By Kevin J. Sabo For the Independent
A legend in the Alberta trap-shooting community is being inducted into the Alberta Provincial Trapshooting Association Hall of Fame, and he happens to be from Stettler.
Stettler’s own Robert ‘Doc’ Docherty has been a member of the trap-shooting community in the province of Alberta since 1972, and in that time, he has accrued several records for himself.
First, an introduction to trapshooting.
Trapshooting, an Olympic sport, is a firearms-based competition where competitors take turns firing at clay ‘pigeons’ launched out of a trap-house.
The pigeons are launched away from the shooter. The shooters are lined up at concrete stations, and take turns firing at the flying targets with a shotgun.
After everyone’s turn is complete the shooters change stations, so each competitor fires at the targets from a slightly different angle at each successive turn.
Further adding to the challenge for the shooters is that the pigeons are not just launched in a straight line out of the house. The launcher continually changes the angle at which it launches the pigeons, so the competitors never know which direction they will be launched.
The competition is either singles, where one pigeon is launched, or doubles, where a pair is launched.
One of the records that Docherty has claimed over his nearly 40-year career is the number of times he has shot “straight 100s,” where he has shot 100 pigeons out of the sky without a miss.
He holds the record at the Edmonton Gun Club, with 28 straight 100s in the singles category. He also has seven straight 100s in doubles throughout his career.
He’s also shot 100 straight several other times around the province.
According to Brad Johnson, the Alberta Provincial Trap Association president, “No one else is even close” to matching Docherty’s straight numbers.
“To shoot 100 straight is an accomplishment on its own,” said Johnson.
“Rob has shot 28 of them at that club alone.”
In addition to that accomplishment, Docherty has won the Alberta Provincial Singles Champion trophy three times and been runner-up three times. In his shooting career, Docherty has dropped almost 250,000 targets.
Still, his accomplishments on the range aren’t the sole reason for his induction to the Hall of Fame.
According to Johnson, Docherty has also been a builder of the sport.
“He’s the most cordial person you’ll meet. He’s a super nice guy,” said Johnson.
“When there’s a new shooter that comes to a trap shoot…he’s the guy that makes the new guys feel welcome. He helps them out, gives them pointers. He’s a very well-liked guy among Alberta trap shooters.”
In addition to being a shooter himself, Docherty was also the Stettler Trap Club president for 25 years, and during that time some of the most successful shoots were held in Stettler under Docherty’s guidance, according to Johnson.
“He’s won all the championships, he’s promoted and built the sport the way he has,” said Johnson, who filled out the Hall of Fame induction forms.
“He covered it as a shooter and a builder.
What does Docherty have to say about the induction?
“It’s quite an honour getting inducted into the Hall of Fame,” said Docherty, who is still an active member of the Stettler Trap Club.
The Stettler Trap Club, which is always looking for new members, shoots Wednesday nights, and the occasional Sundays.
There are currently around 30 active members.
“We have a good club in Stettler now,” said Docherty.
“It died down a bit, but it’s come back up. We bought a new trap machine and voice release for it. It’s a good club.”
Docherty will officially be inducted into the Alberta Provincial Trap Association Hall of Fame during the provincial shoot in July of 2021.