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Saving Trapshooting - Part II

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by blade819, Dec 20, 2009.

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  1. blade819

    blade819 Well-Known Member

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    The original thread had many post and I think it is one of the most interesting threads that I have ever read. So I started Part II. While all the posts had recommendations, I feel that before one moves on to changes, one must truly recongize the problem and fault. IMO... it's Satus Quo by our governing body. As "biker" stated in the original thread, they need to publicly recognize the problem then think "outside the box" to fix it. Since we (ATA Members) elect our delegates, then perhaps that is the first place to start. If they do not produce, then elect new ones. Every where you go in this country you are bound to run into that "good ole boy" network. Not only in politics and business, but also in large membership organizations. Just my opinion. Let's hear it!


    blade819
     
  2. Big Heap

    Big Heap TS Member

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    "Go along to get along". The good 'ol boys are the only people who will spend the time and effort to keep the ATA chugging along.

    Any radical change in the structure of organized trapshooting will take a plan for rules and regulations and a system of recording scores.

    One contributor, (Damifino
    Email: tboyer@staideng.com) on the first thread on this subject volunteered his time and talent to get the ball rolling. I didn't see any of the whippersnappers taking him up on his offer.
     
  3. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    blade819- You are correct in that we need to recognize the problem, but exactly what is the problem. What is the total number of targets shot each year for the last 10 years. The last time I checked, it has increases slightly. How does the decline in number of ATA members compare to the decline in the number of hunters? Has the median age of hunters increased or decreased? I believe all trapshooters became hunters first. Has the number of clubs throwing ATA targets declined or increased ? Unless we can specifically identify the problem, it is difficult to resolve it.

    Pat Ireland
     
  4. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    Just what is the "good ole boys network"??? The BOD and EC changes every year. Everytime someone disagrees with decision or no decision they whine that it is because of the "good ole boys network". Anytime someone devotes his spare time to running or participating in any organizationm because he obviously cares about it he is accused of being a part of the "good ole boys network".

    You ought to be thankful that they volunteer their time to do the work so you can shoot. Most that call them that have never really lifted a finger to do much other than bitch.

    Shoot often and have fun.

    Don
     
  5. perga1

    perga1 Active Member

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    Pat Ireland, not all trapshooters were hunters first, or ever. I personally know of 2 who never picked up a gun until they were introduced to trapshooting. One of them will be 76 this year and hates the thought of killing anything except clay targets. I see young and old alike at the Silver Dollar trying their hand at Trap and by the way they approach and mount the gun I doubt they ever had one in their hands before. That's just my observation/opinion but non-hunters can be induced to try the shooting sports. Jim
     
  6. Big Heap

    Big Heap TS Member

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    Lyrics for "The Good Ol' Boys"

    Just THE good ol' boys
    Never meaning no harm
    Beats all you never saw, been in trouble with the law
    Since the day they was born

    Straightenin' the curves
    Flattenin' the hills
    Someday the mountain might get'em
    But the law never will

    Making their way, the only way they know how
    That's just a little bit more than the law will allow

    Chorus.

    I'm a good ol' boy
    You know my mama loved me
    But she don't understand they keep a showin my HANDS
    And not my face on TV

    Just good ol' boys,
    Wouldn't change if they could,
    Fightin' the system like a true modern day Robin Hood.

    Somebody can probably adapt these for the ATA EC.
     
  7. squirrelkiller

    squirrelkiller TS Member

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    I am afraid it is becoming the sport that it was during the early 1900's. We are not drawing the numbers and money is one reason. Another cause is the urbanization of our country. It is also an expensive sport, especially if you have a child or children who are active in other sports and other activities and still want to shoot. It is very difficult to shoot registered targets with kids, especially if the targets are not half price for the kids. I have two boys under 16 who shoot, and we shoot very few registered targets. We try to shoot at our State grounds 2 or 3 times a year, and targets are half price for kids. We all are members of ATA. However, we do shoot thousands of targets which are shot at our trapfield here at home, along with other families who come to our place. It has become price prohibitive to shoot registered. Our sport is endangered.
     
  8. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    squirrel killer identified some big problems with what's happening in the shooting sports. That's why promotion and familiarity is essential to bring shooting back into the public eye.

    The only way to counteract the downturn and antigun influence it to familiarize the public with our games.

    The NRA, I think, misses the boat as it relates to promotion. They are so defensive and scared to promote the shooting sports from their experience with the constant struggle against the 'anti's.
     
  9. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    BIGDON: For once I agree with you. LOL
     
  10. Jack L. Smith

    Jack L. Smith Member

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    To Pat Ireland, and ts.com readers, this is a long reply, but contains a plan to get more new ATA shooters. Pat, I agree there is some relationship between hunting & trapshooting, however, I believe trapshooting can increase in spite of a hunting decrease (trend).

    I also must disagree with the contention that all trapshooters became hunters first. But you got me to thinking........

    Here is why and how it relates to increasing ATA participation.

    Across the U.S. there are many private golf clubs, ('country clubs') and many are quite exclusive and expensive. Somehow, I snuck into one here in suburban Philadelphia. Many of these clubs also offer trap shooting, and some hsve both trapshooting and skeet. In these clubs, the main focus is on golf, but they have an active and regularly shooting group.

    In our area alone, there are Phildelphia Country Club, Aronimink, Huntington Valley, Torresdale CC, and many others.

    I can absolutely say that many of these trapshooters have never hunted. Also, many country club trapshooters here have started late in life, with no early or family exposure to hunting or guns; trap is strickly another 'sport'.

    Further, many women shoot trap at these private clubs, non hunters and never will hunt.

    In thinking outside our box, I believe that we can expand ATA participation by tapping into this group. These shooters have the resources ($$) to shoot ATA & the time to do so. Many of these clubs DO NOT shoot in the summer. Why not ? Because Golf is the main focus at these clubs. SO, these folks have the money and time available to participate in ATA.

    Action - I belive that if the ATA or ATA state delegates & volunteers were to mount an effort (an actual, planned, targeted marketing campaign)toward the private Country Clubs across the country, many folks would become ATA shooters, as well. The state delegates or other volunteers could contact the clubs, get a dialog going with the trap chairman, perhaps make a presentation at a shoot and invite members to join or begin, by informing the (non ATA members) of the many ATA shoots in their area, and all the activities and things we all enjoy about ATA.

    These clubs would not allow ATA shooting at their club, but that is not the goal. The goal is to get new ATA shooters to Join and visit the existing shoots.

    Certainly, not everybody would join but consider these possible numbers. I do not know how many (private golf) clubs shoot trap, but if I guess, based on the density in SE PA, perhaps there are 1500 to 2500 across the U.S.

    Let's use 2000 targets, with 20 shooters at each club.(that are not aleady ATA members) Over 2 to 3 years period, if each one were contacted and the ATA made a presentation to 40% that's 800 clubs and presentations to 16,000 trapshooters. If only 25% sign up, that's 4000 New ATA shooters, 4000 new dues, and many new shooters at the area ATA shoots. Those numbers could be higher (or lower) after a better analysis of the program.

    Perhaps this private CC market has been tapped before by the ATA, but I don't think so.

    I specialize in sales & marketing programs, so I know that if the ATA looked at this market, and considered a structured campaign to this private club trap shooting market segment, and implemented it properly, they would increase membership and revenue and participation.

    As trapshooters, we can no longer count on hunting, family exposure or tradition to fill our ranks and provide enough traffic for ATA numbers to increase. We need to attract non hunters, golfers, people with money & resources, other sports minded families to our sport. We have to target other demographics and prospects to get more ATA members.

    Perhaps you folks here who are wired to the ATA could forward this suggestion to the ATA for their consideration.

    thanks for reading,

    jack in PA
     
  11. TEXASZEPHYR

    TEXASZEPHYR Member

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    I like the idea of recruiting from other organizations, But why dont we recruit from organizations that already shoot. What would be wrong by recruiting from Du, Quail U, NWTF, and any other organizations that have shooting as their main purpse. Most of these people like the smell of burnt gunpowder as much as you or I, but are not introduced to the trap range. A introduction to the fun games, Buddie shoots, annies, etc might provide a venue to start their intrest in shooting clays.

    Bob
     
  12. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    Jack, I find your thought very interesting as I proposed that in our area several years ago. I couldn't agree more. The COUNTRY CLUB in Brookline, yes the same one in a very heavily populated area that host's the US Open on occasion, has a skeet field that is active all winter. Even in these times where everyone has been adversley affected economically, there are those that would participate. My thought was to somehow access them through the Pro-shops or mens grille area. They are accustomed to monthly bills in the $1,000+, and would form a good base of recreational shooters.

    I hope your also looking at Barry's thought's. He's on the right page too.

    Shoot often while we can, Bob
     
  13. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    The easiest group to recruit new ATA shooters is the large number of trapshooters who shoot practice and junk shoots. Many posters on this site are in that group.

    Don- The often refereed to "good old boys" are simply the group who has dedicated a significant part of their life to shooting trap. I see the same ones in Ohio, North Carolina and Florida. Who else would anyone want to lead the ATA. And, you are clearly one who has devoted much of your life to our sport.

    Pat Ireland
     
  14. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Interesting thought Jack. My wife and I ran a few clinics at Aronimink a few years ago and I was actually asked to take over the Trap program at that club which I declined. What I found was none of the Lady shooters, and there were many of them, were interested in pursuing more serious competetion. It seems they mostly enjoyed the social aspects of the game but nothing more. A few of my Lady students might have excelled in ATA shooting but showed no interest.

    I never felt money or lack of it was an issue!!
     
  15. Hauser

    Hauser Member

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    I don't understand why what is essentially a record keeping organization doesn't have sufficient information to understand what if anything has changed over the years.


    Where is the report from the EC that trends demographics and shoot data over time???


    Jerry Hauser
     
  16. highflyer

    highflyer TS Member

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    I was surprised to hear some hunters tell me this weekend that you had to have an expensive gun to shoot trap. It makes me wonder how many shooters are intimidated by the elites and their expensive guns at the skeet, trap and sporting clays ranges. That is a bad image for a sport if you want it to grow. If every target shooter would take new people shooting the sport would grow. You take some kids shooting they won't all become avid shooters, but some will and all will have a new appreciation of the shooting sports. I take new shooters out whenever I get the chance. They all have fun, at least for the day. Trap, skeet or sporting clays, they are all fun. Trap was where I shot for the first time with automatic throwers instead of small hand traps out in a field. I fell in love with it. Been shooting almost every week since then. Leagues are a very good place to introduce new shooters.
     
  17. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Jerry Hauser- I never heard of too much demographical study done by the ATA, just the obvious stuff. They may have but not much information designed to aide in a promotional blitz, at least none that I have heard of.

    The first demographic that we should tap is all those shooters that shot one year and quit. At least we know they had the inclination to shoot once and were never asked back. It's time we asked them to come back. We should be able to garner that kind of information.

    I've been thinking that my plan needs a test market so I'm going to start working on the primer for the purpose of starting a long term sales blitz of an individual territory. Since I live in Southern Illinois near a large metropolitan area and a fairly good population of shooters and their activities to show off and a lot of trap clubs to choose from.

    Any input from any of you folks will be helpful. Time to get started. If any one has the ear of the ATA officials, in any capacity, that might help us out, please have them contact me. As things progress and I have something to show them, I will try to make contact from my end.
     
  18. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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    <blockquote>Hauser: <i> I don't understand why what is essentially a record keeping organization doesn't have sufficient information to understand what if anything has changed over the years. Where is the report from the EC that trends demographics and shoot data over time??</i></blockquote>

    What he said.

    While nothing the ATA does/(doesn't does) surprises me much, that they don't know why people join (and why they leave) ATA IS a wonder.

    How to boost ATA membership is not much mystery, 223 people here (so far) have all or part of the solution: start with the clubs to help them boost shooters & shooting is the intuitive #1 and #1(a).

    All of that is sales, marketing, presentation ... and ANY fresh, green, newbie 22yr-old B.S.-Marketing from any 3rd-tier state school could design and implement such a S-M-P program for trivial money.

    Mainly, we have coulda-woulda-shoulda issue, but no(EC/BOD)body is saying: what kind of S-M-P program could we start for, oh, say, ... $100,000?


    Bob
     
  19. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    Barry,

    The problem is, the ATA don't think there is a problem ... Everyone else is aware of it but those that should be doing something about it to the effect that you are talking about do not see a problem ... Surprise, Surprise, Surprise ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  20. short shucker

    short shucker TS Member

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    I look at trapshooting as going to the same place on vacation time after time. It's always the same ole thing.

    I recreationally shoot about 400 rounds a week. Most of this is sporting clays and the rest is divied up between skeet, wobble, and trap. The only targets that I shoot on a registered level is sporting, and then it isn't that often.

    I want to shoot at different target presentations and enjoy them for what they are. I enjoy walking the courses and only use a cart when I absolutely have to (bad knee). If the club hasn't changed their target presentations in a couple of weeks, I let them know that I'll be back when the course changes.

    I shoot for fun, not competition.

    ss
     
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