Hitting the mark in 2017

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Mark Head, foreground, Jon Heinonen, shooting, Joe Morris and Bruce MacDonald on the trap line at the Pemi Fish & Game Club in Holderness which will hold its annual New Year's Day Shoot. Registration opens at 8 a.m. with shooting to start at 9. (Bea Lewis/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

 

Trap shooters celebrate the new year with skill and shotguns

By BEA LEWIS, For The Laconia Daily Sun

HOLDERNESS — While most people will still be snuggled warmly in their beds, the morning of Jan. 1, a group of hardy sportsmen and women will ring in the arrival of 2017 with a literal bang.

The Pemigewasset Valley Fish & Game Club, founded in 1941, will continue its annual tradition of hosting a New Year's Day Trap Shoot.

The sport dates back to 1750 in England, when live birds were used as targets, released from under hats. Trapshooting began in the United States in 1831, and glass balls came into use as targets in the 1860s. In 1880, domed disks made of clay were invented, and remain in use today.

Thanks to a NRA grant, the trap range located on Beede Road is equipped with a Pat-Trap launcher capable of hurling optic orange clay targets still referred to as "birds" at nearly 60 mph, creating a challenging target for shotgunners.

The technique for trapshooting is quite different from rifle or pistol shooting in which a single bullet is fired with enough time to accurately aim at a usually stationary target. Trapshooters fire hundreds of pellets at a time, at a target that is moving downrange in a hurry, and often quickly laterally, typically with less than a second to smoothly swing the barrel of the shotgun and squeeze the trigger.

Those who have mastered the sport generally refer to the process as "pointing" the shotgun rather than aiming it.

In groups of five, known as a squad, shooters rotate through five positions or stations, firing five shots, from a distance of 16 yards behind the trap house, at each station, for a total round of 25. Each squad will shoot five rounds, during the course of the event, for a total of 100 targets.

The local club utilizes a single trap machine which is enclosed within a traphouse, downrange from the shooters' shooting positions. The house protects the launcher from weather and also acts to obscure the machine's oscillating throwing position, assuring that participants never known exactly where the next bird will be thrown. Each shooting station is equipped with a speaker-shaped voice-activated receiver allowing the shooter to call for the bird by saying
"pull" causing the machine to launch the target. The trap machine oscillates randomly from left to right within a 45-degree arc (up to 27 degrees right and left of center), and at least a 34-degree arc, (up to 17 degrees right and left of center.)

The public is welcome to come and watch the event, but should bring shooting earmuffs or foam plugs to protect their hearing and dress appropriately for the weather. Registration for participants opens at 8 a.m., with shooting to begin at 9. There will be chili, stew, and hot beverages available for those who attend.

Andy Engler of Bristol, the club's trap committee chairman said it's been a busy season at the trap field, highlighted by the hiring of MT2 of Arvada, Colorado, to complete the lead reclaimation and soil remediation project as part of the Pemi's ongoing commitment to being good stewards of the more than 330-acres the nonprofit owns and manages.

For more information about the club including membership details visiting www.pemi.org or email Trap Chairman Andy Engler at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Directions to the Trap Range: From I-93, Exit 24, take Route 3 south for 0.8 of a mile into Ashland village, continuing left on Route 3 south for 2.6 miles to Route 175 north. Turn left on Route 175 and travel 1.7 miles to Hardhack Road, turn right and go 0.7 of a mile to Beede Road, bear right and proceed another 1.2 miles, see sign for Trap Range on the left.

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Phyllis Grant keeps score during last year's New Year's Day Trap Shoot. (Bea Lewis/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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Jodi Aboujaoude of Gilford is on target as he fires his semi-automatic shotgun and shatters the orange clay target down range as it flies at nearly 60 mph after been thrown from the trap house. (Bea Lewis/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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Fugitive still on run

Police hopeful Brouillard will turn himself in

BY ROGER AMSDEN, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN

FRANKLIN — Police continued their search Thursday for Ryan Brouillard, 33, of 21 Pleasant St., who remains at large after having been the subject of an intense manhunt which spanned several neighborhoods in the city Wednesday.
12-28 Philip BrouillardFranklin police Chief David Goldstein said Thursday afternoon that state and local police have been joined by FBI officers as well as members of the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force, in their search for Brouillard.
"I think we're getting close. We're asking for him to turn himself in," said Goldstein Thursday afternoon. The chief said that he had a long talk with Brouillard's father Wednesday and said that they are hoping to contact him through social media and arrange for him to surrender peacefully.
Goldstein said police were called to the Prospect Street area for a report of a domestic dispute around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, which escalated when Brouillard allegedly fired a gun into the air. He said some of the people were injured before the gun was fired, but did not give any further details.
"To clarify any rumors out there, no police officers were shot. However, the police officers did see a gun and a round was discharged," Goldstein said. "That's when the officers decided to back off, take up a tactical position and secure the area."
A SWAT team was called to the area and police dogs aided the search while a State Police helicopter circled over the area for most of Wednesday morning. Several streets were closed throughout the morning and some homes were evacuated.
Goldstein said that police consider Brouillard to be "armed and dangerous and should not be approached. If you see him please call 911." Those with information are encouraged to call Franklin police at 603-934-2535.
Brouillard, who is described as 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing 250 pounds, has green eyes and brown hair and was last seen wearing a blue hoodie.

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Parking ban criticized by some businesses

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Charlie St. Clair, the owner of the Laconia Antique Center, said he could not remember the city ever declaring a snow emergency and imposing a parking ban that remained in place for 24 hours after the storm was expected to end. “This is New Hampshire,” he said, adding that he saw no need to close city streets, especially those downtown, to parking until Saturday morning.
John Moriarty, president of the Downtown Main Street Initiative, said that St. Clair was among a dozen of the some 90 business owners in the city center to express concerns. He said that most of the merchants he spoke with intended to open for business on Friday despite the parking ban. Moriarty stressed that the parking lots and parking garage would remain open throughout the storm and suggested that anyone planning on going to appointments or shopping downtown call ahead to ensure their appointment had not been canceled or the store would be open.
City Manager Scott Myers said that prohibiting on-street parking throughout the city is intended “to allow our crews to do an efficient job,” He said that “we are aware of the interests of the business community, but public safety is our highest priority.” He emphasized that the municipal parking lots at City Hall and on Main Street would remain open along with the first deck of the parking garage. “There will be parking space downtown,” he said.
Wes Anderson, the director of public works, said that the department prepares for storms based on the most reliable weather information. “Sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re wrong,” he said, “and when they’re wrong, we’re wrong. There are two reasons for declaring a snow emergency,” he continued, “to get cars off the streets so we can clear them and to make space to put the snow.” He thought this was the first snow emergency the city had declared in 12 years.
“This is a significant event,” said Myers. The National Weather Service at Gray, Maine, he said, spoke with “high confidence” of snowfall of between 12 and 16 inches, with accumulations of 1 to 3 inches an hour Thursday night when winds were forecast to reach 40 mph. The snow was forecast to slow around 2 a.m. Friday morning then add another inch by dawn.
Anderson said “My guys have started and will work till it’s done,” emphasizing the importance of not compromising the safety of employees He explained that according to their contract, his people began work as usual at 7 a.m. on Thursday with the expectation of working through the night and into Friday morning. A dozen vehicles, he said, will be plowing streets and sidewalks during the storm.
“I don’t have any spare people,” Anderson said, adding that personnel from other departments, part-time workers and private contractors will supplement his staff.
He said that although there will be time for short rests during lulls in the storm, he expected his people would work throughout the storm and another six to ten hours after it stops clearing the streets before taking a significant break. “That’s a guess,” he said.
Myers said that “if there is a reason to lift the parking ban earlier, we’ll certainly do that.”

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