An old joke suggests “The family that shoots together, stays together – because nobody’s brave enough to turn and run away.”
But you could put the joke away last Sunday as about 40 trapshooting clubs around the Inland Northwest opened fire at the start of The Spokesman-Review Trapshoot. The 92nd event will continue each Sunday for eight weeks.
Regardless of whether they’re entered in the competition, trapshooting clubs are attractive to families that can go toe-to-toe at the shooting line regardless of size or age.
Three generations of a Newman Lake area family were shooting in one lineup for the winter league at Spokane Gun Club last Sunday.
“We’ve been doing it for two years,” said “grandpa” Roy Wickstrom, standing tall over teenagers Taylor and Matthew Hughes and their parents, Kim and Charles Knapply.
Cold and snow have never been able to deter these guns of winter.
Except for World War II, which silenced the shooting contest for three years, The Spokesman-Review- sponsored shoot has been running 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 45/16-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 each Sunday at least nine teenagers earn money 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.