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Guns of winter take aim in annual trapshoot

Newspaper-sponsored event begins its 92nd year

Cold and snow have never been able to deter the guns of winter that gather for eight consecutive Sundays to fire at clay targets in The Spokesman-Review Trapshoot.

The 92nd annual event began today at about 40 trapshooting clubs in Washington, Idaho and Montana.

Except for World War II, which silenced the shooting contest for three years, the rite of winter has gone on uninterrupted since 1916.

Scores are reported from clubs and published in the newspaper to ultimately determine the best of the best at enduring cold fingers and tracking 4 5/16-inch targets that speed away at 60 feet per second at any one of 72 different angles.

It’s a family event at many clubs, where several generations might line up on the firing line together.

At the Spokane Gun Club today, nine teenagers were employed on the firing lines from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to keep scores, load traps and pick up empty shells.

Save for a few modern conveniences, such as snow blowers, voice-activated traps and throwers with nylon bushings that don’t seize in cold weather, not a lot has changed about the sport since the Spokane Gun Club was founded as the Spokane Rod and Gun Club in 1892.

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