The Harshaw Sports Club and the Chequamegon High School S.E.a.L shooting team will once again hold a Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) youth clay event at the Sports Club on Rocky Run Road.
This will be the third annual event, Todd Berg of the Harshaw Sports Club said. He said there will be over 200 students from 17 schools from all over the state. Students from middle school through high school and even college students will take part in the event this spring. This adds up to over 30,000 clay targets being launched over the two days, with students attempting to break up to 200 targets each in both trap and sporting clay competitions.
Some of the local schools to be represented include Lakeland, Northland Pines, Rhinelander, Phillips/Park Falls and Merrill. Teams from as far away as Black River Falls, Wausau, Eau Claire and Rice Lake will also come to compete in the two-day event.
Berg said the past success of the event has allowed it to grow. This growth has some of the students competing at the Minocqua Gun Club this year as well, in trap and skeet disciplines. Overall, besides trap, skeet and sporting clays, students involved in the competition will compete in Olympic disciplines such as Bunker Trap, Trap Doubles and International Skeet. The SCTP is the official feeder program for the USA Shooting team, a path that can lead all the way to a spot of the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team.
“The success of the first two events has overwhelmed everyone who envisioned this event in its early stages,” Berg said. “Teams are now returning for their third time. New students, older students, parents, grandparents and coaches that we’ve met for two years now have become like family to us.”
He said not only do the kids enjoy showing off their skills, but it is also fun for organizers and other adults to watch the young shooters excel at outdoor sports. The kids, he said, have a real passion, not only for this SCTP event, but for shooting sports in general.
“Our feeling as a group is that if we are to promote and encourage safe, wholesome and lifelong outdoor passions, this is the time and place to do it,” he said.
The club has received grants from the National Rifle Association (NRB) Foundation, which has allowed them to expand their capabilities and invest in more equipment. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, as well as investments from within the club, have also helped with improvements and upgrades.
Competition will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Harshaw Sports Club both Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16. Competitors will have a pre-set start time for their teams during the event. Teams will compete in conventional trap, handicapped shooting from greater distances, sporting clays and American skeet over the course of the two days.
Skeet, often referred to as “golf with a gun,” requires participants to walk over a mile through a fully automated course. Throughout the course, shooters will be presented with 12 small game and bird hunting scenarios, Berg said. Targets may be at close range, or further away, and are presented in a variety of fashions. They may be thrown straight away, incoming, bouncing, crossing, quartering, straight up, or a combination, as targets on this course are thrown in pairs.
Berg said volunteers are always welcome and needed. More information can be found on the Harshaw Sports Club Facebook page. The public is invited and encouraged to attend to enjoy the event and see the marksmanship of these young shooters. Visitors are asked to bring eye and ear protection for safety purposes.
More information can also be obtained by calling Berg at 715-820-2967, or Joe Hein at 715-891-0221. The Sports Club is located at 10047 Rocky Run Road in Harshaw.
Beckie Gaskill may be reached via email at [email protected].