Trap Shooting – Hamilton, ON

With an All-Star cast assembled, we headed to Hamilton. In the back seat sat Paul and Alex. Paul started us off on our fateful journey – “I can’t wait till we hit Stoney Creek, I am sure they’ll have great little ethnic food places where we can get something good to eat, oh how I do hope it’s Shawarma!”

“Is there a specific place you had in mind? Have you been to some great little restaurant there before?” I asked.

“No, I just love finding little ethnic food places. I don’t know what Stoney Creek has, but my expectations are sky high!”

30 minutes and about 6 ethnic food comments later, we’re trying to locate the Hamilton Gun Club when Paul shouts: “That’s it! The place from in my head!” as he points out the window at this:

Tarboosh Restaurant - Set to live forever in the Saga of Paul

With our stomachs full and our minds open, we made it to the Hamilton Gun Club and hooked up with our expert for the day – Florin, from learntrapshooting.ca.

We went through the usual waivers routine and picked nicknames. It was then explained that girls often have a natural ability to quickly learn trap shooting, I didn’t catch the full explanation because Thunder kept making funny faces, but I think it had something to do with girls being able to focus on the task at hand.

The Hamilton Gun Club is the second oldest continuously operating gun club in North America, established in 1882. The history of modern North American shooting, Florin explained, was that North Americans used to get beat rather frequently when they went over to Europe for the shooting competitions. They would practice and practice, but it rarely made much difference – the Euro’s had it down. Finally, one man decided that the European version wasn’t the way to go, and rather than practice, he invented his own game. He modified some measurement and made the North American version we were about to try.

Florin asked us each how many traps we expected to hit on the day, and we each replied with a number between 0 and 4. “You’ll all do much better than that” he explained, and with that the pressure was on.

As I took to the field and went through my first round, I was worried that trap shooting may have represented the end of the search for “my sport”;  I hit 5 of my first 6 shots, and 9 of my next 10. But when the pressure was on, and we were doing our end of day competition with only 2 shots each, I only hit one, while Amy and Alex each shot 100%.

Aside from the peculiar finding of food, the shooting, the great coaching, and the weather, Alex’s commentary provided the cherry on top of this Sunday outing. With his unique approach and untamed remarks, he’s shaped the history of gymineering, as we break away from our usual musical montage and enter into the world of colour commentary.