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Fall "Chili Classic" October 30, 2022 N.O.A. Final FT Match of the Season

(Match Report by Tyler Patner)

As the 2022 Field Target season comes to a close here in Ohio, there is a lot to be thankful for and to look forward to. We are fortunate to have cultivated an active community in the state that gives shooters the opportunity to shoot nearly every weekend between May and October. We are also fortunate to have great local airgun companies that graciously support both the clubs and the sport. And we are fortunate for the fellowship and participation we see on a monthly basis here at NOA.

Typically, the last match of the year is rather cold and participation dies off a little bit. But not this year. 35 shooters descended upon the Twin Oaks Air Rifle Range for our highest attendance monthly match of the year. Part of the reason for this is thanks to the Buckeye Field Target series that was coming to a close. This match was the final opportunity of the year to earn gift cards (thanks to Baker Airguns and Pyramyd Air) and bragging rights for the next year.

The woods course was set very similarly to the Burning River 120 layout, with a few target placements changed to add variety. The course was a 32.1T with 18 targets over 40 yards. It should be noted that the leaves have begun to fall here in Northeast Ohio and a fair amount of the “cover” that may protect your pellet from the wind was now on the ground. But there were still enough leaves to act as a good wind indicator from lane to lane. The benefit for many shooters to having the leaves off of the trees, is that there is considerably more light on the course. This makes ranging targets a little easier, and certainly makes locating targets much quicker. I should note that our setup intentionally featured nearly all 1.5” and 1” kill zones.

We did have a little hiccup with one of the targets that didn’t seem to fare well over the colder evening, but outside of that, the shoot ran smoothly and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Making our way around the course, there was a slight amount of wind that the 12 FPE shooters needed to take into account, but nothing major. As the day progressed, a bit more wind crept into the woods, which I believe gave some of the high power shooters something to think about as well. About halfway through the course, I took note of something very unusual in Field Target, relative newbie Greg Baker in Hunter PCP was shooting the course clean. In just his third match, he was through the offhand lane without having missed a single shot. It was very impressive, and while he didn’t maintain it, he did post a damn good score and I suspect he will be up at the top of the scoreboard consistently next season.

As shooters came off of the line, they were treated to an assortment of chili that has become something of a tradition at our last club match of the season. We began tabulating both the match scores, and Buckeye standings for end of the year awards. For the match, we had three shooters post 58/60. Bill Rabbitt and Jeff Little tied for the top spot in Hunter PCP, and yours truly also managed to turn in a 58 in WFTF PCP. In Hunter Piston, Dan Putz continued his impressive work with the piston guns this season, posting a 48. Roger Barker took the top spot in Open PCP with a 47. Jeff Paddock edged Matt Uhler by just one shot with a 46 in WFTF Piston. And in Unlimited, Rick Smelko topped the field with a 57.

1st Place Hunter PCP

1st Place Hunter Piston

2nd Place Hunter Piston

1st Place WFTF PCP

1st Place WFTF Piston

Interestingly, the Buckeye Series scores were shaken up a bit, particularly in Hunter PCP, where the top 5 shooters would receive awards. For those that don’t know, the Buckeye series requires shooters to qualify by shooting one match at 4 of the 5 clubs here in Ohio. The number of qualified shooters at the end of the year, determines how many places are awarded. Bill Rabbitt ran away with the title, posting two 59s in the process and coming out with the highest end of the year total we have seen to date, 233/240. The real shake up happened in spots 2-5. Jeff Little’s impressive 58 catapulted him into second place with a 226, just two shots ahead of Justin Roberts. Mike Gann was only two shots behind Justin with a 222, and Jeff Swartz took 5th place with a 218.

In Hunter Piston, Dan Putz took the top spot, squeaking by Eric Jones who made a great late season run trying to catch Dan. His 185 was just two points better than Eric, to secure the $500 gift cards from Baker and Pyramyd. Open PCP was absolutely dominated by Keith Walters, posting a 226 for the year. Open Piston was won by yours truly (Tyler Patner) with a 204, as were WFTF Piston (203) and WFTF PCP (227), netting $1500 in gift cards to both Pyramyd and Baker. We had enough shooters in both WFTF divisions to get second place awards. In WFTF PCP, Keith Walters posted a 215 to secure his $300 gift cards and in WFTF Piston, Matt Uhler shot a 192 for $300 gift cards of his own.

Dennis Baker was on hand to help distribute awards, and I really need to extend a massive THANK YOU to Dennis (as do all of the shooters here in Ohio), because it was Dennis’ idea to sponsor the Buckeye Series with gift card awards. Not to mention, Baker Airguns annually donates gift cards for clubs to use as awards or raffle items throughout the year. His support of airgun shooting here in Ohio is absolutely phenomenal. And we also need to thank Val Gamerman, President of Pyramyd Air. After I spoke with Dennis about how much he wanted to put up for the Buckeye Series, I asked Val if he (and Pyramyd) would match it and without hesitation he agreed.

A big thank you also needs to be extended to Anne and Ashley Reily for allowing us the use of their property to host our matches. Without their support, NOA simply would not exist today. And it’s with their continued support that I am very pleased to announce that NOA will be hosting the 2023 AAFTA Nationals next season! We are very excited and plan to put on a first class shoot. Dates will be decided here in the next month or two, but we certainly hope that you will all make plans to attend.

We look forward to seeing you in 2023 for more fun and field target. Hopefully everyone out there has a safe and happy holiday season, surrounded by family and friends. We will see you on the lanes very soon!


Buckeye Field Target Series 2022 Awards

1st Place Hunter PCP

1st Place Hunter Piston

1st Place Open PCP

1st Place Open Piston

1st Place WFTF PCP

2nd Place WFTF PCP

1st Place WFTF Piston

2nd Place WFTF Piston


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