CEDAR FALLS—When Evan Ingalls finished his day at the 141st Iowa State Trapshoot, he wasn’t sure what he had just won, but he knew it was something.
Ingalls dropped 94 birds in the Junior class and felt like that was good enough to win a trophy. What he did not realize was by the end of the day, his score was top gun and he was awarded the Johnny Jahns traveling trophy given to shooters that reside in Iowa.
“When they came up to me and said congratulations you won the Johnny Jahns trophy, I just looked at them, then turned to my dad and asked what that was,” Ingalls said. “No one really had an answer for me but when I did find out it made it more worthwhile to win.”
Jahns was a Hall of Fame shooter from Spirit Lake who captured several titles back in the early 1900s, before retiring and making the Hall.
“I just wanted to go out and shoot my best, and to be able to take this trophy home with me means a lot,” he said. “I am very happy with this and I hope I can collect more the rest of the week.”
Ingalls will head home to Bancroft to celebrate his winnings when the shoot draws to a close Sunday.
For other shooters, the time to celebrate is immediate as they partake in the ‘Beer Camp’ festivities that have become an annual occurrence since 2005.
“We actually started a get together pot luck thing with a few other couples back in 2000,” founder Steve Manary said. “Terry Elder, Mike Yoder and myself, got this idea to have a get together after each day to just talk about what happen that day, and have a few beers and just relax. Then each year we poured a little more until 2010, and we have a nice set up here.”
As the ‘Beer Camp’ began to grow in numbers, Manary, a native of North Liberty, began creating T-shirts for each year as a special keepsake for all those in attendance. In 2008, during the devastating floods that covered the grounds and filled the trap houses, Manary adopted a turtle to be on each shirt that would symbolize the main event of that year.
The turtle’s slogan on that year’s shirt was “I survived the flood of ‘08.” This year’s turtle is wearing a red hat with the saying “Make beer camp great again” in reference to President Trump’s slogan.
“It is not a pro or against for Trump it is just something that was popular this year and we used it,” said Manary. “This has gotten to be a great way to end each day with friends old and new. We make fun of each other, we congratulate each other and we just have so much fun together after a day of shooting. It is such a great camaraderie between both men and women and it keeps growing.”
The ‘Beer Camp’ members have been giving back to their sport as well, as they raise money to help improve the grounds and make their sport better. They have been able to raise money for two new traps on the grounds and plan on doing more.
“I get to these shoots early and help with set up and anything else that they need help with,” said Manary. “We love to give back to the sport we love.”
Giving back has been easy for co-founder Mike Yoder, as he helped build camp with the idea that no one shoots if they have had a drink, even if they may be involved in a shoot off.
“Our golden rule is, if you have a drink, you are done shooting for the day,” Yoder said. “Safety first. We won’t let any one drive that has been in camp for the night because we don’t want anyone getting hurt.”
One of the newest members, and maybe the most welcomed addition, is Dean Cole, who joined four years a go as a cook.
“I love doing this because of all the great people you get to meet,” Cole said with a smile. “I have met so many awesome people, both men and women, since I got here and it has been (several) wonderful years.”
Cole cooked up pork chops for the family on Tuesday followed by a T-bone dinner Wednesday, with pork loin on the menu for Saturday.
“This is second to nothing,” said Cole. “Everybody here loves to shoot and talk about it at night. We have built quite a family here.”
The family, along with many other shooters from all walks of life, will participate in the Hawkeye Singles, President’s Handicap and Director’s preliminary doubles today with first blast at 9 a.m.