The Del Norte Rod and Gun Club had 102 people sign up for the 2014 Crab Buckle Tournament held Jan. 10-12. Trapshooters from as far away as Fort St. John, Canada, came to Del Norte with over 40,000 clay birds shot over the three-day tournament.
"On a regular shoot we have around 50 shooters coming in," said Del Norte Rod and Gun Club president Grant "Bud" Hoffman. "This was a big shoot for us this year. Normally, we have about 18-20 squads, which is about 85-95 shooters. This year we had over 100."
Although many of the competitors were from other gun clubs, this year's High Overall Score crab buckle went to Del Norte's own Mac Robertson.
In order to qualify for the High Overall Score, shooters must shoot 500 targets throughout the weekend. Robertson hit 458 of them.
"When you get the high score overall, that means you have pretty much shot better than anyone there," Robertson said Friday. "It was not one of my highest scores, but it was enough for that day to do what needed to be done."
It was the first High Overall crab buckle for Robertson, who estimated he has won about seven buckles in the event's history.It was also the first time that a Del Norte Rod and Gun Club member has won the top buckle in several years. Although Hoffman didn't know exactly how long, he estimated it had been about 10 years since a local last took the High Overall buckle.
Robertson thought the poor weather conditions may have given him a little home-field advantage over shooters traveling in for the weekend.
"The wind was kind of crappy," Robertson said. "There were a bunch of shooters from Redding, and typically their weather is pretty decent, I'm sure that kind of messes with them a little bit. We are kind of used to it over here because rain is just an everyday thing."
The Del Norte Rod and Gun Club would like to thank the many volunteers who helped make the event a success.
"We have a lot of volunteers that worked very hard to get this tournament ready and put it on," Hoffman said. "The shooters know that we are going to put on a quality shoot and I think that is another reason why they come."
The next competition will be held in June. Hoffman encourages anyone interested in giving trapshooting a try to head out to the club.
"Just come out and show an interest," he said. "There will be somebody that will step up and help them."
The Del Norte Rod and Gun Club has guns available to borrow, it just asks that shooters bring their own ammunition. The club is open Sundays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Reach Michael Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org .