ABERDEEN, S.D. The Hub City is seeing a lot of extra traffic this weekend thanks to the annual State Trap Shooting Tournament. Many of the competitors are 12-years-old and older and all of them hope to represent the state at the Grand American Tournament next month.
Trap shooting hasn't been around long for the state, but high schoolers are ready to jump in with their own tournament.
"Going into our 3rd year, there were 21 schools that participated in that and there will be many more, I suspect, next year. I would think that that would probably even double. We're already hearing more high schools that are coming on board with that," explains Jerry Brick, president of the Aberdeen Gun Club.
Minnesota's high school state tournament saw around 6,900 participants last month and our state hopes to follow in its footsteps.
South Dakota has a few trap shooters that have gone on to get national recognition. Some of the best shooters in the country are in Aberdeen right now. Many involved in the competition say South Dakota doesn't take a backseat to any other state when it comes to trap shooting.
The sport is a family affair for many across the region.
"It's a way to spend some family time. In between hunting and stuff to keep picking the gun up and keep practicing," says Joe Kaven, a participant in the tournament this weekend with his daughter.
"I guess when I was little I didn't really wanna start shooting, but my dad was like 'you've gotta do it, you've gotta start trying.' After that, I've just been hooked," says Kylie Kaven.
Some competitors enjoy the ability to have one activity for the entire family. "We always try to shoot together when we can," says Hunter Serfoss. "You don't get many opportunities to do stuff with your family all at once because everyone has busy schedules."
The competitive nature definitely comes out during the tournament for some family members. From father-daughter teams to the entire family getting involved in one way or another, trap shooting is a sport that will continue to see growth for years to come.
The state tournament is taking place at the Aberdeen Gun Club just outside of Aberdeen. It's free to the public and runs through Sunday.