Clay target league overcomes difficulties


Sandy Peterson

Abby Peterson shoots from a bar stool at Superior Trap & Gun Club, used while she recovered from a broken ankle.

By Lily Holmquist, Reporter

The spring clay target league (also known as the trap league) has started its 2023 season, with coaches Bill Reynolds, and Justin Aulie leading the group. The league welcomes new members every fall and spring, with a $35 deposit required prior to the registration deadline- this year’s deadline being Mar. 10, 2023. Numbers of members on this year’s team is yet to be determined, but the 2022 season had less than 20 members. 

There have been a few challenges encountered, before the league has even started. Ammunition and funding are two of the major ones noticed by coach Reynolds.

“Finding shells is a big challenge, because there’s a lack of shells right now. This season, we’re getting them for about $80 a case. Last year it was $120,” Reynolds said. 

Another challenge faced by the team is the limited amount of time they have to shoot. Only eight weeks are provided, while having only one day a week to shoot- Monday evenings. Each member shoots two rounds in a night, and all take turns scoring them. The team is also taught range safety, cooperation and teamwork skills, and how to get into the mindset they need for shooting trap, which is something that takes patience and dedication to learn and have.

Reynolds continues to coach this year, as he has since 2015. He voiced his concern over the safety of the students, which is one of the reasons there has been a problem with getting shells. Members of the Wisconsin State High School Clay Target League are unable to use reloaded ammunition. Only factory ammunition is allowed, and certain restrictions on them, such as speed and size, are laid out by the rules of the USA High School Clay Target League. 


The athletics office also has quite a say in where and when the team can shoot. The range needs to fit certain safety requirements, and the students need to follow rules specific to the league, which may be different from those posted at the range. School-approved coaches must also always be present.


Junior Abby Peterson, who has been a part of the high school trap league since 2019, and went to state for it in 2022, has also faced many struggles of her own. One of them is adapting to shooting off of a bar stool after breaking her ankle in a horse riding accident. 

“The injury didn’t affect my shooting that much. It was having to get into a different mindset. Learning to shoot to be your best, not to be perfect. Just shoot what you can,” Peterson said.

Peterson shot her first ever 50 straight during her summer season, outside of the high school league, while using a bar stool to sit on. Having been on the team during the school seasons since 2019, and shooting with the Superior Trap & Gun Club since 2018, it’s a huge accomplishment for her.

Peterson puts credit to her father, Eric Peterson, who has also worked as a coach with the trap team. Eric Peterson has worked with his daughter since the beginning of her shooting career, and has been a big supporter of her, and the trap club the team shoots at.

The trap league closed its registration on Mar. 10, 2023, and a list of the team and shooting days will be released soon.