On January 24-25, 2015, the Newman Swamp Rats Trap Club hosted a PITA event for the first time in some 28 years. The Averages and History Yearbook confirms that the Newman Swamp Rats was an active host of PITA events through 1986. They hosted the PITA CA State Shoot in 1951. Their latest effort was attended by 30 shooter who were not dissuaded by foggy conditions and cooler than predicted temperatures.
I was unsuccessful in learning the origin of its name because there is a decided lack of swamps evident around Newman, California. It is a very old club, established in 1933 with the present log constructed club house built in 1953. Located near the city of Newman, California, population 10,224 (2010 census) in Stanislaus County, it is surrounded by agriculture and nut orchards as far as the eye can see. The nearby city of Patterson has most of the facilities needed by visiting shooters.
This is a member based club directed by 7 elected board members and having approximately 65-70 active annual members according to the President, Esther Puckett. A couple of unique features are the club house itself, a log building about 105 feet by 36 feet and a huge backdrop screen across the entire trap field. Puckett said the screen was erected last September to appease the neighbor at a cost of some $74,000. Although weather may have discouraged some from attending this event, it had no effect on the enthusiasm of PITA All Star Rich Bullard who traveled from Reno, Nevada, to lend his support to the club.
We enjoyed our short stay with the Swamp Rats and hope they continue hosting PITA events.
Sue Brewer, Secretary