Someone You Should Know: Still one of the best trap shooters
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - This day is like many others in Ron Putzier’s life. He’s loading up his gun to shoot at the Crooks Gun Club.
“I started in 1963 in a Rapid City shooting league — at the Izaak Walton League up there. I got addicted to it, and I started shooting registered trap in 1964,” said Ron.
That’s almost sixty years of trap shooting. And the soon-to-be 87-year-old is still one of the state’s best.
“I had a great state shoot up in Aberdeen this year. Came home with seven trophies — seven awards up there. I won a shoot-off up there against one of the all-Americans, Matt Barnard from Rapid City. And it put a big feather in my hat, and made me feel real good,” said Ron.
For Ron, it was just one of his many wins on the state and national level. He hit 299 of 300 once. And he still routinely hits 100 targets in a row.
“If you like it, you try to do better every time you go out. Perfection is the name of the game. You have bad days and good days. And I’ve had a lot of good days in my career. They always say practice makes perfect. You got to have a mindset that you want to break ‘em all,” said Ron.
And he’s made it look easy. Despite losing sight in his left eye after a work accident in 1977.
“I had taken my safety glasses off to go help the people in the front of the store. I was working for Trap and Field Supply at the time and came back and didn’t put my safety glasses on. Went around the corner, hit the switch, and bingo, a piece of metal popped and went right into the center of my left eye. And it was toast. I never saw out of it again,” said Ron.
Besides competing, the longtime former Sioux Falls gun shop owner still works as a gunsmith at Scheels.
“Gets me out of the house. It’s something to do. And I just enjoy doing what I’m doing. I fix guns that won’t feed or misfire. That’s the kind of stuff that I work on. A lot of it is cleaning. Some of it is broken parts in there. Every gun is different. It keeps your mind going — thinking. The gears turning upstairs all the time,” said Ron.
Ron isn’t slowing down, despite being much older than his competition. His next big event is next month in Arizona.
“I’m going to do it until I can’t do it anymore. I want to do it as long as I can pick up the gun and still shoot,” said Ron.
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