Hermiston Gun Club to host shooting event, Saturday

<p>Members of the local 4H club shoot through the hat of one of it's members at the Hermiston Gun Club earlier this year. It's tradition to shoot through ones hat when he or she hits 25 consecutive targets for the first time.</p>

The Hermiston Rod and Gun Club is hosting the Harvest Team Challenge AG Appreciation Shoot at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The teams will consist of five people who will each shoot 100 targets throughout the day. The teams with the best scores out of 500 will be the winners. Each competitor will shoot four different styles of trap.

The first event will be a single trap from a shooting point of 16 yards. The first target will only oscillate side to side.

The second event will be in the form of a wobble trap, meaning, it will oscillate side to side as well us up and down from the same distance as the first event.

The third and fourth events will replicate the first two but from the distance of 22 yards. Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams, as well as the top individuals.

One of the club’s directors, John Adams, said he hopes the event will build enthusiasm for the club and sport shooting.

“Our goal is that more people will be interested in joining our club,” he said. “Right now, we have about 40 members, but by putting on competitions like this we expect that number to increase.”

Adams said about 25 young people from the local 4H club regularly shoot at the gun club, as well.

The teams at Saturday’s competition will be made up of members from local agriculture businesses. Adams said the club expects about 20 teams to participate in the competition.

“Most of the teams competing will be from here in Hermiston, but we will have a few teams from Pendleton and at least one from the Tri-Cities,” Adams said.

The day will be filled with activity in between rounds of competition. Adams said local gunmakers will be there displaying some of their guns. A full meal will be served to all competitors during lunch.

All teams will compete in the same division.

Adams said the club created this event for beginners.

“We wanted to give people who don’t have a lot of experience the opportunity to shoot competitively,” he said. “A lot of times, novice shooters can get discouraged if they compete against someone who is more seasoned. We wanted to make sure the playing field was pretty even so everyone can have a good time.”

Adams said the club hosts various other events, but this is the first competition the club has had in recent memory.

“Our goal is to make this a big-time event,” he said. “This is the first one we’ve done, and we are hoping to make it an annual thing.”

Adams said the ultimate goal for the club is to become an organization that can give back to the community.

“We want to be a part of the community, inside the shooting world and outside of it,” he said. “We think that by holding events such as this we can start to build that.”

The club use to host the Oregon State Championships in competition trap shooting every three to four years but hasn’t since the mid-1980s. Adams said he wants to bring the competition back to Hermiston but acknowledged the club needs some modifications before that can take place again.

“We need our equipment upgraded before we would be able to host that event again,” Adams said. “It’s something we are working towards.”

Fundraising for the club is also a goal of the competition this Saturday, Adams said.

“It’s definitely a part of our thinking,” Adams said. “If we can raise some money to improve the club while also hosting great competition, everyone benefits.”

The cost for entering Saturday’s competition is $250.

“We hope this can be the first of many different types competitions,” Adams said.

The Hermiston Gun Club is currently open for public shooting at 10 a.m. Sundays, as well as the first and third Tuesdays of every month.

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