FORT BRAGG, N.C. – The Fort Bragg Clay Target Center has been selected as one of three 2021 Large Club of the Year by the National Skeet Shooting Association.
The NSSA will be present the award at the 52nd Hall of Fame Awards Banquet in San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 6.
“Our staff take great pride in providing the best experience possible to our service members, Families, veterans, retirees and other valued customers,” said Mike Desmone Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation chief of community recreation. “We are excited to receive the award as it is a great representation of the hard work and dedication that these staff members show each and every day.”
The NSSA issues the award each year based on the number of fields at a given facility, the total number of targets thrown, and the overall support provided to the skeet shooting community.
This year the Clay Target Center hosted the Kolar U.S. Open, the John/Scott Grubb “Azalea Open, the Armed Services Skeet Championship, the General Pletcher Open, the Paratrooper Open, the Zone 4 Championships and the North Carolina State Closed skeet shooting competitions. Altogether supporting over 600 shooters across the competitions and throwing over 60,000 targets.
The center was one of 14 sites chosen to host the U.S. Open, and its participation of 80 shooters was only second to the U.S. National Shooting Center in San Antonio, Texas with 100 shooters. While target shooting across the nation has been on the decline, this has not held true at the Clay Target Center.
“We have a lot of regular customers who come each weekend to shoot at our facility,” explained Chris Watters, DFMWR Clay Target Center manager. “We enjoy seeing and interacting with them, but we also have a lot of fun with new shooters. Especially when we get a chance to share our knowledge and help them shoot better.”
One of the regulars, Al Mazza, has been coming to the facility for years and drives 67 miles each way every Friday and Saturday to come and shoot.
“There are places that are closer to home, but this is such a beautiful facility,” said Mazza. “It has everything you could want, and the staff are knowledgeable.”
Several of the staff members at the center maintain a shotgun instructor certification from the National Rifle Association. This certification allows them to help instruct new shooters and to provide a monthly introduction to clay shooting class from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every third Saturday.
“Between maintaining the fields, the machines, the recreational vehicle sites, and everything else in between, it’s a lot of hard work to keep this facility running,” said Watters. “But at the end of the day it’s all worth it because we know we are providing a great venue to our service members and their families.”
The Clay Target Center has 12 skeet fields, six trap fields and one 5-Stand station. It is open to the public from 4-8 p.m. on Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
For more information go to https://bragg.armymwr.com/programs/clay-target-center or call 910-436-9489.