By Kevin Tate/Outdoors Writer
About 50 of the best competitive shotgun shooters in Mississippi are expected to take part in the annual state championship skeet shoot, set for this weekend at Whitetail Ridge Outdoors in Blue Springs. The event is open to the public both for viewing and for competitive entry.
Brian Rishel, of Ripley, a six-time high overall state champion skeet shooter and competitor in this weekend’s event, said the state skeet championship is fairly informal as far as entry is concerned.
Competitors must be members of the state and national skeet shooting associations and pay a nominal entry fee, but they can join both while registering for this weekend’s event if necessary.
It is not a requirement to have won or placed in any skeet shooting event prior to the open championship. Anyone not already familiar with the event who is interested in registering should call Clark Hartness at 324-5353 or go online to msskeet.org.
Shooters in the state championship event compete for titles in 12, 20 and 28 gauge and .410 bore categories, and the shooter with the highest aggregate from those four wins the high overall championship, the top prize.
Last year’s high overall winner, Caile Bradham, currently a senior at Tupelo High School, is the youngest such in the history of the state champion-ships, records for which go back as far as 1947. He also claimed the top prize in both the 20 gauge category, which contributed to high overall, as well as the doubles shoot held each year in Friday’s preliminary round.
The doubles event, in which shooters attempt to break two targets instead of one at each opportunity, was added to the state championships in 1982 and doesn’t contribute to the race for high overall score. Traditionally it’s held on Friday and conducted for fun. The main shoot gets started in earnest Saturday morning and continues through Sunday.
Whitetail Ridge Outdoors is located at 444 Birmingham Ridge Road.
Boy Scout Classic
The Boy Scout Clay Classic, held Aug. 26 and 27 at Camp Yocona, was a resounding success again this year committee members report. The event is a key fundraiser for area Boy Scouts of America efforts and a total of receipts for this year will be forthcoming soon.
As with years past, scouts’ participation in shooting opportunities surrounding the 2011 event allowed many to qualify for merit badges, and many more to simply take part in a new and exciting element of the outdoors.