"ATA Delegate Newsletter" 

            by ED WEHKING
             ATA President
           & UTAH ATA Delegate

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ATA President
Utah ATA Delegate
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​February 2023

We are in the deep freeze of winter here in Utah. Snowstorm after snowstorm. The ski resorts love it, and I hate it, although it is nice to have our reservoirs full in the summertime.

Not a whole lot of shooting going on right now because of the cold. However, when there is shooting this time of year, it resembles the Jerry Lee Lewis song “Whole Lotta Shakin Goin’ On’.”

I just returned from attending the SHOT show (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade show) in Las Vegas. That event is unbelievable in size. It is sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). The NSSF told us they had approximately 55,000 attendees with 2,000 vendors. If it weren’t for the ATA executive director Lynn Gipson and his aides, Liz Lloyd and Samantha Sherrick, to guide me to our next appointment, I would have been lost the entire time.

The very first morning when the doors were opened, I happened to be walking down the hall when a gentleman next to me said, “Hi Ed.” It was Utah County resident Bart Kirkham. Bart was not only a puller/score-keeper at the Spanish Fork Gun Club in the mid-1990s, but he and his father Danny were shooters as well. Unfortunately, Danny passed away a little over a year ago.

Here is some of my useless trivia. In 1997, when he was about 17 or so, Bart pulled doubles for my squad, which consisted of Jerry Tesch, Charlie Long, Dean Neumann, John Vosnos, and myself when we tied the doubles world record of 498/500. Alas, that record has since been broken.

Bart had a couple of years of unbelievable averages in all disciplines. He had an unusual stance that looked awkward and uncomfortable. I remember the late Frank Hoppe and I watching Bart shoot, and Frank said, “He looks to be a great shot, but I think I may give him some pointers on his stance.” I told Frank to go look at the scoreboard. After he saw scores of 100s and 99s in all three disciplines, Frank came back and said ,“Maybe I need to get pointers from him.” Bart is now in a supervisory detective position for the Lehi, Utah, police force, and has a nice family to occupy his time now. It is always great to see old acquaintances again.

I digress. Back to the SHOT show.

Among the hordes of people, I did manage to run into Mike and Grayson Stuart, Mike and Jenny McGowen, and Karl and Kerri McKnight.

At the Browning display, I visited with Jackie Love. I told the Browning's marketing director, Shaundi Campbell, that Jackie made the Utah State women’s team. She said that she knew that and that Browning was very proud of her. I told her, “As am I.”

I was lucky enough to be invited to a speech by Larry and Brenda Potterfield of Midway USA. The Potterfields are the benefactors of the Midway USA Foundation. The foundation is an endowment program to help youth shooters nationwide with matching grants. This is a great program.

If you subscribe to Trap and Field, be sure to read the “Shooters Profile” article on Desanka and Darko.