2012-04-19 / Outdoors

Gun club offers youth trap league

By Alan Campbell
Of The Enterprise staff


YOUTHS TAKE aim at the Cedar Rod and Gun Club’s trap league last year. YOUTHS TAKE aim at the Cedar Rod and Gun Club’s trap league last year. Pull.

Boom.

Splat.

Leelanau County youths are invited to participate in a trap league that will be easy on their parents’ wallets — it’ll be free. They won’t even need to bring a gun. Participants will learn the basics of shooting, and hopefully the joy of “splatting” a clay target on a regular basis.

“We would like to have a lot more kids participate,” Cedar Rod and Gun Club president Tim Stein said. “The future of the shooting sports is in the hands of our youth, so we have to make these events available to them.”

The league is expanding into two divisions this year, providing young shooters with a chance to begin two years sooner. The junior league will include youths between the ages of 12 and 14; 15-18 year olds will be placed in a senior division. Some 25 young shooters competed last year.

“I guess I’m going to get about half (of the young shooters from last season) back,” Stein said, “and the other half are going to be over the 18 age limit. We teach proper gun safety; that’s a big part of what we do.”

The Cedar club will provide shells, eye and ear protection, guns — and most important of all, instruction. Two of the best trap shooters in the state will instruct.

Most youths who opt to use the club’s guns will be provided 20 gauge Remington 870 shotguns.

“They’re certainly welcome to bring their own shotguns,” added Stein.

Five youths will shoot in each round, rotating through five stations. Each will shoot five times at each station at a clay target tossed by a thrower that is constantly changing the direction and angle of the target. One round of trap is completed after each youth has visited all five stations, and shot 25 times.

“It is good to see these kids out there, learning how to shoot trap,” said Mark Stephens, a club member who also helps organize the league. “It’s neat when one of those kids who has never shot a gun before hits a clay. You can see his eyes light up, and you know he’s hooked.”

Parents of youths who want to participate should call Stein at 228-6984 to sign up. The first day of the league will be Sunday, May 6.

The league will continue for five more Sundays. Exact starting times have yet to be determined, but will be in the early afternoon.

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