2012 WASP-B Schedule
Here is the 2012 WASP-B schedule. You can come shoot at any one of these even if that’s the only shoot you decide to try.
April 15: Bellevue
May 27: Nebraska City
July 8: Valley
July 15: Ashland
August 12: Lincoln T&S
September 2: Papillion
September 16: Finals at Bellevue
My father, Ed Divine, was an avid trap shooter. When I was a young boy, I’d play “army” with the silver and golden men shouldering their shotguns that he had taken off the trophy pedestals won over the years, many before I was even born. He enjoyed loading his own shotgun shells and had worked for a time for Western Gun and then Pacific Tool Company (of Pacific Reloader fame) before it was purchased by Hornady.
Each summer for over 40 years he would shoot in the WASP-B trap shoot league (WASP-B => Wahoo, Ashland, Seward, Bellevue; I believe). He often said that the WASP-B was a little like a secret society because you almost had to know someone who shot the league who could tell you how to get to all the different trap clubs that are scattered around southeastern Nebraska.
He taught me to shoot, and my mom, too, and now we carry on the tradition each year. This post is dedicated to his love of the sport of trap shooting, and I hope he would be proud to see that I am trying to help others find their way into this still hard-to-find league.
Each summer there are six regular shoots, and one prize shoot. The location of the first shoot each year is also the location of the finals shoot, and it rotates to a different club each year. Each shooter picks a club to shoot for, and that club is responsible for handing out any special prizes for its best-in-class shooters. All ages are welcome; the WASP-B league is really a learning league for folks of all skill levels. It is very low-pressure and forgiving to newbies – a great place to try out the sport and meet some other shooters. You can shoot at just one, or two, or however many you want, and you don’t have to pre-register; just show up.
What to Expect
A typical trap shoot day begins at 8am on the Sunday of the shoot, although you can show up anytime up until 3pm to shoot. First, you find the club house and the folks taking the dues (cash or check only) [Note: don’t bring your gun into the clubhouse, and when you are carrying it around keep the action open and unloaded]. If you’ve shot before, you’ll have a registration card with your name and class on it (if not, ask them how to sign up). Show the card to the folks and pay your shooting fee (as of 2012 it is $11 per shoot). They’ll mark you down on a sheet with up to four other shooters; the group of you is called a “squad”. You may get to pick your post (your starting position), and if you are new to the sport pick any post except post 1, because that post is the squad leader who has a few minor responsibilities. They’ll also tell you your “house” or “trap”, which is the number of the low box on the ground where the blue rocks are slung out from. You can ask them how much wait-time to expect, they usually know if you need to hurry and get your gun or not.
Most of the clubs have a sign for which squad is shooting, and which squad is on deck, and most of the clubs have 5 or more squads shooting at the same time, so usually you won’t have to wait for more than one squad to finish.
When your squad is up, take your position at the 16-yard mark (the closest to the trap house) on the post your name marked by when you paid. There will be a score keeper who sits back a ways from the 16-yard who has the sheet and can tell you your spot if you forgot. Don’t put more than one shell in your gun, and generally don’t close your gun until the person to your left has fired. When it’s your turn, shoulder your gun, sight it around the top of the trap house, and say, “banana” and watch for the rock to fly. (Ok, actually it is more common to say “Pull” or “Yaaaaa” than “banana” – there are voice-activated automatic rock throwers at all the clubs now, so say whatever you like, but draw it out long and low so they pick up on your voice)
Limit your movements – try not to be turning around or bending down a lot, it’s distracting for everyone else on the line. Each shooter takes turns shooting once, then you repeat until you each have shot five shells. At that time, you all move to the next post to your left and the score keeper calls out how many rocks you broke out of the last five. Once you shoot at all posts, 25 shots total, you take a break and go back to the gun stand to get another box of shells ready. After about 5 minutes, you come back to the post you started on and shoot another 25. And then your done! You can go home at that point, but I’d recommend getting some pie and a cup of coffee before you go.
On the final shoot of the year you will be assigned to a 25-person group that is also called a class. Don’t confuse this class with the class listed on your card, it is just the group’s designation. It does, however, indicate how well you’ve done that year because the 25 shooters with the best season average go into class A, followed by the next 25 in class B, and so on. The good news is that if there are say 13 classes (A to M, say), then there will be 13 prize tables with nearly identical prizes. So, you are competing with people within your range where the person in your class that day who gets the best score gets to pick their prize first, followed by the second best, and so on. I think they sometimes have shoot-offs, but it may be for best overall or best veteran – I’m not sure, and I’ve obviously never been in one!