Pull and shoot

Canadian County home base for Oklahoma Trap & Skeet Association

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Ron Bliss ejects shells from an over and under shotgun at the El Reno shooting field, located at 5100 S. Evans Road, which is home base for the Oklahoma Trap & Skeet Association. (Photo provided)

By Carol Mowdy Bond
Contributing Writer

An El Reno shooting field, located at 5100 S. Evans Road, is home base for the Oklahoma Trap & Skeet Association, or OTSA. The facility supports both trapshooting and skeet shooting, and is the only real dedicated trap and skeet range in Canadian County.

OTSA is the state body for those who shoot amateur trapshooting.

Board member Brian Northup described the trapshooting club.

“We are the state body that oversees registered trapshooting. If you want to shoot registered trapshooting in Oklahoma, you have to be a member of our club,” Northup said.

Registered shooting is when the scores are recorded and sent to the national body for the person’s lifetimes scores. Registered trapshooting is competitive. But just over half of our members are not registered, but instead they are recreational shooters.”

Northup said the club is the home ground for OTSA for the state of Oklahoma for trap, and also for skeet. But there are other shooting ranges around the state. Information is available on their website.

“Our El Reno field is a fully dedicated shooting facility, located southeast of El Reno, with all the machines and walkways,” Northup said. “We are open year round.

During winter months, they open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

Sometime in April, when there is more more daylight, they will also be open Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. until dark, and we’ll post that information on our web site.” But Northup said that due to the possibility of more extreme winter weather, the facility may not be open during regular winter hours.

Northup said COVID-19 is having a big impact on the group. “We have fewer people doing everything,” Northup said. “We still have the same number of members , but they’re not shooting as much since COVID-19.”

OTSA was established over 100 years ago for all ages who shoot, with the goal of providing a safe and friendly atmosphere for the sports. The El Reno facility has 12 American Trapshooting Association regulated trap fields, and three skeet fields. The traps fields are all equipped with Canterbury Voice Release and Pat Traps, and only throw White Flyer targets.

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The facility has an air -conditioned clubhouse built in 2014, and offers cold drinks and snacks. There are 30 campsites with water and electric hookups, and there’s a walking trail. And there are numerous other amenities.

The El Reno facility hosts general shoots for the American Trapshooting Association, or ATA.

ATA is the largest target shooting organization in the world, and governs the sport’s rules and regulations.

OTSA supports the youth program Academics Integrity Marksmanship, or AIM, which involves youth from ages college and down who are involved in shooting. They are divided up into divisions by age and ability, and the El Reno facility hosts their state shoots.
“If they’re good enough, they shoot against adults. We have a lot of really good kids shooting in Oklahoma. Adults wish they’d stay in their age divisions,” Northup said.

OTSA also supports 4-H youth development programs that include shooting, archery, air rifle, air pistol, trap, and skeet, to help youth develop and become more responsible.
Both AIM and 4-H use the OTSA El Reno facility. Northup said, “Our location services many purposes. We also support the Oklahoma Department of Parks and Wildlife. They have a shoot for 8th through 12th grades. They have regional competitions, and the best go to state. The state tournament is held here at our facility.”

Mikie Hooper is the OTSA web master. She said, “I have over 250 addresses on my email list I send out regularly. During the Oklahoma State Shoot we had in excess of 100 shooters on the championship days which are Saturday and Sunday of the shoot.

We hold the Oklahoma State Shoot every year, Satellite Southwestern Zone Shoot every other year. The 4-H holds their State Shoot every year at our facility, plus last year we had a National High School Rodeo Shoot. The Oklahoma Wildlife Department also hosts a shoot at our facility.”

Northup said, “In about a week we will start posting more info on the web site as to when meets are and more information.” Northup said the web site is where to find shooting field locations around the state, as well as competition information, dues and prices, as well as information about AIM and other youth shoot groups. The web site includes a long list of AIM scholarships that are available.

A specific form of clay target shooting, trapshooting is a game involving movement, action, and split-second timing.

The shooter needs accuracy and skill in aiming, firing, and breaking the 4 1/4 inch disc.
The discs are hurled through the air, and they simulate the flight path of a bird fleeing a hunter.

Another shooting sport, skeet shooting is somewhat different from trapshooting.

To connect with OTSA and the El Reno shooting facility, to find a shooting facility elsewhere in Oklahoma, and to learn more information, go to the web site otatrapandskeet.org.