Northwoods Adventure: Trap Shooting Fastest Growing Sport In Minnesota
Trap shooting is the fastest growing sport among youth in Minnesota. The Lumberjacks Trap Team in Bemidji, which has been around since 2014, is one of the largest teams in the State of Minnesota. Lumberjacks Head Coach David Smith said trap teams don’t travel for conferences unless it’s for a state shoot.
“Because it’s done from your home club, a lot of kids never get the feeling like they’re competing,” Smith said.
There are over 14,000 kids involved in trap shooting across the State of Minnesota and nine conferences throughout the season. Lumberjacks Trap Squad leader Nic Geiger said his favorite part about shooting is the team aspect the sport has to offer.
“Everyone’s hoping everyone else shoots their best,” Geiger said. “No one is ever down on each other, and sometimes there’s some friendly competition between teammates and it’s always good fun.”
There are five captains on the Lumberjack’s Trap Team, and Kiah Martinson is the only female. She has been on the team for six years. Martinson said her favorite part is the stress relief she gets from shooting the targets.
“My favorite part is probably the stress relief, just coming out here having fun with your friends and shooting the targets – it’s a lot of fun,” Martinson said.
I decided to give the sport a try, so Smith laid out the premise of the sport for me. He told me to call for the target and start shooting. But before I shoot, I’m told to lean into the shotgun, and the tighter I have the gun to my shoulder the less recoil I’m likely to get.
Brandon Morris said his technique for shooting comes from what his coaches have taught him.
“Keep your feet where they’re supposed to be, hold the gun right, and if it doesn’t fit you probably need to get something so you can adjust it so it fits you,” Morris said.
There are 95 youths on the Lumberjacks Trap Team in the Bemidji area with ages ranging from 11 to 18 years old. They all come from different high schools in the Bemidji area.
Smith said there’s not many other sports that they can do the rest of their life and that they’re exercising their Second Amendment right, and they seem to enjoy this sport more than a lot of organized sports.
For kids to participate in the Trap Team they need to have their state gun safety certificate. Smith said trap shooting is the safest sport, and according to the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League there have been no recorded injuries to athlete, coaches, or spectators since it began in 2008.