In 2012, Craig resident Dick King became the second man from Moffat County to be inducted to the Colorado State Trapshooting Association Hall of Fame.
With more than 40 years since he began registering targets, the honor has been a long time coming.
King, who began trap shooting in Cheyenne Wells in 1971, first shot at the Craig Trap Club in 1984 after friends got him to get involved. Since then, he’s dedicated countless hours to keeping the Craig Trap Club up and running smoothly.
“I started at this club in 1984 and I’ve been there ever since,” King said. “I got back into it for the competition but also because some friends were doing it.”
With 28 consecutive years of membership at the club, King has become an excellent shot, earning two grand slams in trapshooting, the highest achievement possible, during his career.
A grand slam involves hitting 200 consecutive targets from the 16-yard line, 100 consecutive targets from the 27-yard line (the furthest distance) and 100 consecutive doubles (two targets at once).
But good marksmanship isn’t the only qualification of Hall of Fame candidates. “They look for somebody that’s not just a shooter, but who actually gives back to shooting,” CSTA member Gary Norton said. “It’s for someone who’s improving the experience of shooting in Colorado, who actively promotes trapshooting and helps others get involved.”
King is a deadeye shooter, but he thinks his contributions to the sport are what earned his induction. He’s helped 4-H and Boy Scouts of America chapters in Craig for years, teaching proper shooting techniques and getting more youth involved. He also was instrumental in setting up a winter league at the Craig Trap Club, from January to March. At first, the Polar Bear League was an odd proposition, considering the wintery weather. In its first year in the late 1980s, the league had five members. Now, it has 89.
“People like it because there’s nothing else to do in the winter time,” King said. “They can get together and gossip and talk and shoot guns.”
King often can be seen during winter league season clearing snow off the grounds so shooters can see their yard markers. And he remembers one time shooting when it was minus 62 degrees F. “We all just ran out there and took a shot or two and came back inside,” King said. “It was really just to say we did it.”
He calls the Craig Trap Club his second home, and he has been its president for the past 15 years. Humble as ever, King was honored by his Hall of Fame status.
“It’s a great honor,” King said. “Only one or two people are inducted each year, and it’s mostly for the same reasons, being good shooters and contributing to the sport. I’m sure there are many other people more deserving than me, but it’s an honor.”