HUMBOLDT — Russ Leyh has been honoured for 50 years of trapshooting.
Members of Humboldt Wildlife Federation and Gun Club honored Leyh at a ceremony Saturday [June 10, 1989].
After presentation of a plaque, Leyh fired the first shot to open the club's 11th annual registered trapshoot.
There were 25 competitors, province-wide, at the two-day shoot.
Trapshooting originated in the United States, coming to Canada about 1924. Leyh said he first became interested in the sport when hunting as a schoolboy.
"While hunting gamebirds with groups of people, I realized what bad shots they were, so I decided to start a trap club at my farm," he said.
The Leyhs resided at their Viscount farm until they retired to Humboldt in 1974. Not content with "just retirement", Leyh set about starting the Humboldt Gun Club, situated about two miles south of the present site near Humboldt Auction Mart.
The club became too large for one person to handle and for the facilities, and the Wildlife Federation became involved. In 1977, land was acquired from the Town of Humboldt and the clubhouse and four trap layouts were constructed which would accommodate registered shoots.
"Humboldt Gun Club has turned out more Saskatchewan champions in the respective classes than any other small town in the province."
It has been an active club until the last couple of years, he said, and is always on the look-out for new shooters. Shooting schools are provided and facilities now include handgun, muzzle loaders, archery and rifle ranges. The club has about 350 members but only about 25 active trapshooters, six of whom are registered trapshooters.
Provincial titles have been won in all categories by gun club members. Leyh was singles champion in 1954; veteran champ in 1982; '83, '85 and '86; and senior veteran in 1987 and 1988.
Jack Drury was singles champion in 1978, '81 and '82 and all-around champ in 1978.
Glen Mueller was handicap champion in 1979 and Larry Reis took the same title in 1982.
Max Mueller was doubles champion in 1981 and won the all-around title in 1983.
Elaine Mueller was ladies' single champion in 1979, '82, '84, '86 and 1988.
Robert Mueller was junior singles champ in 1981.
Leyh did a tally of the targets he has shot since beginning trapshooting. It came out to a total of 46,500 registered targets, not including practice rounds. That's an average of 930 registered targets per year over the 50 years he has been a trapshooter.