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Trap, Skeet, and the Future

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by bigclown, Aug 4, 2007.

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  1. bigclown

    bigclown TS Member

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    History is repeating itself in trap...the same thing has already happened in skeet. The big skeet shoots still attract quite a few shooters, but the numbers are down; the smaller shoots have virtually died out...too few shooters and costs too high to run them. State shoot attendance is 'way off. Trap has a much larger population, but the unmistakable trends are there...big shoots are attended, but by fewer shooters; small club shoots going away; costs going up; fewer and fewer new participants; and old timers giving up the game. Ideas in how to encourage participation get flamed and stomped: "play the game the way it was designed!" That is fine...but the only way to keep the slippery slope from getting worse is to try to change a few things to keep people in the game - reduce costs and (or) offer more exciting shooting events...naah, no one will like it. Oh well, I will keep shooting for fun (maybe less and less to keep costs reasonable). Best Regards, Ed
     
  2. jnoemanh

    jnoemanh TS Member

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    " fewer and fewer new participants; "

    It doesn't have to be that way. Our club now has 100 varsity shooters, kids from 12 to 16. They're the future. Talk it up at your club, get involved with the schools, have some of the older shooters coach. Stop whining, get off your backside.
     
  3. ke4yyd

    ke4yyd Member

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    The last 4x50 shoot I attended had a $50 fee for the entire event however there was no cash awards. Seems $100 is a little steep.
     
  4. Big Az Al

    Big Az Al Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,297
    Location:
    near Tucson Trap
    The SCTP Shooters that have my attention, as they are really good shots, and great Kids to be around, also they shoot Sporting Trap and Skeet.

    My Thoughts are if you have the Three fields available, Schedule an all around shoot. One event shooters can shoot only what they are comfrotable with. Or say Trap singles, 12g Skeet, 5 stand, if 100 bird flytes stop here, if 50, go on with Sporting Clays, T doubles, S doubles, to me this would be interesting.


    If A club doing this has the fields, maybe get with the area stores, and run a FUN SHOOT at the same time. Ten tickets for twenty dollars, 1 ticket for 10 birds 2 for twenty birds, Games that rock, Quail walks, Skeet variations, trap variations, 5 stand flurry two shooters 30 birds 90 seconds (this one is fun to shoot, and it is spectator friendly!!), If you can line up sponsors and donations, door prizes, fun shoot high score prizes, raffles, silent auctions, make it a day for everybody, competitors and casual shooters alike. Modest for sure, but discounts for club members and competitors that bring new shooters who shoot the fun program. Anything that brings out new shooters.

    I keep hearing how casual shooters are buffaloed by the thought of shooting against people that have already shot the 500 or a thousend bird minimums, and even more so against those with many thousends! So maybe have 25 bird beginner flytes, a reduced yearly membership fee to the national Assocations until they have reached the birds to have established averages, at that point they have they have a choice of staying a JR Member or pay the rest of the dues and move up! But get them shooting and encourage them to keep shooting!

    Al
     
  5. bigclown

    bigclown TS Member

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    The point that trapshooting is still alive and kicking is correct - in some areas. It could be better as noted by being creative in designing events as noted by bob finger and skeet2day to encourage skeet programs. Unfortunately, whenever some "different" ideas for trap - like using lighter loads or shooting 10 per post, or other attempts to make trapshooting more "user" friendly (cost and time), too many want to flame or blast the suggestions...no change whatsoever. Trap will last a long, long time, for sure, but every year you see attendance dropping in 'way too many cases. It doesn't have to be that way...being open to some changes will keep it going...resisting all change won't help. Best Regards, Ed
     
  6. BMC

    BMC Member

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    jnoemanh, you are correct that today's youth shooters are the future. The chink in the armor is, based on what we typically see, how many of those youth shooters will still be shooting when they hit 18 years old? We have a lot of ATA shoots here at a lot of different local ranges and I can count the 18-25 year olds on one hand. Most will find they have to work, earn a living, go to college, enjoy the freedom of being a young adult, etc.
    But here is what I find most interesting and quite concerning. At the ATA shoots, as noted, the young adults simply are a speck in the number of shooters. But, if you look at the public shooting trap on the weekends for fun, I see lots and lots of guys in their 20s shooting. Just today I took my girlfriend to the range to let her shoot trap for the first time. At all of the trap ranges and the skeet ranges were young guys that looked like they were in their 20s.
     
  7. buzzgun

    buzzgun Member

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    OK, you figured us out - ATA Trap is a codger-club. It's not going away...it just ain't going to be like a public golf course on Father's Day afternoon. And I bet most participants are fine with that. It's not like it's the Constitution or the Statue of Liberty - it's just a recreational activity, a way to pleasantly pass time. Most don't much care about what happens to an "association" beyond their own lifetimes. They just want it to be there for them for their rest of _their_ days.

    What is Sparta? Simply a guarantee people will have a place to park their motor home - for a few more years, while they can still pee unassisted. And when it comes down to it - that's all most people were in it for, anyway. We didn't want a historical connection to John Philip Sousa or Rolla Heikes...we just wanted a place to trade yuks and beers with our suckass shooting buddies, up until the grave-digger heaves dirt over us.


    If I'm wrong about that, if I'm too cynical...then where are those heaps of old money everybody assumed were going to get whipped out, when Tom Acklin was trying to round up donors for a homegrounds? "What if we named a trap field for you?" Ha, fuggedaboutit...I'll be dead by then. Gimme a place I can shoot right now...all my money's going to my kids and grandkids after I die, anyhow.

    Turns out all those "rich trapshooters" with the triple-slide motorhomes, the ones everybody assumed would "pony up" for the cause...well, they had other things on their minds, didn't they?

    Amarillo? Am-a-what-o? Isn't that some kind of sour drink dizzy chicks like to order in a bar? You have any idea how long it would take me to drag my trailer all the way down there? Fuggedaboutit. It will take two years to build that place with non-gov't. financing...and that means two less "attendance pins" on my hat. Like I said...fuggedaboutit.


    Stop writing the pre-eulogy for Trapshooting, and just enjoy the sun on your back. You won't find this sort of over-analysis coming from people who have the compasses of their 6.3L gas-guzzlers pointed towards Sparta right now (yes, I know that contributes to "Global Warming" and all that...but I'll be dead then, too).
     
  8. bigclown

    bigclown TS Member

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    buzzgun, thanks for your candor! I am sure you are right. Yes, I shoot trap every chance I get; will go to Sparta (can't afford a motor home) but see it as the 'Woodstock' of trapshooting and everyone enjoys it immensely...it is a 'happening'. I still try to get as much sun on my back as I can @ age 67. Just wish those who try to suggest something to encourage participation didn't get stomped on so badly. Oh well...wish everyone well who enjoys trapshooting. Best Regards, Ed
     
  9. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Iowa man!!
    The Iowa state shoot had 70 more entries than last year for what its worth. Might be more weather related than anything, but its a fairly large shoot.
     
  10. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering; You guys that have old ATA books; how many regestered shooters were listed in each of the following years 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990 2000, and 2007. Let's see if there really is a decline -via- the book of names. Let's set the record straight. Can any of you provide the information?????
     
  11. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    buzzgun,

    I got to tell you, "I like your attitude" ... Fuggeitaboutit ... (lol) ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  12. dfm

    dfm Member

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    Although I find the SCTP program great for kids I don't see but a very few, if that, ever becoming ATA lifetime shooters.
     
  13. jnoemanh

    jnoemanh TS Member

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    BMC -

    "jnoemanh, you are correct that today's youth shooters are the future. The chink in the armor is, based on what we typically see, how many of those youth shooters will still be shooting when they hit 18 years old? We have a lot of ATA shoots here at a lot of different local ranges and I can count the 18-25 year olds on one hand."

    If the future isn't with young shooters, then there is no future. How many of the people on this site will still be shooting 20,25,30 years from now?

    Sure, many of todays varsity shooters will move on, and some will stay with it, and some will come back later in life, but without young shooters coming along there will one day be no one left.

    Very few 12-18 year olds have ever even heard of clay target shooting. Many won't be interested, but may will too. If we don't reach out to them, how will they ever get involved?

    Trap (and skeet) are wonderful games. Where else can an 18 yo, a 38 yo, a 58 yo, and even a 78 yo co,pete head-to-head. That's one of the best things about it - it can be a lifetime sport where young folks, parents, and grandparents are equal.
     
  14. Cherokee Kid

    Cherokee Kid TS Member

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    The future of this sport is the 40+ guy that is upper middle class or better who can aford in time and money to spend $400.00+ per month in making one of the clay target sports his primary recreational pursuit.
     
  15. FelixD

    FelixD Member

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    Sorry Big Tuna, but I have to ask, do you really expect registered trapshooters to change? Do something different? Try another idea? Perhaps if it involves some way to use less gas in their motorhome, but not to bring back the life that was in trapshooting.
     
  16. darr

    darr Well-Known Member

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    Does it seem to you guys that the thought of competition scares people away from the sport.We have a small club in an area where this is no other clubs.There are many shotgunners in the area that do alot of bird hunting.Yet come January when all the hunting is over you can't get them out to the club.Alot of them come to the club one time don't shoot as good as they would like and won't come back.I am not talking about kids I am talking about grown men.Our memberships are 25.00 a year and a round is 3.00 so I don't think it is cost prohibitive.I honestly think they are worried about missing those "easy" trap targets in front of people.Believe me when I say there are no AAA shooters in our club.We for the most part very average shooters who just have fun shooting practice and the occasional game.They are a nice group of guys and gals that are just shooting for fun not a world championship yet I can tell when new people come out they seem intimidated.
    The only time I can attract a crowd bigger than 10 people is when my friends from Alpine come down.It is frustrating.We shoot trap,potshoot,and have sporting clays 3 days a month in the winter months plus all sorts of rifle and pistol matches.Maybe shooting is not as fun as I think it is.Maybe we are all nuts.All I know is it will be a part of my life for as long as I am able to do it.And I will still keep up the good fight trying to attract more people to it.

    Darr
     
  17. jnoemanh

    jnoemanh TS Member

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    I think you hit the nail on the head, darr -

    "There are many shotgunners in the area that do alot of bird hunting.Yet come January when all the hunting is over you can't get them out to the club"

    I'd rather hunt than shoot clay targets any day. Trap and skeet are fun, but compared to a day in the field, it ain't even close. A hunter who bagged 30 pheasants last year may consider clay targets a waste of ammo.
     
  18. Minot

    Minot TS Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    Grousing about something doesn't solve problems.
    keep talking shooting with everyuone and invite everyone to shoot. We all have an extrA trap gun for someone to use. Give them some of our reloads and have a fun day.
    Invite them back and some of them will stick and begin to shoot leagues.
    Once they are hooked then ATA and PITA
    Remember many younger follks have never had any training in ;proper shooting and need your help.
    Minot,
     
  19. Baber

    Baber TS Member

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    In our area the biggest problem is the referees union. It cost $6-10 per 100 to pay the refs. Our club has just stopped having Registered shoots unless we can do it without paying Union Dues.

    TB
     
  20. buzzgun

    buzzgun Member

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    Oh sh*t...you mean to tell me, Unions will be the end of registered shooting, too?

    First the auto industry, now this...unbelievable!


    (the Mexican hookers in Vegas will organize next...)
     
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