55 Years for Two-Shot Goose Hunt

Sporting Clay Competition


As each November gives way to December right around the dark of the moon, thousands of Snow and Canadian geese migrate to southeast Colorado to stop over and feed and for the past 55 years, numerous hunters have come to Lamar for the annual goose hunt.

Past Two Shot Auction Nights

Rose Ann Yates, one of the principals in the annual Two-Shot Celebrity Goose Hunt, recently recounted the origins of the event to the Lamar Rotary Club, an offering of the Rotary’s “Still Standing” series recounting those long-lived business and events in the Lamar area.

Rose Ann Yates with Deb Pelley, Executive Dir. of Hospice from Past Auction Event

The hunt’s origins go back to 1966 when a local goose-hunting club decided to expand its operation into a celebrity goose hunt, given the thousands of geese that migrated through the area each year.  Putting the event on the map would help generate local revenue and to that end, people such as Dan Sniff, Punch Bowen, Jim Higgins, Andy Wyatt, Dave Eddleman and others, in later years, Robert Yates contributed to the growth of the annual event.

Rose Ann Yates said the first year attracted the likes of famed actor Roy Rogers, sports celebrities such as Goose Gossage, regional governors and heads of corporations for the three-day hunt.  Other notable attendees included Tippy Martinez, cowboy-poet Baxter Black, singer Hank Thompson, various actors from movies and tv as well as representatives from Dicks Sporting Goods, Cabelas and Winchester.

“It’s grown to the point where we now have to turn away teams who want to take part,” she said, adding that the hunt started out with just four shooters on four teams and they could only take two shots on site.  That’s changed over the years to now allow twelve teams with six shooters, but Yates explained the event is at its limit and she’s had to turn away teams for the past several years.

“We’ve split the teams into several events that offer sporting clays on Wednesday, this year on November 30th, which includes the very popular evening public auction at the Lamar Eagles Lodge.  Thursday features the morning upland hunt, so the events are split for the teams to get some shooting practice in over the two days.”  The fast-paced auction features complimentary beverages and food while the bidding gets very generous and the proceeds help many of the charities supported by the Two-Shot such as Lamar Area Hospice, Toys for Tots, Hunt for a Lifetime and Water for Wildlife.  The Thursday banquet is a way of saying thanks to all the landowners for allowing the hunt on their properties.

“It would be almost impossible for us to do this each year without local volunteers, especially the guides who spend so much of their time coordinating with local landowners, digging the pits and literally traveling to other states to find the best hunting site,” she explained, adding that the Rebel Roosters from Colorado Springs serve as the upland guides.  Other organizations pitch in and benefit as well, including the FFA students from McClave who serve as cleaners and package the birds for the hunter’s departure that Saturday.

“It’s hard to determine just how many ways the hunt benefits the economy of the Lamar area.  Everyone involved buys as many local items as they can and this runs from gas, lodging, restaurants, clothing, hunting supplies and even includes selling pick-up trucks,” she explained.  “Many of these hunters become life-long friends and enjoy their ties to the community,” Yates added, saying she hopes to see a large turnout at the Eagles Lodge for the November 30th auction.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureChamber of CommerceCharityCity of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEntertainmentEventsFeaturedRecreationTourism

About the Author: