Highland Gun Club, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
August 31 - September 3, 2023
Report by: Andrea Bassan
Photo credits: Troy Coldwell, Andrea Bassan, Doug Blades and Denis Brule
The Atlantic Provinces Trapshooting Association and Highland Gun Club in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia hosted another great Atlantic Provinces ATA Provincial Shoot on August 31 – September 3, 2023. In attendance were shooters from the Atlantic Provinces and visiting shooters from Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Alabama. The Atlantic Provinces are the 4 most eastern Canadian Provinces and include Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. The 4 provinces combined are the ATA Province also known as the Atlantic Provinces.
The Highland Gun Club is a 3 trap club so organizers decided to host a 4 day, 800 target shoot with 200 target days in order to complete events in a timely manner. Shooting over 3 traps requires a 25-25-50 rotation with all squads shooting 50 targets at their assigned trap at the same time. This rotation worked well and did not create any shooting delays.
The Atlantic Provinces ATA Provincial Shoot often attracts shooters from across Canada, the United States and for a period of time not too long ago, shooters from the French Islands of St. Pierre et Miquelon off of Newfoundland’s south coast. Many now regularly attend our shoot and friendships have been established. We look forward to time spent catching up or sharing stories and it often feels like these memories are just as enjoyable as the shoot itself. And perhaps that’s why the Atlantic Provinces Trapshooting Championships attracts a large contingent of visiting shooters; everyone is welcomed with open arms and made to feel at home.
The Highland Singles started the tournament on Thursday, August 31 with 44 entries under sunny skies and light winds. Ties and carryovers were needed in all but one class to determine the winners. Troy Coldwell and Doug Blades each scored 96 to tie for event Champion and AA Class. Coldwell won over Blades 24-24-24-25 to 24-24-24-24 in the carryover for event Champion leaving AA for Blades. Quebec’s Danny Boulet needed 5 carryover rounds to defeat Aubrey Spinney after both shooters scored 95 in A Class. Ken d’Eon outshot Shawn d’Entremont and Clyde d’Entremont to take B Class with a 25 straight in the carryover after all 3 shooters shot a 92. Jack Nicolle’s 91 and 23 in the carryover was good for C Class over Janaya Nickerson and Terry LeBlanc. Brian Lewis took D Class with a 90.
As shooters prepared for the second event of the day, the wind picked up and made for some challenging and sporting targets during the APTA Doubles. Troy Coldwell won event Champion with a 93 and Jim Hannah won AA Class with an 88. Bob Morphy and Jim Lee, both from Ontario, took A Class and B Class with an 89 and 84 respectively. Shawn d’Entremont won C Class with a carryover over Jamie LeBlanc after both tied with an 82. D Class winner was Terry LeBlanc with an 80.
Friday, September 1 was another sunny day with light winds making for near perfect shooting conditions. In the APTA Singles, 5 shooters tied with 98s. After the carryovers were tallied, Quebec’s Danny Boulet won event Champion. Lloyd Litwin, Ontario’s Bradley Mann and Randy d’Entremont won AA, A and B respectively. Jack Nicolle repeated his C Class win with a 91 over Ontario’s Tom Charteris and Gary Nickerson after the carryover. Ontario’s William (Craig) Charteris won D Class with an 89.
Reynold d’Entremont had the high score over the field of 46 entries in the APTA Handicap. Reynold’s 91 also earned him a 1 yard punch. Quebec’s Guy Rousseau took Runner-up with a 90 while Manitoba’s Brian Johnson took 3rd over 4th place winner Larry Kinden after both scored 89. Jim Lee took 5th place over Jamie LeBlanc in a shoot-off after both shooters tied with an 88.
50 shooters entered the Atlantic Provinces Singles Championship on Saturday, September 2. Troy Coldwell had the high score and the won the 2023 Singles Championship with a 198. Jim Hannah took Runner-up with a 193 and Alberta’s Shawn McNeil won Open Champion with a 196.
In the Closed Categories it was an all Nova Scotia showing. Janaya Nickerson won Lady I, Ken d’Eon won Sub Veteran, Lloyd Litwin took Veteran and Reynold d’Entremont won Sr. Veteran. AA through D Class (Closed) winners were Doug Blades, Herbie Nickerson, Christian Winter, Jack Nicolle and Brian Lewis.
Christian Winter, who shoots out of the St. John’s Rod and Gun Club, shot his first 50 and 75 straight during the second 100 targets of the day. His 99/100 was also a personal best. Congratulations Christian. Christian’s B Class win was also his first Atlantic Provinces trophy in only his second year of ATA shooting.
Team Nova Scotia and Team Quebec tied for the 5 Man Team race. To settle the win, both teams shot a 5 person / 2 target per station round of wobble trap. Team Nova Scotia won the friendly competition 44 to 42.
The 2 Man Team race went to Shawn McNeil and Jason Weaver. Both are originally from Nova Scotia but now call Alberta home.
In the Open Categories, Ontario shooter Dianne Wood won Lady II, Danny Boulet took Sub Veteran, Bob Morphy won Veteran and visiting Alabama shooter Larry Sexton won Senior Veteran.
In the Open Classes Jason Weaver won AA, Guy Rousseau won A. Rejean d’Entremont took B, Gary Nickerson took C and William (Craig) Charteris won his second trophy of the shoot with his D Class win.
The Shooter’s Banquet held Saturday evening gave shoot attendees and guests an opportunity to socialize away from the gun club. Lobsters and haddock were on the menu with a full selection of sides. Pulled pork was available for the few not interested in seafood. Organizers also took advantage of the event to present awards and draw winners for the Pick of the Litter Raffle made possible by generous shoot sponsors.
Shooters took to the line for Sunday’s Atlantic Provinces Doubles Championship under sunny skies and much lighter winds than what blew during the APTA Doubles preliminary event. Troy Coldwell won his 14 consecutive Atlantic Provinces Doubles Championship over the field of 45 entries with a 96. Andrea Bassan won Runner-up with a 93 and Bob Morphy won Open Champion with a 94. Coldwell and Bassan also won the 2 Man Team Race.
In the Categories, Janaya Nickerson, Aubrey Spinney, Lloyd Litwin and Reynold d’Entremont took the Lady I, Sub Veteran, Veteran and Senior Veteran titles.
AA Class winners were Jim Hannah (Closed) and Alberta’s Shawn McNeil (Open). A Class went to Herbie Nickerson (Closed) and Ontario’s Jim Wood (Open). B Class winners were Randy d’Entremont (Closed) and Jim Lee (Open), while Rejean d’Entremont and Shawn d’Entremont took C Class Open and Closed. In D Class, Terry LeBlanc won D Class Closed and Clyde d’Entremont won D Class Open with a shoot-off win over Brian Lewis after both shooters tied with 81s.
In the Atlantic Provinces Handicap Championship, Lloyd Litwin shot a 91 to claim his first Atlantic Provinces Handicap Championship. Visiting Ontario shooter Frank Schneider took Open Champion with the event high score of 94. Both shooters also earned 1 yard punches.
Closed Runner-up through 6th place was a tight race with only 1 target separating each winning score. Steve d’Entremont won Runner up with a 90, Randy d’Entremont took 3rd place with an 89, Ken d’Eon took 4th place with an 88 after a shoot-off against Jack Nicolle who took 5th place. Shawn d’Entremont and Aubrey Spinney tied for 6th place with Shawn running a 25 straight in the shoot-off to claim 6th place.
In the remaining Open places, Larry Sexton took Runner-up, Bob Morphy won 3rd place and Aubrey Spinney took Open 4th place.
Janaya Nickerson and Reynold d’Entremont completed a clean sweep of the tournament’s Lady I and Senior Veteran category titles. Terry LeBlanc won Sub Veteran and Clyde d’Entremont won Veteran.
In both the High All Around and High Over All events, Troy Coldwell won Closed and Ontario’s Bob Morphy won the Open honours.
ATA Bucket List
Alabama’s Larry Sexton has been working on an ATA bucket list to compete in all ATA State and Provincial Shoots, ATA Zone Shoots, Satellite Grands and the Grand American since he first registered ATA targets in 1967. By the end of the 2021 target year, Larry had shot all 50 State Shoots, all 10 Satellite Grands, all 5 Zone Championships and the Grand American numerous times. Since 2022, Larry has been working on all 7 Canadian ATA Provincial Shoots. In 2022 Larry attended the Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba shoots. This past summer Larry attended the British Columbia and Alberta shoots. The 2023 Atlantic Provinces ATA Provincial Shoot completed Larry’s ATA bucket list. Congratulations Larry!
It takes a coordinated effort to host a successful shoot. With Doug Blades in charge, his team of volunteers did a great job ensuring everything was in order for this year’s shoot. The old adage “many hands make light work” is so true. Host club volunteers always see that the club is in tip top shape and ready for the shoot. Everything from keeping the grass mowed, maintaining equipment and building an office inside the clubhouse for shoot staff to work out of made the shoot a success.
Volunteers organized meals, the banquet and others made sure the traps were kept full and that there was a scorer always ready to keep the shoot moving. Special thanks to the spouses and partners that kept shooters fed with seafood chowder, smoked salmon, scallops and other local seafood. And what's a shoot without ice cream? The fully stock fridge of sundaes and waffle cones from Creamy Treat Ice Cream Ltd kept everyone smiling.
In the office, Claire and Janine Blades kept everything under control while the other 2 guys were out shooting.
And a very special thanks to Cathy and Nancy Litwin for spending long days in the scorer chairs without complaint.
Shoot sponsors also deserve recognition for supporting our shoot and helping make the shoot possible. It’s great to see new sponsors get on board and it’s also reassuring to see returning sponsors support our shoot and the trapshooting in Atlantic Canada. To all our shoot sponsors, thank you for your continued support.
The 2024 Atlantic Provinces ATA Provincial Shoot will return to the St. John’s Rod and Gun Club located near Holyrood, NL. The 4 trap club is more than capable of shooting a traditional preliminary day shoot with 3 - 100 target events per day, but shooters have requested a 4 day shoot with 200 target days. The revised format will give visiting shooters more time to relax and enjoy the local attractions. The 2024 shoot will be held August 29 – September 1, 2024.
The Atlantic Provinces Trapshooting Association held an election of officers during their annual general meeting. All board members were voted in for another term unopposed. Andrea Bassan will continue to serve as President, ATA Delegate and Canadian Trapshooting Association Delegate. Troy Coldwell remains as Vice President, Janaya Nickerson continues as Secretary and Doug Blades as Treasurer. Jamie LeBlanc will also continue to serve as ATA Alternate Delegate.