USA SOUTH CENTRAL REGION – The 2023 Coop Shoot Air Rifle Indoor Regional, held on February 25th-26th, kicked off the 2023 Rifle Silhouette Season with a bang! The Coop Shoot has a history of breaking NRA National Records and this match was no exception!
THIS IS NOW THE ONLY REGISTERED SILHOUETTE AIR RIFLE INDOOR MATCH IN THE USA with 2023 being the 8th year for the Coop Shoot. This year’s Coop Shoot was also the best turnout ever at 43 shooters coming from Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Louisiana.
“The Coop” is always open for practice the entire day on Friday before the match. The 2023 Coop Shoot Air Rifle Indoor Regional consisted of (2) 60-shot matches on Saturday and finishing up with (1) 60-shot match on Sunday to get people back on the road for home early.
Silhouette shooters can pick either Sporter, Target or Open Air Rifle before the match starts Saturday morning and continue to shoot with their chosen rifle for the 180-shot aggregate. Regional Medals in Gold, Silver and Bronze are awarded for each rifle discipline, so there is a strategy on which rifle to pick! Shooters could also sign up for a Team Match (3 shooters) for those that wanted to try and break any NRA Silhouette Indoor Air Rifle Team Records.
Saturday – Let the Games Begin!
We could have not asked for better weather as last year’s Coop Shoot was freezing! With 43 shooters at the Coop, the day was going to be a long one with 6 relays to shoot two 60-shot matches (two shooters per animal).
As usual, Dustin Flint set a blistering pace with an opening 58/60 with his Dominator Open Air Rifle. Chris Cawthorne and Garin Hatch lagged behind in Open Class with a 51/60 and a 50/60 respectively. The morning surprise in Target Air Rifle Class was junior Micah Waguespack shooting an outstanding 57/60 with Reese Burnett and Jerry Tureau following with a 52/60 and a 51/60 respectively. Bruce Finley shot a very respectable 47/60 in Sporter Class followed by Jack Shada with a 42/60 and both Allen Corneau and Matt Judd with a 41/60 each.
Consistency wins at the Coop Shoot. No one does this better than Dustin Flint who posted another 58/60 Saturday afternoon in Open Class. Garin Hatch (50/50) took a one-shot lead in the 120 shot aggregate over Chris Cawthorne (48/60) in Open Class. Once again, Micah Waguespack continued his breakout performance with a Target Class score of 58/60 to put him one shot behind Dustin for the top 120-shot aggregate score. Jonah Finley, recently back from getting a Civil Engineering Degree, would show his old form with a 49/60 and Reese Burnett followed with a 48/60. In Sporter Class, Matt Judd moved up the standings with an excellent 47/60 with Bruce Finley following with a 42/60 and Allen Corneau and Jack Shada tying at 37/60.
Sunday’s Cliffhanger for the Aggregate!
As we said, consistency is king and Sunday morning’s 60-shot match was no exception. Everything was at stake on Sunday, including the top aggregate overall score as well as jockeying for position for the NRA Regional Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals in Open, Target and Sporter Air Rifle classes.
Dustin Flint set the pace with another 58/60 and an aggregate of 174/180, clinching the NRA Regional Gold Medal in Open Air Rifle Class as well as a new NRA National Open Record for Open Air Rifle! Garin Hatch and Chris Cawthorne both tied at 51/60, with Garin capturing the NRA Regional Silver with a 151/180 and Chris the Bronze with a 150/180 in Open Air Rifle Class.
In Target Air Rifle Class, Micah Waguespack shot a 53/60 for his final 60-shot match and easily captured the the NRA Regional Gold Medal with a 168/180 for Target Air Rifle Class. Reese Burnett took the Silver Medal and Jonah Finley the Bronze Medal with scores of 150/160 and 148/160 respectively.
On Sunday, Bruce Finley shot a 47/60 to add to his lead and clinched the NRA Regional Gold Medal in Sporter Air Rifle Class with a 136/180. Allen Corneau was able to marshal a 119/180 verses Jack’s 112/180 for the Silver and Bronze Medals respectively.
2023 Coop Shoot NRA Regional Medals Summary
Open Air Rifle Class
Gold Medal – Dustin Flint (174/180)
Silver Medal – Garin Hatch (151/180)
Bronze Medal – Chris Cawthorne (150/180)
Target Air Rifle Class
Gold Medal – Micah Waguespack (168/180)
Silver Medal – Reese Burnett (150/180)
Bronze Medal – Jonah Finley (148/180)
Sporter Air Rifle Class
Gold Medal – Bruce Finley (136/180)
Silver Medal – Matt Judd (129/180)
Bronze Medal– Allen Corneau (119/180)
Class awards were also given out in the B, A, AA, AAA and Master Classes. Click on the link below for the 2023 Coop Shoot Regional Silhouette Air Rifle Results. You can find all 2023 Championships Results as they become available on the NASSA USA Championship Results Webpage!
Junior Shooters at the Coop
Once again we had a strong showing of junior Silhouette shooters at The Coop Shoot. A total of 12 junior shooters from both North & South Louisiana represented 28% (12/43) of the Silhouette shooters present!
This continues to demonstrate the success of recruiting junior Silhouette shooters from the 4-H Shooting Sports programs throughout Louisiana and serves as a model for how to increase junior participation in many NASSA USA Regions.
We were also very pleased that junior Silhouette shooter Micah Waguespack had a spectacular breakout match at the 2023 Coop Shoot! Micah set a new NRA Junior Indoor Silhouette Target Air Rifle Record for the 60-shot aggregate with a 57 and then broke it in the second match with a 58. He also set a new NRA Junior Silhouette Target Air Rifle Record for the 120-shot aggregate with a 115!
Micah also set (2) NRA Junior Indoor Silhouette Target Air Rifle Long Run Records with 45 pigs-in-a-row and 19 chickens-in-a-row. How’s that for a weekend outing!
Not to be outdone, Reese Burnett set a new NRA Women’s Indoor Silhouette Target Air Rifle Record for the 60-shot aggregate with a score of 52/60. She then went on to set a new NRA Women’s Indoor Silhouette Target Air Rifle Record for the 120-shot aggregate with a 100/120!
Reese Burnett decided too that she was not finished and also set a new NRA Women’s Indoor Silhouette Target Air Rifle Long Run Record with 36 pigs-in-a-row!
A Junior Team made up of Micah Waguespack, Reese Burnett and Caden Labat also set a new NRA Junior Indoor Silhouette Target Air Rifle National Record for their 3-Person Team performance.
Congratulations to Micah, Reese and Caden for some outstanding shooting. We will be hearing more from these three in the upcoming Silhouette matches in Louisiana and Texas!
A Big Thanks to the Hatch Family
NASSA Implementation Team Member and Coop Shoot Match Director Garin Hatch always puts on a great match! A special thanks as well to Danny Hatch (Garin’s Father) for hosting the Coop Shoot at his property in Jonesboro, LA and Garin’s mom Vickie for preparing that great Saturday lunch! We were all lucky Danny Hatch had this dream in 2015 to turn his old chicken coop into the outstanding match it has become today.