Local News

Friday, Apr 01 2011 04:00 PM

Clay shoot aims to raise money for charity

  1. 1 of 6

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Ron Rouell, who maintains the machines at the Kern County Gun Club, helps Tish Roach with some shotgun shooting techniques during the Association of Petroleum Wives Charity Sporting Clay Shoot. The fundraiser is to help benefit the Adult Literacy Council and the Bakersfield Community Theater.

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  2. 2 of 6

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Jennifer Hadaway loads some shells into her shotgun, Friday, at the Kern County Gun Club during shooting competition.

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  3. 3 of 6

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Clare Gilliam is happy after having a good shoot Friday at the gun club.

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  4. 4 of 6

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    These three competitors ride from station to station Friday at the Kern County Gun Club during the Association of Petroleum Wives Charity Sporting Clay Shoot.

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  5. 5 of 6

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Gary Hadaway takes a few shots during Friday's competition and fundraiser for the Adult Literacy Council and the Bakersfield Community Theater at the Kern County Gun Club. Dozens of spent shotgun shells are seen on the ground close by.

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  6. 6 of 6

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    A team of shooters advance to the next station during Friday's competition and fundraiser at the Kern County Gun Club.

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BY JASON KOTOWSKI, Californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

Two clay targets were flung into the air, one shortly after the other, and as two pops were heard, one of them exploded into fragments.

"I got it!," yelled Tish Roach, a relative novice to skeet shooting and organizer of the fundraiser that brought more than 100 people to the Kern County Gun Club Friday morning.

The money raised by the event is going to charity -- the Kern Adult Literacy Council and Bakersfield Community Theatre -- but that didn't mean Roach and others weren't feeling the competitive spirit.

Participant Clare Gilliam seemed a little frustrated until she nailed a target. After hitting it, though, she said "I would do (skeet shooting) again."

The Association of Petroleum Wives Charity Sporting Clay Shoot, now in its ninth year, attracted 27 teams of four to the gun club, Roach said. Each participant paid $90 to shoot targets at the club's 20 stations.

Brendon Bradley thought the turnout was great. He was having a good time and was hitting a little less than 50 percent, he said. Although he practiced shooting quite a bit in his teens, now he only does it about once a year.

"It's all about the follow through," Bradley said of making a successful shot. "You have to keep the gun moving the entire time."

Gun Club President Jim Kirkley said the club hosts a variety of fundraisers throughout the year. There's something about holding and firing a gun that people enjoy, he said.

Hitting targets is particularly challenging in skeet shooting, because they're thrown from different angles at each station, Kirkley said. The targets also come in three different sizes, some smaller but thicker, others bigger but thinner.

Kirkley's advice to first-timers?

"Have fun with it," he said. "Don't take it too seriously."

Gilliam, however, had a different take.

"Wear ear plugs," she said. "And hold on tight."

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