Mike Schottel has an open invitation for youth. Come to the Flying Saucer Trap Club (FSTC) and shoot.
On Saturday, June 29, two boys took his advice. Cameron Radli, 14, is a sophomore at Fernley High School. Chase Ackerman, 10, came from Fallon. They competed in the Fourth of July shoot along with dozens of men and a sprinkling of women.
“We’d like to see some Lovelock kids out here,” said Schottel, the club president for the past six years. All youth shooters receive free shells and targets courtesy of the Powder House, Chukars Unlimited, Big Meadows Chukars and Steve Young from Chevron, he said.
Although they came from out of town, Radli and Ackerman felt right at home.
“This was my first trap shoot. Everyone here is friendly and talkative,” said Radli. “They help you improve.”
Chase’s family sat at a nearby picnic table and watched Chase blast away at the pink biodegradable “birds.”
“Chase is not that traditional sports kid, and wasn’t into football or baseball so we tried this, and he loves it,” said his mother. “It’s something he can do with his dad and brothers.”
Ackerman shot at the state competition in Carson City a several weeks ago. Saturday’s shoot was his second.
Radli has been hunting for three years, but did not get any tags this year. He also does cowboy fast draw.
Mike Dewitt, a founding member, sought shade after his shoot. He parked his truck under a tree and watched the goings-on, stopping to chat with Cameron Radli or reminisce about the old days. The oldest active trap club in Nevada dates back to 1956.
In all that time, they’ve never had a gun-related injury. Safety is a top priority.
Over the years, Dewitt has mentored many trap shooters including the club president. Between sips of Gatorade, he pointed out a few more.
“There’s Tate Morehead,” said Dewitt. “He started shooting out here when he was nine.” Cameron and Jennifer Radli credited Morehead for introducing them to the sport.
“Tate got us into it and has taught us a lot,” said Jennifer.
“He rarely ever misses,” added Cameron.
In the early days the founders shot out at the dump. Winners walked away with homemade pies or cans of beans. On Saturday, a table full of buckles glistened in the club house, ready to adorn the belts of the best shooters.
The FSTC is eager to work with Pershing County’s 4H Shooting Sports Program, led by Ryan Ferrari, Daniel and Brady Liebsack. Youth Development Leader Joshua McKinney appreciates the trap club’s generosity, he says.
“Some of us are getting older,” said Dewitt. “We need young trap shooters to carry on the sport. All we can say is, ‘Come on out. We’ll help ya.’”