Harshaw Sports Club and Team S.E.a.L to host 3rd annual sport clay youth shoot in May

For the Tomahawk Leader

The highly successful “Northwoods Invitational” trap and sporting clays high school competition returns to the Northwoods on May 15-16 as high school clay target shooting teams from across the State of Wisconsin will converge on the grounds of the Harshaw Sports Club (HSC) at 10047 Rocky Run Road, in Harshaw.

Teams will compete in the third nationally sanctioned scholastic clay target competition held north of highway 10 in Wisconsin.  The Chequamegon High School S.E.a.L shooting team is once again partnering with the club and will be the host-school for the event. An impressive 30,000 clay targets or more will be launched during the two-day event. Students will participate in trap, skeet, doubles trap and sporting clays competition, attempting to break up to 400 targets each. With the success of the previous two years and the growth of the event, student athletes will also be shooting trap and skeet disciplines at the Minocqua Gun Club this year as well.

The Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) provides students from middle school grades through high school and college with the opportunity to participate in the fun and challenging sports of Trap, Skeet and Sporting Clays, as well as the Olympic disciplines of Bunker Trap, Trap Doubles and International Skeet. Part of the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation, the SCTP is the official feeder program to USA Shooting and a path to the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team.

The teams come from all over the state of Wisconsin and local schools are well represented.  Lakeland, Eagle River, Rhinelander, Phillips/Park Falls, Merrill and many other local school teams participate, with teams from as far away as Black River Falls, Eau Claire, Rice Lake and Wausau participating as well. In 2019, more than 200 students competed in the event in Harshaw.

The competitors will have pre-set starting times for their teams during the two-day event. Conventional trap shooting, handicapped shooting from greater distances, sporting clays and American skeet will be included. Sporting clays, one of the most popular venues in the event, is often referred to as ‘golf with a gun.’  Unlike trap or skeet, participants will walk over a mile through the fully automated, “woods course” where they will be presented with 12 different small game and bird hunting type scenarios.  Thrown in pairs – target presentations include; straight away, incoming, bouncing, crossing, quartering, straight up, or any combinations of those. Shots may be very close or further away in range.

Scores will be entered online in real-time, into a national scoring system. Those scores are used for further qualification at the state and national levels.

Todd Berg, current president of the Harshaw Sports Club, states that “The success of the first two events has overwhelmed everyone who envisioned this event in its early stages. Teams are now returning for their 3rd time. New students, older students, parents, grandparents and coaches that we’ve met now for two years have become like family to us.

“The kids are excited to have this opportunity to show off their skills and it’s really fun to watch them grow up each year and to see them excel at outdoor sports and have such passion for not only this event but for shooting sports in general,” Berg said. “Their level of commitment and safety on the ranges is just heartwarming. We expect over 200 students from more than 15 school districts to compete this year.”

With the help of so many sponsors and donors, locally, statewide and nationally- it’s a fun event for all everyone, Berg added.

“Lots of work, yes, but gratifying beyond description. Our feeling as a group is that if we are to promote and encourage a safe, wholesome and lifelong outdoor passion, this is the time and place to do it. The club has been expanding our capabilities and equipment through grants from the NRA Foundation, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and in-house investments, specifically for the enjoyment of participants in events just like this and we’re delighted with the progress and the enjoyment our youth and adult competitors are getting from the club and the sporting clay course throughout the season.”

Competition at the Harshaw Club will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Friday and Saturday May 15-16, with similar hours at the Minocqua Gun Club as well. Volunteers are always welcome and needed. The club has on online and paper version sign-up procedure for those who would like to come help for part of the event.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend to watch and cheer on the competitors. Visitors are asked to please bring eye and ear protection for safety purposes.

For more information and background or to find out how you can help, inquire with any of the following contact Berg at 715-820-2967 or Joe Hein at 715-891-0221.

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