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By: Frank Neumayer

Shooter's Question: I’ve really enjoyed shooting Trap at the club this year, and many of my friends shoot “registered targets”. It really sounds interesting and fun, but what does a shooter actually gain by shooting registered targets… what’s in it for me?

Why Shoot Registered Targets:
From a shooter’s perspective, there are several things that one can gain from shooting registered targets. There’s always the challenging element of competition; the fun and enjoyment gained from socialization and camaraderie with other shooters; and the personal satisfaction and achievement gained through experience and self improvement. Let’s not forget the all important element of continued support and growth of the clay target shooting sport itself. This support also relates directly to the growth, and future existence, of gun clubs that offer target shooting of any kind.

First of all, I believe its basic human nature for most of us to be competitive and strive for excellence in whatever we do. Actually, it doesn’t seem to matter what sport or activity we choose, some element of competition always seems to be present. Whether it’s just having fun with friends or being a serious game player, we’re actually competing against someone or something all the time. Competition can take many forms. Whatever it is, whether at work or play, it’s natural for us to strive for improvement and to be successful through some means or type of competitive activity.

For many shooters the social aspect of clay target shooting plays a very important role in their love of the sport. Coming together with friends at a weekend shoot somewhere in the region, offers many shooters fun and enjoyment beyond just breaking targets. The camaraderie and friendships formed with other shooters proves very gratifying, lasting, and special. Whether commiserating over low scores and poor performance, or sharing the joy and excitement of winning an event or a shoot-off, sharing the days events with good friends provides a great deal of satisfaction and comfort for many shooters.

So, what is there to gain in shooting registered targets… what’s in it for you? It simply comes down to what you personally want to take away from (or give back to) the sport, and to what level of shooting success or improvement you wish to achieve. Yes, it costs a little more money to shoot registered targets. However, most of that money goes directly back to the shooters, with the remainder going to the clubs and the sport itself for providing the opportunity. Along with the competition, camaraderie, and the desire to improve, there are certainly trophies, monetary rewards, and bragging rights that make-up a big part of what registered shooting has to offer.

Along with shooting registered targets, being an active and involved club member is vital to the future of target shooting of any kind. I can’t stress enough the importance of getting actively involved at your club! The smallest, simplest contributions, when added together, can really make a difference. Without active, supportive, and involved club members we’ll have no clubs, and without clubs, we’ll have no shooting at all! Supporting your club, along with other hunting, shooting, and sporting associations, will help make certain that all of us shooters, and our children, have great places and opportunities to go and enjoy shooting for many years to come.

In choosing to shoot registered targets, you’ll need to join either the Pacific International Trapshooting Association (PITA) or the (ATA) Amateur Trapshooting Association. Visit their websites for a broader perspective. The PITA covers the seven western states and BC, and the ATA stretches east from the Cascades all the way to the Atlantic. Usually, there are three 100 target events in registered shooting: Singles (16yds); Handicap (19-27yds); and Doubles. Large shoots (10+ days), will offer multiples of these three events totaling several thousand targets. Smaller, weekend shoots usually offer 500 registered targets, comprised of two Singles, two Handicap, and one Doubles event.

Again, most sportsmen are competitive by nature and are constantly trying to improve or perfect their game. For the clay target shooter, shooting registered targets gives us an outlet and an opportunity to perform. It also gives us a competitive challenge, and a disciplined means, of improving and perfecting our game. Certainly, you’ll experience all the ups and downs of victory and defeat along the way. However, I’ve found that competitive clay target shooting not only offers me a challenge and an opportunity for success, but best of all… it continues to reward me with new and lasting friendships on and off the field, wherever I go.

See you at the club… Frank (1209a)
 

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One another reason, IMO, that's hardly mentioned: Shooting with a group of other registered target shooters provides an element of efficiency in learning. Also an element of safety; raw, green strangers to one's left and right MIGHT not be versed in how to handle a shotgun safely. Registered is a great place to test/shake down a new to you gun if collecting/tuning guns is a big part of your hobby.

Oh, sorry, that's three reasons.

David
 

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Competition (recorded), pure and simple!

You'll be competing not only for yourself, but the other shooter's too.

If you're happy/satisfied with just breaking targets with the non-competitors, then stay where you are. If not and you want to elevate yourself, then shoot registered.

Curt
 

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Over in the sporting world, many of us shoot registered events so we can shoot targets we might not see at our respective home clubs. Also certain target setters have a reputation of challenging shooters ability.
 

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I know a bunch of shooters who used to shoot registered targets, they don't anymore for what ever reason that seems logical to them ... They don't owe anyone any answers or explaination as to why they don't, they just don't and I have not asked any of them why not because its none of my business ... They still shoot every Weds morning and have a lot of fun just hanging out at the gun club Shooting the shit with their Buddies that used to shoot registered as well as some that still do ... I hear them betting quarters, soda pops, lunch, and just about anything else you could imagine and they do not seems to miss shooting registered at all ... They shoot the same guns, same shells, same targets, at the same club but for less money (daily fees and cheaper targets) and the same amount of enjoyment from my observations ... Some people will say its un American to not shoot registered but they can't prove that or logic it out except in their own mind ... I shoot registered when I want to and don't when I don't want to because thats the American way in reality ... Sometimes, I just go bowling instead and some times thats santioned, sometimes it isn't ... Isn't it great to be in America and have these choices no matter what others might think, besides that who cares what they think ..? Have fun and shoot if you want, or go bowling or don't do anything if thats what you feel like not doing ... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
 

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Sometimes, but not very often, I shoot registered targets and play all the options. If I shoot well, I might win 25 cents on the dollar wagered; if I shoot a poorly, which happens most of the time, I have the pure pleasure of seeing the "big dogs" who win most of the time, pocket my hard-earned dollars. Think positive. Best Regards, Ed
 

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To get away from the drunks. Seems like every league has at least one entire team, and more than enough singles. That's as much detail as I'd prefer to give.
 

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I do both but seem to have more fun just shooting pratcice---I don't like going down the line in 90+ heat---I was at a state shoot this yr and saw one of my friends get very angry at one of his friends who asked him how he was doing and the sparks flew---Are we in a life and death situation or just having fun----Who needs the ag?---I see that atitude a-lot even playing golf.
God forbid if you miss a 3' putt---Your partner gives the puss on the face---
I miss sometimes on purpose just to get his goat---Lifes too short---To each his own---Did you ever watch Kay Ohey shoot---I love it but I can't believe he is having fun---If thats fun than I don't want any part of it---Wish I could shoot like him but what a grouling life----JMO----MYSTIC----
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Don... I live in the Seattle area I register most all my targets with the PITA, WSSA, and NSSA. I'm still working, so haven't had a lot of time to travel to ATA shoots east of the mountains. Thanks for your input! Have a great holiday! Frank
 

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I do it to launder my money. Problem is it ain't pay'n back too well. I never was the shrewd buisness man my pops was.
 

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Because I want to compete with the best. And everything else is just practice.

I don't get a thrill from club shooting, except for some calcuttas and protection shoots for money.
 

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What Shannon said. Also I enjoy competition, and the guys I shoot with are that way too. I actually enjoy fixing f-ups with my shooting. Figuring out what I need to do to shoot better is satisfying. Helping others figure it out is fun too.
 
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