MOUNT VERNON — Randy Wilhelm, a local professional trap shooter who has had a prolific career, has been elected to the Ohio State Trapshooters Association Hall of Fame as a competitive trap shooter. He will be inducted during a ceremony June 25 at the Cardinal Center in Marengo.
Wilhelm got his start in trap shooting right here in Mount Vernon. He was able to develop his skills over the years after starting trap shooting at such an early age.
“I started shooting when I was about seven years old,” Wilhelm said. “My first clay targets that I shot were at the old Kokosing Gun Club off of Monroe Mills Road in Mount Vernon. That’s where I learned how to shoot with my father.”
Wilhelm has had a long career that has propelled him to the very top of the sport of trap-shooting. Most people would consider a trip to a World Championship in any sport a once in a lifetime thing. Wilhelm has been to many trap shooting world championships and has had success throughout his career. Wilhelm has also had profound local success by being team captain of many All-Ohio shooting teams.
“I’ve been to 46 world championships and I got runner-up in the world handicap championship,” Wilhelm said. “I got third place in the world doubles championship. I also got fourth place in the world clay target championship. I’ve been on 25 All-Ohio shooting teams and I’ve been captain six times.”
Wilhelm’s official shooting numbers are astounding. His repetitive success and consistency in the sport of trap shooting is revealed in the statistics of his target shooting over the years.
“My target totals are 92,300 single targets, 74,900 handicap targets, and 39,400 double targets,” said Wilhelm. “That’s not counting all of the other shooting I’ve done, including practice, non-registered events and night shoots.”
Wilhelm has won championships in Ohio, Illinois and Las Vegas – his favorite place to shoot. Even though he’s found success around the U.S., he isn’t the kind of guy who participates in trap shooting for the fame and glory.
“I’ve never really done trap shooting for money or for trophies. I’ve shot because I enjoy guns. To me trap shooting is the hardest sport that there is,” Wilhelm said. “In golf, the cup doesn’t move. In basketball, the hoop doesn’t move. In trap shooting, the target is moving at 42 and 43 miles an hour. Plus the shot stream is moving through the air and you’re moving your gun into the shot. All of that is coming together at the same time.
“With double targets, there are two targets in the air at the same time. One to the right and one to the left. On single targets everyone shoots from 16 yards. With handicap shooting, the range is from 16 to 27 yards from the front of the trap house to the back. The best shooters in the world shoot from 27 yards. That’s where I’ve been for some time.”
His best shooting streak was when he 997 out of a thousand over the course of three events in singles.
Trap shooting is an all-day event and requires very dedicated and repetitive practice.
“At an event you start at 9 in the morning,” said Wilhelm. “That’s when the sun is up and you can see the targets early in the morning. We are typically done by three. We shoot three events per day. You shoot 100 handicap targets and in other categories.
“At home I shoot 50 handicap targets, 50 single targets and 100 double targets about every three days,” Wilhelm said.
The rest of this article is available to our subscribers.
Do your part to support local journalism
Subscribe to our e-edition to read this and many other articles written by your neighbors.