Right On Target
Written by JEB Greenberg & Lauren Bassett
November 1, 2018
At the Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds, you can find an elite sporting clays shooter, someone who is both a national champion and All-American while also holding one of the coveted 60 Tour Cards for the Professional Sporting Clays Association (PSCA).
And though this may come as a surprise it’s not decorated course designer and Director Justin Jones (though his Olympic pedigree and Royal Family connections would suggest otherwise).
It’s young shooting instructor Jasper Copelan, just 20-years-old and already one of the best shooters in the country.
For Copelan, an Eatonton, GA native, shooting is in his blood, as he began hunting at age six and entered his first competition at ten. His development was spurred by his parents – both accomplished shooting instructors in their own right – and the fortuity of the Lake Oconee Den Club located just across the street from his home.
“I got my start at The Club,” he recalls. “After school I would walk across the street and shoot until it got dark. With practice I got better and better and started entering more competitions.”
Copelan attended Gatewood School and was a member of the clay target team, where he won the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) All-Around Shotgun State Championship the three years they had the competition, while also placing third nationally. This was just a prelude for greater success: In 2017, Jasper won the Junior U.S Open, outscoring 500 other shooters in the sporting clays competition.
He’s since earned his exclusive tour card, competed professionally on the PSCA, was named an All-American, all while working as a full-time shooting instructor at Sandy Creek.
The schedule keeps him busy, but Jasper couldn’t have dreamed of anything better.
“I want to take shooting as far as I can, and the Sporting Grounds not only offers me the opportunity to hone my craft,” – he shoots 300-400 shells of practice weekly on the grounds – “but also learn from an unbelievable mentor in Justin. Shooting and career-wise, I couldn’t ask for better.”