Trap Chairman: Mike Dinkel
Rochester-Brooks has 3 trap fields with turret-type machines, including a PAT trap for doubles, and all are equipped with Canterbury voice activated release systems. Two of these fields are lit for shooting at night in the winter months. In addition, the club has an International Trap field. RB trap shooters have club and traveling leagues to supplement practice whenever the club is open.
The first written history of a trap meet in the U.S. took place in 1831, in Cincinnati, Ohio, where the participants most likely shot at passenger pigeons or sparrows. In 1840 a competition was held at the New York Sportsmen’s Club, and trap was well on its way to becoming America’s most popular shooting sport (hunting of course excluded).
Many of the elements of other shotgun sports that we take for granted, were developed by early trap shooters, including glass ball targets, the choke bore shotgun, and clay targets. Trap was Annie Oakley’s sport, and she attended her last Grand American championship in 1925, one year before her death.
The early founders of the Amateur Trap Shooting Association were industry employees, including L.C. Smith and Parker Arms. For several years, the association held both “live bird” and clay target tournaments, but discontinued the use of live birds in 1902 due to negative publicity. Since 1924 Vandalia, Ohio has been the home grounds of the Grand American Handicap, the single largest shooting tournament in the world, drawing over 5,000 competitors. But civilization has finallyed even “The Grand” as new home grounds are being constructed in Sparta, Illinois.
Trap is shot with 12-gauge ammunition, shot size 7-1/2 or 8, and because only single shots are required for 16-yard and handicap events, single barrel guns are very popular with trap shooters. Trap doubles requires a shotgun capable of firing two shells.