Shooting for a cure
Trapshooting, skeet shooting and sporting clays will send clay pigeons flying through the air at the Old Hickory Rifle & Pistol Club's Relay for Life Shooting for a Cure event on Saturday.
The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office and Butler's Jewelry & Loan, along with the Old Hickory Rifle & Pistol Club, are sponsoring the event to help raise funds for the American Cancer Society.
The event begins at 9 a.m. and continues until 1 p.m., and includes a handgun competition and a variety of shotgun trap games.
"This is really the first time I've done an event like this, and it's a good benefit and a way for people to have fun," said Ronnie Smith, whose family owns the rifle and pistol club and who is helping coordinate the event. "It's a hobby that people have and enjoy doing — shooting a shotgun and having fun with a little competition and games to see who can shoot the most targets."
The Shooting for a Cure event includes skeet shooting, where targets are launched from two machines in somewhat sideways paths that intersect in front of the shooter.
Trapshooting is also offered, where targets are launched from a single machine, generally away from the shooter. Shooters participating in trapshooting will be challenged by a wobble trap, a machine with an additional motor that allows the target altitude to vary, unlike regular traps where the targets are launched at a specific height.
Shooters may also test their skills with five-stand trapshooting, in which targets are thrown from many launch points. Five-stand trapshooting is very similar to sporting clays in that a wide variety of targets are thrown. There are five "stands" or stations to shoot from and often somewhere between six and eight traps that throw targets. Five-stand trapshooting is designed to simulate field shooting.
"If you're shooting live birds, that's the kind of shooting this is going to be. But there will be no live targets, just clay targets," Smith said. "People usually bring their own guns like those used when they go hunting for birds, like dove and quail."
Members of the community interested in participating in any of the games need to bring their own shotgun or pistol with ammo. Shotgun ammo is available for purchase during the event.
Each shooting game costs $5 and includes 25 targets per round. All ages are welcome and kids under 16 are asked to be accompanied by a parent. Beginners are also welcome to participate.
"People who don't shoot a whole lot of shotguns or go hunting with live birds, this event gives them an opportunity to learn how to actually shoot birds and be gun safe while they're doing it," Smith said. "I stress gun safety a lot, because it's very important when you have many guns out there that people are shooting. I show them gun safety while they're out shooting and the proper ways to handle guns and shoot guns. Especially when you have beginners you have to stress gun safety, because you've got live ammunition that could hurt somebody. When people get up on their stands, I don't let them load their guns until they are ready to shoot. Loaded guns can be dangerous if people don't know what to do with them and if they aren't handled properly."
Anyone interested in learning to shoot better in the field, having some friendly skeet and trapshooting competition and enjoying an afternoon at Old Hickory Rifle & Pistol Club to support a good cause are invited to attend the Shooting for a Cure event.
EVENT: Relay for Life Shooting for a Cure
DATE: Saturday, 9 a.m-1 p.m.
PLACE: Old Hickory Rifle & Pistol Club
100 Gun Club Road, Bostic, NC 28018
PRICE: $5 per shooting game