member highlights and achievements

This section is dedicated to providing a profile of club members and their achievements in the sport of Trap and Skeet shooting. 

If you would like to suggest a club member that we should profile please provide your input to Kent Koshkarian – either in person or by e-mail.

 

George Beres - PSTC Life Member  
My love for firearms was instilled in me by my Father. He always loved guns and kept them in the house for protection and target shooting.  My first experience with shooting was with a 22 cal. rifle and revolver. Our Dentist, Dr. Clyde Shawgo, had his office over our candy store and he persuaded my Father to let him take me to a local trap shoot.  After watching the shooters, I couldn’t wait until I could talk to my dad into buying me a used shotgun so I could shoot too.  I was a Junior in high school and was hooked on trap shooting.

My first registered shoot was the 1946 State Shoot in Edwardsville. I was 18 and just out of school. I had acquired a Rem. 31 pump that I bought from our dentist. I broke a 94 from the 16 yard line.

In 1948, with more experience, I broke a 97 at the Shore Acre Gun Club in Chillicothe.  I joined Peoria Skeet and Trap Club that year at the urging of Dr. Shawgo who thought I would enjoy being a member.  In 1949, I also bought an ATA Life Membership for $25.  I never shot skeet competitively although I shot practice and club events.  It came in handy prior to hunting season each year.

We had a great little club on the river, but soon outgrew it.  The move to our present location has been a great improvement.  Large shoots and the facilities made our club one of the best in the state.  Ben Benedict, Harold Doubet, and Jim Foutch were the driving force behind the move to Spring Bay.  Our Senior Trap boy, Bill Fisher from Metamora, organized all of the trap help for shoots and practice.  He later became a doctor, served eight years in the Army returning to open a practice in Pekin where he has been our family doctor ever since.  Our club has been blessed with many great shooters over the years, Becky, her Dad and Grandfather, Ed Dean, Esther Schmidt, Ed Witcus, Dale Ritthaler, Temple Ohl, Dick Jost, and a host of others. 

Most of my accomplishments occurred in the 60’s and 70’s.  In ’62, I won the Doubles, Handicap, and HOA in the club shoot and repeated the Doubles win a few years later.  All of my trophies are gone, but the memories remain.  After 11 years as Trap Chairman, I eased back and worked on my golf game.  I still shoot practice with friends, drink coffee, and schmooze with the guys.  I am proud to be a member of Peoria Skeet and Trap Club for the last 66 years.      (Recorded in 2014)  

   
Chuck Mellott - PSTC Life Member  

In 1951, I started shooting trap. I joined Peoria Skeet and Trap Club. Two years later I started shooting skeet. At one time, I was on the AA five man Illinois State Champion team. Another year I was on the A Class five man Illinois State team. I have won several shoots at different clubs over the years. I made the Zone 5 team one year.

In 1964, I took up trap again. I have stayed with it for the rest of my shooting career. I made the Illinois State team four different times which I thought this was great and made me very happy. Many good shooters have never made the team and others have made it many times. It has been long enough that I have forgotten what years that I made the team.

I have won trophies in every state shoot that I have participated in at one time or another. I have won numerous trap shoots in Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa. I won four trophies in two days at the satellite Grand in El Reno, Oklahoma and several trophies in Arizona and Florida.

Considering the hundreds of trophies that I have won over the years, I enjoyed winning my class doubles championship at the Grand American when I was 82 years old.

I have attended the Illinois State shoot for 50 plus years and the Grand American for 50. (Recorded in 2014)

   
Becky McCumber - PSTC Life Member  
Becky is the granddaughter of Carl Stutzman and daughter of Al Stutzman, long time members of Peoria Skeet and Trap Club and very accomplished skeet shooters representing our club for many years.

  Becky started shooting competitively in 1973.  She has amassed 229,200 registered skeet targets through 2014.  She has garnered many titles over the years.  Open Illinois State titles number six including the High Over All championship in the last year she was a resident of Illinois.  She’s made the Illinois State team numerous times over the years.  Becky was inducted into the Illinois Skeet Shooting Hall of Fame in 1995.  She won the Zone 5 Doubles Championship in 1992.

At the National level, Becky has two Open Mini World titles and broke a 400x400 in the Mini in 1999.  In the Main Events that year, Becky broke a 647x650.  She has captured numerous Ladies State and National titles along the way. Becky has been named to the Ladies All American team as Captain eight times and has made the team every year beginning in 1983.  Becky has the Ladies long run record in Doubles at 259 and in the 12 ga. at 1,183.  She was inducted into the National Skeet Shooting Hall of Fame in 2003.

Becky has shot 13 career 100 straights in the 410.  In 2012, at the Poco Loco (an all 410 shoot) in St. Joe, IN, Becky broke a 397x400 to win HOA RU for the shoot.  She won one of the four 410 events that weekend with a 100 straight.

When not on the road heading to another major shoot, Becky can be found at Peoria Skeet and Trap just hanging out and shooting practice. (Updated in 2014)

Ed Dean - PSTC Life Member  

I first became involved with the Peoria Skeet and Trap Club in 1964 at age 13 when the club moved to its present location.  I started working as a trap boy and soon got the chance to try shooting when Ben Benedict gave me shells and let me use his Browning over and under.  I continued shooting and started shooting registered skeet in 1968.  Over the years I served as skeet chairman from 1975 until today where I have coordinated the annual 3-I shoot, several Illinois state shoots and several ACUI collegiate shoots.  I have served on the Peoria board of directors for over 35 years  in the role of President, Vice President, Secretary, and 28 of those years as Treasurer.  I was also the first full-time Manager of the club from 1985 until 1989.  Besides my work with the Peoria club I served one term as President and one term as Vice President of the Illinois State Skeet Association and 5 two-year terms as state director to the National Skeet Shooting Association.

In shooting, my first gun championship was with the 12 gauge in 1971 at Decatur Soya shoot where I ran 100 straight and beat several All American shooters in a 12 man shoot-off.  I went on to win gun championships across the mid-west at Palos, Northbrook, Davenport, Quincy, St Louis, Louisville, Des Moines, Waukesha and Fort Wayne.  I have won gun titles at 4 Zone shoots and 13 State shoots including my most recent with a 100 straight in 410 at Peoria in 2014.  I have been on All State Teams almost every year from 1975 to the present.  My biggest win though came in 2002 becoming just the 6th shooter to break 650 out of 650 at the World Shoot in San Antonio, Texas.  I won the HAA event with 650, the HOA event with 550 out of 550 and beat 26 of 27 shooter for runner-up with 100 straight in the 410 event.  Another big accomplishment was having the highest average in the World with the 12 gauge in 1982.  The average was 99.83 with 1,198 out of 1,200.

In 1982 I was inducted into the Illinois Skeet Hall of Fame and have shoot 214,350 registered targets as of now in my shooting career.  Besides my World Championships, one of my biggest moments was shooting with Becky McCumber and Chris Phelps when they broke their 400 out of 400 HOA’s and being there when my brother, Jack Dean, was awarded his Illinois Skeet Hall of Fame plaque. (Recorded in 2015)



 
     
Earl Sheets - PSTC Life Member  
I began shooting trap at Peoria Skeet and Trap Club in the early 1970’s.  When I became a member, I didn’t just join the club, I “adopted” it.  Not one to sit back, accustomed to supervising huge construction jobs, I volunteered, made suggestions, and worked on projects and issues.

In the 70’s, I was instrumental in organizing the college shoot which was sponsored by Bradley University.  I took off from work the week of the shoot every year and spent that time doing whatever needed to be done to make the shoot successful.

I have served many terms on the Board over the past 35 years.  Having shot competitively both skeet and trap, I have been able to address issues fairly for both sports keeping the best interests of the entire Club in mind.

In addition to terms on the Peoria Skeet and Trap Club Board, I also served as President three times.  I also served two terms as State Director from the Central Zone.  I have spent endless hours on big projects and daily operations of the Club, including working behind the counter and cleaning the kitchen.

Every summer finds me wrapped up in the trap league, shooting on at least one team and helping out with anything that needs to be done.

For me, it’s always been about my love for the shooting sports and for this club.  I’ve helped promote our Club by working at booths at gun shows or just talking up the Club at the local coffee shop.  Recently, I became involved in “Youth Shooting” by instructing and helping raise funds to keep the program affordable for the kids. (Recorded in 2014)  

   
Charles Roth - PSTC Life Member  
The first time I shot a shotgun was at the Peoria Skeet and Trap Club in the early or mid 1950s.  I was 12 or 13 years old, attending a birthday party for one of my friends whose father was a PS&T club member.  The Club was then located on property to the North side of the two lane Murray Baker Bridge, Peoria side of the river.  To me and the other kids it was a big deal!

Over my objection, my parents insisted I wear a suit and tie to this birthday  party, as I did to most every other birthday party. To the other kids I looked like a geek.  A small geek at that. So I had to perform well.

Each kid in the party got to shoot a real .410 shotgun, probably SxS, make unknown, at standard clay targets thrown by a hand operated trap.  Two real targets.  One at a time.  Two shots each kid.

I went straight.  I was the only kid to do so.  And even if others did too, that was and is my story.  I loved it!  I got to show off in front of my friends!  Dust balls!  (I was hooked.)  Guns, shells, explosions, utter destruction of targets.  I was really hooked! 

Then interruptions:  High School, college, law school and US Army  (USAREUR,DCSPER).  Started law practice in Peoria in 1969.

It was not until twenty years after my “.410 HOA, COC under the bridge” (early 70’s) that I shot again at the club’s present location.  Skeet and trap both.  I bought a brand new ITB Rem 870, 12 Ga.. field gun.  Bought for quail hunting with my father-in-law.  I joined the club for practice.  Then a MEC reloader.  Then a succession of used trap and skeet guns followed.  Then it got serious.

Registered skeet.  Rem 1100, S&W skeet special (loved that gun) and finally a K80 from Kohler, on the excellent advice of Ed Dean.  Combining work with pleasure, I dragged that gun and tube set case across the US to shoot in many registered shoots.  From California (Redlands Gun Club) to Florida (Royal Palm Beach).  And many places in between.  With moderate success.  Loved it!

Registered trap followed.  Then the trap leagues.  You know the story.  Now, there is nothing new in any part of this history.  I suspect all dedicated shooters have similar experiences. 

One of the common threads will be the enduring friendships that are developed over many years, of failures and successes.  Trophies are nice, but absent the friends none of this would be done.  Some say we all secretly still like to do well in front of our friends and others.  I like to do well all the time, but mostly with my friends.

So, I went straight the first time I shot a shotgun, with my friends ... in a suit and tie at Peoria Skeet and Trap Club. (Recorded in 2015)

   

Carl Stutzman - Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame Inductee 2011

 
Carl "Pappy" Stutzman was the best skeet shooter's this city and state saw during the 1930s to 1970. Five times he was a member of Jimmy Robinson Sports, field senior or veteran, All-American skeet team. Stutzman estimates he has won over 500 trophies and medals during his 38 years of competitive shooting. He participated in every national tourney from 1954 to 1970. He registered at least 7 perfect 100 competition scores in national competition.

In 1961, at age 71, Stutzman won his first veteran world championship. Except for two years in 1963 and 1967 when he failed to show in the world standings, Stuzman has returned home with a veteran championship medallion.

"Pappy" posted an impressive score in 1968 at the age of 78. He missed only two of 350 birds in the 12 and 20 gauge guns, getting 99 x 100 in the 20 gauge and 249 x 250 with the 12 gauge.

Stutzman lauds his shooting in the 1962 Illinois State Championship as one of his greatest performances. He won the .410 title with 95 and returned to the line to break 98 in the 28 gauge. He beat Bob Shuley, the world junior sensation in a shoot off for the championship. He was 72 at the time.

He co-founded the Peoria Skeet and Trap and helped build it into one of the finest such facilities in the country. He has been not only president of Peoria Skeet and Trap, but president of the state association twice.

Carl "Pappy" Stutzman, who has won world championships 17 times in 10 different years will have his legacy live on as one of the best skeet shooter's of his time. (Recorded in 2011)