Random Images From Minnesota’s 2016 State High School Clay Target Championship

I wanted to get these pictures posted up for a good friend of mine, Todd Rost.   As you may have heard, high school clay target competition has become one of the fastest growing high school sports in the nation.   That’s incredible, and certainly a big positive for the shooting sports.   And with over 7,000 Minnesota student athletes competing in various categories, it took the entire week of June 14–21, 2016, to hold the competition in Alexandria, Minnesota.

The following pictures are random shots showing the Faribault Bethlehem Academy team getting their chance on the big shooting stage.   I hope this gives you a feel for what it was like to be there from opening ceremony singing the National Anthem all the way to the competitors in serious action.

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Images From The 2015 MN State High School Clay Target League’s State Championship Shoot

Question.   What do you get when you have more than 5,000 high school athletes representing over 220 Minnesota schools from across the state?   Answer:  The largest competitive shooting sports event in the world.   In fact, if that is not impressive enough consider this, the only Minnesota high school sport boasting greater athlete involvement is football.   Not only that…but don’t lose sight of the fact that Minnesota’s clay target leagues is the fastest growing high school sport after only being first organized in 2001.   That’s amazing and is a big positive for the shooting sports.

Check out this video from this year’s shoot (courtesy of the USA High School Clay Target League):

I also want to give a hat tip to my friend, Todd Rost, who supplied me with the following gallery of snapshots from his team representing the Faribault Bethlehem Academy Cardinal Clay Target Team.  (Click on each picture to expand its size)

Caught Up In The Hype Some Call Ammunition Hoarding

About two weeks ago I did something that might draw the ire of certain disgruntled folks.

That’s right…I placed myself in a position to hoard ammunition, by some folks’ account.   And not just any ammunition, mind you…nope, this ammo has been in the news lately as possibly eventually being banned by the ATF.  Editor’s note: Breaking news just moments ago shows that ATF has currently withdrawn it’s proposed plan to ban certain types of modern sporting rifle ammunition (AR’s)

So, I got this sales flyer from Cabela’s and it looked intriguing.   I needed to get away from the office and a quick trip to Cabela’s seemed like a logical good choice.   So, I decided to go for it.   Be there when the store opens at 9:00am.   See if the deals promised in the sales flyer would be available.   After all, it had been several years since I had last purchased any rifle ammunition.   Maybe I would get lucky.

Well, I showed up at the parking lot about 20 minutes before the doors opened.   First car in the customer parking lot.   Then another came…and another.   By the time store opening was closing in there were several cars carrying hopeful shoppers.   Perhaps 5 minutes before door opening we all gathered at the door.   Oh, there were maybe 20 of us.   Few people seemed to know each other.   It was obvious each person was there for a purpose and had a goal in mind.   Was it the same goal?   Who knows.ammobox

Suddenly the doors to Cabela’s swung open.   There was no stampede.   There was a purposeful entrance by everyone.   Much to my surprise, however, people seemed to scatter in various directions.   I paused and grabbed a cart.   Not in any particular hurry.   Besides, my shopping on this day wasn’t fueled by frenzy.

So, I walked back to the gun department and seen most of the people gathering in that general area.   There seemed to be some disarray as folks did not seem to focus on one particular sales end cap or display.   I took a sharp right turn past the dog department because I had a hunch.   I had a hunch that sometimes the folks at Cabela’s use this area to spread out their customer activity.

I guessed right.

I approached a bin that much to my surprise contained THE PRIZE!   Indeed, the ammunition on sale that I was after was in this bin.   Nobody else was within 30 yards of it when I walked up.   I hesitated briefly just to make certain my eyes were not deceiving me.   YES!   YES, this was the ammo that attracted me to come to the store on this day.   I loaded one box into my cart, I loaded another box into my cart.   I then paused to see if there was some limit on how much could be purchased.   Didn’t appear so.   About that same time the first person showed up and reached for their intended ammo purchase.   I reached back in again.

The feeding frenzy was on.   I was suddenly at the epicenter.   IN LESS THAN A MINUTE from the time I placed the first ammo box within my shopping cart the supply was all gone.   There I stood with a cart full of ammo and suddenly throngs of angry customers who where also there for the same purpose, but could not imagine the supply would be gone literally minutes after the doors opened.

I quickly left the area before more chaos ensued.   On one hand I was ashamed I got so lucky, but on the other hand I didn’t do anything that others in my situation wouldn’t also have done.   I got lucky.   I guessed correctly.   I could just as easily have walked out of that store empty handed had I made a wrong turn or dilly dallied.

Now, if you’re planning to blast me in the comments section for my actions go right ahead.   It would be different if I was habitually a person always seeking to buy ammo like this.   That’s not me!   Remember, I told you I have not purchased rifle ammunition for several years.   Yet, I wanted to experience just what the current situation really is.

I heard the store employees afterwards saying how what happened on this particular morning was worse than Black Friday after Thanksgiving.   Certainly could be.   Granted, they did not have an abundance of ammo on hand…but it disappeared incredibly fast.   In fact, it was almost unbelievable how it quickly went from a full supply to nothing.

The scenario I just related has been going on now for some time.   In some areas and with some types of ammunition the demand has eased.   In other areas of the country the scene just keeps repeating itself over and over.

I wish I could take out my crystal ball and predict when all this ammunition craziness will end.   Yeah, I suppose for many years we were spoiled when ammunition was readily available and fairly cheap, all considering.   Those days seem to be behind us, at least for the short term.   Yet, I am optimistic how someday we will once again be able to hit the shooting range without concern about how we will replenish the supply of ammo being used up from a fun day just out shooting.

I refuse to feel guilty about purchasing ammunition no matter what the caliber or quantity.   Especially when one gets lucky and scores on something in very high demand like I did on this day.