By Lisa Adams-Livengood, Reporter
If it flies it dies!
Keep your head down and keep on swinging.
These are just a few of the quotes you will hear when you step into a trapshooting gun club. Unfortunately, for over four years, there have been no members to utter these words within the walls of the Chewelah Trap Club located off Highway 395. But this historic club is hoping to change the silence.
Quick History of the Sport of Trapshooting
Trapshooting can be traced as far back as 18th century England. A pigeon was released, and the shooter had two shots to “drop the bird” or it was considered a loss. As the sport progressed into the United States, experienced shooters were required to shoot from a greater distance than new shooters, thus creating a handicap. As modern trapshooting evolved, real pigeons were replaced with clay targets, but many of the concepts remain today.
“Clays” are released from a “house” where an oscillating clay thrower is kept, and the shooter is unaware of which direction the 4.5-inch clay “bird” will fly (at approximately 42 miles per hour). The shooter has only one shot to hit the bird or it is considered a loss. A new shooter begins at the 16-yard line while more experienced shooters shoot from as far away as 27 yards. There are five shooters that form a squad and five posts from which each of the shooters will shoot for a total of 25 birds (shots).
Trapshooting is a family-friendly sport that everyone can participate in. While it began as a man’s sport, Annie Oakley won the American Grand in 1925, thus attracting many more women to the competition. Furthermore, while many countries do not support youth participating in trap, the United States fully supports it. There are several organizations that encourage youths to participate, including the FFA (Future Farmers of America) which is the premier youth organization preparing members for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture.
Chewelah Trap Club – Then and Now
The Chewelah Trap Club was formed on January 18, 1926. Historic journals still exist from the formation of the club until its last entry on January 12, 1976. While keeping journals may have ended, the club continued to flourish in the community. Even when the sport was suspended during World War II for lack of ammunition, club members kept the doors open for meetings and camaraderie. While the history from 1976 to present is somewhat unclear, during the 1980s Rick Frizzell took over as President of the Chewelah Trap Club.
In 1994, Rick’s nephew, Ken Frizzell, moved back to his native town of Chewelah after serving in the United States Navy. Ken and his entire family were avid hunters and sports enthusiasts, so of course he joined the Chewelah Trap Club, which Rick Frizzell was still running. Although Ken enjoyed supporting other clubs, attending their shoots as much as he could, his heart belonged to his home-town club in Chewelah.
Several years later, when Rick decided to take a step back, Ken joined the board and eventually was voted in as President. Ken kept the trap club going for years with an abundance of assistance from the board and other club members. But then, as membership began to decline, there weren’t enough volunteers to keep the operation going. He continued to hold special events like Chataqua Shoots, but even that became too much work for just a few people.
Ken now hopes to revitalize the Chewelah Trap Club with a new board, new memberships, and new youth groups, not only for the benefit of the Chewelah community, but also surrounding communities and trapshooting clubs.
Money Shoot – November 14 at 9 a.m.
With no current members or funds to support the club, it is in danger of closing permanently. To keep its doors open, the Chewelah Trap Club will be hosting a Money Shoot fundraising event on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021 at 9 a.m. to help the club reorganize and stay open to anyone who wants to shoot.
If you’ve experienced trapshooting before, you know how much fun it is. For those who have never experienced trapshooting, this is an excellent opportunity to come out and give it a try! It is an extremely rewarding sport. Trapshooting is also an excellent way for those who want to learn to shoot a shotgun.
After breaking a few “birds” you will want to come back time and time again to improve your scores. Trapshooting is a wonderful way to meet people who enjoy shooting. All you need is a shotgun, a shooting vest, a box of shells and ear/eye protection. The more experienced shooters are always willing to help those who are learning. Come on out and meet some new friends and have fun learning a family-friendly sport designed for all ages!
Volunteers and Donations Needed! This historical organization is requesting volunteers to help at the event, donations that can be used for auction, food donations to help feed the shooters, or simply a monetary donation.
Contact Information – If you are interested in donating, shooting, or have any other questions, please contact Ken Frizzell at 509-937-4504 or Lisa Adams-Livengood at 509-868-6132. You can also email the Chewelah Trap Club at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location: Chewelah Trap Club, Hwy 395 & Quarry-Browns Lake Road, Chewelah, WA 99109
Date: November 14, 2021
Time: 9 A.M.
Annies, Buddies, 5-across and more in the morning!
A 50 Bird Handicap will begin after lunch.
Yardage Purse: $10.00
Split between 19 – 23 and 24 – 27
Lewis Class: $10.00
Food will be available for donation