempt & feel good about trying.
Outside of the WoodsWalk match at Friendship, I've only been to 2 matches with local clubs in the 10 years I've been shooting.
I've read about how tough the matches are at certain clubs & decide not to attend. I did try one last year at the Boones Trace M/L Club where the shooters were given exactly 1.25 oz ( I think ) of #6 shot to load in your smoothbore. The shot was at 40 yards into a 9" paper plate. The # of holes counted in that plate was your score. That's a fun match that anyone can feel good about attempting.
So...where am I going with this?
If you're interested in shooting paper...why not put a 100 yard target out to 40 yards & count a score based off an equal number of shots? This way...even the newest shooter feels he has a chance. Lets face it, shooting zeros will almost guarantee that shooter would not come back. Another potential member -- lost.
The last page of the article puts a different perspective to the story:
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Check out the 2 photos. For kicks giggles & grins, the shooter puts some 50 yard targets at 25 yards. Taking several different targets and placing them on top of each other, the respective shooting earned the shooter a score of 10 on the squirrel. He received a score of 43 on the other target. WOW, that's big difference! New shooters are inclined to return with scores like that.
I'm in 110% agreement of this article. If the hosts would make the targets easier to shoot for a newcomer, the chances of the new shooter coming to your event is much better. Do whatever it takes to keep your shooters coming back. The Boones Trace Muzzleloading Club in eastern KY changes their format every time they shoot. Their matches are designed so anyone can win or in my case...at least place.
I like how the article is summed up:
Heed those words written 50 years ago by Peter Allen:
"There are a lot of ways of building up clubs into a big happy family,
but making it tough for the shooters is not of the ways."
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Something to think about.....