Art Wheeler was a legendary local sportsman and a wonderful father, friend and mentor. Each year, one of the shooting Clubs I belong to faces off against Gulph Mills Golf Club to shoot for the coveted Wheeler Cup, named for this well loved gentleman. The competition takes place at Gulph Mills Golf Club. The format is a wobble trap with 5 shooting stations configured in an inverted "V" away from the trap house. Each gun shoots 5 clay birds per station....3 singles and a double. The birds are thrown by a live trapper rather than an automatic house. The birds can be extremely challenging...especially the double because you do not know when it is coming. Each Club has some damn fine shots on their roster. Perfect runs of 25 are not that rare. I have never shot a straight round but have my share of 24's and 23's.
This year my Club beat Gulph Mills. It was a close shoot and we won by 3 birds. Gulph Mills has won several years in a row so it was particularly gratifying for the Cup to come back to us.
One of the finest shots on our team is the fetching young lady pictured below. Jane is the daughter of my hunting buddy Ned. She has been featured here before and her high level of skill bears mentioning again. Jane shoots clay target competitively on a Regional/National level. When most Junior High girls are cavorting about a local Mall with their faces pinned to their smart phones, Jane has her cheek pressed to the burnished walnut stock of a fine Beretta over/under. She is not concerned about when to schedule a manicure...but rather which chokes to use for a Sporting Clay stand. That is not to say she is not feminine...one look shows her stunning outdoorsy good looks....matched by her good nature.We were fortunate to have her shoot for us this year and she may well have tipped the balance of the day.
An other fine addition to our team is the young man on the left in the last photo. That is Peter, the son of another waterfowl-mad friend of mine. Peter attends an Ivy League school but makes time during Winter Break to chase ducks and geese with us. He is another crack shot and helped tilt the balance. He is a fine pool player as well. Indeed, down at our duck hunting club over Christmas week he took me to school on the table despite his ungainly and unorthodox style with a pool cue.
It is great to shoot with these kids. Likewise, it is refreshing to see the traditions passed on to the next generation.