At the Southern Zone Trapshoot in Louisville the other day, the sharp-eyed gentleman shown above raised his favorite 12-gauge shotgun and in an experienced voice called for his clay bird to be released. As he followed the bird, got his shot off and pulverized it, fellow competitors ran up to congratulate him: Ralph Jenkins, a 70-year-old stockman from Orleans, Indiana, had become the first man ever to have fired at 200,000 registered singles targets.
It took Jenkins 33 years of competitive trapshooting and an estimated $28,000 worth of shells and targets to reach the 200,000 mark, a record that is likely to stand for some time. Actually, Jenkins figures that since taking up trapshooting in 1905 he has shot at more than half a million targets, but no official records were kept until the Amateur Trapshooting Association was organized in 1923. Since 1930, Jenkins has taken numerous class championships and has a lifetime average of breaking close to 95% of the singles targets he has fired at. In addition, he is one of the world's noted live-bird shooters. Jenkins' brother Rock also began an outstanding trapshooting career in 1905. At his death, Rock Jenkins led all records, having shot at 186,000 registered targets. "Brother Rock wanted to hit the 200,000 mark so badly," says Ralph Jenkins, "I actually wanted to shoot that one more for my brother than for myself."