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Rain doesn’t deter shooters at Sauk Prairie’s 5x50 Eaglet

posted Jun 9, 2015, 9:57 PM by Henry Duwe   [ updated Jun 11, 2015, 11:42 AM ]
by Paul Friesen

The 10th Anniversary Bald Eaglet
Skeet Shoot was held on a rain-soaked Saturday (June 30, 2015) at Sauk Prairie Trap & Skeet. Yes, it’s hard to believe that the Eaglet is now 10 years old. This 250-target, 5x50 shoot was designed to be a warm-up for its big brother, the 2-day Bald Eagle 5x100 skeet shoot, often held the following month at Sauk. However, the strategy of shooting five events in a single day with unusually low fees has made both the Eaglet and the McPike Spring Opener (see Lee Thomas’ write-up below) popular among Wisconsin skeet shooters. Unfortunately at this year’s Eaglet, Mother Nature decided to water the earth that same day. Understandably, those not wanting to soak their guns or themselves decided to stay where it’s warm and dry or went shopping with the boss. But dedicated shotgunners appeared, some from as far away as Wausau and Milwaukee. Honor and glory go to the 18 brave skeet shooters, who carried on with the Eaglet’s tradition in less than ideal weather.

The 12G event started in a lazy mist, which quickly intensified into a steady rain. Fortunately, the temps hovered in the mid 60’s - so those of us used to shooting all winter felt like it was rather balmy that Saturday. Still, it helped to be an old duck hunter. Paul Friesen managed the only perfect 50 and won 12G CH. He was accompanied by Henry Duwe (48, A1), Randy Reihle (48, B1), Gary Wipperfurth (47, AA1), Jeff Renk (46, C1), Tom McDaniel (45, D1), and Anthony Snyder (33, E1). The 20G event came next and in precipitation that was steadier and heavier. Several shooters rightfully complained to the
shoot manager about throwing multiple targets at one time. It took considerable discussion to convince them that their problem was the result of big rain drops on their shooting glasses and that they should have just shot at the middlemost clay target. Considering the tempest, it’s amazing that a perfect score was recorded. Indeed, Gary Wipperfurth shot the only 50 and won 20G CH outright. He was followed by Bob St. Clair (49, B1), Paul Friesen (48, AA1), Henry Duwe (48, A1), Tim Asp (47, C1), and Chip Felland (39, D1). By the time the Doubles event rolled around, good rain gear – the kind that allows plenty of swing on fast rain-drenched crossers - was going for a premium price in the Clubhouse. Trouble was that nobody was selling. It was noted, however, that a few good chaps were lending their raincoats to shooters in the second rotation. Good boys! Top scores for the rainy Doubles event was a pair of 46’s by Greg Schweppe and Paul Friesen. Greg won the shoot-off by breaking a station four low house target just before it hit the stake and thus won Doubles CH in a well-deserved fashion! Friesen took A1, and was followed by Bob St. Clair (43, C1), Randy Reihle (41, B1), and James Parker (39, D1). Next, lunchtime in the Clubhouse was used to dry out guns and gunners. Nonetheless, the May showers had taken their toll - only eight shooters remained after lunch to stick it out for the last two events with the little guns.

The rain lightened up a bit for the 28G event. After the 8 shooters were finished, Henry Duwe had topped them all with a perfect 50 and was the Eaglet’s 28G CH. Henry accomplished this feat in his signature socks and sandals, all of which were completely rain soaked back during the 12G event. He was followed by Greg Schweppe (49, B1), Gary Wipperfurth (48, AA1), Bill Schultz (46, D1), and James Parker (42, C1). Then it happened – breaking every rule in the skeet book, the wind calmed and the skies almost cleared for the .410 event – mysteriously, those .410 targets were well behaved too. After the smoke had cleared, Paul Friesen took .410 CH with a 47. He was followed closely by Randy Riehle (46, B1), Henry Duwe (45, A1), and Bill Schultz (38, D1). When all the scores were totaled at day’s end, Paul Friesen won top honors as the Bald Eaglet’s HOA CH (194) and HAA CH (240). Henry Duwe was the HOA (191) and HAA runner-up (235). All-in-all, it was a memorable competition with lots of fun, despite Mother Nature. A special thanks to the pullers and shoot management team, including Henry Duwe (shoot organizer), Elise Duwe, Beth Maginnis, Margie Duwe, Bob Hutter, Gary Wipperfurth, Tom McDaniel, and others. We hope to see many shooters return to Sauk Prairie Trap & Skeet for the Bald Eagle (July 25-26) and the Wisconsin State Shoot (Aug. 28-30). Until then, be safe, shoot straight, and stay dry.
Henry Duwe,
Jun 9, 2015, 10:13 PM