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The Student News Site of Arcata High School

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The Pepperbox

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Moore’s clay pigeons

Each new year at Arcata High School comes bearing new opportunities and choices, and this year brings the Clay Target Club.

Each new year at Arcata High School comes bearing new opportunities and choices, and this year brings the Clay Target Club. The purpose of this club is to learn “responsible and safe gun handling as well as the sport of trap shooting,” Owen Moore, the club’s adviser, said. Some students wonder about this club: it is centered around the use of firearms, a topic of large controversy in the United States. So what is the Clay Target Club?

The sport of trap shooting involves propelling discs, called clay pigeons, propelled into the air as the means of target practice. The discs are called clay pigeons. In the past, the sport was known only as pigeon shooting. It involves shooting live pigeons, in contrast to the non-sentient, and more humane option of clay targets largely used instead nowadays. 

During the club meetings after school on Mondays, the trap shooters first discuss relevant topics to the club, then warm-up, and afterward continue to practice. After school on Wednesdays, the trap shooters compete in tournaments involving four competitors. Each competitor is given five shots, in a competition lasting two rounds. Scoring is based on accuracy, and results are posted online and compared to other trap shooting groups. 

Trap shooting is a fall and spring sport. Already the fall season is closed to enter in, although students are encouraged to go to club meetings that occur at Arcata High. The spring season will be open to all students who have completed Hunter’s Safety and received a Hunter Education Certificate.

Many may wonder: How is firearm safety regulated at the Trap House? Junior Jace Wallace and Owen Moore had numbers to say regarding the topic. When driving to Humboldt Trap and Skeet Club, firearms are to be stored in a separate container from ammunition, and the action of firearms is to be left open. Every day at the shooting grounds, the club goes over safety and also covers potential conditions that will affect shooting, like wind or other weather. Target practice is taken in turn. An individual will fire their rifle when given permission. During this other individuals at the range will have their rifles action open. There are sometimes up to six “range masters” present who help to maintain an orderly and safe environment to shoot in. 

So why do the trap shooters do what they do? In simple terms: it is legal, it is educational, and safe. “I think it’s really fun,” Sophomore Maya Ward said. The members of the club collectively agree that trap shooting is an inherently fun activity to participate in. The goals of the club are “first safety, second comradery, and third competition… The best way to avoid an accident is to know how to not have one,” Owen Moore said. 

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    Jenn CaldwellNov 7, 2023 at 9:07 pm

    This team is really amazing. Way to go trap team.