CEDAR FALLS — Charles Moen has a little trouble getting around the State Association Grounds at the Cedar Falls Gun Club.
It is not because Moen has turned the corner of 80 years, but the fact that he is so well known by so many shooters that are participating in the 143rd Iowa State Trap Shoot.
Moen cannot walk 50 feet without someone stopping him to reminisce about shoots in the past or youngsters stopping him for pointers on the correct way to shoot.
Moen does not shoot any more and the trek from Polk City to Cedar Falls takes a little out of him, but he would not miss the ‘Big Shoot’ for anything.
“I started shooting way back in ‘58 or ‘59 when I would hunt turkeys,” said Moen. “Then I was in Suribachi, Iwo Jima as an Army engineer attached to the Air Force. I loved it there and really didn’t want to leave. We would get together and have shooting competitions with M-1’s, carbines and 45’s. My favorite highlight from that was winning the carbine one in a shoot off. Then I came back home and started shooting competitively.”
Moen spent a lot of time with traps and later became director out at the range. While keeping order stored, Moen also shot and began collecting trophies of all categories. His last competitive shoot was in 2003, and he walked away with the singles championship busting 200 straight clays.
“I got out at the right time there,” smiled Moen. “I tell you there is no better place to be then right here on these grounds. It’s a good ole place and I have so many memories here. I’ve spent a lot of time here and met so many wonderful people from all over the world.
“I cannot hold a gun up anymore but it was great to get back here to see everyone, and Tulip (Moens chihuahua) loves everybody here.”
With Moen’s shooting skills are beginning to fade, he is excited to pass the torch onto the younger kids that have taken up the sport.
“Holey buckets there are a lot more youngsters shooting now and good for them,” said Moen.
Cannon Roberson is a promising young athlete that made the trip from Indianola with his family and will be taking home some impressive hardware.
Roberson has been shooting competitively for two years now and became the All-Around Iowa Handicap Champion this weekend with a 99.
“Me and my dad, Wes, have been shooting together for a long time but not traps,” said Roberson. “I love to watch and learn from some of the guys that have been shooting here for a long time.
You have free articles remaining.
“It’s kind of cool to hang out with them and my brother (Kyle), my mom Stacey and even my cousin Alanna who came down from South Dakota to watch me. They are my biggest supporters and they got to see me get my best score ever here today. I am so stoked to get home and show off my hardware.”
Sarah Jordan will be showing off her trophies as well after claiming runner-up in the 16’s handicap and then knocking down 96 targets for the Lady I championship.
“This was a good weekend for me and I am happy with what I shot,” said Jordan. “My dad got me started in this sport and I was hooked immediately. I shoot for Grand View College now and coming here to shoot State is awesome. Watching the number of women that have taken up such a mentally challenging sport is so rewarding. You watch their aura as they get ready to shoot and their confidence is so high.
“Coming here is like going to a family reunion,” added Jordan. “I get to see friends that I have not seen in a year and even get to make new ones. It’s just awesome.”
Levi Schuldt is the newest member to the shoot as he has just one month under his belt.
The Waverly native credits his grandpa Kim for getting him started.
“He was at weightlifting and I picked him up and we had some time to kill,” said Kim. “We went to the gun club to shoot and he enjoyed it.”
“I wanted him to learn the proper way to shoot and Grandpa Kim was the mentor he needed,” said Levi’s dad Luke.
Levi will begin to shoot for the Go-Hawks high school team in a year and can’t wait to show what he has learned.
“Safety first,” said Levi. “I don’t care to go to a waterpark or anything like that, I just want to shoot with my grandpa’s Browning BT 99.”
With the new blood flowing in and the older generation still firing away, ISTA president Steve Glasgow feels this years shoot was a very successful one.
“I think the weather was a huge factor in our numbers being down just a bit,” said Glasgow. “We are only down a little from last year because last year was such a good one and our numbers were very high and got us a Category six rating. I’m sure we will go back to a five but that still makes us one of the biggest shoots around.
“We could not do all of this however, if it were not for the fantastic staff we have working in the office,” added Glasgow. “Every one I have talked to has told me that it was a great week and they will be coming back. When they say that, you know it was a success.”