Trapshooter Tim Doyle says encouraging new shooters is the most rewarding part of the sport.
Tim Doyle of Erie, Pa., has competed in PVA trapshoots for more than 20 years and also shoots in Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) events.
Although he shot before his injury in Vietnam in 1969, Doyle began registered ATA trapshooting in 1974. He has earned numerous titles on the PVA National Trapshoot Circuit, most recently winning B class singles at the Wisconsin PVA event in Green Bay this past September and coming in tenth overall of 73 shooters.
“Trapshooting is a challenge and less physically demanding than skeet or sporting clays,” Doyle says. “It’s a little more difficult from a chair, but it is one of the few organized shooting sports where you can compete on the same level as able-bodied shooters.”
Tim Doyle prefers an over-and-under Beretta shotgun and cleans it after every use. Photo by Ann Santos.
According to Doyle, the major challenge is focus and concentration, whether participants are standing or seated.
Depending on their injury level, many wheelchair users may simply roll up to the firing line and begin. Various types of adaptive equipment help Doyle and others shoot.
“I use a brace and a strap to keep me upright, and it gives me the ability to lean into the gun, as I’m a T5 para,” he explains. “I made the strap, and the Department of Veterans Affairs provided the brace.”
Doyle prefers to shoot an over-and-under Beretta 682 12-gauge shotgun.
“I like it because of the weight, length, balance, cost and quality,” he says. “And I clean it every time I shoot it.”
In 2000, Doyle went into the North Central PVA (Sioux Falls, S.D.) event using a recently purchased gun. Competitors often don’t do well with a new or borrowed gun, because it may not fit them yet and they aren’t used to it, but this didn’t deter Doyle. He earned the shoot’s High Wheeler title and took a new Beretta shotgun back home to Pennsylvania.
Although it is a rewarding sport, trapshooting can be expensive due to the costs of the clay targets and ammunition, not to mention the outlay for a good shotgun. Doyle has a sponsor when he shoots with the North Central Chapter PVA. “Without it, it would prove to be cost prohibitive,” he explains.
Many people on the PVA National Trapshoot Circuit like trap because of the camaraderie at the events. But, as in any competition, winning is the icing on the cake.
“The most exciting part of shooting is when I win!” Doyle says. “The most rewarding is seeing, encouraging and sharing with a new shooter.”
His advice for prospective trapshooters?
“Check out your local shooting club. Go out and give it a try. Most trap clubs have at least a few people willing to give pointers and share knowledge. Sharing the sport does not cost extra, and it is a great way to meet new people. Everyone has the same goal: a good score.”
Speaking of good scores, year-end awards for the 16th PVA National Trapshoot circuit were announced at the Green Bay shoot. The Cal-Diego PVA trap team captured first-place honors. Cal-Diego associate member Doug Vann won High Overall Wheelchair, and teammate Bill Palmer received the Chad Crowley Award, presented to the PVA member with the most broken targets.
For complete results of the Green Bay event and other PVA shoots, visit pva.org. To learn more about trapshooting, check out shootata.com.
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