Move over, Annie Oakley. Take a seat, Buffalo Bill — the Payson Birdbusters are the new, reigning royalty of sharpshooting.
The group, which has been competing around the state for about 20 years, proved its members are among the sport’s best by winning more than half of all the top-three medals doled out at the Senior Olympic Shot Gun Championships held Aug. 2 at the Prescott Trap and Skeet Club.
“Our club represented over a third of all the shooters present,” said Birdbusters Treasurer Kathy Elson. “We did our hometown proud.”
Among the most successful of club members were Richard Kruse and Tom Strunk. Both won two gold medals and a silver.
Birdbusters members practice at their range located just west of the Beeline Highway in Rye.
Other medal winners include:
• Bob Seiler, gold in Skeet;
• Russell O’Rourke, gold in Trap, silver in Doubles;
• Terry Turley, bronze in Trap, bronze in Skeet;
• Bobby Buchanan, silver in Doubles, silver in Skeet;
• Dennis Bowser, bronze in Skeet;
• Neil Savage, bronze in Skeet;
• Bill Fitz, silver in Trap, bronze in Doubles, bronze in Skeet;
• Bill McDonald, gold in Trap, bronze in Doubles;
• Kathy Elson, silver in Trap, silver in Doubles, bronze in Skeet;
• Dennis Lee, silver in Skeet, silver in Trap, bronze in Doubles;
• Byron Gunderson, silver in Trap;
• Sandy Gunderson, silver in Doubles, silver in Skeet, bronze in Trap;
• Steve Haynes, gold in Skeet, gold in Doubles, bronze in Trap;
• Ron Crandall, gold in Skeet.