Herman Peterson

Inducted in 1976
Born: 8-Aug-1909
Died: 8-Dec-1975
Age: 66
State: MT

Montana rancher Herman Peterson, past president of the ATA, 10-year member of the Central Handicap Committee, and holder of 15 state championships, began registering targets in 1934, and at the time of his death in December, 1975 had 141,625 registered singles to his credit.

Fourteen of his state championships were in Montana—two in handicap and four each in singles, doubles and the all-around—and one was in California, the handicap in 1937.

Twice Peterson won titles at the Western Zone championships—the all-around in 1956 and the singles in 1959. During the 1956 zone shoot he tied for the singles championship with 200 straight and ended with the Class AA trophy. He also tied for the doubles championship with 96, but lost in shootoff. He won the Midland Empire 500-bird marathon three times and was runnerup in the first World’s All-Around Championship at Jenkins Bros. Gun Club. Peterson was selected to the Sports Afield All-America teams in 1949 and 1957.

Herman Peterson was elected president of the ATA in 1959, following a term as Western Zone vice president. He had been ATA delegate from his state all but two of the 30 years from 1946 to 1975. He served on the Central Handicap Committee from 1966 to his death and was a member of the Hall of Fame committee in 1973 and 1974.

Peterson won an award at the Grand American during the first year he shot trap, and 25 years later he was a member of the only squad ever to break 500x500 singles targets at Vandalia. In fact, when he, Zip Eaton, Bill Harrison, Maynard Henry and Dan Orlich went straight in 1959, it marked the first time a squad had done so. Sixteen years later it remains a record at the Grand. Earlier at the 1952 Grand he was a member of the squad that broke 499x500. That tied the record his 1959 squad broke.

Herman Peterson may have felt "butterflies" in his rookie year at the Grand American, shooting among such legendary competitors as Mark Arie, but, if so, it didn’t stop him from winning Class C honors in the Doubles Championship. Arie was hitting 94, but Peterson was only four down from that for his trophy.

Peterson, a charter member of the Montana Trapshooting Association and the Shoshone Indians, served as president of the Shoshone and Hi-Yu tribes as well as of the Beaverhead Gun Club of Montana, which he helped organize and establish.

Pete, also affectionately known as Firecracker, handicapped throughout the Western Zone for decades and was responsible for helping to build shooting in the far West.