Harlan Campbell Jr. started shooting around the age of seven, going to the club with his dad, and his accomplishments in the sport since then are many.
His extensive trophy collection includes more than 125 awards in Grand American competition, including three All-Around and two High-Over-All championships.
Campbell has won 60 Satellite Grand titles, collecting four singles with 200s and 12 doubles with 100s. In addition he established the all-around records of 397 at the Great Lakes and Northeastern Grands plus the Southwestern Grand high of 399. He won the 2009 Southwestern Grand HOA title with a record 1283x1300 plus the 2008 Heartland HOA with 1086x1100 still the high mark.
An eight-time Southwestern Zone titlist, Campbell has won the singles and handicap one time each, the doubles four times and the all-around twice. His Kansas state shoot titles include one sub-junior, seven singles, three handicap, eight doubles and 12 all-around.
Campbell has earned spots on the All-American team 17 times, with all of them being on the men’s ﬁrst team except for a placement on the 1980 junior team and 1997 men’s second. He has been a member of the men’s ﬁrst team every year since 1998, earning the captain slot six times in the last nine years.
Harlan has collected TRAP & FIELD All-Around Average Awards every year since 2002, and he completed his ATA Grand Slam in August 2000 with a 100 from the 27.
“My career has had a lot of highlights," Harlan said. “There's not one that stands out because they all mean something to me .” If he had to pick a few, however, he says the ones that he particularly remembers include winning his ﬁrst state title, being inducted into the Kansas Hall of Fame, and winning his ﬁrst All-Around at the Grand. He added that he now considers being inducted into the Trapshooting Hall of Fame his most prized accomplishment.
He remembers early in his career watching Ray Stafford, Leo Harrison and Dan Orlich, who he calls true competitors and holds in high regard. However, the shooters Campbell says he really has a lot of respect for are the ones out there shooting every weekend, working on their game and trying hard to improve. He says it can be difﬁcult to break less-than-winning scores and keep coming back and trying again, and he respects the shooters who have the desire and ability to want to keep doing it and getting better.
Harlan says his parents have always been his biggest supporters, and they are proud of what he’s done. “They’ve always been there,” he said. “That doesn’t stop just because you're an adult or a top shooter.” They like to watch him shoot and always keep up on how he’s doing. Harlan is happy they will get to see him inducted. He says his dad was a good teacher and gave him the good working basics in his shooting that allowed him to compete well anywhere. Campbell also noted that his dad still says to him before he goes to a shoot to remember what he's going out there for, keep his head in the game for every target, and give it 110%. He reminds him that no one is making him do it; this is what he has chosen.
Others who have had a big inﬂuence on JR‘s shooting career include Randy Moeller and Rob Taylor. He says they have been there to help keep him focused and grounded and his attitude in check. “If my head got big, one of them would pop my bubble,” he said.
Campbell spends most of the year traveling to shoots and giving clinics, with 45 to 50 scheduled for 2012. He said the travel schedule can be tough but not unbearable, and anything he loses because of it, he certainly gains in other areas. “I really love what I’m doing,” he said. Campbell enjoys helping people master the game and is always looking for new ways to bridge the gap and help shooters understand and do better.
Having accomplished so many of the goals he has set for himself, Campbell said that he wants to keep doing what has brought him success: just focusing on the next target. He also wants to do more clinics and continue to make them better and more user-friendly. “I’m looking forward, not behind me,” he said. “I’m not ready to go yet.” He said the competition is getting tougher, and he’s planning to continue to be competitive and tenacious and keep the desire to win. With that being said, he feels like he’s been running hard for a long time and might enjoy a chance to take a breath and relax a bit. but he still hopes for more big wins on the horizon.
When asked what he wants to be remembered for. he said, “Somebody who worked hard at the game and gave 110%." When he ﬁrst started, he never thought he would become the shooter he is, and he'd like it if he could be considered among the top shooters of the game.
Harlan said he feels being inducted into the Hall of Fame is a very big honor and a validation of his career and all the time and work he’s put into it. Harlan once told T&F, “Every decision I’ve ever made—concerning work, a job, changing of a job, any type of personal relationship—shooting was always in the mix somewhere.” He says that for the times when he’s asked himself if that commitment was the right thing and if he was doing it for the right reasons, this honor helps him know it was.