2018-06-07 / Outdoors

Backyard BB-gun practice leads to trap league’s top honors


YOUTH TRAP league “top gun” Austin Rubin is shown with Tim Stein, president of the Cedar Rod and Gun Club. YOUTH TRAP league “top gun” Austin Rubin is shown with Tim Stein, president of the Cedar Rod and Gun Club. Going from trap shooting to deer hunting should be simple for Annabelle Ackley, who on Sunday wrapped up six weeks of shooting in the junior group of the Cedar Rod and Gun Club Trap League.

“She took third place in her division and this was her first year at deer camp,” said Annabelle’s father, Aaron Ackley. “She’s excited.”

So have been other participants, including 18 members in the senior division. Austin Rubin of Traverse City, knocked down 45 out of 50 birds in the last day of competition to take the “top gun” award.

Competing against mostly shooters in high school, the eighth grade student in the Traverse City West district said he honed his shooting skills with a bb-gun in his family’s back yard. He is the son of Aaron and Tamela Rubin.


SENIOR TRAP league members who earned trophies for their shooting include, from left, Austin Rubin, Kaitlyn Schaub, Stuart MacDonald and Greyson Booth. SENIOR TRAP league members who earned trophies for their shooting include, from left, Austin Rubin, Kaitlyn Schaub, Stuart MacDonald and Greyson Booth. “This is my first year competing in the league,” he said. “It was fun - really fun. The instructors were pretty helpful.”

He’s also been a successful hunter, having shot a 5-point buck in the 2017 youth deer season and a tom turkey with an 11 1/2-inch beard this spring.

Tim Stein, coordinator of the league and president of the Cedar Rod and Gun Club, was impressed with the level of improvement shown by all shooters.

“The numbers were down, but we had a group of pupils who listened to instruction, were extremely safe with a firearm, and came away with an appreciation for the shooting sports,” Stein said.

He credited the dedication of coaches in the league for shooters’ quick progress. They were Jim Balesh, Bob Steiner, Jim Westlake, Brett Friend, Rick Nelson, Kevin Ringwelski, Jeff Krysinski, Fritz Barratt, Bill Roush, Mickey McConnell and Mark Stephens.



TOP INTERMEDIATE shooters include, from left, Carter Harriet, Doug Boitz and Sam Gurthet. TOP INTERMEDIATE shooters include, from left, Carter Harriet, Doug Boitz and Sam Gurthet.

BEGINNING SHOOTERS receiving trophies include, from left, Annabelle Ackley, Owen Crossliln and Jim Westlake. Also shown are instructors Bob Steiner and Jim Westlake. BEGINNING SHOOTERS receiving trophies include, from left, Annabelle Ackley, Owen Crossliln and Jim Westlake. Also shown are instructors Bob Steiner and Jim Westlake.

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