Herman was born in 1918 in Crosswicks, New Jersey. This small town is where he lived his entire life on his family’s farm. Herman left school during the seventh grade to work on the farm and to help his family through the struggles of our American history. In 1940, Herman married his wife, Margaret, and had three children. He continued working hard selling cinders out of a straight truck that he loaded by hand with a shovel. Over many years his business evolved into a successful excavation company named simply “Herman Liedtka, Incorporated.”
When Herman was not working on the farm or building his business, he enjoyed hunting and fishing. At this time, most of his hunting was coon hunting, since he was able to do this at night and work during the day. He loved being outdoors and around the dogs. Herman had a soft-spot for dogs. He always had at least ten or more dogs in the kennels, either coon hounds, beagles, or bird dogs. He always had the best he could afford, whether it be dogs, guns, cars or equipment.
By the late 1960s and early 1970s Herman had built his company to a good size. He had 15 dump trucks, numerous pieces of heavy equipment, and
several sand and gravel pits. It was at this time that his son, Bill, and daughter-in-law, Pat, began to manage the company’s day-to-day activities. After many years of hard work, he started to take time for himself. At the age of 55, Herman started shooting at Art Crispin’s in Columbus, New Jersey. He had always loved bird hunting, so he took a fond liking to trapshooting. He enjoyed it so much that he even built his own trap range on the farm and started to get really involved in trapshooting. In 1973, Herman shot his first registered ATA target and there was no looking back from here. He became a life member of the ATA, Pine Belt Sportsman’s Club, Pine Valley Gun Club, and a member of the Cavaliers.
Herman had many high-grade Krieghoffs, Perazzis, Brownings and Remingtons. His gun of choice through most of his shooting career was the Krieghoff. He loved guns, especially those with gold on them. When he would leave for a shoot, especially the Grand American, the trunk of his Cadillac would be filled with beautiful guns with the hopes of horse trading for a different beautiful gun. A shooter once told Herman that the gold does not make you shoot better and his reply was, “No, but it makes me feel better when the scores are low.” If there was a new gadget or trinket out that promised to make you a better shooter, Herman would have it. Anyone looking to buy anything new for shooting
trap would ask him before they would buy it. Herman was good at giving advice on many things.
Herman enjoyed shooting at Pine Belt Sportsman’s Club. When they decided to build their newshooting facility in 1973, he stepped up eagerly to help. He knew he could use his knowledge and resources to help build something everyone would enjoy for years to come. A place where good times could be had. He donated his time, knowledge, his employees and his equipment to perform the site development for the club. Herman helped this way with other clubs too, for example the Italian-American Sportsman’s Club.
Herman traveled the East Coast competing in many different state shoots and zone shoots. He competed in the New Jersey State Shoot 22 times, some of these when it was still held in Atlantic City. He traveled to Vandalia, Ohio 19 times to shoot in the Grand American. Over the course of his shooting career, he registered 221,255 targets – 116,950 singles, 64,125 handicap and 40,180 doubles. In addition, he shot many, many unregistered targets.
Herman won various trophies, but two of the most memorable ones were in 1985 when he was the NJ State Veteran Champion and in 1993 when he was
the NJ Sr. Veteran Champion. After Herman’s passing in 1999, the “Herman Liedtka Perpetual Trophy” was established and is given out to the Sr.
Veteran Champion of the NJ State Handicap event.
Herman did not keep coming back just to shoot or win; he came back to be with his friends that he made from his 23-year shooting career. Everyone who knew Herman remembers him with his infectious smile and laugh, holding the attention of friends and fellow shooters alike.