Malcolm Menzies, 80, walks off after shooting a round of skeet at the Juneau Gun Club on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. Menzies was a member of the 2019 Alaska Senior Games. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Malcolm Menzies, 80, walks off after shooting a round of skeet at the Juneau Gun Club on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. Menzies was a member of the 2019 Alaska Senior Games. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Shootin’ sharp: 80-year-old trap shooter from Juneau wins gold medal

Trap shooter remains sharp at senior games.

At 80, Malcolm Menzies doesn’t have a great deal of mobility. He walks at a gradual pace, the toll of a recreational basketball career that spanned five decades.

“This is totally replaced, the whole knee, that’s why I limp a little,” Menzies said in an interview on Wednesday evening, gesturing to his right knee.

Three years ago, he suffered a series of strokes that hospitalized him for one month.

[Juneau 12-year-old takes down one of the top shooters in the state]

But his eyes and upper body strength are in working order, and that’s what matters for him to be able to pursue his current sport of choice: trap shooting.

He’s not a bad shot either. Menzies won a gold medal for trap shooting at the Alaska International Senior Games last month in Fairbanks.

Malcolm Menzies, 80, shoots skeet at the Juneau Gun Club on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. Menzies was a member of the 2019 Alaska Senior Games. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Malcolm Menzies, 80, shoots skeet at the Juneau Gun Club on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. Menzies was a member of the 2019 Alaska Senior Games. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

“This was the first year I went to an Alaska games,” Menzies said. “I’ve been to other games, other places, but not Alaska. All of sudden I was reading the paper and I decided to go.”

Over the last two decades, Menzies has shot hoops and clay targets across the country, from Utah to Washington to Michigan to Florida. At the 2014 Huntsman World Senior Games, an international senior sports competition held every fall in Utah, Menzies won a gold in the doubles trap, silver in wobble trap and bronze in handicap trap.

After his health issues in 2016, Menzies said it took three months of recovery before he could shoot again. Now, he shoots three times a week at the Juneau Gun Club.

“You just pick it up again,” Menzies said.

“I was (a) born hunter and I just started shooting (in my 40s), that’s all,” he added.

Menzies was a longtime member of the Juneau Rifle and Pistol Club. When the club’s popularity declined about 15 years ago, he made the switch to the Juneau Gun Club. At the time, he was already a club member, having surveyed the land on which the club was built. An engineer by trade, he became the former Southeast Region Director of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities before retiring in 2009.

When he was with a private engineering firm, “I gave them a bill, and they said they couldn’t pay me, so they gave me free membership forever and I’ve been a member for umpteen years,” Menzies said. “It was about 15 years ago that I got wiggled into joining a league and that kind of stuff. Before that, I was a rifle shooter.”

Malcolm Menzies, 80, talks about his long shooting career at the Juneau Gun Club on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. Menzies was a member of the 2019 Alaska Senior Games. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Malcolm Menzies, 80, talks about his long shooting career at the Juneau Gun Club on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. Menzies was a member of the 2019 Alaska Senior Games. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Menzies eventually became president of the club, and now assists current president Jerry Godkin.

“He’s got so much knowledge and wisdom, I can go ask him, ‘What do you think?’ and he’ll give me an answer and it’s good, sound wisdom,” Godkin said. “He’s just a wealth of knowledge about Alaska. He’s surveyed every part of this state, knows it in and out.”

Menzies said he hopes to have five or 10 more years of shooting trap.

“But right now I’m going to keep on going,” he said.


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com.


More in Sports

Zack Pursell, assistant coach for the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé track team, puts James Connally’s name on the school record board for breaking a long-standing record for the 100 meter dash on May 11, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
JDHS junior breaks 40-year-old school track record

The 100 meter dash record has stood since Reagan was president.

Caleb Peimann, surrounded by family and coaches, signs his letter of intent to swim for Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Courtesy photo / Scott Griffith)
Sprung for the Springs: JDHS senior signs with Colorado College

He’ll compete on the liberal arts college’s swim team.

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé and Thunder Mountain High School track teams held a meet at TMHS on April 30, 2021 as the track season gets going. (Courtesy photo / Dwayne Duskin)
Track teams up and running for spring season

Athletes are excited to get competing, coaches say.

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire 
JDHS’ Gloria Bixby slides safe into second base and under the tag of TMHS’ Jenna Dobson during the first inning of a drizzly Friday night game against Thunder Mountain High School. JDHS leaped out to a 7-0 lead in the first inning and wound up winning 15-0.
Stealing bases, giving to a cause

Softball game raises money for mental health awareness.

Members of Thunder Mountain High School's four robotics teams stand with four robots. (Courtesy Photo / Carol May)
Wired to win:Robotics teams earn awards in state contest

TMHS team took top honors but weren’t the only winners.

Members of the JDHS boys soccer team help junior Callan Smith celebrate a goal in the season opener against TMHS Tuesday night. In the end, TMHS walked away with a 3-2 victory. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
High school boys soccer returns

TMHS bests JDHS in first game since 2019

Thunder Mountain High School junior Kiah Dihle kicks the ball during a game against Ketchikan High School. (Courtesy Photo / Zach Hanna)
Girls soccer seasons off to energetic start

Both teams had solid wins over Ketchikan before facing off at home.

TMHS Infielder Mariah Tanuvasa-Tuvaifale drives a ball during a recent scrimmage held at the high school. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Softball season is now in full swing

TMHS, JDHS travel for games against Southeast teams.

Emma Fellman, who was among the high point award winners on Glacier Swim Club among the 14 and older girls group, makes her way through the water at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center. (Courtesy Photo / Shireen Taintor)
Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé’s cheer team, shown here after winning the Region V competition, went on to win the state championships for their division for 2021. (Courtesy photo / Carlene Nore)
JDHS cheerleaders take state title as season wraps up

Small teams and empty gyms were the rule, not the exception this year.