SLSA Newsletter
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Summer is in the books, and our children and grandchildren are back in school. The summer was hot and at times unbearable.  Range activity was slow to moderate.  With cooler temperatures and deer season in full swing, activity has picked up as our members sight in and sharpen their skills to fill their freezer with a central coast black tail.  We hope that since the last newsletter, you have “lived well and prospered”.  The summer happenings around the range are, as follows;
Many members are unaware that the Atascadero Mutual Water Company (“AMWC”) owned since 1927, a 1.7 acre parcel on the northeast corner of the SLSA property.  This parcel was never used by AMWC and has been part of the shotgun and archery ranges since SLSA opened the range in 1952.  In 2002, this parcel became landlocked when SLSA acquired an open space easement on the 17 acre parcel on the eastern boundary.  On July 25, 2018, the Board purchased this parcel from AMWC.  This acquisition secures our range from any disruption that could occur if either AMWC or a third party purchaser wanted to exercise their rights of use.  The parcel was purchased for $5,000.00. 
The Safety / RSO Committee is recruiting members to become NRA certified range safety officers to keep our ranges safe and to maintain a friendly shooting environment.  A NRA range safety instructor certification class will be held on Saturday October 27th from 8:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.
The class is taught by NRA certified instructors.  Participants will learn all NRA gun handling safety rules, SLSA operating procedures and range rules, and how to manage and operate all of our ranges. 
The course is free to members joining the RSO program.  Sucessful participation in the program entitles the member to full service credits and a reduction in annual dues.  All course materials and uniforms are free.   Members taking the course will be asked to perform one 4 hour weekend shift every 3 months.   Reserve your place now.  Class enrollment is limited. For further infomation, contact Nick Mosich at (714) 425-3581 or email at  
Junior Shotgun is one of SLSA’s premier programs.  The program has produced a number of highly accomplished trap shooters.  One standout is Wyatt Hamby.  Wyatt is nationally recognized for his skills on the trap field.  This year he is attending Concordia University, Nebraska on a full trap scholarship.    
The fall season for Junior Shotgun begins this month.  Juniors, between the ages of 9 through 18, may enroll in the next session on September 13, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. in the club house. The cost per session is $35 per child or $70 maximum per family. The cost includes targets and shells. The program is sponsored in part by the NRA. Contact Keith Baker at (805) 441-8077 for further information
On August 11th, SLSA hosted a day at the range exclusively for women.  Twenty six women participated to hone and learn new skills in handling and operating a handgun.  For more details see the article by Mary Smith, below. 
SLSA is committed to provide more opportuniites for women to participate in the shooting sports.  To achieve this goal, a new Women’s Event Committee was formed.  The committee will sponser events for women only in the handling and use of shotguns, rifles, handguns and black powder firearms; as well as care and maintenance, self defense and home safety.  The committee Chairperson is Mary Smith.  Participation on the committee is open to both members and their spouses.  For further infomation, contact Mary Smith at (760) 861-5254 or email at
Women On Target is a handgun class for women only.  It is sponsered by SLSA and the Women of the NRA.  The next class is on October 6, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Cost is $40.00.  Pre-registration is required.  For more information and a registration form, see the SLSA web page or contact Jay DeCou at (805) 674-4449 or email at
On September 11 and 15 SLSA will host a Hunter Safety Course.   The class is held at the clubhouse.  Attendees must attend all sessions for certification.  The fee for the course is $12.00.  You must pre-register for the class with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife at Then choose 'Traditional Hunter Education. 
The SLSA MUDSLIDE Trap Shoot will be held on September 8th and 9th.  The shoot is certified by the Amateur Trap Association (ATA”) and participants will earn a rating and handicap for future ATA events.  A barbeque lunch will be available. The shoot starts at 9:00 a.m. on both days. 
SLSA was well represented at the recent California State Trap Shoot.  We congratulate all those that participated and especially the members that achieved awards and recognition. 
Memorial Handicap:  Tyler Cassara sub-Junior runner up
Vice-president Handicap:  Russ Pierce 27 yard Champion, Garrett Shiffer Junior Champion, and Tyler Cassara sub-Junior runner up,
Class Singles:  Russ Pierce AAA Champion, Barbie Thorp Lady 2 runner up, Wyatt Hambly Junior runner up, and Tyler Cassara sub-Junior runner up,
Eilert Insurance Handicap:  Wyatt Hambly 27 yard runner up
Class Doubles:  Russ Pierce AAA runner up, Wyatt Hambly Junior Champion, and Tyler Cassara sub-Junior runner up,
Doubles Championship:  Russ Pierce Champion (2 years consecutive), and Wyatt Hambly Junior Champion
President Handicap:  Garrett Shiffer Junior 3rd Place and Tyler Cassara 21-22 yard Champion
Singles Championship:  Wyatt Hambly Junior Champion and Tyler Cassara sub-Junior runner up
Handicap Championship:  Tyler Cassara sub-Junior runner up
High all around (400 targets):  Russ Pierce Champion runner up, Barbie Thorp lady 2 runner up, Tyler Cassara sub-Junior Champion and Wyatt Hambly Junior runner up
High Over All (1100 targets):  Russ Pierce Champion runner up, Barbie Thorp lady 2 runner up, Tyler Cassara sub-Junior Champion, Wyatt Hambly Junior Champion, Garrett Shiffer B Class runner up, and John Silva C Class runner up
SLSA will open a range dedicated to airguns.  The new range will be on the special event and law enforcement range.  The details have not been finalized, but it is anticipated that the range will open on October 5th and be available for all members on Friday, Saturday and Sundays.  The range will feature an assorted collection of targets; including metal silhouettes, spinners and clays.  For further infomation, contact Eric Estelle at (805) 835-3695 or email at
An archery league will meet on the second and fourth Tuesday night starting at 6:00.  Competing archers will shoot 40 arrows, ten per target at ranges between 20 and 50 yards.  Archers can compete in various classes; including compound hunting bow, compound target bow, traditional, recurve bow without sights, and traditional, recurve bow with sights.  Cost is $5.00 per night, eight nights of shooting.  The total of four highest scores in each class will receive a cash prize.  Next shoots are on September 11th and 25.  For further information contact Joh Fischer at (805) 296-2293 or email at
The nomination of directors for 2019 will be held at the Board Meeting on October 2, 2018.  If you or someone you want to nominate is interested in becoming a member of the Board, he or she must be nominated at the meeting.  Only full members in good standing may become a director.  SLSA is always seeking qualified candidates to become members of the Board, and we encourage anyone interested in the position to step forward.  For further infomation, contact John Silva at .
Until next time.                                          On Behalf of the entire SLSA Board,
                                                                          Nick Mosich, President

On Saturday August 11th, the Santa Lucia Sportsmen’s Association (“SLSA”) held a clinic for women interested in the shooting sports and firearm safety. The clinic was free to all women of the community. The event held at the S.L.S.A. handgun range focused on training in the use and handling of handgun. It was a great opportunity for women, both members and non-members of the club, to learn and practice their shooting skills. More than a dozen NRA certified instructors were on hand to provide individual guidance to the women.
26 women participated in the clinic.  Most of the women brought their personal handguns, and there were many loaners to try out. While the women liked all of the instructors, they were especially drawn to Mary Corey.  Mary is an NRA certified shooting instructor, and competes in local 3 gun competitions. Mary started the day with an introduction to shooting and provided advice to participants throughout the day. The women were eager to hear from a women’s perspective on how to hold, aim, stand and fire a handgun.
“Great event” and “Everyone was friendly, helpful and knowledgeable” were some of the comments made by participants who attended the clinic. Several women commented that this was their first time at a shooting range and the event helped them to overcome some of their fear of shooting and being around guns.
The participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire at the end of the event. All participants were interested in more events targeted for women at the shooting range and several women requested more information about SLSA membership. The most popular activities requested for future events were self-defense, home defense, and target practice.
SLSA is committed to providing more opportunities for women to learn and enjoy the shooting sports. The goal is to empower women with the confidence to safely and competently use firearms. Next year SLSA will offer more activities in a women-friendly environment. The newly established Women’s Event Committee will manage all future women’s events and next year will sponsor, at least, four clinics for women. Look for upcoming events on the calendar at the SLSA website
By:  Mary Smith
       Chairperson Women’s Event Committee

How Did Effort Get In this Soup?
As a practicing psychologist and member of SLSA’s Public Relations Committee I was glad to agree when Nick Mosich asked me to write an article on relaxation techniques, self-regulation skills, and anxiety management for target shooters.
How did I go about this?  I thought about it, did some reading, and asked several people around the range some questions. First I looked at Jeff Carpenter's article on how to relax and manage performance anxiety (September 27, 2017) on the NRA Shooting Sports USA website. Jeff did a pretty nice job of pulling together some of the basics about how to manage anxiety and use relaxation techniques, and by the time I’d finished I thought, “OK, that makes sense, I can pass along some of those ideas to my readers.”  His article piqued my curiosity, and I wanted to understand more about relaxation breathing, so I naturally looked at the article “Breath Control Options” on the USA Carry website (May 17, 2013) by Ben Findley that’s illustrated with some humorous photos of a guy holding his breath.  The article actually outlines a number of different theories about how to breathe while you're shooting.  The article goes on for several pages and is admirably detailed, but when I reached the part where Ben summarized the four best options for breath control, I was feeling drowsy.  As I read and re-read the options, I thought to myself,” Wait just a moment - how does that work?” and tried it myself, paused, then tried again, thinking, “Good, but try that more quickly,” which is when I found myself dizzy and out of breath.  After about 10 or so minutes with Findlay's article I thought, “This is just too darned confusing!”
Still, I looked at one more, Chip Lohman's article (August 5, 2015) on the NRA Shooting Sports USA website, “Shooting is 90% Mental.”  Chip helpfully interviewed two mental health professionals (it’s usually a good plan to ask two of them, if the first one you interview doesn't make a lick of sense), but I fairly quickly found myself totally confused.  Chip briefly reviewed aspects of focus neuroscience, the importance of believing in oneself, practice effects, performance anxiety, quieting the mind, and match pressure.  By the time I was halfway through it, I was exhausted.
These articles may be helpful to the average Joe or Jill trying to figure out how to improve their shooting, but might there also be other flies in this particular ointment?  As a behavioral scientist (and without a bit of compensation), I asked a number of people who showed up at SLSA over a few weeks’ time, “Do you want to get better at shooting?  Do you want to improve your accuracy?”  What I noticed when I asked those questions was a curious thing. Almost every person indicated, “Yeah …,” but looked a bit nervous, with a sketchy, uncomfortable sort of look in response to my questions.
Thinking more about that reaction, it dawned on me – yes, the sun may have actually come over the horizon at that instant -- that almost all were basically saying that while they wanted to get better and might do some things to make that happen, they absolutely were not willing to make shooting into a job.  (Of course, some of us have to train and qualify in order to keep our jobs or our credentials, but even with that in mind, almost everybody seems to want to enjoy their shooting time, which they do as thoroughly as they possibly can.)
Which brings us to the bottom line. There seems to be a deep tension between, on one hand, wanting to improve one’s shooting accuracy, and on the other, absolutely insisting on keeping the enjoyment in shooting, accuracy be darned. Otherwise, shooting simply gets loaded down with self-audits, becomes another part of the dreary workaday world, laden with continual (and apparently, eternal!) quality improvement, living that “Never get less than a 10 rating!” madness that strips all the fun out of life.  In conclusion, my observational research showed that practically everybody wants to have a good time and have fun when shooting.  For reasons psychology can’t yet explain, it’s just fun zinging a few bits of metal or other composite material a long ways in a fast moment, or there may even be some other aspect of shooting that floats your boat.
There’s a term for unpressured shooting-- “plinking” -- which captures some of that good-natured, unhurried fun that can never be entered into a spreadsheet or an Excel doc (trust me, I’ve tried!).
That’s where we have to leave it. If target shooting isn’t mainly fun, you're not going to do it very long, and you surely won’t become more accurate once you’ve decided to just chuck the whole tedious chore of trying to harass yourself into better shooting. 
… So anytime you're finding a way to improve your shooting, make sure it inhabits that sweet spot between ambition and pure enjoyment, so when you've finished for the day or week, you leave the range feeling glad that you came out and shot a few, and quickly feel eager to come back again.
“How To Relax: Breathing, Shooting & Anxiety” at
“Breath Control While Shooting: 4 Options” at
“Shooting is 90% Mental” at
Monty Clouse, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2018 Santa Lucia Sportsmen's Association, All rights reserved.

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