Remembering Rick Stoutenburg

from Roz Sumpter

It was with a saddened heart that I received the news of Rick Stoutenburg’s passing. Rick and I shared a great deal of time together after our initial introduction at Western Wayne County Conservation Association (WWCCA) in Michigan. If memory serves, that was approximately 1988; perhaps even a couple of years earlier.

Rick and I quickly formed a friendship. Along with Ron Smith and Ken Reeves, we decided to work towards making WWCCA a Field Target venue that would be admired by the entire competition circuit.

True to his hands on approach to things that interested him, Rick began to address the problem of producing reliable, resettable field targets for our club. As history bears witness, the Stoutenburg field target went on to become one of, if not the most, sought after and popular field targets in use today. And WWCCA did indeed achieve prominence among Field Target clubs in the U.S.A.

I can recall many times spent with Rick during road trips to various Field Target matches. During those outings, Rick was an intense observer of all aspects of the match. He would give close attention to course lay-out and proper target function. Then during the ride home afterward, he would express his ideas on how to improve the matches at WWCCA. Always a quest for improvement.

I missed Rick’s companionship when I moved to Tennessee. I feel that loss more deeply now that I know there is no chance of restoring it in this lifetime. That is why I will be ever thankful and lifted in spirit for the good times we were able to share together.

Rick Stoutenburg left behind a piece of himself to be shared with us all. Every time we look through our scope sights, squeeze off a shot, and experience the satisfying thrill of the target immediately disappearing from view with a clank, think of Rick. Chances are, when you pull on the reset cord to examine the target face, you can smile to yourself in noticing…. Yep, that’s a Stoutenburg all right!

Rick built his targets to endure over a long lifespan. They have outlasted Rick himself, and most assuredly will outlast this entire generation of Field Target shooters. Not a bad legacy to leave behind; something that continues to provide pleasure long after we are gone.

Thank you for the targets and the memories Rick. And give our regards to Jim Everett and the other Field Target friends you bump into.

I pray that his loved ones will be comforted by loving memories and knowledge that they are not the only ones touched in a special way by Rick Stoutenburg.