Trap Shooters Compete in Local Tournament - – Rockford’s News Leader

Trap Shooters Compete in Local Tournament


Tucked in the middle of the woods in the farm country of Durand, Illinois is where you'll find the training ground and playing ground fora  sport that requires years of hands-on experience to master - trap shooting.

It's a sport that requires the proper uniform, equipment, athletic ability, and years of practice. Some of these shooters have been perfecting the craft for more than 40 years. Every trap shooter has their origin story.

"When I was young, probably before I was a teenager with my Grandpa shooting shotguns," says Rusty Studler. "It evolved into hunting with him, and eventually into competition shooting.

It's been an Olympic event for more than a century.

"Trap shooting is an old sport and it's been evolving," says Michael Koukos.

Saturday saw the best in Northern Illinois at the 2017 Top Gun Annie Oakley trap shooting tournament. Participants were both competitors and old friends.

"It's awesome, we have a great group of guys we shoot with," says Billy McCoy. "They're all really good to you, we all laugh and have a great time, it's a lot of fun."

They take their sport seriously.

"Shooting is the best sport there is, getting out there every week and competing," says Koukos.

The requirements sound like any other athletic endeavor's bare necessities.

"It's stamina. Mental, you have to concentrate on what you're doing. It takes a lot of practice, a lot of shooting, hand-eye coordination," says McCoy.

Practice makes perfect. What also needs to be perfect is licensing, handling, and protecting the weapon used for the sport.

"Everybody is really safe. Always keep the guns pointed in a safe direction, never load while you're moving. Discipline to do that is really important," says McCoy.

With this group at Kepotah Sportsmans Club, Saturday is for the boys. For any other group, it's for the girls, too.

"Great camaraderie with all the guys. Just a lot of good people, it's a good sport to pick up. It's good for a family too, a lot of families shoot together," says Studler.

Concentration, preparation, performance. These trap shooters put their athletic gifts to the test, enjoying the outdoors, and each others' company.

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