Born in Swan River, Barney Hartman learned to shoot on the family farms on the prairies in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan. He did not start the sport of skeet shooting until 1947 while stationed with the RCAF in Labrador.
“I was transferred to Goose Bay in 1947, and in off-duty hours, there wasn’t too much recreation,” said Hartman, “so I built a skeet range and, along with Americans stationed there, started in skeet and it was after two years that I realized that I could go into it competitively.”
Hartman entered and won his first competition in 1949 in Halifax. By 1956 he won his first of seven consecutive Canadian amateur championships in the 12 gauge division, relinquishing it only upon turning professional in 1963. He captured bronze at the Pan Am Games in 1959 in Chicago. Hartman also won one silver and four bronze medals in international competitions in the early 1960’s.
As a professional, Hartman achieved even greater prominence in the world of skeet. Named as a member of the National Skeet Shooting Association (NSSA) all-American team 16 times, he captained that team 10 times. He held or tied some 30 world records in 12. 20. 28. and .410 gauges and established himself as the best skeet shooter in the world for the better part of a decade. He once broke 2,002 consecutive clay targets without a miss... two thousand and two!
Consider these numbers when taking in Hartman’s longevity and diversity of excellence: he set a world record in 1966 in the .410 gauge, another in 1968 in .12 gauge, another in 1969 in .28 gauge and one in 1971 in .20 gauge. He was the World all-around champion from 1968-71 in addition to numerous division titles.
The author of the acclaimed instructional book Hartman on Skeet, Barney Hartman was inducted into the NSSA Hall of Fame in 1967 and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1980. He was named to the Order of Canada in 1998.
Residing in Ottawa at the time of his induction, the 96 year old Hartman was unable to travel to Winnipeg to accept his induction, sending his daughter Shelley in his stead, but he had this to say upon learning of his selection:
“It’s a great honour... I was born in Manitoba... and I’ve always figured and called Manitoba my home province... thank you.”