by B.B. Pelletier

Would any of you be interested in starting a field target club in your area? Pyramyd Air is considering hosting a 5-day course on organizing, setting up and running a field target club. This will be a hands-on course, taught in northern Ohio, on site, for five full days. This first announcement is to see if there is sufficient interest for us to proceed with this plan.

    The curriculum

  • How to recruit new members
  • How to acquire equipment and supplies, including field targets, lumber, paint, materials for reset strings
  • How to locate and set up a field target course venue
    (setting up lanes, rest areas, sight-in range, public areas, safety fans)
  • How to shoot field target using AAFTA rules
  • How to set up a match
  • Hunter class competition
  • Duties of the Match Director
  • Duties of the Safety Officer
  • Setting up a sight-in range
  • Setting up field target lanes
  • How to organize a match
    (squads, scoring, food, safety, restrooms, etc.)
  • How to identify and emplace various types of field targets
    (leveling, different target heights, lighting, terrain considerations, testing, maintenance during the match)
  • Building permanent field target emplacements
    (concrete target bases, tree platforms)
  • How to handle alibis
  • Safety during the match
  • How to set up and run a club website
  • Club finances – how to pay for the equipment

This course will be scheduled for the end of August 2008 if there is enough interest. The cost to each student will be $100, plus expenses that include travel, meals and lodging. There will be two instructors, Tom Gaylord and Earl “Mac” McDonald. Tom is one of four founders of the successful DIFTA field target club, where he served for three years as Match Director. Mac was instrumental in running the matches after he joined the club. Classes will last all day at the field target site and into the evening in the motel where we all stay.

By the end of the course, each student will be qualified to organize their own field target club. We require each student to be an associate member of AAFTA, the American Airgun Field Target Association, which costs $25 for one year. The goal is for every graduate to start a new field target club, or to team with other graduates in their area for the same purpose.

Shooting in a field target match before taking the course is not a requirement. In fact, it doesn’t matter if you’ve even seen one. You’ll learn how to shoot field target in this course. If you’re already a field target competitor, you’ll learn how to set up and run a club in your area so others can enjoy the sport you already love.

The days will be spent setting up and running field target matches. Positions of responsibility will be rotated so every student will have the opportunity to be a Match Director. Evenings will be spent in the classroom, covering those subjects that are appropriate, including equipment maintenance.

Students may bring their own air rifles to the course with the advance permission of the instructors. If they cannot or do not wish to travel with their rifles, a rifle and scope will be provided, along with pellets. Only rifles suitable for field target will be used, but that will be subject to broad interpretation, allowing basic spring rifles like Gamo breakbarrels (except those capable of 1,200 f.p.s. or more) and the CF-X, the RWS Diana 48 and similar airguns. The rifles provided by Pyramyd Air will include PCPs and upscale spring rifles, as well as the less-expensive springers. Students may sample as many of the rifles as they wish during the course.

This course is not designed to teach how to shoot field target, though that is included. The goal of this course is for every graduate to create a new field target club in his area.

We’re very interested in your thoughts – especially if you think you might attend. We have to limit the course to 12 students. If the first one is successful, we’ll run other courses next summer.