You can only deduct mileage if your business is to do some kind of work for the club. Also, your services must be unique. In other words, the function must require your presence. For example, if you're the range master and you have the keys to the club and they need you to open it up or no one can shoot, you can probably deduct your mileage.
Then you have to discount the value you got out of the event. If you shoot while you're there, then you got some value out of being there and must reduce your deduction by the amount of value you derived.
A simple way to look at it is Girl Scout Cookies. If a box of cookies cost $4, you cannot deduct the whole $4 because you derived some value from the cookies. It's crazy and not usually worth the effort to deduct things like mileage and cookies.
When I was the state coordinator for a non-profit organization I traveled over 15,000 miles a year for them. I deducted all that mileage. If I traveled less than 5,000 miles I don't think it would have been worth the effort to deduct it.
Face it, Trap is a hobby. Go shooting and stop thinking about how to get something more than shooting enjoyment. Your scores will improve.
Not the idea of legality-it might be enough of a red flag to cause an audit. Risk vs. reward. When i had my own business, I asked my accountant, could I take my boat & a room in my house for a home office. He said to me the money you save would cover his time before an IRS auditor. Don't worry about saving money,worry about making money.
I believe my accountant does this, should sum it up. If you don't know the details it may cost you much more than you are planning. I have heard others discuss it, but I can't imagine "making it stick" unless you have a related business such as clothing sales at shoots, reloading supplies, gunsmith. I think the comment about winning big, then deducting is about the only feasible approach.
Back when I lived on Long Island NY, my old fishing partner tried it with his boat. Now in those years, you could sell fish without a commercial license but a commercial license did not cost what it does now either. But after a few years, the IRS ruled the boat a hobby and wanted their money +. He made payments and got audited for several years there after.
Our tax system is voluntary - just don't be surprised when they rule against you a few years down the road.
Every now and then someone digs out that crap from James Russell and this discussion starts all over - with the usual misinformation. Because of a quirk in the tax law, you cannot fully offset trapshooting winning with your expenses. While hobby income is reportable as "miscellaneous income" on form 1040 page 1, the expenses are only deductible as miscellaneous itemized deductions on Schedule A-itemized deductions.
So, first you have to have enough deductions to itemize, you can't take the standard deduction. Secondly, those deductions are subject to an exclusion of 2% of your adjusted gross income.
Since the deductions themselves are limited to the amount of income, the 2% exclusion means you won't be able to offset all your trapshooting winnings. (The deduction limitation is "income," not income plus the 2%. There is another category of miscellaneous deductions that isn't subject to this exclusion, but hobby income doesn't qualify for that.)
Also, you can't use Schedule C (business form) because it's generally not a business. BTW there is no requirement that you ever have to show a profit to have trapshooting considered a business. The most important factor is that you have a profit motive (not just a hope), and that recreation is not the real reason for the expenses.
If you try to handle it any other way, the IRS computer may catch it -or it may not -so if you did it wrong and didn't get caught-well that happens. You were lucky-like breaking a target with your eyes closed.
Also, expense you incur doing work for your gun club only qualify as charitable contributions if the club is a 501(c)(3)organization like the ATA. Very few clubs have that status.