Texas Shootout comes to Amarillo

"There is something about the thrill of shooting a gun that gets in your blood." said trapshooter, Jess Anderson.

Anderson was one of the hundreds that gathered at the Amarillo Gun Club for one of the biggest shoots in Texas.

The Amarillo Gun Club has so much history behind it, with record shooting scores and world renowned shooters having visited there and throughout July 2 to July 7, 2013 more history will be made as new champions shoot their way to the top.

Sanctioned by the Texas Trapshooters and the Amateur Trapshooting Associations, the Texas State Trapshooting Championships took place this week.

"It's the oldest clay target sport that we have in North America and it's open to anyone who wants to join the Amateur Trapshooting Association," said TTA President, Roger Cox "They pay a fee and can participate in any tournament."

Cox said Amarillo typically has about 12 tournaments a year. The tournaments range from small, local, and regional shooters to really big shoots, like the State Shoot.

Friday, July 5, 2013 around 400 shooters participated in the Texas State Doubles Championship, where each participant takes their shot at two targets at a time.

People of all ages and levels can take part in the event. Buddies, Canyon McCabe and Eddy Anders said they have looked forward to this event all year long.

Anders said, "It's awesome to shoot at the Texas State Shoot. It's the best shoot of the year and it's the one you wait for all year long."

Even though the wind created a bit of a challenge, one shooter stepped away victorious from the Friday shoot off.

Doubles Champion, Jess Anderson said this is his third championship he has won.

"It was a little difficult today because the conditions were pretty tough. The south winds had a frequency to push the targets down a lot, making them not very consistent." said Anderson "That made it kind of hard to stay focused, but luckily I was able to make it work."

Anderson said trapshooting is a wonderful sport because there is a lot of camaraderie amongst everybody.

"The majority of people travel and coordinate with one another where they want to go and what shoots they wanna do." said Anderson "It's just a big group of people that really like the sport and like to see it go forward, so it's just kind of a big family, really."

The event brings people in from at least ten states and once the smoke clears they total around 300,000 targets shot. Event coordinators say it also has a huge economic impact on Amarillo.

Cox said, "We estimate that the major shoots that this club hosts in May and July combine for about a $1 million economic impact."

The gun club utilized about 40 different vendors and shooters stayed in at least 12 Amarillo hotels.

The gun club grounds also became a mini RV village, with a total of 88 RVs on sight.

"We have at least 400 people on the grounds today and we're not even into the weekend." said Cox "Every one of those people will be eating out at some point or another."

The event will continue through Sunday, July 7, 2013 and all shotgun enthusiasts are welcome to cheer on the participants.

Saturday, July 6, 2013's shoot will be the largest in terms of numbers and will host many of the best trapshooters in the industry as they compete for the State Singles Championship.

The Amarillo Gun Club also encourages people to purchase a membership. This will provides many opportunities including using the range to practice, learning to shoot, and participating in tournaments.