Where are the younger shooters?

Discussion in 'Skeeters Corner' started by fredoniarob, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. fredoniarob

    fredoniarob Active Member

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    I have been looking around the winter skeet league that i am in and find that the average age is well north of 60... and the number of shooters under 20 are dismal to say the least.
    My question is this, is it just my area or is skeet shooting in trouble as shooters age and are no longer physically able to shoot any more?:( I am a trap shooter and i see more youth at shoot and know that there is a good youth program within the ATA but have never seen a program in skeet... am i missing it?
     
  2. Clipperite

    Clipperite Active Member

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    Rob,

    I think the answer lies in the fact that the wrong people reached power in the skeet world. They dummied down the targets making skeet an even easier game and even more of a game of perfection. The trap world has suffered the same way but not as much.

    There is a chance the trapworld is waking up. Many posters on the trap side of the forum are dedicated to that end. We have to band together to keep our shootin sports challenging.

    It is difficult enough to keep young shooters interested in the game.
     
  3. BPskeeter

    BPskeeter Active Member Founding Member

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    In many cases, it is only the older folks who have the time or the money to participate.
    Also, younger shooter may find it frustrating to try and join a group that is dominated by folks 20+ ears older than themselves. We are starting out spring trap league in April, and if his work schedule permits, we will be adding a 17-year-old to our team. All the rest of us are over 50. He "lives" in a different world than we do. Our challenge is not to try and bring him into our world, but to show him our sport and to help him to fit it into his.
     
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  4. fredoniarob

    fredoniarob Active Member

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    I have been around shooting since i could walk, and have been in leagues since age 8. But like to say im a trap shooter with a skeet addiction...
    Growing up i was exposed to trap and static target shooting and found skeet as my "release" from expectations... every time i take a kid to shoot they love it, just surprises me now im getting older (37) that my generation is not around. I'm afraid that a great sport might be suffering a slow death if something is not done.
     
  5. BPskeeter

    BPskeeter Active Member Founding Member

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    My background is in Black Powder shooting, and currently on he NMLRA's Facebook page, a member is posting photos from the 1970's and '80's. So many of the participants in the photos were in their 20'sand early 30's, with just a few of the older folks around. Now, it's 50's and 60's (or older) with just a few 20's. You are correct - we completely lost your generation.
    The neat thing is going to shoots like the Grand and seeing the SCTP shooters. Best program that has come down the pike in a LONG time! Wish it had been around when I was growing up.
     
  6. fredoniarob

    fredoniarob Active Member

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    I grow up with bp to... one shot one kill... was taught by guys that where not kid friendly... but loved me because i understand historical firearms.... i bought a 1861 ORIGINAL o/u .40-16ga when i was YOUNG with winnings from trap shooting. fun shooting clays with bp....
     
  7. BPskeeter

    BPskeeter Active Member Founding Member

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    I got started shooting BP rifles in the early 70's. Really loved it, but I never was competitive with the top shooters. Then in the mid-'90's I picked up a flintlock trade gun (20 ga smoothbore) Found out that I was a better shotgun shooter than rifle shooter.
     
  8. Big Jack

    Big Jack Well-Known Member Founding Member

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    Very Happy Trapshooter! Not real good but HAPPY!
    The young ones today are trying to stay afloat with current wages & expenses. Young families cannot afford the shooting games today. I remember working a second job, part time just to keep shooting trap. That was a long time ago and today it would be even more difficult. I was told if I wanted to end up with a million dollars at trap, start with two.
     
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  9. Laserwizard

    Laserwizard Active Member Founding Member

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    I too grew up around a lot of Black Powder. I have a SXS black powder 12ga that I always enjoyed rabbit hunting with. I used to shoot trap with it here and there. What a blast!!

    Very good youth programs in Trap here in Ohio, but you seldom hear anything about skeet.

    We've got a local club that has skeet and trap, but unfortunately the new owners are more interested in pistol shooting and Trap/5 Stand games than they are throwing good clay targets. You never see youth shooters at this club. Unless things change, this club will fade away to just another memory.
     
  10. fredoniarob

    fredoniarob Active Member

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    Today i was shooting trap with bunch of teenage kids and could not talk a single one into a round of skeet, feel stupid shooting by myself.
     
  11. NordCelt

    NordCelt Member

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    Maybe it's the area I live in, along a major river that's a water fowl migration root. There is a strong hunting tradition here. There are two local clubs that I belong to and both are well represeted with all age groups. There are certainly a large number of us old guys around but quite a few young guys too. I shoot both trap and skeet and believe the trap fields have a better age mix than the skeet fields do. My observation has been the experienced trap shooters tend to be more welcoming of new shooters. There are plenty of friendly people on the skeet fields too but there is definitely a large number of registered skeet shooters who do not want to shoot with anyone other than those in their high dollar click. For some reason the highly skilled high dollar gun trap shooters are friendlier. Don't know why this is but since I shoot both games this is my observation at how it is at my clubs.
     
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  12. fredoniarob

    fredoniarob Active Member

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    I am also a trap shooter, but around western New York the school trap league funnels kids into trap... but im sad to say that once they reach age that they have to pay full price they to disappear from sport, and there is not any scholastic skeet programs in area. But its disheartening to see the average age go up every year in skeet.
     
  13. Jim Porter

    Jim Porter Member

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    EASY I AM a youth coach and have coached in several states. I am also a skeet member and shoot a little skeet each year. Here are the REAL reasons. 1- four guns. Even if tube sets are used it still takes four guns if you REALLY want to play. AND while skeeters will say "come shoot the 12 or 20 only, they REALLY don't like for you to do that. It screws up the squadding. 2-Three Days. If you REALLY want to shoot skeet, it's doubles on Friday, Two guns on Sat. and Two guns on Sunday and stay for shoot-off's. Trappers shoot 300 targets, eat lunch and are home early in the afternoon of the same day.3- Because of scores no one actually wins a skeet shoot! You shoot skeet to make the doubles shoot off. It's like playing baseball all afternoon to get to play football on Sunday afternoon. 4- Starting cost. Every kids uncle has a 870 with a mod choke somewhere in the closet and you have a basic entry level trap gun. 5-Ease of coaching and safety while coaching new shooters---BELIEVE ME I have done this many times. In skeet you have four kids behind you while you are working with the kid on the pad. Not good! Then you coach four shots and won't be back on that pad for an hour. In trap ALL FIVE are in FRONT of you and you can easily pass from one shooter to the next with coaching tips. In short---in summary---trap is no better game and there are excellent people doing both but trap is far more friendly to the starting shooter. WE NEED BOTH!!!! We need all the SHOOTERS we can get!!! That is why I shoot both and try my best to coach both. I am OFF THE porch--I suggest you do the same!
     
  14. trap.skeet.sporting

    trap.skeet.sporting Well-Known Member

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    There is not really much to add to Jim Porter's post, but I will. Mostly the problem is high barriers to entry.

     
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  15. Brad's friend (I hope)

    Brad's friend (I hope) A NoBody Founding Member

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    While living in South Carolina I found that their 4H progams teach each youth to shoot all three venues. Skeet, Trap and Sporting Clays.

    Once the kids get on their own, they seem to gravitate to the Sporting Clays saying it's more fun and enjoyable to walk from station to station talking with friends. The other comments were: "Well if I miss one, I know I still stand a chance". They know in skeet or trap, a miss can cost you because of all the 99s and 100s posted...

    Rob, My wife was from Westfield. Do they still have a trap facility there ?

    Good luck, Dave
     
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  16. fredoniarob

    fredoniarob Active Member

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    I'm a member of Westfield and Ripley to name 2 clubs as a fact....
    Westfield still has 2 traps and 2 skeet houses.
    I happen to be sitting the Westfield booth as i type at the Chautauqua county fair.
     
  17. trap.skeet.sporting

    trap.skeet.sporting Well-Known Member

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    If you have Sporting Clays or Five-stand in the neighborhood look there. Newbies given the choice of Sporting or Skeet will usually choose Sporting. Sporting just does a better job of what Skeet was invented to do. And registered skeet gets into 4-guns, expensive ammo or multiple reloaders, and all weekend+ to compete.
     
  18. Sergey Parfenov

    Sergey Parfenov New Member

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    I shoot International Skeet because Amecian Skeet is too easy. Plus young shooters could mad
    e an Olympic team. Unfortunately there are very few clubs throwing Int.Skeet targets.
     
  19. joseph Boy

    joseph Boy Member

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  20. joseph Boy

    joseph Boy Member

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    I think the anti-gun climate may have something to do with it as well, especially in Mass.
    Most people I know have turned to skeet and trap after starting out hunting, but in Mass.
    it is difficult to find a place to hunt and get landowners permission. Parents don't want
    there kids to join contact sports never mind use a gun.
     
  21. oldskt94

    oldskt94 Active Member Founding Member

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    Clipper: been shooting skeet and trap for over 40 years. Registered skeet looks looks the same to me as 40 years ago. I started on trap as many do from the Mi, PA, Oh area did in the 70's. Stopped shooting trap for several years and found when I came back they had dumbed down trap by changing the angle. All the registered shooting sports are struggling to keep going. I have a close friend who is on one of the advisory committees for NSCA, and tells me that even registered sporting is having problems retaining members. Fortunately for them they r adding new members as fast as losing old.
    Although I wish it were true that everyone could compete with grandpa's 870, that isn't likely.
     

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