Arizona State Field Target Championships

September 19 & 20, 2009 Mormon Lake, AZ

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The group - There is a bunch of us this year!

WOW! What a weekend for Field Target! This was arguably the best combination of match layout, weather, people, and shooting that Airgunners of Arizona has compiled, but I digress. Let me start at the beginning:

Friday morning and a pleasant 2-1/2 hour drive from Phoenix to Mormon Lake. This is the shooting venue that we have used for the past 3 months is a leased portion of the Coconino National Forest through the local forestry department office. They are great people to work with.

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Shooters meeting

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Shooters meeting

Upon arriving about 11:30 am, it was obvious that some club members were already working hard on the course layout and that the porta-potties had been delivered. Sandy Corcorran and Debbie Keiser did the course design and the guys, Dale Keiser, Bobby Corcorran, and Scott Rogers were setting targets for them for 20 lanes, each with 2 targets. The girls had Larry Nelson and Paul Lancaster laying out and setting up the sight in range. The course was laid out in a large horseshoe shaped configuration using the natural terrain features of the stone quarry (Perry Lake Pit) and the surrounding forest, with the camping area centrally located.

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Fan setting up for one of the downhill shots

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Target can be seen just over the top of her head at the bottom of the pit

They used every trick in the book to make the course interesting. There were targets set up in the bottom of the 60 foot deep pit, from one outcrop across the pit to the opposite side with nothing below, along the long slopes on one side of the pit, up on the mounds at the top of the pit, in the trees, through the trees, under the trees, and across the flat land through the forest. Beautiful! The design was to split the shooters into two groups; one group would shoot the odd numbered targets the first day, and the even numbered targets the second day, with the other group doing the opposite. All the target distances and difficulties were balanced very nicely. A big thank you to Dale, Bobby, Scott, Larry, and Paul for the grunt work, and also to Debbie and Sandy who designed and supervised the effort. All was finished and in readiness by 2:00 pm.

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Shane getting into position on the outcropping for his downhill shot, which is down and to his left. The cross pit shot at the javelina is to his right and almost 50 yards away on the opposite side of the pit.

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This target is downhill at about a 45 degree angle at the bottom of the pit.

Some of the shooters started filtering in afterwards, set up camp, and utilized the sight in range in preparation for the start of the match on Saturday morning.

This is not to say that we didnt have a few mishaps. Turns out that Dale had a little accident while waterskiing prior to this weekend, which left him with broken ribs. Klayton Kidd, likewise ended up chopping his foot with his axe instead of chopping wood while setting up his campsite and ended up at the hospital on Friday night and getting stitches. Both of these guys still shot the match without a flinch. A grimace or two, but that was about it.

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Steve Timarac setting up for a long sloping downhill shot

Saturday morning dawned cool and clear with scattered big puffy white cumulus clouds against a blue background. This was a picture post card setting, but it would change. We had 37 shooters in attendance (originally 41 but a few had to cancel) including 4 members of Diablo FT club in central CA, and 2 members from CASA in southern CA. We also had one club member from New Mexico, and 4 returning shooters from Pasadena, CA on hand to join in the fun. We do appreciate the effort and extensive travel that all of our visitors had to do in order to get here. Thank you for coming and helping to make this shoot one of the best that we have had. You are welcome back anytime to shoot with us again. We had a great time shooting with you.

After the 9:45 shooters meeting, and score cards and lane assignments issued, each group headed out to their respective starting points to let the fun begin, and fun it was. We were about halfway through the match when those big white clouds turned gray, and the blue sky was obliterated. It started to get a bit breezy and an occasional drop or two or three would fall. These drops picked up quite a bit into a constant drizzle with sporadic thunder. Fortunately there was no lightning nearby, but we did get a little wet, but kept on going anyway. This weather disturbance continued until after the match and while we ate lunch but dissipated thereafter with the clouds once again becoming patchy and blue sky showed itself.

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View along a portion of the firing line

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Larry Durham (LD) shooting on reasonably flat land

There were some awesome scores posted regardless of the weather. Scott Rogers, after missing his first 2 shots, regained the ice water in his veins and cleaned the rest of the course with a 38. Bobby Corcorran was 4 shots behind with a 34, and there were 6 of us tied with a 33. This was looking like it was going to be interesting for Sundays finale.

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View of the shooter, followed by....

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....a view of the target. There were a few shots like this.

After lunch, we had the results of our first team shoot. Unbeknownst to them, we had 6 husband / wife, or significant others coupled together, and their first day scores tallied for the team shoot. Team Corcorran finished in 1st place, Team Keiser in 2nd, and Team Montgomery in 3rd, with Team Alfaro, Team Drye, and Team Pacheco all close behind. We gave raffle tickets as prizes, and then commenced with the raffle drawings for which tickets had been sold to all present.

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View of firing line from at a different location

We had raffle prizes donated by FX, Umarex, Air Force Airguns, Beeman, Hawke Optics, Crosman, and Airguns of Arizona. Airgunners of Arizona wishes to thank each and every one of these fine companies for their generous contribution of guns, pellets, scopes, shirts, hats, bum bags and assorted other goodies. We are greatly indebted and cannot thank you enough. In addition to that, Hector and Constance Alfaro donated a prize to be awarded to the high junior shooter, and club member Kerry Boehmer donated a very nicely made range caddy. A special thank you goes to each of them too. The club uses the proceeds to cover the costs of insurance, NRA and AAFTA dues, property leases, and all the sundry things and operating expenses that we incur though the year. This years big winner was Ron Jobbes, who won the FX T12 walnut stocked rifle.

Sunday morning initially looked as if it would be a continuation of the weather from Saturday, but brightened up nicely. The clouds blew off revealing a brilliant blue sky with a breeze that persisted for the remainder of the match. It was perfect weather for the finale of the match. The same shooters were paired as from the day before for 2 reasons; 1) because they were all so compatible with each other, and 2) because I didn't feel like going through the mental gymnastics of separating them. I didn't hear any complaints about that or I would have directed them to take it up with the range officer. He was the little guy with 4 legs running around with blaze orange RANGE OFFICER cape, otherwise known as Arrow, the attack Chihuahua. He mentioned nothing to me about it, so I guess everyone was cool with the decision.

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Arrow, the attack chihuahua and resident RANGE OFFICER

Anyway, the match went on uneventfully, with everyone enjoying the weather, the surroundings, and each others company. When all was said and done, scores were turned in, and while everyone was eating lunch, we found out we had a tie for state champion! It turns out that Scott Rogers proved that he was indeed human, and that Bobby Corcorran wanted to light up the world. Each had duplicated the others score from the day before. The rest of us mere mortals were destined to land where we fell, score wise. So, we made the announcement to shift from where we were eating lunch and reconvene behind the line at the sight-in range.

Now a few months ago, we purchased a bunch of new targets from Dick Otten's After Hours Target company. Included with that purchase were 2 of his super popper targets. These consist of a round disc with 5 different holes positioned in it. They are 1-1/4, 1, ¾, ½, and ¼ in diameter. These targets were set side-by-side waaaaaay out there and had the largest hole dialed in to start.

Scott and Bobby got into position on the line, with the rest of us behind and intently watching. Without any warm up, they proceed to shoot. After 2 shots they are tied, so the discs were repositioned to the next smaller hole. After 2 more nerve racking shots, they are still tied. The discs were then spun to the next smaller hole. During this break in the action, Scott makes the comment, Why is my mouth so dry? followed by chuckles. They each shoot one more shot and are STILL tied! Everyone watching was mesmerized by this display of marksmanship and quietly going nuts at the same time. On the following shot, Bobby nails his and Scott pulled one, thereby earning Bobby the title of Arizona State Champion. They are both to be congratulated because they certainly put on a clinic, especially with the shifting breeze. Great shooting!

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Scott and Bobby shooting head to head in the shootoffs

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Scott: "Why is my mouth so dry?"

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Bobby Corcorran, Arizona State Champion showing an uncharacteristic display of exhuberance upon a well deserved victory. He is usually very mellow and laid back.

Here are the scores:
Position Shooter Sat/40 Sun/40 Total/80 Class Gun Scope Pellet
1 Bobby Cocorran 34 38 72 PCP USFT Bushnell 8-32 CPH
2 Scott ROgers 38 34 72 PCP SUFT Nikko 10-50 JSBEH
3 Steve Mongomery 33 37 70 PCP USFT Leupold 45 JSBEH
4 Kevin Yee 33 34 67 PCP USFT Nikko 10-50 CPH
5 Larry Durham 33 33 66 PCP USFT Bushnell 8-32 CPH
6 Mark Kauffman 33 32 65 PCP Daystate CRX-ST Bushnell 6-24 JSB
7 Klayton Kidd 30 33 63 PCP Daystate X2 Bushnell 6-24 JSB
8 Johathon Reys 33 28 61 PCP Steyr LG100 Bushnell 8-32 JSBEH
8 Debbie Keiser 30 31 61 PCP Daystate SR97SE Burris 8-32 CPH
8 Jim Russell 31 30 61 PCP Daystate MK4 Bushnell 6-24 JSB
11 Dale Keiser 33 27 60 PCP Daystate CRX Burris 8-32 CPH
12 Vince Pacheco 30 29 59 PCP USFT Nikko 10-50 JSBEH
13 Larry Nelson 25 33 58 PCP USFT Hawke 8-32 CPH
14 Ron Drye 28 29 57 PCP Daystate MK4 Centerpoint 8-32 JSBEH
15 Sandy Corcorran 29 26 55 PCP Air Arms ProTarget Bushnell 8-32 CPH
16 Robin Montgomery 25 29 54 PCP USFT Nikko 10-50 JSBEH
17 Scott Jones 29 25 54 PCP Daystate Huntsman Nikko 10-50 JSBEH
18 Bonnie Jo Drye 23 30 53 PCP Daystate MK4 Centerpoint 8-32 JSBEH
19 Hector Alfaro 26 26 52 PCP Daystate FTR Leupold 14.5-35 H&N 10.6
20 Larry Piercy 22 30 52 PCP Daystate CRX Nightforce 10-40 CP 14.3
21 Shane Keller 20 31 51 PCP Daystate MCT Hawke 8-32 CPH
22 Kerry Boehmer 22 27 49 PCP Daystate Airwolf MVT Hawke 6-24 JSB 14.3
22 Greg Frostad 15 34 49 PCP      
24 Obie Morales 22 26 48 PCP Daystate MK4 Hawke 6-24 CPH
24 Steve Timaro 22 24 46 PCP FX Bushnell 6-24 CPH
24 Luis Ruiz 22 26 48 PCP BSA Scorpion Hawke 6-24 CPH
27 Constance Alfaro 17 26 43 PCP Daystate MK3 Leupold 14.5-35 JSBEH
27 Fan Boyett 21 22 43 PCP USFT BSA 10-50 JSBEH
29 Ray Horneman 28 14 42 PCP Daystate AirRanger MTC Viper 8-32 CPH
30 James Farabaugh 11 17 28 PCP Daystate X2 Bushnell 6-24 CPH
31 Jeff Bates 25 DNF 25 PCP Daystate Huntsman Bushnell 8-32 CPH
32 Perry Bronaugh 10 8 18 PCP
Benjamin Discovery Centerpoint 4-16 CPH
1 Ron Easton 31 26 57 WFTF     JSB
2 Tony Innocentes 19 14 33 WFTF Steyr LG100 Nikko 10-50 JSB
1 Paul Lancaster 21 21 42 HFT FX Cyclone Bushnell 8-15 JSB 18.1
2 Ron Jobbes 20 19 39 HFT Daystate Leapers 4-16 JSB 16
3 Jay Bronaugh 10 8 18  HFT Benjamin Discovery Centerpoint 4-16 CPH

We gathered back at the center of the campsite where club president, Larry Piercy presided over the awards ceremony. The medals were awarded, followed by a group shot of the medal winners, and then a picture of the entire shooting contingent. This was a perfect end to a wonderful weekend. Friendships were made and others galvanized. Everyone had a great time and it seemed no one wanted to leave.

The club members split up into groups and pulled and packaged all the targets, stakes, strings and lane markers. The sight in range was taken down and cleaned up, as was the rest of the area. Each of the campers did a wonderful job of policing their own campsites and left the area in better shape from when they found it, as it should be. Thanks to everyone who helped to make this whole thing work.

Airgunners of Arizona club members are to be commended for the team effort that it took to put this all together and to make each and every visitor welcome. Your efforts have not gone un-noticed. On top of this list are Debbie and Sandy. Debbie took care of all the finances and bought all of the food, baked cookies, and she and hubby Dale, hand painted all the targets in the weeks prior to the match. Sandy baked cookies, made my favorite cream cheese squares (thank you, thank you, thank you), set up the tables and spread out all the food along with Debbie, and then cleaned up afterwards. There seems to be nothing that we can do, as a group, to show how much we appreciate these 2 ladies for their efforts. We love em to death!

Next months match will be back to the first Saturday of October (10/3/09) and will be at the Dryes ranch, located a bit east of Flagstaff. For specific directions and to verify your attendance, please contact Ron and Bonni Jo via email at: I will unfortunately have to miss that match due to a prior commitment, but I am sure that everyone that goes will have a great time. Ron and Bonni hosted a terrific match last year that was well attended.

In closing, I want to personally thank everyone involved for the job that they did to make this a success and helping me to take care of all the little details. I had fun and was able to relax and decompress a bit. I hope that you did too.

Respectfully submitted,
Mark Kauffman
Secretary, Airgunners of Arizona