100-foot Antolik Mural Commemorated During Civilian Marksmanship Program’s Fall Open House and Turkey Shoot
By Steve Cooper, CMP Writer
CAMP PERRY, OHIO –-(AmmoLand.com)- More than 300 shooters and guests attended the second annual Camp Perry Marksmanship Center Open House on Saturday, 19 September, commemorating the center’s second year of operations and a new shooter’s mural.
Visitors were treated to several activities including the dedication of the unique Antolik Mural, all-day turkey shoots on the world-class airgun range and live participation on the Ohio Army National Guard’s Engagement Skills Trainer (EST).
The Antolik Mural, a 100-foot-long by 20-foot-high handcrafted wall painting, honors current and past Camp Perry competitors, but most importantly recognizes the development of the nation’s young shooters. The mural was painted by Jerry Antolik of Hudson, Wyoming and is perhaps the largest painting of its kind dedicated to shooting sports, according to Gary Anderson, Director of Civilian Marksmanship.
At the mid-day mural dedication ceremony, Anderson praised Antolik’s work and provided a brief history of shooting sports art around the world. In traveling the sports shooting world Anderson compared the new mural to ancient archery tomb paintings in Egypt, centuries-old German murals and art he saw in China during the 2008 Olympic Games.
“To my knowledge, there is no larger mural dedicated to shooting sports in the world than the Antolik Mural,” Anderson said. “It is truly one of a kind.”
The mural depicts indoor and outdoor shooting scenes from Camp Perry and features many familiar sights including the camp’s water tower, a tractor pulling a shooter shuttle, a bald eagle and the ever-present seagulls.
But the centerpiece of the mural is a display of shooters past and present, including a row of precision air rifle shooters which dominates the center of the 100-foot-long wall at the range’s entrance.
In his remarks Antolik told the audience that the three-month project was a labor of love and he thanked the CMP for its commitment to, and vision for the development of shooting sports in the U.S.
“I’ve been coming here a long time. It’s a great place that has a special quality unlike any other,” Antolik said. “It is an honor to display my artwork here.”
“I think the sweetest thing of all is that they dedicated my mural during a turkey shoot,” he said with tongue in cheek.
Visitors who fired on the airgun range were first given a safety briefing and sporter air rifle instruction and then an opportunity to win a turkey with the best center shot in groups of 10 shooters, firing 10 shots each with sporter air rifles. In all, 30 turkeys were awarded to participants. All equipment and pellets were provided by CMP.
Austin Jess, 15 and his grandfather Ron, 68 of Fremont, Ohio participated in the open house festivities for the second year. The St. Joseph Central Catholic High School student said he’s never shot competitively but enjoys coming to the marksmanship center.
“If I had more time I’d be interested in shooting competitively,” he said. Golf, basketball and his favorite sport of baseball keep him busy though.
“Actually, it’s really relaxing, but you need a lot of focus,” he said.
Bill Keaton, 53, of Grafton, Ohio visited the center for the first time and said he was surprised by the size of the facility. Keaton is a Cleveland Center air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Administration.
“I plan to shoot a whole lot more when I retire, but I’m not sure yet when that’s going to happen,” Keaton said. He is a 25-year veteran controller and helped work air traffic on September 11, 2001.
Keaton shoots regularly in a 12-week handgun league near home, but caught the air rifle bug at the open house. He later purchased a reconditioned Daisy sporter rifle at the CMP store and plans to practice at home.
Jake Gladwell, 12 and his father Tim, 45, of Sandusky, Ohio also visited Camp Perry for the first time. Jake said he heard about the open at school, researched it on the Internet and convinced his dad to participate.
“He told me about it last night,” Tim said, so the Gladwells took the opportunity to shoot the turkey match and visit the National Guard’s EST adjacent to the airgun range later.
The Gladwells shoot a number of rifles and shotguns at home and said they enjoyed shooting at the CMP’s new indoor range. They said they are likely to take advantage of the weekly public practice sessions on Tuesday evenings.
“We’ve always enjoyed target shooting and this was a lot of fun,” Tim said.
Several guests visited and “shot” on the National Guard’s EST simulator with converted A4 service rifles. Participants were given the opportunity to fire in an industrial scenario on a massive video screen. The objective was to shoot oncoming enemy soldiers who ran for cover between buildings, ore piles and other structures.
Each shooter was given 30-round magazines and could fire semi-auto or in three-shot bursts. Firing in unlimited mode, participants could change out empty magazines and continue firing until time elapsed. Other than firing lasers at interactive targets and air-driven bolt actuators, the rifles function exactly like combat weapons, which saves a significant amount of ammunition for training purposes.
If you missed the open house but are still interested in visiting the CMP Camp Perry Marksmanship Center or shooting on the Air Gun Range, the CMP offers open public shooting on Tuesday evenings, from 5:30PM to 8:00PM. For more information about the Camp Perry Marksmanship Center and upcoming events, log onto http://www.odcmp.com/MarksmanshipCenters.htm.
For more information about the creation of the Antolik Mural, log onto http://www.odcmp.org/0909/default.asp?page=ANTOLIKMURAL.
More pictures from the Fall Open House and Turkey Shoot are posted at
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is a national organization dedicated to training and educating U. S. citizens in responsible uses of firearms and airguns through gun safety training, marksmanship training and competitions. The CMP is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) corporation that places its highest priority on serving youth through gun safety and marksmanship activities that encourage personal growth and build life skills. Links on this page will lead you to more detailed information about the CMP and its programs.