jamie65, more than likely it will be several years before that number can be revealed. The important part is the fact kids are being introduced to our sport. Without a doubt, some will continue shooting and paying ATA fees throughout their life. Some will cease the minute mom&pop quit paying the freight. Some will develop a love of the game and return once they've earned their own way in life and have expendable income.
Some areas are already investing in youth shooting, planting the seeds necessary to harvest shooters that at one time were supplied by the nations hunters. It's a smart investment long term and I applaud their efforts and commitments! It's too bad all states aren't so involved on such a scale.
In this day and age I doubt many will continue to shoot after graduating Hs. Most likely it will be after college before and if they would take it back up. What I see as most beneficial is the fact that these kids are exposed to proper and safe handling of firearms. Plus this exposure could be enough to keep them on the pro gun side. Which we all need. Out of the last 6-7 years I have been around this only the best shooters continue on.
In the New England area, there is lots of kids at the various ATA shoots with their various groups shooting great and it would be nice to see schools embrace this sport like Minnesota does! My first year back after a long time away from the sport I was squaded with a group of kids and it was great to shoot with them, amazing what good eyesight and quick reflexes can do! Steve
even the grown ups have that same issue.
is it to show off to the girls?
show off you guns to others?
prepare for military entry?
sell guns in the future for big companies?
make dad and mom proud?
do it because mom and dad told you to or else?
make tons of prizes money?
none of the big industries have sucessfully marketed .....why shoot?
and none have given a long term plan for how to get to that nervanna level you desire.
they just give you the gear, give you a field, give you rules, give you their lessons, and throw you to the dogs, hoping for the best.
and then years later, all your dusty trophies in boxes in the attic get thrown out anyway as you move to something else.
Trap is the perfect venue for kids. It keep all the shooters, parent and
spectators together in one place at the same time. Skeet and sporting clays doesn't do that. In addition it allows some degree of success in the shortest period of time, and doesn't require a lot of size, strength or skill to
hit a reasonable percentage of targets. Those are the plus's. The minus's are that kids who grew up with computer games will become bored relatively quickly and considering the expense, will drop out as soon as
they have pay for their own shells and targets.
Unfortunately, the self sufficient adults who enjoy the competition have
gravitated to sporting clays. That's why ATA trap is dying. In the Chicago area, there are registered sporting clays shoots at least twice a month that get 120 to 150 participant. The three or four ATA shoots a year are lucky to get 6o or 70. I helped put on the five ATA shoot my club was putting on a year. Last year we got 5 shooters at one shoot, 12 at another. This year we have dropped ATA shoots altogether.
Just an observation (which discourages me from thinking the kids will save the sport.). The thinking is, if they don't continue as young adults when mom and pop stop footing the bills, they'll return to ATA shooting later on, after college, kids, jobs, etc aren't taking all their time.
Back in the 60's, I squeeked onto 3 Junior All American Teams. Back a dozen years ago or so, I found a book by Jimmy Robinson that had all the AA teams listed. Curious, I looked through all the guys on the teams I was on (and the immediate years before and after)...and went to the ATA site with the list to see how many were currently shooting ATA targets (this was in the early 2000's...maybe 2002-04). This would have put us in our early 50's. Kids likely grown and at a peak earning period.
Frosty, if that was aimed at my post, let me say few are more happy than I am with the growth in youngsters shooting. There's more kids shooting in Minnesota than there was in the entire nation back in my day.
I just posted my own experience in looking for the return of former junior shooters.
Most young people shooting g don't want to put up with the organized. BS They just want to break some birds. It seems clubs discourage regular young shooters by putting all these restrictive rules in effect ie. No non members shooting on Sat. Etc .with all the choices to spend leisure timeand money we should make it as easy as possible just to shoot a round of trap. The more numbers that shoot the better chance we have of recruiting new members into the sport.
I started shooting my freshman year of high school. The only reason I joined was because my dad wanted me to and told me just to try it for a year and if I didn't like it I didn't have to do it next year. I was shooting a Benelli ultra light that year and if I shot a 15 in a round I was happy but I had the time of my life. Now I've graduated high school this year and through my high school years won many high school shoots. I've enjoyed more then any other sport I've joined. I've found many clubs around me with middle age men that are always happy for my little brother and I to show up and shoot. And your right I will go to a club where everyone is friendly compared to a club where no one talks to us. I plan on continuing my shooting in college. And hopefully a couple years after college when I have the money flow I can start shooting ATA again. Because I just enjoy shooting