Steven Carlson of Vineyard Haven won the 2008 Top Gun Award at the Martha’s Vineyard Rod & Gun Club on Sunday, Nov. 30. Mr. Carlson bested other club members in the categories of standing deer and slug turkey. Tom Hanlon of Edgartown captured second place while Steven’s father, Richard Carlson of Vineyard Haven, picked up third prize. Diehard shotgunners braved terrible rainy conditions to sight-in their shotguns for the upcoming deer season and vie for hams donated by Cronig’s Market. Mike Ferry, Tom Hanlon and Steve Carlson shot top scores in the standing deer category to take home hams.

Meanwhile Matt Tobin of Chilmark dropped 25 clay birds for a perfect round of skeet with his 20-gauge over and under shotgun at the Martha’s Vineyard Rod & Gun Club on Friday, Nov. 28. A round of skeet consists of 25 clays or birds. The first challenge to skeet shooters is to acquire their first 25 straight targets (25 by 25), or what’s called a perfect round.

The Rod & Gun Club started the Skeet Straight Club in 1998 with the goal of developing better shooters. Each time a member shoots a 25, 50, 75 and 100 straight targets with a particular gauge, the shooter’s name goes on the trophy and a coveted pin is awarded.

Mr. Tobin’s name will be engraved on the club trophy, and he will receive a 25 straight pin. His hat was also shot full of holes as is custom when a person gets his first straight score.

Then on Sunday, Dec. 7, under damp weather conditions, a dozen black powder enthusiasts competed for top prizes at the Rod & Gun Club’s annual Black Powder Shoot. This year’s top honors went to Phil Hughes of Oak Bluffs who won the division of primitive muzzleloaders, Steve Jordan placed second and Richard Carlson captured the Class C title. Steve Jordan shot the highest scores at the various targets that were presented to capture the title of the modern division. Placing second and third respectively in this division were Tom O’Hanlon and Bill Kingsbury.

Other winners that day took home hams for their persistence at shooting their modern and primitive black powder rifles at difficult targets. The club thanks Cronig’s Market and those individuals who donated prizes and food that helped make the day a successful fund-raiser for the club’s children’s programs of Martha’s Vineyard.