Baldwinsville is one of those events that I had heard about for years but had never been able to attend due to Canadian Nationals and/or the Crosman competition. This year the weekend was free so I offered my time up to Dave Lee (out of Binghamton) to help out with the field target portion of the event.
This event seems to be mostly airgun people selling/trading in the large main building. But they also have kids in the 4H shooting sports program going through some competitions. This year there were 4 kids that came through...Rachael, Cayleigh, Spencer and Ashleigh. Rachael is the daughter of Nate, who Eric and I met at the Wyomoco 4H Pistol training earlier this year so he was here to see field target for the first time.
At 9:45 am Doug and I proceeded to set up the field target course and get it ready for the 11 am start. This also included 6 tents that Dave Lee had brought to help with the sun. The Quigley bucket challenge was also set up, but the Challenger they provided wasn't holding air so that didn't happen. After some confusion I decided that the kids would shoot the course and be scored 0 for a miss, 1 for a faceplate, and 2 for a knock down.
Rachael shot on Friday with her Crosman Challenger, which was NOT set up for field target, but she persevered and had a smile the whole time. Half-way through the course she realized she was focusing but not adjusting her elevation turret, so she pretty much missed everything before that. Eric, Paul, and Doug also stopped by on Friday to see what this was all about and help out as much as they could. We lowered the tents and cleaned up for the night at 5pm.
Doug and Betsy were wonderful and offered me a place to sleep so I wasn't traveling over an hour to get there/back each day so I got to spend some quality time with them after the shoot. We went to Heid's in Liverpool (maybe?) which is their "dive" (at my request) and then we had ice-cream. And it was a dive...sticking to the seats outside and probably 20 coats of paint on the tables, but I loved it. Was exactly what I had requested :)
Saturday started at 8 am, raising the tents and getting everything ready. This went quickly with Doug's help. Dave then provided a Crosman Discovery for the kids to use so I got that sighted in and made sure the numbers were ready. We had Caleigh, Spencer and Ashleigh shoot on Saturday. Caleigh did very well and has been a precision shooter with 4H for two years. Spencer did well but I'm not sure how long he had been shooting. As Spencer finished up shooting Ashleigh came by and I found out that they are brother and sister and apparently have a very competitive rivalry with Ashleigh declaring that "I'm much better than he is" followed by a grunt (maybe) from Spencer .
Having fired the warning shot, Ashleigh then started shooting and was definitely on target. I think she was the only one to have 11/12 per lane. She came so close to getting a clean lane but it wasn't to be this day. With 4 lanes left I start tallying her score realizing that she fired the warning shot so she probably wanted to know where she was. The "win" over her brother looked like it was within reach at her current pace. Then I looked and realized that Caleigh had the high score for the day and that also was within reach. I let her know what she had to get on the last two lanes and she went to town. The last lane was kneeling and would determine the outcome. She ended up getting 3 knockdowns and 3 face plates which secured her win over her brother and also her top score (by 3 points) with just a couple of minutes to spare before the 4 o'clock deadline.
We had visits from Glen Thomas, and Louis (Binghamton) and some others that came by (sorry, the day is a blur) to shoot the course and they all appeared to have some fun. Louis even traded his rifle in for a Gamo Urban.
Doug, Betsy, Glen, and I started tearing down the course at 4 pm and shortly after I looked over and Ashleigh and her mother were approaching. Thinking something was wrong I went over to see what was up. Nothing was wrong, Ashleigh's mother was speaking to her daughter and asking her how everything went and she wanted to make sure I knew that "Ashleigh said that shooting field target was the most fun she's had shooting ever". Well, of course I was thrilled to hear this as it makes all of the time I spend worth while to get this kind of feedback.
What a way to end the day.