On the Line with the Corps of Discovery

By Dale Nelson

On February 18, 2017 the Douglas Ridge Youth Shotgun Team traveled to the mouth of the Columbia River to compete at the BKS Pacific International Trapshooting Association Tournament.  Officially BKS stands for Brownsmead, Svenson, Knappa which are small communities near the range.  Unofficially, I understand, BKS stands for “Because Kristin Says”.  Kristin Webb works very hard and runs a tight ship.

The clubhouse at BKS was built by Lewis and Clark for members of the Corps of Discovery to practice trapshooting.  Ok, maybe I don’t know the true age of the clubhouse but some of the youth on our team are convinced that some members of the Corps of Discovery were shooting the Tournament with us.  The clubhouse is rustic and beautiful and very well kept.  The BKS members were welcoming and a lot of fun for our families.  Our Team Photographer, Dave Phipps, has posted pictures of our day at BKS at https://www.flickr.com/photos/133457771@N08/sets/72157669627496456/.  What, you don’t have a Team Photographer?  You should get one.

For our team, the big story of the day was our teammate Wyatt Copeland.  Wyatt has tried to break his first 25 straight for a couple years now.  He has scored 24/25 several dozen times but that first 25/25 had become an elusive obsession for him.  The cheering was deafening when Wyatt broke his first registered 25 straight on the first trap at BKS.  Being witness to the fleeting look of accomplishment and pride exchanged between these teens and their parents when they turn back from the line is payment in full for all my efforts as coach.  I highly recommend it.

So, just to prove that the first 25 was no fluke, Wyatt broke another 25 on the third trap.  He ended the day with 95/100 in singles taking high Junior Singles and a second overall.  Well done Wyatt!

Wyatt’s story does not end there.  Dylan Nelson has been top shooter on our Youth Team for a couple of years now.  Dylan shot on a later squad.  I was working on some paperwork when Dylan finished singles.  I looked up to ask Dylan how he shot and Wyatt was with him coming from the scorers stand.  They were both grinning broadly.  I wondered briefly “What is Wyatt doing out there?”.  Then it dawned on me; Wyatt had beaten Dylan. Wyatt had rushed out to check the score and, sure enough he won the internal competition between friends and teammates! I knew that was on Wyatt’s bucket list but I failed to realize how very important that was to him.  Dylan is as proud of Wyatt’s accomplishment as anyone.

We held a hat shooting ceremony at BKS to celebrate Wyatt’s accomplishment.  All the youth participants and several adults got in on the action. Wyatt must now start working on a new lucky hat.

Our families and young athletes had a great time at the BKS PITA Tournament.  Our team will be returning to BKS; it is a special place run by some special folks.  I hope you have a chance to shoot there too.


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