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Underrated Sports: Trap Shooting Q&A With Spencer Peterson

What is Trap shooting and why is it growing in popularity so much? That’s the question that I needed to figure out. Trap shooting is getting the attention of many people and growing at an increasing rate over the years. More than 300 schools in Minnesota have a trap shooting team and more schools are joining every year. Trap shooting takes a lot of skill and people want to know what it’s about.

 Spencer is a Sophomore from Buffalo High School who has been on the trap team for four years. I wanted to interview him to get a little more information and knowledge about trap shooting and what makes it so much fun for people of all ages.

Q: First of all, can you explain to me what exactly trap shooting is?

A: Trap is a sport where you shoot at clay targets. There is a thrower out in front of you and it will throw them in random locations. You have to use your skill and prior knowledge to break them.

Q: When did you first get interested and start doing trap?

A: I first got interested in trap when I was younger just beginning to hunt. I would go into my backyard with my dad and shoot trap all the time in the summer. When middle school came around, there was a youth program for trap and I’ve been in a trap ever since.

Q: What kind of shotgun do you use and what choke does it have?

A: I use a Benelli Super Black Eagle 3. The Black Eagle is made for hunting and not so much for trap. Many people prefer and over under type shotgun. I use the Black Eagle for trap and hunting so I can improve my skills with the gun overall.

Q: What kind of practice do you do to improve your accuracy?

A: I have a really nice trap machine at my house and I use it all the time to practice, this helps me a lot. Hunting is also good practice for me because it has almost the same features as shooting trap.

Q: There are obviously safety regulations/rules while doing this sport but what kind of physical protection do you need for your body?

A: Before you shoot you must have safety glasses, ear  protection, and a shell catcher. You need safety glasses in case there are any ricocheting BB’s or parts of the clay pigeons. You will need ear protection because the sound of the gun can cause damage to your ears over time. Finally you need a shell catcher fixed to your gun to stop shells from hitting people next to you.

Q: How does this affect school? Do you have to leave early at all?

A: Trap doesn’t really affect school at all. We never have to leave early because we don’t face other schools face to face, it is done online comparing scores.

Q: How is trap scored and what is the competition like?

A: Trap is scored in two rounds of 25. You will also shoot from five different positions. When you are ready you call for a clay pigeon, “Pull!” or “Bird!”. Competition is low in my opinion because you are never actually shooting next to someone from a different school and you are more relaxed.

Photo by Autumn Schmidt

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