PORTVILLE – The local Winter Travel League of trapshooters began its 31st season last Sunday at the Portville Conservation Club.

The 500-bird, five-club trap shooting league holds trap shoots Sunday mornings from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. from January through March. Participating clubs are: the Portville Conservation Club, the Richburg Rod & Gun Club, the Genesee Valley Conservation Club in Caneadea, the Olean Rod & Gun Club and the Cuba Rod & Gun Club. Genesee Valley is serving as the league’s host Club for the year.

Safety has always been the league’s top priority. COVID-19 awareness now ranks near the top of that list, along with firearm safety. Junior shooters, ages 12-17, and women are also encouraged to come out and join the fun.

New, returning and prospective trap shooters can join the league any time until the beginning of the second round on Feb. 9 in Portville for just $15. The league entry fee pays for a steak dinner as well as trophies and other awards at the season’s end. Extra steak dinners will also be available for invited guests.

Thirty-three shooters from Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania took part in the league’s opening day. The shoot went both safely and smoothly for the 20 squads of league shooters. With temperatures in the low 30s, it was a good day to shoot.

New shooter Aaron Albano, from Limestone, led the way, breaking a perfect score of 100-straight for those shooting 100 targets last Sunday. Behind him were junior shooter Brayden Cosper, of Smethport, Pa., newcomer Jacob Weaver, of Oramel, Jon Reitz and new shooter Becki Logan, both of West Clarksville, with scores of 91x100 apiece.

Junior shooter Austin Unverdorben, from Eldred, Pa., led those shooting 50 targets with his 47x50. Justin Newman and Skip Beil, of Cuba, and Jeremy Mikolajczyk, of Hinsdale, were next at 46x50. Scores of 25-straight were recorded by Newman and Olean’s Bob Button. League shooting continues tomorrow at the Richburg Rod & Club.

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