HUDSON FALLS — Clearly, there was a desire among local high school students for a clay-target shotgun league.
“We have eight teams, and we’re getting interest from others, but they are going to have to find local clubs to shoot it,” said Jane Havens, one of the organizers of the Southern Adirondack Clay Target League, which will debut this spring.
Schools competing are Hudson Falls, Granville, Truthville Christian Academy in Granville, Fort Ann, Fort Edward, Whitehall, Hartford and Argyle.
Havens, whose family owns Falls Farm & Garden Equipment Co. and Calamity Jane’s Firearms & Fine Shoes, said the Hudson Falls Fish & Game Club has been extremely helpful in providing a home for the league.
“But they have all they can handle right now, especially with some teams like Granville having 60 kids signed up. We would love to have more teams competing, but there is not enough space at Hudson Falls.”
Havens’ son David plans to compete for Hudson Falls. He attends Hudson Falls High School and Jane Havens said there are schools in the Adirondacks and in southern Washington County that have interest and may work with local clubs. She said any school can compete, but at this point would have to find a club to compete at.
“Now we just have to work with the rod and gun club to get things scheduled for our teams,” she said.
The state league is one of 20 around the country. It has been active in the western end of the state and will host a state championship meet in Cicero in June.
The local league runs for nine weeks, beginning in early April. The teams shoot individually and the scores are compiled by computer. Havens said there are plans for a league championship as well.
Competitors are covered by league insurance as well as school insurance. There is a fundraising effort to help students pay for the competition. They may use their own shotguns or shotguns that will be available for them, which will be held at the fish and game club.
Havens’ group includes 4-H representatives John Bowe, George Gedney and Peter Quackenbush of the Hudson Falls Fish & Game Club and former Queensbury rifle team coach Mark Dupper.
Students shoot two rounds of 50 targets at 16 yards and scores are compiled by a computer program, allowing them to compete against other schools in their division. Coaches submit scores and manage the team online.
Leagues are open to students in grades 6-12, and while competitors have to pay $35 to take part in the league, there is no cost to the schools beyond coaching and transportation. Students must have state-issued hunter education certification or the league’s SAFE Certification, and a range safety officer is present at all events. Ear and eye protection are required.
Each trap field contains five shooting stations where shooters stand and one trap house where targets are thrown. Clay targets are thrown in the air at alternating angles and the participant attempts to hit the target with a shot.