CEDAR FALLS — Saturdays are always a big day at the annual Iowa State Trapshoot on the State Association Grounds in Cedar Falls.
It’s a day that typically brings out the best for the Iowa Championship Singles event, and it’s an event that brings out the best in area sponsors like Pat Rooff.
Rooff has been at Pat’s Auto Salvage for 42 years. He took up his first shotgun for clays six years ago and has hardly set his gun down since.
“I first shot at clays out in a field six years ago, and they threw the birds by hand,” Rooff said. “I was hooked immediately and knew I wanted to do more.
“I am a lifetime member of the Cedar Falls Gun Club and a lifetime member of the ISTA. When they called me and asked if I would be interested in a sponsorship three years ago, I said yes right away and have never regretted the decision.”
Rooff takes part in the annual shoot now and although his scores are in the modest, it’s the atmosphere that he enjoys most.
“It is like family here, like a big family reunion,” said Rooff. “You look around at these guys here that shoot, sure they want to do well, but it is about getting together with friends and having a great time.
“I just do it for the fun of it ... oh and Kay Strauss’s cheesecake. It’s unbelievable, almost too good to eat. But that is the point I’m making. Everybody is welcome here. It doesn’t matter where you work, what you drive or what you shoot. You are with friends and this is such a great sport that brings good people together.”
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This year’s shoot has brought together people from across the country, as well as Canada, England, the Czech Republic, New Zealand and Australia.
Cooper Mooney of Australia made his first trip to the United States to take part in the shoot and to celebrate his 21st birthday. He splashed 93 birds in doubles.
“I have been shooting for eight years now but always down under,” Mooney said. “Things are a little different here and I wanted to see how you shoot. Down there we shoot 100 a day and they travel a wee bit faster and at a harder angle, but it is all good.
“I was very excited to make my first trip to the states because I have heard a lot about it from these blokes over there,” Mooney said pointing at his entourage that made the trip with him. “This is a very nice place you have here and the people are so friendly. People just come up to say ‘Hi’ and introduce themselves. It is awesome. This is just a fun place to be.”
Frazer Roberts is part of Mooney’s group. He has taken part in the Grand Nationals in Illinois, but is making his debut here in Iowa.
“I have shot the Grand for six years, and I have always heard about how great it was over here,” Roberts said. “So far this shoot has lived up to that. Everyone’s so friendly, but they all talk with an accent. A mate of mine said that this is like a big duck shoot except I don’t have to go pick up the birds.”
The shoot wraps up Sunday.