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Is Trapshooting A Dying Sport?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by WoodsonEnt, Oct 4, 2011.

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  1. WoodsonEnt

    WoodsonEnt Active Member

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    I have been thinking about posting this for a few days, and I am finally getting around to it. Is trapshooting a dying sport? I asked myself this question this time last year, and I replied to myself NO. But, I ask myself this October, and I can't give a firm answer. This thread has nothing to do with the ATA or how the ATA runs things. It is basically a economics question. Can the average 21-40 year old afford to shoot trap? With the price of ammo, targets, and entry fees - along with gas prices, hotels, and time away....I have the feeling that the average working "younger" generation can't afford it. I am 32, not married, and fortunately have an above average job as wages are concerned. To me at this time, I forsee myself enjoying some type of shotgunning for years to come. But, I don't know how I would handle $10.00 per box premium ammo.

    With the added Bill and Leanne Martin money added, the Grand has had an increase. The Cardinal Center continues to thrive due to the amount of the Ohio and Northeast shooters, and also the "new place" for everyone else. Everywhere else it appears that attendance numbers appear to be down somewhat. If you go to a Sporting Clays tourney, attendance is up even though targets cost more. What gives?
     
  2. Tpeterson1

    Tpeterson1 Member

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    I suspect the same thing,I bailed in 2006 for the reasons you stated,took two years to decide to sell my MX2000 RS,today its sporting clays,nothing serious but it sure is fun and you don't need to shoot several 1000rds every year to stay in the game.
     
  3. superxjeff

    superxjeff Active Member

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    Newsflash... The average 21 to 40 year old has never been able to afford trap. Jeff
     
  4. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    I attended two FUN trap shoots this year and was blown away by the attendance.

    A number of hunting guns at both shoots. More than a few women shooters...

    Both shoots were 50 target 16 yard events, ammo included in the price of the shoot.

    One shoot, lunch was included in the price. At the other, they were charging minimum prices to eat.

    Shooters are out there, we just have to figure out how to get them to come to the club each week...
     
  5. Patrick Haskins

    Patrick Haskins Member

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    I think that trap is a sport in transition. It has changed greatly from the years when it was considered an elite sport with participants shooting in jackets and ties. It became a money game where cars and large payouts were the draw. There is no longer an 'Industry' class where the sponsered shooters and industry reps belong. Now it is a very expensive venture, and like many, I came back to shotgun shooting when finances allowed. I agree that most 21-40 yo could not afford it. The Martin's generous donation drew some people out of the woodwork that haven't been coming to the Grand. I hope their ideas work and encourage more new shooters to take up the sport. We shooters are the ones who can best increase participation. Ask yourself, when was the last time you took a brand new shooter trap shooting?
    Pat
     
  6. Newfoundlander

    Newfoundlander Member

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    Newfoundland, Canada
    In my area ( Western Newfoundland ) Trapshooting is alive and well..

    Another guy and myself has taken on the burden to replace Trap Fields, Machines and solicite the community for new shooters...

    We have increased the shooter field from a few guys to upwards of 20 indiviguals that shoot every weekend..

    Someone has to take on the job of making it work....

    Like they say , <<< If you build it , they will come >>>

    Requires dedication and many hours of sweat and tears...

    Got to go now , my buddy just called me for to go shooting with friends..

    Will keep you informed on how I do, TTYL,

    Robert
     
  7. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    No such thing as average people ever shot trap. Most were willing to sacrifice their play money because they really enjoyed the sport. Yep, they also had mortgages, babies and wives that bitched.

    Plenty of todays' so called youngsters (the 21-40 yo group) make far more money than their parents ever dreamed of. I'll betcha many of our former All-American junior and sub-junior, who we've never seen again on the trapline, fall into that group. Sure, mommy and daddy stopped financing their ventures but afterall-these shooters were the best and the brightest-the future of trapshooting etc., but most are long gone.

    Maybe we should ask them why they often find Sporting Clays more attractive. Could it be those lollypop targets the 60-80 yo's find so exciting are too boring to re-gain their attention!!
     
  8. earlybird

    earlybird TS Member

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    Dying? -time will tell. But as I see it, trapshooting and sporting clays could not be much more different from each other.

    A round of trap is pretty much all business- wham, bam, thank you maam- more experienced trapshooters help drive this mindset by being less than forgiving about "out-of-rhythm" shooters. Trapshooting is all about the DESTINATION. A 25 straight is an achievable goal for most of us, so we feverishly keep score and work toward perfection (if a round of trap was 100 birds, I wonder what that would do). A new trap prospect looks at all the exotic, specialized equipment on the line and in the racks, and it's easy to be discouraged enough to just never start in the first place. The preoccupation with SCORE drives the need for a tracking databank, registered targets, and established averages, explains the existence of the ATA, and actually sort of makes it or something like it a requirement.

    Sporting Clays, on the other hand, is much more about the TRIP; several guys, WATCHING EACH OTHER SHOOT (100 birds), couple of hours walk in the woods shooting guns. While most keep score, 100 is not a realistic goal for all but the most talented, so it is less about the score, and more about the shooting. Factor in also the ability to be as competitive as your skills allow with your flat-shooting field gun, and I believe you have a recipe for appeal to a wider audience. I know the NSCA exists, but I don't think most SC shooters give a rip. It IS the golf of shooting sports.

    With that said, I like Trap much better; I guess I'm just a wham, bam kind of guy. As to the "dying" part; I do think we need to find a format to widen the appeal of the game to first-time shooters. If they just TRY it, enough will enjoy it and pursue it over the long haul. If we can't, at the very least it's not feeling well.
     
  9. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    Trapshooting has slowed down thanks to the current economic situation and the lacking of the current Administration to work the Magic he professed he was able to or going to do prior to getting elected ... The Chinese love Obama because he has created more job over there than he has here in the United States ... People are more diligent about what they spend money on and that will continue until there are some major changes to rejuvenate said economy ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  10. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    Sporting clays is a social event, same as bowling.
     
  11. MKillian

    MKillian TS Member

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    In my area ATA shooting is declining steadily; shoots that drew 35-40 squads a couple years ago drew 20-25 last year and less than 15 this year.

    Club and league shooting, on the other hand, are becoming more popular and are growing in attendance.

    Mike
     
  12. Crickets

    Crickets Member

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    This Discussion seems to come up every 2 - 3 months, and I too thought that the sport was dying when I got back into it in '09. I shot like crazy as a kid, walked away at about 17, then LIFE happened. In my 30's I stopped by a club one or twice a year, but between trying to build a career (where everyone plays Golf), raising 2 daughters the time just wasn't there even when the cash was. I'm a family guy, and Dad taking off every other weekend to shoot and leave the family to their own thing wasn't for me. It wasn't until My older Daughter reached 13 and my younger daughter started her activities that I felt I could find time start shooting again. I started getting the need to do something competitive just 3 years ago, and quit frankly it was a huge commitment of time and somewhat $$ to start up again and even still I can only squeak out 1 Registered shoot a month. In fact nearly all I shoot is that 1 registered shoot a month. Really its not the $$. The money would be spent on other forms of entertainment. I work 50- 60 hours a week, and between maintaining the house/property and giving my wife a chance to go do her thing, one Saturday a month is tough as it is. I really believe we are set for a rebirth of clay shooting, it might not look like what we want it to look like, but I think its coming. Just look at overall gun sales! Right now the wonderful thing is Gun enthusiast have a lot of choices of what kind of sport they want to get into. If my pier group started getting into shooting pistol matches (rather than golf) I might be there rather than Trap. It just the fact that I HATE golf with a passion, that I'm not out on Saturdays with them. JMHO
     
  13. late bloomer

    late bloomer TS Member

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    I prefer trapshooting and am not that capable at sporting clays. What I find interesting is that the owner of a trap/sporting clays club that I frequent said "I can have four strangers go out shooting sporting clays and when they come back they are exchanging phone numbers and email addresses to keep in touch and get back together."
    Sporting clays adds the social element, which enhances its appeal to many. Some call it "golf with shotguns." Tap, on the other hand, is more individual and isolated.
    I believe that statistics show that there has been a decline in the amount of golf played and a number of golf clubs have fallen into hard times. Some say this is because the younger players have obligations at home and only play nine holes or reduced their playing time, along with the economy.
     
  14. Trapmanjohn

    Trapmanjohn Member

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    I think the 50 target tournaments are the way to go. 50 singles, 50 hdc and 50 dbls. It does not cost nearly as much to shoot and your entire day is not tied up. State, Zone and the Grands however might be best to remain with the current programs of 200 singles, 100 hdc and 50 pair of doubles.

    Right now the league and club shoots around here ( MD and PA ) are more appealing to me. I shot a 50 target shoot last weekend spent about $30 and won about $200 for second place the winner got almost $300. The ATA format is just not appealing when I compare shooting 200 singles or 100 hdc and spend almost $200 only to win about $16.

    Hit 'em hard,

    John
     
  15. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Seems to me that the sport is doing well where it is being successfully promoted. The notion that you just open your gates to the public wont assure that .........."they will come".
     
  16. earlybird

    earlybird TS Member

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    UNLOADER; I have to respectfully disagree on two counts:

    1.) if a Trap club is struggling to make ends meet financially, it is unreasonable to expect them not to use their resources- land, infrastructure, targets, etc- to diversify and maybe lighten the load. Economy of scale, and all that.....

    2.) If you contend that someone who tries sc is likely to leave trap for sc- that sort of goes to the crux of what's being discussed here.
     
  17. sliverbulletexpress

    sliverbulletexpress TS Member

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    Every thing in life has it's cycles, there are ups and downs, nothing new or different. It looks to me like more young people are shooting trap now than ever, sure their parents are paying for it but later in life some of these youngsters will return.
     
  18. Border Bandit

    Border Bandit Well-Known Member

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    It would be interesting to learn if registered shoot attendance tracks the economy in its ups and downs with respect to recessions over the years. Likewise, as the economy dips, does attendance at the local clubs increase? I talk to a lot of folks at our local Wed nite "social" shoots that say they don't have the resources to participate at registered shoots, but will drive a few miles and bust 100 $2.50 per round targets once a week, never mind Crystal always brings a cake and the kitchen serves up great burgers and fresh cut fries. Sometimes they don't even shoot.....grin

    best...mike
     
  19. reddeath

    reddeath TS Member

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    here is my two cents.

    When I was twelve and shooting trap (Club Level) I remember squads upon squads shooting on a given night. Now the number of shooters has dropped by a good bit. Shooters have either died, can't afford it or they simply have found a new home club to shoot at.

    When the AIM program came to my area, I immediatly drafted my son and several of his friends and they all now shoot ata. Being sub-jouniors they get half price targets which helps a lot. Among these shooters only my son is tring to get his required amout of targets in for ATA classification. The other young shooters just cannot get even more money out of there parents. The other shooters just shoot the required number of targets for the aim program which is only 300 registered targets per year. I support my son in his ATA ambitions but in order to do that, I do not shoot ATA. $20 for his targets $40 for mine, $80 in ammo, gas and food and that is only for 100 registered targets. Then figure I have to cover is ammo and targets for AIM practice and lastly, the cost for the two of us to shoot the local league that week. I am an hard core trap shooter and shoot quite often at least once a week. But it is all done on the local club level.

    The shooters are out there they just don't shoot ata anymore. Local clubs have become a more financialy appealing option to trap shooters.

    If you are worried about the future of the sport. How worried are you? Are you worried enough to start an AIM program at your club? Or see if you can start a high school after school team.

    There are kids out there who just fit into the normal sports. To quote my son "I finally found a sport I am naturally good at". There are new shooters out there you just need to get then involved.

    Craig from PA
     
  20. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Our sport could use a new blood transfusion fix.

    Ideas to make the game even easier were discussed at the Grand this year? Thankfully they didn't have enough votes to pass such nonsence though, this time!! Maybe less angles and slower speeds would help, again?? Not hardly Einsteins!

    Hap
     
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