Hugh Roberts was famous in Orange County beginning in the 1960’s as an expert shotgunner, instructor, trick shot, and shotgun exhibitionist. In addition to running several shotgun ranges Hugh was often seen at Coto De Caza entertaining celebrities and audiences with his impressive trick shooting skills. Frequently spectators were lassoed into the show in good
fun. One notable story includes Hugh bringing The Duke, John Wayne to the stage for a tutorial on shooting Hugh’s scoped Model 12. When the Duke shouldered the shotgun and peered down the scope he was surprised to see a rather burlesque photo mounted in the tube. You can imagine the out roar.

Hugh never missed the opportunity to pull a bystander onto the range as can be seen in these late photos. The woman didn’t speak English, and Hugh didn’t speak Chinese. But Hugh helped her to hit her first target.

Hugh was instrumental in recruiting shooters and that was the motivation for creating his Escopetas club in 1968. Developed to bring new people to the sport, Hugh created a more relaxed and fun environment designed to make newer shooters feel comfortable in competition. His original concept remains unchanged today; 100 sixteen yard targets, a couple of fun shoots, a few snacks and prizes, and plenty of fun for everyone. Score is kept and Hugh’s “Lewis Class” system is used to determine the winners. Before his
death in 2009, Hugh exonerated the group not to change the format saying “It has worked since 1968”. He would be proud to know nothing has changed and our group grows steadily thanks to the support of our shooters.

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