A leg injury would put many athletes on the bench. For trapshooter Travis Salo, it’s barely an inconvenience.
“Nothing really changed actually,” Salo said. “I just put a chair under my broken leg and started shooting. I even surprised myself with good scores.”
Salo shoots for Hermantown. He’s one of nearly 100 athletes who compete at the Jack Meade Gun Club on Monday nights. Duluth’s team is new this spring, and Proctor started a club last year. Grant Morin was a founding member.
“I always liked the outdoors and shooting and stuff like that but never really had the opportunity to,” Morin said. “The opportunity rose and I just kind of jumped at it.”
Both say the learning curve is favorable.
“It is one of those rare opportunities where you can go and practice at it and be good at it within three or four weeks,” Morin said.
And the competition is friendly.
“All three teams shoot with each other and we have a good time,” Salo said. “We all try competing with each other but there’s no pressure to do better than each other. It’s more of an individual sport.”
Each athlete shoots from five different stations for total 25 shots. They compile their scores and match up against other teams around the state. Wind and weather play a big role, so shooters have to be mentally sharp.
“It’s a mind game for sure,” Morin said. “It’s kind of like golf. You always want to go out there and get the next one. When you miss it can get frustrating. You just have to shake it off and get to the next one.”
Gun club president George Pappas says trapshooting is the one of the fastest growing high school activities in Minnesota.
“Very competitive,” he said. “With 6,100 kids in the league, you’re going to see some of the best shooters in the world here actually.”
And it’s refreshing to see so many young faces taking aim at this lifetime sport.
“This is our future. this is how this is going to continue,” Pappas said. “If we don’t do this, our future is going to be of older shooters, so this is a great thing for the club.”
Updated: 04/23/2014 10:51 PM
Created: 04/22/2014 7:51 PM WDIO.com
By: Laura Kennedy