(Match Report by Tyler Patner)
When many of us look back at 2020 years from now, a lot of the memories we hold onto are likely to be less than positive. For yours truly, one of the bright spots of this year has been the continued growth of Field Target here in Ohio. At the beginning of 2020, there were three clubs hosting FT matches, and at the writing of this report, there are five. Even during this crazy year we have had, FT shooters in Ohio continue to press forward and it’s incredible to see.
Here at NOA, our final match of the year was held Sunday the 4th of October. While we have been blessed with great weather throughout the year, this weekend looked to be in doubt as rain was predicted for Sunday afternoon. With temps in the high 50s, and clouds covering the sky, we pressed on and hoped to beat the rain. 23 shooters joined us for the match and they were in for a challenge.
We decided to change some things up on the course, moving a few lanes and changing up a number of target locations. This pushed the course distances longer than we have ever had before, and combining that with dark painted targets under cloudy skies and tree cover made for a lot of ranging errors and more misses than we typically see from many. The average target distance was a hair under 38 yards, with 16 targets over 40 yards. 14 of those targets were at or over 45 yards. The troyer rating for the match before lighting and wind were factored in, was 31.9T.
In addition to the course changes, we also had a number of shooters changing up the division they shot in, after all, variety is the spice of life. Dan Putz shot his trusty Walther LGU in WFTF Piston. Ted Andro broke out the bum bag and shot Open PCP. Tyler Patner opted to shoot Hunter PCP. And Rick Smelko decided to shoot his own version of Unlimited, using his shooting sticks for support on the Standing and Kneeling lanes in addition to running his scope above the 16x Hunter limit. He turned in a 59/60, so clearly the extra assist on the positional lanes made quite the difference.
The match ran very smoothly, and thankfully we made it in before the rains came. In Open PCP, Gary Palinkas came up from Florida and posted the high score with a 54/60. It was great to see him and we were glad he could make it. Michigan native Mark King took top honors in WFTF PCP with a 50/60 shooting his Walther Dominator and March scope. Our two piston shooters were alone in their divisions but Dan Putz turned in a 32/60 for his first match on a bum bag and Eric Jones shot his Diana 54 to a 39/60 in Hunter Piston. In Hunter PCP, there was a three-way tie at the top with Doug Cunningham, Dave Hitchcock and Tyler Patner all shooting 52/60. The three decided to let their offhand lane performances break the tie, Doug cleaned the offhand lane, Tyler missed one and Dave missed three. Congrats Doug, good shooting!
Awards were handed out, the course was torn down in short order, and the club house was cleaned up for the winter. We have been fortunate to be able to continue our use of the amazing property we have at Twin Oaks Air Rifle Range during this strange year, all thanks to the gracious support from Anne and Ashley Reily. In addition, I want to thank all of the shooters that have made it out to matches this year. And finally, to our great membership that assists with everything from match setup to target painting to making awards and more, thank you for your dedication, help and friendship. In a time when social distancing means seeing less of people, you all have been a bright spot for me personally and I am sure for each other as well. I am eagerly looking forward to the 2021 season and hope to see you all on the lanes in the new year!