Trap season is in full swing with Nephi, Heber, and Helper all holding one day shoots and Span-ish Fork holding its annual Memorial Day shoot. All shoots were well attended with about 40 shooters at the first three and about 60 at Spanish Fork. Weather was not very kind at Nephi or Heber, but some very good scores still came in despite the wind. Joe Sudbury managed his usual 100 in singles and Scott McKinnon had his usual 97 in handicap along with Steve Johnson. Scott also topped doubles ranks with the lone 97. Shooting had to be halted for about 20 minutes because of a severe dust storm.
Heber’s annual shoot was marred by wind as well but still produced some good scores.
Helper Gun Club had the best weather to date, and scores were quite good with Doug Devries and Steve Ottesen both breaking 100 in the singles while Wynn Isom was high in handicap with a 98.
Spanish Fork’s Memorial Day shoot featured Joe Sudbury missing a pair of doubles for a field high 98! There were a lot of hundreds in singles over the course of three days from the likes of Sudbury (2), Mike Hilton, Jarin Hone, Dalton Van, Bob Green, Brad Spencer, Craig Jones, Jayme Anderson, Steve Johnson, and Chad Frericks of Wyoming. Caps were won by Jarin Hone (96), Hayden Christensen, Steve Johnson, and Mark Dick with 95’s and the final cap John-son again with a 96.
All of the Utah scores can be found on the USTA web site.
Idaho held its State Shoot in Pocatello, and club manager Randy Adams and his staff, along with the Idaho Board of Directors, did a great job of putting good targets in the air. Utah had a strong presence at the shoot along with some of the top scores overall. Most all Utah shooters came away with some form of trophy. In singles Jeremy Summers had the lone out of State 200, while Scott McKinnon punched the full note in the Handicap Championship.
Other shooters and scores worthy of bragging rights was Justin Bodily’s back to back 98’s in ear-ly handicap events. Also 12 year old Grayson Stuart shot 199 in the singles and a 98 from the 25 yard line in the Handicap Championship. The really impressive thing about Grayson’s shooting accomplishments at this shoot was the fact that his right arm was in a cast. The hand portion of the cast was a “soft” cast but he somehow could still grip the stock well enough to shoot great scores. Apparently Grayson broke his arm while running from the girls at recess.
I saw that Sean Hawley made the trek to Michigan to attend the Great Lakes Grand and take top honors in the High Over All. Good job Sean!.
Now on to the things I really like to highlight in my articles: The people that make our sport re-ally great.
This month I am going to focus on Jim Duke from Heber City, Utah. Jimmy, as I like to call him, is one of those guys who always seems to be around and is always smiling and happy to be where ever he is at the time.
Jimmy Duke began his trapshooting career in the late 1950s when he shot fun shoots at various locations. He began registering targets in 1973, and he’s still doing so. To his count as of today, Jimmy has 101,950 Singles, 109,300 Handicap and 20,650 Doubles for a total of 231,900 targets. But his legacy really lies in his unending and tireless efforts to create and support trapshooting in Utah.
At almost every shoot in Utah, you will not only see Jimmy, but his wife Pat as well. She has been very instrumental in supporting his shooting.
Jimmy is one of the finest gentlemen in Utah trapshooting. He is friendly, generous, and consid-erate of others. He supports other trapshooters in every way possible and is truly happier with others’ successes than with his own. He is humble about his shooting skill and more than willing to help new shooters to become adept at the sport.
He was instrumental in the organization and building of the Heber Valley Gun Club and has served in many capacities in the club. He was Vice President and served on the Board of Direc-tors for 26 years. He also represented the Heber Valley Gun Club as representative to the USTA. He jumps in and selflessly helps whenever it is needed.
Jimmy has competed in ATA shoots at almost all the Utah gun clubs and at clubs in surrounding States. He has attended the Grand American several times. He enjoys trapshooting whether he is winning an event or congratulating a friend for shooting well. His main enjoyment comes from interacting with the people involved in trapshooting.
Along with winning trophies in all three trapshooting disciplines at local club tournaments, Jim-my has the following to his credit:
•1987 Utah State Shoot Singles AA Champion •1994 Utah State Handicap Long Yardage Champion •1996, 1997, 1998, 1999Veteran State Team Member •1997 Utah State ShootVeteran All-Around Champion •1997 Utah State ShootVeteran Handicap Champion •1999 Utah State ShootVeteran Handicap Champion •2001, 2003, 2004, 2005Senior Veteran State Team Member •2001, 2003, 2004Senior Veteran Singles Champion •2001 Utah State ShootSenior Veteran Handicap Champion •2004Western Zone Shoot Senior Veteran Champion •2005 Western Zone Senior Veteran Singles Club Champion
In 2007 Jimmy was inducted into the USTA Hall of Fame. During his induction it was said that without Jimmy there wouldn’t be trapshooting in the Heber Valley.
Investigation bears this out. In the 1950s, a younger Jim Duke organized a group of shooters and set up a trap at the Midway Fish Hatchery. They used one mechanical trap, which had to be cocked for each shot with a long pipe, used as a lever.
The trap house was so small that a person had to crawl into it and set traps bent over. Old time Heber shooters report that Jim was the first to volunteer to “get in the hole” and keep the ma-chine loaded, even on freezing winter days.
Through Jim’s efforts, with the help of a few other shooters, the club moved to an area near the current Heber Airport. Duke and fellow supporters negotiated a deal with the Utah Department of Fish and Game (now called Wildlife Resources), to place the club at its current location. They secured a bank loan in their own names, and construction began.
Shooters who remember the early days of the Heber club in the 1970s say that Jim was a tireless worker, even donating material and money to keep the project going. His wife Pat was and is a great supporter of the club, even though she doesn’t shoot.
During all the time that Jim and four or five other founding members of Heber Gun Club were building the club, Jim found time to support every other gun club in the state.
Some long time shooters estimate Jim has donated over 10,000 hours to the Heber Club, and to other shoots.
Even through battles with heart trouble and other serious illnesses, you could then, and can now always count on Jim to be at your shoot if it is a weekend ham shoot or the State Tournament.
Jim has served in all the offices of the Heber Gun Club over the years, and continues to support new efforts to encourage new shooters. Jimmy turns 87 this year and he constantly out shoots his age!
Past club president Dewey Mair said once that “If the Hall of Fame is for great shooters who have given their lives to the sport of trapshooting, then Jim Duke belongs at the top of the candi-date list”.
It is easy to find others who echo that sentiment.
But, if you ask Jimmy Duke what he has done over the years for trapshooting, he is likely to smile, shrug his shoulders, and say, “I just did what everybody does”.
Many others would disagree. Just ask any shooter at just about any club what they think of Jim-my Duke. “The Greatest”, they’ll say, and they mean not only as a shooter, but as a person, as well.
Most shooters couldn’t ask for a better legacy.
Be sure to check in next month when I highlight Vicki Skelton.