Spring 2018

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40 PULLUSA MAGAZINE SPRING 2018 I was 12 or 13 when I picked up my father's Parker 16-gauge and tried shooting for myself. I seemed to have a knack for the sport, as it wasn't more than a couple rounds before I shot a 23. It was at that point that a love for the sport began for me, and I've continued to enjoy the sport throughout my life. I helped support the Minneso- ta High School Clay Target League early on because it made sense to me. When I first heard about the program, it was clear to me that Jim Sable was starting something special. Like his club in Plymouth, my home club was also seeing the negative effects of an aging customer base. THE FIELD INSIGH T " " and the sense of community they discover at their local club. That's what's happening with all of these students that now have the opportunity to try clay target shoot- ing through the League. They 're having fun breaking clays, but what keeps them coming back year after year is that network of friends and family that support them, and that community they get a sense of. A healthy gun club community is not filled with just one age group or demographic. Adding youth shooters to your local community will breathe a new life into your club that you may not even realize was missing, and it provides a way to pass down that shooting community's legacy. I'm proud to financially and per- sonally help support the League as it has grown from just a handful of kids and teams, to a Minnesota high school phenomenon, and then to a leading national program with tens of thousands of students participat- ing at hundreds of clubs across the country. I encourage anyone who really cares about America's shooting sports legacy to get involved and to help in any way they can. It's not about those of us who have been shooting for years. It's about those who haven't begun yet. ✪ I couldn't help but remember the enjoyment I had shooting as a youth, and that exposure to shooting sports at a young age is what led to my con- tinued interest in trap shooting. Creating a youth league to fur- ther the sport and help develop the n e xt g e n e r a t i o n o f s h o ot e r s wa s the best way to keep that shooting legacy that I grew up with going. It made sense to offer boys and girls that same opportunity that I had. It still does. Clay targ et shooting is an easy sport to introduce people to, and many people find that they enjoy it, but what keeps them coming back is the network of friends they develop T rap shooting has been a part of my life since I was a child. My father and two of my broth- ers shot at the West End Fishing and Hunting Club in St. Paul, Minnesota. I remember tagging along to watch them shoot on Sunday afternoons during the summer. Back then, the traps were mechanical and manually reset with a lever. When you called "Pull!" they would literally pull the lever that released the bird. No fancy electric traps and voice-activated controls back then. F O R I N F O R M AT I O N A B O U T H OW T O H EL P T H E L E AG U E O R S TA R T A T E A M , G O T O U S AC L AY TA R G E T.C O M DID YOU KNOW? Since its inception in 2008, the League has skyrocketed from three teams and 30 participants to 804 teams and nearly 22,000 student athletes throughout 20 states. THE SHOOTING SPORT LEGACY by BOB HOSCH, BOARD CHAIRMAN, HARRIS COMPANIES They're having fun breaking clays, but what keeps them coming back year after year is that network of friends and family that support them, and that communit y they get a sense of.

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