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Bandera Gun Club tops in state

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

They wear bright yellow shirts and blinged up sun shades. Their vehicles flaunt bumper stickers that proclaim, "Shut up and shoot, Buttercup!" All this flair is not just an over-inflated ego thing. No, indeed. Bandera Gun Club's 12-gauge shooting team, the Buttercups, brought the state championship trophy, the "Eagle" back home for the 12th time since 1997.
Club owner JM Clements could not have been happier. "Who'd a thought that when we started the business our club would have had the state, national and international success we have enjoyed!"
In a shoot for the history books, the Buttercups are the first ladies team to win the coveted state club title. Team members included Babette Burley, Kathleen Butler, Pat Hupp, Tina Tullett and Denise Campbell.
The crowd at the Texas State Skeet Championships at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio really got behind the team during the final shootout, Clements reported. "They were shooting against a men's team from Dallas and we began to hear shouts from the crowd like, 'you're goin' to get beat by the girls!' They were just hitting everything," said Clements, 'and when one of the Dallas men missed it got really crazy!"
The little Bandera Club has had a long-running personal competition with the big city clubs from Houston and Dallas to win the "Eagle" trophy, with plenty of humorous exchanges through the years. Now the trophy is a plaque that has the winning team's names engraved on it. In the past, however, it was a beautiful bronze sculpture which the winning club had the honor of displaying for a year.
One city club, having become accustomed to winning regularly, built a special display case for the bird. When Bandera won the trophy one year, the local club sent a stuffed bird of, well let's just say, not quite so noble lineage, to the city for their fancy new display case.
The Buttercups weren't the only big winners from Bandera at the state competition. And once again, it was a female who topped the list. Bailey Glenewinkel, a Bandera Gun Club member from Helotes, won the Open State High Over All (HOA) Championship. She won this honor in a shoot-off with Carter Wehrhelm, who just happens to be a member of the local club as well. Wehrhelm, from Boerne, is a two-time State HOA Champion.
Clements, himself no newcomer to trophy collecting, was invited to participate in the five-man veterans shoot, an honor based on the participants' annual shooting record, and also won his class in a shoot-out for a trophy buckle.
As a result of all this championship action in the tradition of Annie Oakley, the Bandera club has adopted a new motto: "Cowboy/Girl Up and Git-er-Done!"
If you'd like to shoot where champions are bred, head on out to the Bandera Gun Club at 809 FM 1077. Call them at 830-796-4610.