1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Is this a dying sport?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by yakimaman, Jun 26, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. yakimaman

    yakimaman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,738
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I'm a new trap shooter (since April) and recently started shooting at a local Big 50 ATA registered event every week. During the normal "how ya doin" - get acquainted talk - a veteran shooter (late 60s, early 70s) told me we're in a dying sport. All the old shooters are dying off and there aren't enough younger folks interested enough to keep it going. I looked around that club and the 15 shooters who showed up that night and concluded he just might be right. Went to the Ohio State shoot at Cardinal for a couple days and outside a Harley Davidson rally or a Shriner's convention I don't believe I've seen that much gray hair anywhere. My start in April was in a 7 week non registered target recreational league and I (at 63) was the oldest guy on my squad. Seemed to be plenty of middle aged and younger involved. But, none of them had any interest in ATA or more serious competition. They were content to shoot their 870s, 1100s, or 391s for fun, shoot a little skeet or sporting clays and go home. I'm geting a pretty late start in this sport and won't likely be here 20 years from now to see what's going on. What's your take on the future of ATA?
     
  2. BILL GRILL

    BILL GRILL Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Messages:
    3,764
    Why worry about something you have no control over? I started shooting in my late 30's early 40's when I finally had enough money to do it. This sport has been alive and going on for 120 plus years. I am sure it will be going on long after we are gone and your 3 years older than me. :) Enjoy it be safe! Don't worry be happy!
     
  3. IndyShotgun

    IndyShotgun TS Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Messages:
    506
    Trap will probably do O.K., but ATA might be in big trouble.
     
  4. jim brown

    jim brown Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,158
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Lots of highschool shooters at the Nebraska State shoot this week.

    jim brown
     
  5. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    3,400
    It's not necessarily dying but I think that there will be fewer and fewer people participating in it in any organized form from now on.

    The US economy is going through a long-overdue and painful realignment that's going to put us in line with most of the rest of the world as far as what we do for leisure activities and how much we will have to spend on it. Wages for the average guy will keep inching down and the cost of living will keep inching up... that's what happens to consumer nations (which we are one of). Less money left for expensive games and toys.

    MK
     
  6. doggai

    doggai Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    93
    Any activity dies when the people running the show begin to concentrate their efforts on "what's in it for me". It begins with the leadership milking the organization of the funds being paid in by the general membership. When the crookedness is brought into the light of day, people simply turn their backs on the organization and never come back. It happens all the time. JF
     
  7. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,565
    Location:
    Wauwatosa Wisconsin
    I DO NOT believe the shooting sports, especially trap is dying. When the economy is on the decline, first thing that goes is recreational fun. At this time in our country, with unemployment as high as it is, there are a lot of people who use to shoot either out of work, and or having a hard time even putting food on their table not only for themselves, but for their family.

    History repeats itself, just like the depression years of the 1930's. At that time people were also saying that the shooting sports especially trap was dying. It got so bad that most people who wrote columns for magazines and newspapers, chose not to report how poor attendance was at shoots of fear of hurting the ATA.

    The great Jimmy Robinson, trapshooting's dearest friend of our sport, who also wrote for Sports a field magazine, said years later when the economy and attendance were flourishing, that the ATA yearly average book was so thin about the thickness of the soles of the shoes of the unemployed that were looking for work.

    It's American to own a shotgun, and like to shoot. In my opinion, a lot Americans love guns and love to shoot, and hopefully always will. I honestly believe, that once the economy gets better, attendance in all of the shooting sports will greatly increase, at least I hope it does.

    Steve Balistreri
     
  8. 1oldtimer

    1oldtimer TS Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    2,003
    Dying Sport? Just got back from the Ohio State Trapshoot. WOW,what an experience!. 10 min. to our motel, all the popular restaurants off a 4 lane highway. Overall,I would rate this better than Vandalia. Record number of shooters,with most of the big dogs present. Vendors reporting excellent sales. Sportsmans Den sold all their shot. Going price $34.99. Recession,not at this shoot. Most had a Grand experience at a Grand facility. All this without bribing or buying the Shooters to come. OT
     
  9. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,965
    With the average age of shooters being around 55 that alone says yes.
     
  10. missed some

    missed some TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    708
    only if ya wanna believe it.
     
  11. Ahab

    Ahab Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,650
    Shotguns are the sport for grey haired people.

    Most youngsters start out as pistol shooters.

    As they age, the eyes start to go ... so they migrate to rifles.

    As they age further and start to have trouble focusing on a rear sight ... out come the shotguns.

    Or ... so I have been told.
     
  12. Landshark

    Landshark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    445
    Sporting clays and trap are doing a lot better than registered skeet. The clubs that have leagues are doing well.

    Memo to NSSA:

    The dinosaurs didn't change and they are extinct.
     
  13. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,003
    Not in some areas, but maybe in others. When the community has changed from shooter tolerant to shooter intolerant, many places to shoot will close up. that's what happens in areas around DC or NYC, where the city libs move to the burbs and get annoyed that they can hear gunshots. As far as the shooters, this is not a sport for people that can't afford it. It's not super expensive, but with the economy the way it is and money getting tight, there are fewer people able to do it as they used to. Just a local or State shoot might cost a pair of shooters over $500 with fees and ammo. Add more if you need to stay over at a hotel. Do a couple or three of those a month and it starts to cut into other things.
     
  14. staynumz

    staynumz Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Messages:
    43
    It would be interesting to see the actual numbers from 15 years ago and now. Active registered trap, skeet and sporting clay shooters. I would guess sporting is way up and trap and skeet way down. But somebody must know the numbers.
     
  15. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,484
    I see a lot of people shooting in my travels. At some clubs waiting lines to shoot skeet and trap.

    Unfortunently, most do not shoot registered.

    Sporting clays seems to have hit on a good idea in that it allows non-registered people to attend registered shoots (they are charged the same price as if shooting registered). They have there own awards catorgory. At some of the smaller clubs a good number of such shooters in attendance.

    Would not hurt a thing if allowed for both skeet and trap, especially for the clubs that have seen a big dropoff of local registered shooters. Leave it to the local club to decide to offer. Allow registered shooters to decline squadding with such shooters.

    Maybe time to change the business model....
     
  16. Rick Barker

    Rick Barker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Messages:
    14,356
    Perhaps from his standpoint.

    Everything runs in cycles.

    When it started as an orgainized sport, its numbers were few, then increased over time.

    Chances are during the Great Depression and WWII, its numbers declined, then grew again when times were better.

    In addition to bad econimic times we have now, is the added "guns are bad" syndrome that is being taught in our schools and other sources to the last couple of generations and will continue to be taught.

    I doubt it will die anytime soon, just become more expensive and with fewer places to shoot.

    Fewer open spaces, more housing plus EPA pressure will shut down some clubs and prevent others from being built

    Those who are better off will continue to shoot as long as the interest for them holds and the more "common" person will not be able to afford it as he once did.
     
  17. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    3,400
    <blockquote>"I see a lot of people shooting in my travels...

    Unfortunently, most do not shoot registered."</blockquote>I'm missing any point you're trying to make about why most people NOT shooting registered is "unfortunate".

    When I joined a club where I live now I asked if they ever had registered shoots. The club president says, "What for? Look around...traps are full and guys are waiting...ATA just makes things expensive and complicated. We do fine without them."

    MK
     
  18. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,763
    I heard the same thing from the Geezers in the 1970's. Now I'm getting to be a Geezer and we are saying the same thing. Average age back then was 55 and it's still 55. Those are the people that make up the sport. They are generally the people with the money and time to play the game.
     
  19. mcneeley5

    mcneeley5 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    425
    Rick Barker had some very good commentary on the subject. Trap shooting will (has) become an elite game with only those dedicated participating with mostly retirement funds. If a guy is worried about his job and truck payment I don't think he should piss away $100 plus on a day of trapshooting.
     
  20. RLC323

    RLC323 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    813
    Almost every recreational activity is tied to the economy, and not just the national economic condition, but what is left in your wallet after you pay the bills.

    I was looking through some old ATA cards of mine from 20 years ago and I can track my personal economy by the number of ATA targets I registered back then.

    I believe that in the past 5 years we have done a better job of exposing more young shooters to the game. When they grow up and progress through the stages of life, some of them will be able to afford to shoot and they will, because we have planted that seed.

    One thing that troubles me when I see these AIM shoots is that almost none of the young parents are shooters. For one reason or another they do not take part. I feel that is huge area for growth in our sport, get the parents involved. The already have the guns and can afford shells, we need to find a way to get them shooting too.

    My grandfathers, my father and mother all were/are shooters. I would have not known anything about breaking targets and how to be a trapshooter without them. I believe we can do better for ourselves if we get the entire family involved.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Search tags for this page

why is registered trapshooting on the decline