One after another, bright orange discs shattered in midair Saturday at the county landfill, felled by shotgun blasts from about two dozen participants in the Jerry Cady Busta Clay Youth-Mentor trap shoot.
“This was outstanding,” Brad Cady said. “Dad would’ve been very happy.”
Marion insurance broker Jerry Cady died last October, and an event bringing adults and kids together was a fitting tribute for the avid outdoorsman, his son Brad Cady said.
“We started hunting since we could walk,’ he said. “That’s why we did it, because Dad loved to take the grandkids and take us. I think it’s good for every kid to go out and do the same thing.”
It was the first time Marion County Quail Forever has had an event devoted exclusively to trap shooting, president Torey Hett said.
“We’ve done hunter safety and we do clay pigeons at the youth day we put on in memory of Steve Hett and Scott O’Dell in May,” he said, “but we also have archery and pellet guns at that.”
Serious shooting mixed with light-hearted banter as participants moved among four shooting stations, each offering unique challenges, and clever quips were aimed at shooters who let clays land unscathed.
Jerry Cady’s influence was evidenced by the sharpshooting success of 12-year-old grandson Jake Jost of Haysville. Jake’s 20-gauge shotgun was Jerry’s gun until he gave it to the youngster.
“I just like it so much,” Jake said. “We’ve been practicing. I’ve shot clay pigeons two other times.”
Jake said he started shooting turkeys with a .410 when he was 8 or 9, and likes to hunt turkey and geese. He’s also bagged three deer.
“Youth deer season opened up and we were going out yesterday, but we didn’t see anything,” he said.
Shooting clay pigeons isn’t quite as challenging as hunting wild game, Jake said.
“It’s kind of easier when you know where they’re coming from; it’s fun, I like it,” he said.
Will Alleven also learned how to shoot when he was about 9. Now 13, he said the station he liked best was one along a hedge row with double clay targets.
“I’ve been out trap shooting before,” he said. “I don’t shoot a lot, though.”
Eleven mentor-youth pairs took a little over an hour to rotate through the four stations, followed by an open shooting period until the clays ran out.
Quail Unlimited provided clays, shotgun shells, earplugs, shirts, and breakfast. While the event was planned for 50 participants, Hett said the smaller turnout “seemed about right,” and that they would consider limiting registrations for next year’s shoot.
After squeezing off a couple of final shots, Brad Cady was pleased with how the event turned out.
“I think this was outstanding,” he said. “Dad would’ve been very happy.”