Reed City sportsman takes Class B title for trapshooting

REED CITY — Summer isn’t over, but Chris Lockhart of Reed City has had a fun one.

The member of the Reed City Sportman Club on July 4 won  the 2015 Class B singles state championships for trapshooting.

He was competing in the Michigan Amateur Trapshooting Association state shoot in Mason. He shot a 196 out of 200.

Lockhart, an avid hunter and outdoor enthusiast, has been shooting trap for almost three years. In 2014, he was the runner-up in Class D singles at the state shoot. He shot 191 out of 200.

“We had a zone shoot, which Michigan has, four different zones,” he said. “The winners of the zones for the class they enter, the trap shooting association, pays for the targets for the state shoot. My wife, Rhonda, is an avid trap shooter too. She won her class and I won my class at the zone shoot (in Kingsley earlier this summer).”

Next month, he’ll be in Sparta, Ill., for the Grand American World Trapshooting championships.

“Because I won my class for Michigan, I get to compete in what’s called a Champions of Champions down there,” he said. “All of the individuals that won their classes at their state shoots from all over the world will come to Sparta to compete.”

Lockhart was confident when he went to the state shoot.

“Last year was a good motivator, coming so close to winning my class,” he said. “I came in focused on my mental and physical game. I really have been focusing on that. I’m happy things came together and have been hoping for the best.”

The entire state shoot was July 1-5.

“I had a good week,” Lockhart said. “The big championship singles was on that Saturday, but I shot other events Thursday, Friday and Sunday.”

Lockhart has been a member of the Reed City Sportsman Club for three years.

“Years ago, my mom and dad managed a hunt and fishing club over by Baldwin,” he said. “They had a trap field there. One of my jobs when I worked for my parents was I had to sit in the trap house and physically place clay birds on the machine and I told myself, ‘one day I want to do something like that.’

“It wasn’t until my later years that I’ve been able to pursue it financially. It is somewhat expensive with shells you have to purchase.”

Others from the club compete at Mason, but Lockhart had the best performance. Locally, he usually shoots Sundays and Wednesdays.

“If we have a shoot coming up, my wife and I will sneak down here during the afternoon and early evening and we’ll come here and shoot when no one’s around so we can work on certain techniques.”

Rhonda became interested in target shooting through her husband.

The Lockharts will leave Aug. 10 for the national competition.

“It’s a two-week shoot but, Aug. 12 is the Champion of Champions, and the 13th and 14th, I’ll be shooting those days as well,” he said. “From Wednesday through Saturday, I’ll be at events down there.”

When he’s at the nationals, Lockhart will focus on one bird at a time and do his best.

“There’s a lot of things that come into play with trap shooting that I never knew,” he said. “They say the trap shooting is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. Going into three years of it, I can start to see where a majority of it is the mental game. You have to take each bird individually and the most important bird is that bird you’re going to shoot.”

Lockhart also enjoys hunting whitetail deer locally. His biggest buck has been an eight-pointer with a bow.

Bow season is less than three months away and Lockhart is hoping for a good season.

“Antler point restrictions we’ve had the last couple of year, I think it’s going to be phenomenal this year, I hope,” he said.

He also does woodcock and partridge hunting.

Lockhart, a sergeant with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department, emphasized there’s no comparison between trap shooting and regular hunting.

“With trap shooting, you focus 100 percent on the clay,” he said “The clay is moving at 43 miles an hour. It’s creating distance between you and your position.”