Neal Crausbay, an avid bird hunter from Sweetwater, TX, joined the ATA in l967. In 1974 he became the 15th in history to break 100 from 27 yards. One year later, he was fourth to run l00 from 27 twice. By 1987, Neal had placed on 11 All-America teams: three firsts and eight seconds.
His first trophy in the Grand American came in 1975. He hit 97 to win the 27-yard award in the GAH. It was the highest score from 25 yards and back in that event. Years later, Neal’s handicap prowess from the back fence placed him with the highest handicap average on 200,000 targets.
From 1978 to 2003, Crausbay won more than 20 trophies at the Grand. In 1978 his 200 in the Prelim Thursday 16s won in a carryover. By 1981 he was Class Doubles AA second with 99 and 58x60 in shootoff, Vandalia Handicap Champion with 100 from 27 and 25 extras, and High-Over-All runner-up in the field, breaking 977x1,000. He was third in the H-O-A in 1982 with 976 and also captured All-Around runner-up honors with 396x400. He was 1998 AA H-O-A champion, five years later topping all in Class A.
Busy days of singles at the 1982 Grand started with Monday’s Class Championship. Neal tied 30 others with 200. He ran 100 in shootoff that night, then was one of three carrying over with 200 Wednesday. He lost one in 75 Thursday, but so did Kay Ohye. Neal then broke 50 straight to Kay’s 24, for a total of 424x425 extras and the AA runner-up trophy.
When Neal tied with 35 in that Clay Target Championship, he ran 125 straight in Thursday’s shootoff and 25 on Saturday before losing one - and a trophy--after 174x175. In 1991 when Neal tied again for the Clay Target Championship, he won the top AA award. He lost his 174th shootoff target, missed one of the next 25, and ran 75 before losing his 289th.
After winning sixth place in the 1990 Vandalia Handicap with 99 and 21, Crausbay had a string of 98s from 27 for wins at the Grand. With shootoffs, he finished eighth in the 1991 Trap & Field Handicap, fourth in both of 1992's Prelim Saturday and the Vandalia, eighth in the 1995 President’s Handicap and seventh in the 2003 Prelim Thursday race. He also was 10th in the 2000 Prelim Sunday handicap with 97.
Crausbay smashed 100 twins in the 2001 Class Doubles for A honors. Other Grand trophies included team ones–Southwest Zone in 1989 and Texas State in 1993. Neal’s 1992 squad set a record of 998x1,000.
Three Spring Grand trophies were won from 1984 to 2001, with the first one for 100 straight doubles, completing his Grand Slam which began in 1974. He took home seven Midwestern/Southwestern Grand awards from 1984-94, including the all-around championship in 1986 and the doubles crown in 1987. Others were in singles (tied for championship), one in doubles and three in handicap. From 1994 to 1996 he won four trophies at the Dixie, Great Lakes and Golden West Grands. A 1992 GWG top prelim award was for a 99 from 27 as he defeated three others in shootoff.
From 1974 to 2000 Crausbay won nine Southwestern Zone trophies–three in singles, two in handicap (championship in 2000), two in doubles, and one each in the all-around and high-over-all. His Texas state awards totaled 25 from 1971 to 2002. Included were seven ATA titles: two in singles (200 in 1971 and 199 in 1975), 1973 and 1974 doubles (98s), the 1976 handicap (97), and two all-arounds (391s in 1971 and 1973).
Neal earned awards in 18 states (plus shot in two others). In 1976 and 1977 he won the Denver Mile-Hi championship with lone 100s from 27. From 1974 to 2002 he broke 100 from 27 ten times, had 28 200 straights, 120 l00 straights (not counting the 200s), and five l00s in doubles. Crausbay was inducted into the Texas State Hall of Fame in 1984.
Neal Crausbay served 13 years on the ATA Board of Directors as Texas delegate and was elected ATA Southwestern Vice President from 1991-1994. He became ATA president in 1995 and Ex-Officio in 1996, also serving eight years as a Hall of Fame Trustee.