WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- A clay pigeon flies into the air and then it flies into little pieces. Gary Stockslager lowers his shotgun with a look of satisfaction.
Stockslager was shooting in the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Rod and Gun Club’s Retiree Trap League. However, anybody can try their hand at trap or skeet on the range. Trap is where the target flies away from the shooter; in skeet, it flies from one side or another.
The facility is open to the public. Military ID is not required.
But gun safety is.
“Gun safety is very important no matter what type of gun you have or you own,” said Dale Schock, the 88th Force Support Squadron’s Rod and Gun Club manager. “You need to make sure you know the ins and outs of all weapons that you have.”
Schock said each shooter is briefed on the club’s rules, including that guns must be kept unloaded and the breech open except for when it is the shooter’s turn. And then, only one shell in the shotgun at a time.
“Because you’re only allowed to shoot one target at a time” Schock added.
Club patrons help keep everybody safe.
“Everybody watches everybody,” Schock said. “So if they see somebody who’s not being safe, they respectfully go over and let them know that, ‘Hey, this how we do it. It’s done this way.’”
You do not even need to have your own gun to shoot.
The Rod and Gun Club has shotguns that can be rented for $10. The fee for a round (25 shots) is $6 for nonmembers and $4 for members. A box of shells costs about $12 but can vary.
Taylor Botshon, 17, is a frequent shooter who says he has the goal of making it to a world championship or Olympic team.
“I like that anybody can do it,” Botshon said. “There’s no body size or gender that is defined. You can’t have an advantage. Everybody has the same playing field. It’s all equal.”
The Rod and Gun Club is open seven days a week. For hours and more information, contact the club at 937-257-3935.
A Fall Trap League open to all ages is scheduled to start Oct. 3.