1897 – 2010
The earliest available Minutes of the New Jersey State Trapshooting Association date back to 1897. On July 13th, 1897, at Taylor’s Hotel, Jersey City, N.J., the New Jersey State Association for the Preservation of Fish and Game held a meeting and roll call with the following clubs represented:
- South Side of Newark – I. H. Terrill
- Boiling Springs Gun Club – E. A. Jeanette
- Bergen County Gun Club – Capt. A. W. Money
- Climax Gun Club -0 Fred Quimby, Tom Keller
- Newark Gun Club – May Prentz, W. H. Green
- Maplewood Gun Club – W. N. Drake
- Passaic City Gun Club, Colin R. Wise
- Essex Gun Club of Newark – A. Whithead
- Jersey City Heights Gun Club – A. Heritage, J. von Lengerke
On motion at this meeting it was resolved to incorporate the Association and to change the name to The New Jersey State Sportsmen’s Association.
Since this modest beginning in 1897, hundreds of thousands of clay targets have been trapped and broken to dust, and thousands more have floated away unharmed. Those that floated away have really been the important ones, for they have furnished the alibis that have kept the Hot Stove League fire burning during the winter months. Many of the old-timers have given their last command of “pull”, while some of them are still with us and are a great credit to the sport they have followed so long. Newcomers are constantly filling up the broken ranks, but today, just as it did so many years ago, it takes the same qualifications to make a great shooter–keen eyes, steady nerves, ability to concentrate, competitive spirit and good sportsmanship.
As the early name of the Association suggests, the main object of trapshooting clubs in those days was the preservation of fish and game. Clay target shooting was more or less of an excuse for lovers of the field and stream to get together during the off season and re-enact their great shots and large catches.
In more recent years the various States have taken over the very important task of game propagation and preservation so that today the paramount function of gun clubs is target shooting, both summer and winter. Along with this change came another change in the name of the Association from the New Jersey State Sportsmen’s Association to the New Jersey State Trapshooting Association. Trapshooting, the all-American sport — long may it flourish.