Chilly competition

Winter shooting to begin at Craig Trap Club

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Putting guns away for the winter isn't a consideration for members of the Polar Bear League, a segment of the Craig Trap Club that doesn't let a little snow get in the way of a good shoot.

Each winter, five-shooter teams blast away at clay pigeons.

"We have a good time," said Kent Nielson, Craig Trap Club president. "We shoot orange clay pigeons during daylight hours, switching to whites after dark."

Five-member teams have the potential to score 1,500 points by the end of competition. Each shooter is given the winter to shoot at 300 clay targets, with targets scored on a hit or miss scale.

"We encourage people to show up and shoot, even if you're not on a team," Nielson said. "Anybody can come on out and shoot for practice and have some fun."

The Polar Bear League shoots from 10 a.m. until about 2 p.m. on Sundays and under the lights from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays.

Handicaps are determined during the first 100 rounds by each shooter from the 16-yard line.

Handicaps from the 20-yard line to the 27-yard line are awarded, with better shooters being placed further from the machine.

Nielson said that safety is the main priority at the shooting club, and knowledge of firearms is required before participating.

The first meeting of the league takes place at 6 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Craig Trap Club, located a mile west of Craig on U.S. Highway 40.

Team sign-ups will take place and officers will be elected for the coming year during the first meeting.

Local businesses often sponsor teams or a number of teams to help cover costs.

Shooting wraps up for the winter at the end of March, and last season 15 to 20 teams were involved in competition.

For information or to sign up, call Kent Nielson at 824-6223, or Dick King at 824-6544.

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