TRAP SHOOTING ARTICLES
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Courtesy rules when shooting in competition.
To care for other people.
For more information
Talk to experienced trapshooters.
Here's a few rules to abide by when shooting registered shoots. Very handy to
know when attending your first shoot and a refresher for those who know better but forget
WHEN NOT SHOOTING
When walking with your shotgun always make sure the action is open.
The rules are generally well observed here but a good reminder anyway.
When in Vendor's Row shouldering those new guns do not point the gun at
people. Yes, we know the gun is unloaded but it's also rude and uncaring for those
who see the muzzle bore staring at them. Find a place alongside the Vendor's stand
and point with courtesy. We all have made this mistake as our mind in on the new gun
and it's easy to forget this rule.
When watching shooters shoot keep conversational volume down, especially
for the back fence shooters.
Do not speak to shooters who are walking from trap to trap during the
event. Many are in deep concentration and they need to remain focused. Talk
after the event ends.
Keep your dogs on a leash and under control. Not everyone loves
your pet and it is a nuisance if your dog is running around leaping on peoples legs,
chasing other dogs, etc. If your dog barks at night do something about it. A
veterinarian can prescribe a sleeping pill for the pet or other anxiety medication.
People need to get some sleep!
Be careful when walking near gun racks or you may bump the rack and
knock over the guns. When pick up your gun from the rack do so slowly as you turn to
walk away with the muzzle facing down or up. There is always someone behind you who
you can hit with the muzzle if you are not aware of this fact.
Do not let your children run around bumping into people. Assign
them to a play area to play games, not in the clubhouse.
Keep the restrooms clean. Do your part to make the experience
enjoyable for the next person. If you drop papers on the floor please do pick them
up. If the trash can is full and overflowing simply tell management about it and
they will remedy the problem.
If you enjoyed the shoot tell management. Send them a little
letter or note. These people work very hard to conduct a registered shoot and a
compliment often is all that is needed to reciprocate the joy you had to them. If
there are problems? Tell management not other shooters. They can't solve a
problem if they are not aware one exists.
Leave your camping space the way you found it.
When having late night gatherings keep the music down or off.
Don't yell and laugh loud after 10 p.m. Respect the other shooters who want to
sleep. Sure, you won't hear complaints about it from trapshooters but still keep
your fellow campers needs in mind.
WHEN SHOOTING ON THE LINE
Never turn around on post facing the puller or audience with the gun
facing in their direction. The gun must always be facing up or down. Keep the
gun pointed into the trap field when changing posts.
If you shoot a semi-auto use a shell catcher. It annoys shooters
to have shells flipping at them.
Do not fumble around with excessive body movements when waiting your
turn to shoot so as not to disrupt other shooters on the squad.
Keep a reasonable squad rhythm going, not too fast, not too slow.
Sometimes you can't if the squad is in error machine-gunning at rapid pace.
Ultimately you have to play your own game, but keep the rhythm in your mind as best you
Check your reloads and your gun before shooting. Constant dud
loads and gun jams will certainly destroy your scores... and the squad will silently thank
you for being professional.
Don't be afraid to turn down a target if you must. It upsets the
squad rhythm but that's expected in the game.
Do not be rude to the puller if you receive slow or fast pulls.
Simply check the switch button first to make sure it's working okay. If it is, then
kindly instruct the puller to stand up or stand closer to hear your call. If this
does not solve the problem the puller may be tired. Ask for a replacement puller,
Do not talk to other shooters on the squad during the event unless they
are open to conversation. Do not make comments like; "Those targets are hard to
see today." This sets up other shooters for a fall in scores and it will do the
same for you! Watch out for what you think, for as you think it will be.
Do not load your gun until you are on station and the muzzle is facing
into the trapfield.
Watch the warning flag on the traphouse! Do not load if the flag
is showing. Unload your gun when the flag rises. And don't forget... some trap
setters have poked their heads out of the traphouse not raising the flag. If this
happens stop the squad and have management instruct the setter never to do it again.
If you are squad leader then be the leader. Make the decisions as
best you can and be fair, but don't be a boss. If you see a safety violation you
must speak up about it. If you see a target being scored as dead when it is not you
must not allow the score to be registered. Don't start any emotional arguments on
the line. Call for the Field Captain to resolve the problem. When in doubt ask
the scorekeeper to place a question mark by the score box. If you see a squad member
abusing staff tell the shooter you'll handle the situation, then do correct the problem
If two broken targets emerge from the house in succession ask to see one
more. If the target is faulty stop the squad and have the trap machine checked out
by the maintenance crew.
Do not start shooting until the puller and the scorekeeper is ready.
Ask first. You'll receive better targets.
Make sure the scorekeeper calls out the scores at the end of each
5-rounds and correct any discrepancies before resuming shooting.
If you win or lose in a shootoff, shake hands with your
competitor before the shooter leaves. It's tough losing so be a good sport and
make the loser feel like a winner.
Do not rush other shooters when changing stations or changing
traps. Allow some time for the squad leader as they have a bit more to do than you
do and they need a tad more time to get ready for the next trap.
If you drop targets do not become emotional and fling hulls or exhibit
other angry outbursts. It only makes you look amateur and is very disruptive to
other shooters. Control thy emotions less they ruin your game.
A Few Trapshooters Perils.
A Strong Mind-set.
For more information
Read "Trap Shooting Secrets" and "Precision Shooting - The Trapshooter's
Here's some inside tricks you should know about.
Do not be conscious of the scores of other shooters on your squad.
This is a great way to divert your full attention to the job you have to do and
often will cause you emotional grief when you miss a target and the other shooter(s) did
not miss on that trap. Don't worry, they will likely miss on the other traps!
Stay away from the scoreboard before you shoot. You don't want to
know the score you have to beat as it will divert your attention in a bad way. The
moment you drop a target you'll begin the countdown in your head and you know your score
will only drop further. Check scores only after you shoot.
Stop thinking about what you are doing wrong or may do wrong.
Instead, think of what you are doing right... even when things go wrong! This will
enable you to remain focused.
Dropping out of the game. Once you perform badly on a trap you
lose hope and then use the shoot as a practice session. This is a bad habit.
No matter how many targets you drop you need to learn to mitigate the damage. If
you don't put your all into it, all of the time, you'll always fall apart when targets
drop. Do not let emotions control your game. Get serious in competitive
shooting and it will reward you. Be a fighter. The first thing that goes
before a disappointing score is the relentless desire to break the target.
Never count the targets you have left to shoot. You must learn to
not devote any special attention to these last few targets. They are no different
than any other. It's tough to learn, but you'll need to learn it or you'll drop the
targets and ruin a perfect score.
Failing to play the options is a mistake. Play at least one option
to 'up the ante' so you can get deeper into the competitive groove and set a powerful
internal drive to win back you shooting fees.
Never think of option money when shooting. Think of winning if you
will, but not of losing or winning money. Money has nothing to do with the
act of shooting the target so it is detrimental to contemplate money. The mind is as
fragile as it is strong. Control your thoughts when shooting.
Shoot your own game. Do not get swept away in a fast-pace or
slow-cautious squad rhythm. These timing factors are very powerful influences on the
subconscious mind and the squad's timing will control your shooting (in a bad way) if you
are not aware of your own perfected timing.
Wear blinders and a long-billed hat to give you that tunnel vision
effect, reduce side-motion distractions and prevent image reflections from hazing your
sight on the target. If you don't you'll miss allot due to distorting optical
illusions affecting the eye's retina.
Take a deep breath before you call for the target (breathe in as you
shoulder the gun). This charges the eyes with oxygen and you'll see the target a lot
better than if you don't. It also triggers enhanced concentration. Control
your breathing rate.
If you get nervous? Yawn! You can't be nervous and yawn at
the same time. Try it, it works! It slows and resets your breathing pace.
You control nervousness by how you breathe. Believe it or not, it's true.
Be very ready when you line up to shoot your first trap. Get
everything in order. If one thing is out of place in the routine it will show up in
your shooting. So don't rush to the trap bank. Also, make sure you are truly
ready for the target when you call for it. How many times did you call just because
you felt it was ready due to squad rhythm influence knowing it was wrong? Be ready
for the target.
Do not anticipate which angle of target you may receive. You
prepare for the worst angle and setup for that shot, but you are not surprised when that
angle does not appear. Anticipation will hurt you.
Failing to visualize the three basic target angles you will receive on
each post prior to shouldering the gun is devastating to scores. You'll always
remain unsure of how to hit the target if you neglect visualization. It also trains
the subconscious mind to get it right!
If you shoot a high gun, drop you gun hold an inch or two. You'll
see the target faster and you'll not be so tempted to cross-shoot the target by moving the
gun left or right only. You must ride the track to the target.
Do upset the squads timing when you see those repetitious losses... when
one shooter misses and everyone else then misses their target too. You've seen this
happen before. The subconscious mind has taken over these shooters and has just been
told to repeat what it saw and that's why they all missed. You simply let that lost
target hit the ground and tell yourself it is dead. That breaks the cycle.
Do not shoot a slow or fast pull. You may be strongly tempted to
shoot at it and you may hit some of them but you will also miss a tad too many to keep you
out of the money. That's how it works against you.
Remind yourself not to listen to any negative comments you hear from
other shooters; "Boy, that trap sure was a tough one." "Did you see
the background on that trap?" "That puller was horrible." These
comments if not immediately flushed out of your mind will remain and remarkably fulfills
itself into reality.
Shoot to win. Start now, no matter how bad you are shooting, to
begin to learn how to develop a winning attitude. Believe you are a professional
shooter! That's right, believe it now! There is no future point in time where
you become professional and begin shooting like a pro. It all has to start in the mind today!
Be a pro on the yardage you shoot and you will see better results in your
performance and scores.
Do not arrive to the shoot expecting to lose or expecting to shoot
poorly as usual. Mentally you must pull yourself up from the bootstraps and expect
the best for you today. Too many shooters believe themselves to be in slumps and
guess what? Their own thoughts manifest the outcome!
Do not flood your mind with positive statements, "I'm going to
break them all today" or "I'm going to win this shoot!" This only
sets you up for a fall as it is an impossible goal and the mind will rebel
receiving such overwhelming demanding tasks. Say, "I'm going to break one
target at a time. Just one at a time." This will get the job done.
Anyway, you paid good money to break the targets so break them, one at a time.
Do remind yourself to use proper eye and gun holds on each post and on
each trap. Know where to put those holds and you won't let a un-squared or
improperly set trap or diverse background ruin your score.
Keep emotions out of your game. Anger, disgust, sense of failure,
disappointment are just a few emotions that will creep into your game. When you miss
a target forget about it. It did not exist. The moment you reflect emotions
the subconciou will pick up on it and duplicate the same errors and you'll suddenly find
yourself struggling with any target that appears to have the same angle as that lost
target. Now you can't hit any of them it seems.
Be aggressive mentally to kill the target, but stay under physical
control. This aggressiveness must not be allowed to flow into your body moves to the
target. Your swing to the target is still smooth but has a feel of authority in the
move, smooth authority!
Failing to use trigger words will keep your scores down. There is an
internal battle taking place between your will (conscious mind's desire to break the
target) verses the unconscious mind (to do the exact opposite to miss the target).
It 's true this battle exists and it's gets hot and furious the more of a
fine-tuned shooter you become! Learn the trigger words and you learn the inner power
within you... that same inner presence of mind the professional shooters have to master
the psychological aspects of the game to remain focused.
Failing to watch target breaks. Watch the small chips fly, focus
on one and follow it to the earth. This helps the eye(s) to flow smoothly and focus
on smaller objects so your target appears larger and easier to acquire and hit.
Becoming too cock-sure the target you see is easy. Usually the
straight-trending targets. Take a second look to determine its true flight angle.
Do not rush these targets. Do not chase any target. Setup properly and
the target will come to you. Remember, all targets are difficult and require you
utmost attention. Don't become brain-dead with laziness.
Thinking too much will get you into trouble. If you use trigger
words you will not be thinking errant thoughts and it keeps the mind focused. Think
of putting that sight bead where it belongs! Do not shoot on timing alone (target
distance from traphouse). It's okay to have a zone but the trigger can only be pulled when
the sight picture is correct.
Do not shoot behind or over the targets. You have to remind
yourself of this otherwise you will resort to doing actually it. Try this trigger
word, "Low bead forward." This way you'll put the sight bead on the bottom
of the target or under, and ahead of the target. Say it the moment you insert the
shell into the chamber. Keep saying it on each target if you must.
Failing to dismount gun when stacked-beads do not look right or gun does
not feel proper. You'll end up with a mismounted gun. You may as well count
your lost targets now by deducting 5% from your final score. You'll easily loose
5-target out of 100 or more.
There is much, much more. These tips should get you on the right
track. Print out this page and bring it with you on your next shoot. Read it
1-hour prior to shooting. Some of these tips will be burned into your subconscious
mind and you'll begin to see better results and faster identification and recovery from
As you can see there are many tricks to this game of trap shooting, inside
secrets to lift your shooting performance to high levels of achievement. Those who
do not use the tactics are doomed to fail. Trap shooting is much more than just
mounting a gun and chasing the targets hoping for the best. The time to learn is
To apply the power of mind to increase your trap shooting scores.
One shotgun and a willingness to believe and see positive results.
For more information
Click here for Science of Mind
to subscribe to the Science of Mind Magazine. Write also to: DeVorss & Co.,
P.O. Box 550, Marina Del Rey, CA 90294.
You are well aware trap shooting requires 10% ability and 90% psychology. It's a
mind game! But just how do you get this sports psychology anyway? You don't
get it... you already have it within... all you need do is discover it and put it to use.
Example. When you want something you usually get it. It
could be a simple mental command for any consumable product... from a bag of Kettle Chips
to a new pick-up truck or whatever. Thought creates desire which creates results.
That thought/desire created a momentum within, a goal to complete and it gets
achieved one way or another. Let's take the next step...
If you feel blue down in the dumps, have you noticed nothing seems to turn out right?
Trouble begets trouble. But if you lift your spirits the present and future
appears brighter... and it is. People greet you with a smile, bills get paid and
it's a fabulous life. Just another example of how "thought" generates an
invisible power to manifest a physical reality. Your thought makes things happen in
the real world. You do not need to understand how it works... just that it does
produces results. That's all we'll probably ever know about how the mysteries of
mind power works. Spiritual things are invisble things and thoughts are intangibles
in themseves... we can't put our finger on it.
There are many unseen powers around us we do not fully understand yet we see and feel
the result; the wind, the life force within plants, gravity holding the planets and
galaxies in their courses, atomic energy within the stars and the invisible atom, the list
is eternal. All are mysteries and all are very powerful forces. And all that
you see was created by the unseen. Like the laws of physics, you can't see them but
you can sure feel them and you can't change these controlling laws regardless to your
What if, just what if you could take a chance and believe their is a power within you
that can turn your life around? What if, just what if all of the bad things
happening in your life are actually manifestations of wrong thinking? Caused not by
thinking negative in itself but rather a deep-seated "belief" in what you think.
So if you entertain thoughts of a failing or negative nature... they
materialize! That's an awesome responsibility isn't it? Do you think you can
believe this? Does it make sense to you thoughts can produce a tangibnle
reality? Do you believe trapshooters who attend a shoot expecting to lose are going
Wether you believe in God, a creator or not doesn't matter because your belief in God
or disbelief will not change one law in the universe. So what if there were a law of
an invisible nature that essentially said, "For what you believe you shall be."
Hmmm, your religion or lack of such would not change that law. The bible
indicates that God gave man free will. What could that possibly mean? How did
this emense universe come to be? Something, someone created it? A higher
intelligence? I believe it to be so. Nothing comes from nothing so there must
be something/someone who made all things. So getting back to the law...
Free will. The power to create one's own Heaven or Hell on Earth. Scary
thought, neverthless all roads of reason point to this reality. So, if there is a
law in place that gives us free will to create, we should be mindful of what we think for
it may just come to be! However, thinking in itself is not the sole power... it is
the "belief" in the thought which gives it that magical quality to create... to
change circumstances and change lives. Faith... that's the key! Believing you
have what you do not already have. Could it be purely coinciental that many top-gun
shooters pray for help and get it? Could a prayer simply be a belief in a yet unseen
result? Is there power in prayer? I believe there is power in prayer as long
as you believe your prayer will come into being... believe it will materialze with simple
faith and it happens. That's all the proof you'll need... results.. just pure
In trap shooting we hear often to be confident and maintain a positive attitude quite a
bit and many try to become confident and fail. Why? It's not that they did not
try hard, it's because they tried too hard. The harder you try, the less faith you
have! Drop your pen to the floor and it falls. The law of gravity will not be
denied. The law of thought, law of mind, law of faith requires no sweat or strain
from you. Once you believe your invisible thoughts can create and manifest into the
physical world results... you simply believe in your thought and it shall be. Can
you bring yourself to believe this? Will you put it to the test to see if it will
work for you?
I am not an authority on the subject of the power of mind, a student only. When I
first read about these things I was skeptical, though much of it made sense to a degree, I
gave it a try. My life turned around in incredible and fascinating ways. Then
I finally started to see what the Bible and Philosophers of the ages were trying to tell
us... we have a greater power within us which can create wonderful things in our life if
we will only believe with simple faith, for there are laws in place we can invoke at will
to create the desired result we seek, good or bad. I will say this. I never
really knew what Jesus meant when he said, "The truth shall set you free."
Through his examples of performing miracles he was simply demonstrating the power
we have within us already, "The Kingdom of God is within you." What I
thought was complicated religion was really a set of simple laws already in place and the
Prophets' all tried to tell us, but we keep missing the boat... it's so simple it eludes
us. It's too easy so it won't work. How little faith and how blind we are to
the truth. The truth is a law. A power that is already in existance which is
always at work. If you don't believe, you'll live with the resultes of your thoughts
anyway, so it's not a religion as it is a reality as real as the air your breathe.
It's a matter of choice.
Certainly, this short article cannot explore the deeper aspects of the laws of the
universe and the nature of these powers. I am only explaining, how I understand the
power of thought works in relation to an unseen law. At this point you should take a
peek at the Science of Mind. It is not a cult or a religion and they won't hound you
for money. They will teach you how to change your life by using these laws.
You simply try them and if they work then you know what to do next. You apply
the same priciples to your trap shooting and you'll get results. They will open your
mind to see things as they are and to see the unseen materialize. And regardless of
your religious beliefs, I have yet to read where they interfere with it. If
anything, they enhance your faith with understanding. And this teaching goes way
beyond the shallowness of positive thinking. You learn positive belief!
What will you learn and experience?
|Cure yourself from physical illness and pain.|
|Increase your income. |
|Get bills paid. |
|Resolve family discourses.|
|Dissolve insecurity and fear.|
|Live life to the fullest.|
|Remove yourself from poverty and despair.|
|Build true confidence.|
|Replace depression with happiness.|
|People no longer have power over you.|
|The cold cruel hand of failure releases its grip.|
|And much more!|
All with the power of thought. Testimonials from other people revealing the
horrible lilves some of these people lived and how it all changed on a dime. In an
instant. No long waiting or constant begging for God to help...he's already put the
laws in place! All you have to do is use them. Amazing, but it's real.
It works. I've seen the results first hand in my own life... so I'm convinced.
HOW WILL THIS HELP MY TRAP SHOOTING?
|Now, what if you could begin to tap into these laws to help you reach higher scores in
trap shooting? Wouldn't that at least be worth a try? |
|What if it works and your scores skyrocket? |
|What if it opened your mind so wide you could absorb all the knowledge there is to know
about trap shooting without confusion? |
|What if you began to see trap shooting income filling your bank account?
|Winning more shoots than you thought you could ever win in your wildest dreams?
|What if you hated your current job and suddenly all of the nuisances and gripes that
tore at your heart and mind vanished? |
|That fears dissolved faster than ice on a warm day? |
|Imagine waking up and knowing good things are going to happen to you today... and they
|Imagine what you imagine becoming reality. |
I don't just believe it will... I know it will! It will happen because there is
no one, nobody, that can stop it from happening except yourself. That's the power of
free will. And the choice is yours to make to whom you will serve... freedom or
slavery. Your choice is your "thought."
So, if you want to begin this journey to a new life of freedom and understanding invest
$12 and buy this book, "The Millionaire Joshua." It's not a get-rich-quick
book as the title would suggest. It's the story of Joshua leading the Israelites
from Egypt with with Moses. Say what? That's what I thought too until I read
the first chapter and couldn't put the book down! This book teaches you the
principles of these laws and how they work. It just so happened that Joshua became a
multi-millionaire as a side-benefit of using the laws. A reward you could say.
You can order the book from DeVorss & Co. listed above. Then at the same
time get a subscription to the Science of Mind magazine and tell me what happens to your
life. I'd like to know.
It took me about 30-days to begin to see some results in the way I was thinking as so
much had to be reversed, and a year to really see big results as I learned more about it
and started to believe it. I had a tough time at first with the magazine as
it gets quite deep quickly so that's why I say read the book first along with the
Frankly, I don't see where a person could go wrong here reading this material.
It's not a religion and it will not upset your beliefs, but only help you to understand
ever more what you've always wanted to know.
TRAP SHOOTING TERMS APPLIED TO THE POWER
Visualization - A common trap shooting
term, a technique we know works when it is applied. This is an example of the power
of mind to create, to manifest a reality from the unseen by invoking a belief, a thought,
a vision into a tangible result. There is no sweat or strain to use it. You do
it and the results materialize. It's so simple. Faith in action.
A frame of mind to focus on a job at hand. It is a thought
focused to accomplish a goal which concentrates the energy of mind to perform a specific
task. There is no sweat or strain. If there is you're doing it wrong.
Confidence - An
overwhelming belief in one's ability to get the job done. It's having
simple faith in yourself. You know you can do because you believe you can.
Faith invoking the power of thought to produce a tangible rise in performance and
Focus - The
professional trapshooter begins this process of getting focused the night before the shoot
and maintains a slow state of mind to channel the power of thought upon arrival at the
shoot. Negative thinking is hereby allowed to be flushed from the mind and positive
conviction replaces it. This focus, a thought process, then triggers
visualization, concentration, confidence and increases even more focus. Again, the
power of the mind is used to enhance the physical outcome where the invisible becomes
Visualization, Concentration, Confidence, Focus. All are
unseen yet we know of their power to manifest that which can be seen, and it's all part
and parcel to the power of mind. The Science of Mind is simply the study of the mind
and how it can create, transform, reverse situations. A source of power.
If you shoot enough targets over many years you will learn of
these techniques of faith or you can learn them right now without having to expend tens of
thousands of dollars to learn it the hard way. But sooner or later you will have to
learn how to manage the inner process of trap shooting... the mind, if you wish to shoot
You must have knowledge to excel. Knowledge of the inner
secrets of the game of trap shooting to begin the physical process of shooting targets
with precision. Then you learn the mental processes required to bring yourself up to
a higher level of performance. Both are required. The trouble is both are not
learned by many trapshooters simply pounding away at targets on Sunday shoots getting
ready for the the next competitive event. What are they really learning?
Sadly, for most, they are only re-learning what they already know, rehearsing
that which does not work. Repeating the same old mistakes over-and-over-again.
But you can escape from all this...
Trap Shooting Secrets book begins the process of learning the
inside tricks of the trade and then opens your mind to see things differently, to break
out of that slump holding your scores back. Precision Shooting - The Trapshooter's
Bible takes you to that higher level of shooting performance learning the finer aspects of
trap shooting. The Science of Mind takes you into the final phase where all you have
learned is applied with conviction. The end result is a powerful trapshooter with a
powerful mind with a good life to enjoy it all!
Written by; James Russell, Copyright 1998, Author of "Trap Shooting Secrets"
and "Precision Shooting - The Trapshooter's Bible." If your scores do not rise in
30-days we'll refund the purchase price of the book! No other publisher offers such
a guarantee as that!
Our web site: http://www.JamesRussellPublishing.com
See our Testimonial Page to see how these books has
helped trap shooters! Read what the Olympic professional shooter's have to say
about them too!
Exploring the thought process to higher knowledge.
The ability to open one's mind to new ideas.
For more information
Seek and you shall find.
THE GENIUS FACTOR IN TRAP
"Everybody knows everything except for those who
- Shooters tend to believe the pros are geniuses with special privileged
talents, and it's true, but so have you the inner genius within. It only needs
coaxing and development to bring it forth but you must mentally be open to it.
- Genius is not just knowing more than everyone else nor is it a matter of
privileged natural high intelligence. It is purely the ability to break out of the
rut of closed-cycle thinking and generating ideas. This breaks the old bad habits
and allow you to begin to learn through experimentation. Example:
To find a better way to break the target for there is more than one way to do so.
- Genius thinking is not rigid, it is flexible and will readily leap from
one idea to another. In this way you begin to make connections other shooter's
cannot see. Experimentation of trying new techniques expands the thought process
which allows you a deeper insight to the game. Suddenly, you begin to see valid
solutions where you saw no way out of the problem before. Practice sessions now
become technically oriented and experimental. You begin to see what you are doing
right and wrong.
- Geniuses do not think small, but go beyond the tried and true to develop
a new way of doing things. They even question "conventional wisdom" and
find much of it myth and in error fundamentally. Begin to question what you have
been told for many years and look at the flip side of the coin, "Is it possible I
have been mislead?" This will open a new dimension of thinking for you and from
this point you learn the inside truths.
- Practice tip: Go to post #3 and break the target a different way
than you always have. You will be convinced there is a better way! Try
shooting it faster, slower, put more or less distance between you and the target before
pulling the trigger, see if you can put the sight bead on different locations and still
break it. Can you still break the target using the sight beads? Try eye
pre-focus techniques before calling for the target. Try different eye and gun hold
points. Which of these experimental techniques make it the easiest to kill the
target? Try various combinations to discover the formula for that post! Write
it down on paper as "Plan Post #3" and reflect on it before shooting that post
- You can't add ideas to a mind that already knows it all! A closed
mind knows nothing but what it sees. It has no ability to see within or beyond that
which is hidden from view. Genius is simply opening up oneself to "new
ideas" and "new concepts" and be willing to explore them to see what
develops. Thinking without action is useless.
- Thinking like a pro is simply becoming an expert novice. Read that
again. Be willing to learn the basics all over again. Have the courage to
question all that you see and all that you do. Be willing to allow the myths you
have learned over the years to pass away in order to discover what you don't know.
Learn a new way to do things. Break out of the slump with new knowledge!
- Since you have read this article everyday you have had small ideas pass
into your mind. These are moments of insight and they must be captured before they
vaporize. Carry a pen and paper with you or tape recorder and record these jewels of
wisdom. Every genius who ever lived and modern day inventor carries a pencil and
paper! Inspirations are wispy thought-energies floating about in the Universe.
It's why two inventors will invent the same product in opposite parts of the world
simultaneously. The patent office is full of such coincidences. The knowledge
is there to those who listen to those small insightful thoughts. Most people simply
let these thoughts pass them by. Harvest your flashes of brilliance! When an
idea surfaces, jot it down and put it to practice and see how you can apply it.
- Be prepared to work. Your ideas will require hard work and may
likely take years to master the final form.
- Be stubborn and single-minded and unswaying in your belief of your
idea. If the idea makes sense you can make it work. Example:
Canting a shotgun is frowned upon in trap shooting but you an make it work!
Be willing to challenge conventional wisdom and prove it wrong. Example:
Using the shotgun's sight beads to shoot targets is also frowned upon, but ask
yourself, "How can precision be developed if nothing is being aimed?"
"Certainly, something is being aimed for if there were no aim shot/target alignment
could never intersect." "What is secret to aim the shot so I can break the
target with mechanical efficiency?" "Is eye/hand coordination truly the
secret or the demise of many?" "What are the secrets the pros use?"
- When something does not work do not simply discard it.
Explore further to find the reason why. Perhaps the theory is correct but the
application is wrong. Try a new technique to see if it can be incorporated into
another idea. Keep working on the problem until the solution is found to make
- Ask for advice from knowledgeable sources. Geniuses always
ask for advice. They explore the ideas of many and formulate new ideas from this
pool of knowledge. Example: If you are experiencing problems
in your shooting ask professional shooter's questions. Don't be shy and reserved.
Ask you you will receive.
- Give your knowledge freely and more shall come to you. Hoard
it and it will consume you with frustration. What goes around comes around so be
helpful to other people, and people will come to your aid. The pros share there
knowledge between each other and among close friends and some give formal shooting
lessons. The law of give and take is a real law with real power that can produce
real results... good or bad! Giving gives more. Taking takes all then leaves
you with nothing in the end for there is no one left to give.
- Stop being a pessimist in your thinking and guard your words.
Doubt creates more doubt and it will show up in your shooting performance and
scores. Be realistic, yet positive. If you keep saying, "I am ill"
or "I am going to miss targets as usual in this big event" it will happen as you
have decreed! The pro understands the power of his/her thoughts and takes great
caution to correct negative thoughts with positive affirmations.
- The solutions to your shooting problems are already within you.
The answers are there and only need be explored with an open mind. The more
ideas you shut out the less genius you will experience. The saying, "It doesn't
take a genius to shoot trap targets" will have to be revised. It does require
Locate any gun club.
Tired of getting lost.
For more information
This is the shortest article on the site. You find gun clubs by visiting the ATA
Web site to locate the address.
What a shooting instructor can do for you.
The desire to shoot professional scores.
For more information
Are you tired of feeling frustrated with your game and wonder why you don't get better?
Tired of seeing other people win the option money and trophies? Of course you
are. Nobody wants to lose, and worse yet... lose most all of the time! Well,
the good news is you can learn to shoot with higher levels of
precision and take home your share of the winnings!
Through knowledge! Everybody believes they can simply pick up a
shotgun and learn how to shoot targets through trial and error. You can do this, but
you're only going to be a mediocre shooter relying on a few lucky days to pull you to a
win. To shoot this way, everything has to be "right" - meaning; your
mood, feel of the gun and game somehow just feels perfect and you win a shooting event.
Problem is, those moods and feels just don't gel together all of the time.
The end result is terrible scores until you just happen to have another lucky day.
Professional ATA, DTL or Olympic shooters do not shoot high scores on luck alone.
They have the inner knowledge of the game which gives them a complete
understanding of how to hit each target. There is no guesswork or chasing
targets hoping they will hit one... they know how to kill it. It's like having the
engine in your car break and you keep trying to find the problem but it eludes you.
You take the car to an experienced mechanic and he finds the problem in seconds.
Knowledge is the answer.
LEARN, TO LEARN
Most shooters want to get better... NOW, but don't. The truth is
they finish the season no better than they started. The same shooters who won last
year, win this year and the losers just keep on losing year after year. Think about
this! If all the technological advances in shotguns were so great why is it the
average shooter's score going down? If all it took was a great gun to raise your
score, you'd be getting better. But you aren't, so something's wrong. I'll
tell you what is wrong, it's missing knowledge. You must have the knowledge to win
in trap shooting. Call them tricks of the trade if you wish. I call them
secrets because they are! There are more secrets in trap shooting than you
know! Once you learn the technical tactics, your scores naturally rise.
Why? Because targets become easier to annihilate! If you want to learn
these tricks you may discover them over a period of ten or fifteen years of trial and
error, or you can take in a few lessons and start shooting the high scores now! This
year, not many years from now!
You have a passion for trap shooting; it's fun, challenging, exciting and it
gives you a sense of power and authority no other sport can give you. You already
know how to play the game, but you keep on missing targets. It's not fair! Way
too many shooters are suffering needlessly missing targets and losing competitive events.
Why? Missing knowledge.
GETTING THAT KNOWLEDGE
You've tried reading books, magazine articles, videotapes and NOTHING
seems to work. Why? Because the information given is too basic, teaching the
same old simplistic stale techniques over and over again. Many shooter's have taken
lessons from pro shooters and have walked away disappointed. Why? Because the
inner knowledge of the game cannot be instilled in just one or two lessons, and, some pros
are simply not going to give away their secrets. But what if there were a book that
did give you the inside knowledge? What if you read this book and then took a
shooting lesson? Amazing things would happen!
Well, the good news is there are now trap shooting "technical books"
available to help you shoot ATA trap, DTL and Olympic trap! Trapshooting
Secrets and Precision Shooting - The Trapshooter's
Bible. Read these books and take a lesson from a pro and you'll be
screaming on fast-forward!
Now you are "communicating" on a higher level with your instructor/coach.
The key here is to read the books first! Get that inside knowledge, put it practice
and start winning the shoots... then go see a pro to get your final tune-up! That's
the plan. Click right here for dedicated pros
who can help you. Remember, the key is to have the inside knowledge BEFORE
you take shooting lessons to get more bang for your buck!
Pros love to work with technically
Example: Consider your occupation. Who do you think you
could give better and faster instructions; the novice or the professional who already
knows the inside rules?
Trap shooting is no different. The more you know the faster you will learn!
STRAIGHT TO THE TARGET
There are many techniques you can learn to help you shoot with precision and deliver
the shot straight to the target for dead-centered hits. Dustball hits. They
are not cosmetic hits, but the sign of a the precision shooter who knows what he/she is
doing. Watch the pros and you'll see how they center the targets. Their
precision is so tight that if they do make a mistake and miss... they still hit the target
with a choppy break and get the score!
If you are not dustballing each target you are, in fact, missing the target and hitting
them on luck. The frustration in trap shooting is slicing targets... and suddenly,
you miss clean and miss again, and again... driving your score down each time until you
are out of the money and out of the game. This does not need to happen! You
can reverse this insidious bad habit once and for all and shoot the scores you desire and
deserve. All the money you have spent on guns, ammo and entry fees over the years no
longer need be wasted money. Get the knowledge and you'll start winning! And
that's a fact!
Without the inner knowledge you will miss targets and not even know why. And if
you don't know why you missed you can't correct the problem. This is precisely why
you will have a "bad trap" shooting a terrible score. Each missed target
pulls your score down like gravity destroying your chances of ever recovering... even if
you ran all the other traps straight! That bad trap ruined you. If you had the
inner knowledge you would have discovered the trap or stations were misaligned or the
target's were exiting unbalanced due to a trap set too high or too low upsetting your
timing, swing angle and sight picture. You bet there are secrets to the game!
Once you understand how to recognize a problem and how to correct it, your frustration
is gone! Knowledge takes over your shooting game and you have that great jump on all
the other shooter's who simply do not have the knowledge. Once you understand EXACTLY
WHY you miss shots you'll get that instant mental feedback
But most of all, you'll learn EXACTLY HOW to hit the targets so
you'll be missing way less than you do now... that's for certain!
ALL HOPE IS GONE
I've heard so many professional shooters comment on other shooters and they all tend to
gravitate to this one line of thought, "He's a basket case. He'll never make it
shooting like that." For that poor shooter out there putting all his heart and
soul into his game he's doomed from the start to continue to fail. All hope is gone
for this shooter, regardless of how much he loves the game and loves to shoot... he's
shooting without the knowledge, and there is no hope for a shooter who
has no knowledge of the game.
It's over long before he even packed his
bags to attend the shoot!
Example: In your career you have met incompetent people.
But you knew, if the person would only listen to you and take some instructional advice
you could cure this person's inefficiency.
The same is true with trap shooting.
He who has the knowledge, wins!
FACE THE FACTS
The truth is, you are not a professional trapshooter. If you were, you would be
winning a grand majority of every shoot you attend month-after-month. You may have
classified yourself as a "recreational shooter" who just shoots for fun.
That's okay... but it's no fun losing! Try winning... and you'll know what real fun
is all about.
All you need is knowledge to apply to the game you are now playing and you'll see instant
if you still have any doubts.
Learn the tricks of the trade and you'll be dustballing the targets. Believe me,
that is fun! You won't be chasing down targets trying to hit them... you'll be SETUP
properly so when the target exits, the target COMES TO YOU.
It's like having the target emerge from the traphouse and your gun's sight bead is already
on the target for you! That's how the pros shoot. They don't chase targets and
hope to hit them. They have a plan of attack that works.
Everything is lined up, and when they call
for the target... it's right where they wanted it to be!
Most all trapshooters have no inkling of an idea of what is really going on
out there in the target zone. Many don't even have a zone or know what a zone is.
And those who shoot a zone are doing is all wrong! Watch shooters' shoot and
you'll see what I mean... there is no real precision in their shooting.
Most are shooting on pure luck. Yes, they are doing the best they can and
trying very hard to win, but they will lose out to those who have the deep inner
They will simply make too many mistakes
like a bad habit!
IT'S CRAZY !
There is absolutely no reason why any trap
shooter cannot be breaking high scores, even on a bad day.
How many handicap shooters are dumping badly in the
70's? With the inside knowledge a bad day could give you a 90! On a good day?
Use your imagination!
Don't settle for low scores when advice and shooting
instruction can give you the wining scores you really want. It's a decision thing
here. You decide if you are happy with your scores. If you don't like your scores
you can do something about it, today!
Do nothing and you'll get the score you
Trap shooting is an unforgiving
What's your decision?
Yes. I want to shoot better and win.
No. I like losing and shooting bad
Those questions may sound silly, but in all reality it's a choice you have to make
today... right NOW! Procrastination is an instant, "No.
I like losing and shooting bad scores." You have to make your decision
today, not tomorrow or next week... right now!
YES. I WANT TO SHOOT BETTER AND
That is the answer! Knowledge is the vehicle
and you are the driver. It all begins with a psychological change. You are now
willing to permit yourself to be educated in trap shooting. You want to learn how to
shoot targets with extreme precision. You are no longer satisfied with chipping
targets and letting them slip by unburned ruining your fun and being the object of
ridicule and embarrassment by other shooters who love to taunt your misfortune.
The time is right for change and opportunity knocks
on your door. Your ship has come in... and you are now ready to jump onboard and
begin the adventure to higher scores. It's high time you outshoot those guys who
think they can't be beaten!
And you will be the one to do it!
TWO EASY STEPS
This is the Plan:
Step #1. You purchase the
trap shooting technical books to give you that inside knowledge; Trapshooting Secrets and Precision
Shooting - The Trapshooter's Bible. These books will bridge the gap so you
can perform Step #2 with a high levels of instruction you could never otherwise achieve.
These books will put you into a high caliber shooting range so you will be ready
to take personalized lessons.
Step #2. You schedule a trap shooting lesson from
one of these professionals. Even if you don't have
the money to spend for lessons now, simply make your reservation, say, six-months from
now, even a year. The important thing is to make your commitment.
Once you do, you will then obtain the funds. It will happen!
WHAT WILL HAPPEN ?
You will see instant improvement in your shooting! You will be
mentally elevated into the mind-set of the professional shooter. You will be
shooting with a powerful sense of authority... just like the pros! You will know
what you are doing and you will do it well... breaking targets like you've never broken
You'll be excited that your game is more consistent, predictable and
dependable. You'll enjoy the satisfaction of hitting your shots exactly where you
commanded the gun to go and this precision and power will be totally under your control.
You will finally be the master of your mind and body, knowing you can do
what others cannot. You'll feel a sense of accomplishment you only dreamed of
before... but it will be real. And it's going to be fun. After all, isn't that
what trap shooting should be? You'll look forward to shooting your first trap
knowing you are going to score well and actually have fun the entire event!
You will enjoy the game more than you
ever had in the past !
That's what a shooting coach is going
to do for you!
LET'S GET THE BALL ROLLING
to order the books.
to schedule your shooting lesson.
DO IT NOW !
Tomorrow is always too
Your responsibilities and the benefits of being Squad Leader.
Bravery to start on post #1
For more information
Sign up to be Squad Leader on your next shoot and you'll get the information you need.
WHAT IS THE SQUAD LEADER?
Those brave souls who dare to take on the added responsibilities to enhance the harmony
of the squad. They shoot Post #1 starting the competitive event.
WHY MANY SHOOTERS DON'T WANT TO BE
There are good reasons for not being a squad leader. Let's look at a few;
|There is no doubt that by starting on post #2, 3 or 4 you will likely gain a higher
score. Why? Because the angle targets are not as severe as post #1 and #5.
When starting that first trap it's sort of nice to not be presented with those
tough angles right off the deck to give you a chance to warm up a bit.|
|By not starting on post #1 you don't have to do any visual checking to see if all
shooters are ready. You only have to prepare yourself so there is less distraction
|Concentration is less likely to be broken from a groove of shooting. Many shooters
find it very difficult to recover from interruptions of any sort and even more if having
to speak to correct a problem then go back to shooting.|
|It is no secret that being a Squad Leader can damage your scores. You have to be a
better shooter, having a stronger mindset, to shoot lead off.|
Are there benefits to being a
|Yes. The prime benefit is you learn how to shoot with enhanced concentration
ability... it's called "concentration management." When you develop the
ability to instantly recover from distractions you learn how to turn concentration on and
off like a light bulb. You remain in complete control of the game.|
|You also learn how to manage the squad timing factors. As Squad Leader you can set
the pace of the squad and set the target break zones. It doesn't matter if the other
squad members deviate from the plan... you won't! This awareness is very powerful so
you yourself can't be influenced by a machinegun squad or a squad that has become overly
cautious and allowing the targets to escape the zone.|
|You learn how to manage the subconscious event of when someone misses a target and all
the other shooters miss it too... you can recognize the problem instantly. Why?
Because as Squad Leader you are in tune with the happenings with the
squad's timing and zone like feeling a pulse. You lead, you do not follow!|
|You learn to shoot the hard left angles right away. This monster you are facing
right off the bat, especially if you are a left-handed shooter, will increase your
concentration to a high level immediately. Shooter's who start posts #2, 3 and 4
have a tendency to feel more relaxed and often miss at this stage then run the other
posts. It's best to turn up the heat right away so you won't miss the first
|You also have more opportunities to select a squad. If you want to shoot in the
morning or whatever there is usually a post #1 slot available. Not many shooters
cherish the position and will pick any post but #1 and that gives you, the Squad Leader, a
good opportunity for flexibility in selecting squads and times of day.|
|You will learn how to handle interruptions and return to a fine focus on a dime.
You won't learn this until you become a squad leader yourself.|
|You gain the opportunity to shoot with other shooters instead of the same people all of
the time. Shooting with strange squads will help you develop a strong self-confident
force as you won't need a familiar squad to shoot well. You also meet many new
|You don't need to walk from post #5 to #1. This extra delay of time and bodily
motion can create a mind-set shift to break the groove. You will notice the pros
walk this walk slowly just for this reason. If you don't lead the squad then don't
rush when changing to post #1. The squad will wait for you! |
|You will recieve all of the fame, respect honor and glory as other squad members look up
to you, genuflect with reverence as you pass by and ask for your autograph (fat chance).|
WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?
It means being the Squad Leader is something that must be "learned" as it
will not be the same as shooting any other post. Responsibility, awareness and
enhanced concentration management must be developed. It means that if you are not
shooting post #1 lead-off you are missing out on a learning experience that can ultimately
raise your scores and shooting performance.
It also means to adapt and learn to shoot post #1 and take on the added responsibility
your scores are going to suffer until you get the hang of it. But it is well worth
the temporary reduction of scores! The squad leading skills you learn help a lot in
shootoff situations and can often make the difference between winning and losing.
Now how do you start? You have to take the full plunge and go all out. You
start at practice at your local gun club and then you do it at your next registered shoot.
You don't do it at practice then chicken out and not follow through at the
registered competition. If you have to cut playing the options for awhile, then
that's just the roll of the dice. So, you either do or you don't. All or
nothing. Once you shoot squad leader position you stay in that position thereafter.
Shifting to other posts to start an event some other day can cause enough of an
upset to hurt your performance.
HOW TO BE A GOOD SQUAD LEADER
The official rule books basically say you are responsible for picking up score sheets
and call for first target but there is more to maintain proper etiquette and courtesy when
being the Squad Leader... even though it is not in the rule books!
|You should identify the shooters on deck waiting to shoot to insure all are present.
If someone is late you'll know of it before it's your turn to step on field.
Conduct a basic search for the shooter to announce over the Public Address system.
A small delay won't kill anybody and it's just plain kindness.
|Tell the scorekeeper the yardage so they can adjust seating behind the squad (some can't
|Look at the shooters on the posts. Do you see any fumbling with thier guns?
If so, don't call for the test target until all are ready. Ask,
"Ready?" And don't forget to ask the scorekeeper and puller if they too
are ready. Call for the test target then look at the shooters and ask,
"Okay?" Then start the event if the test is legal. Don't start the
event if the target is illegal. Ask to have the trap set.|
|Do not abuse the test target sequence. The term, "Let's see one" means,
"Let's see one target." Not two three, four or five.
|When there are two broken targets exiting the house in succession stop the shooter and
ask the puller to throw "One bird" to clear the house. This usually
happens when the squad is shooting too fast for the trap setter to snugly install the
targets onto the trap arm. Don't say nothing. Don't tell the squad to slow
down. They know better. But if the squad is acting real reckless, which is
rare, then ask the referee to tell the squad to slow down a bit. Why? So the
target setter will not be injured and you will recieve better targets.|
|If you see a target chip and the target is called lost speak up. Correct the
|When trap fails you are the one to call out, "Unload, guns down" and make sure
the guns are unloaded and pointined downward before trap help walks into the field.
Be the Safety Officer!|
|When changing posts make sure the score is read out aloud and there are no objections.
If someone objects to the score remain silent. If the situation starts to
escalate then step in to resolve the problem. Don't argue or fuss. If it can't
be resolved and no referee is available? Ask the scorekeeper to put a question mark
next to the score box affecting that target and resolve it later.|
|If a shooter shoots at a broken target it's your job to call it down and request the
shooter shoot again.|
|If a gun misfires you can be the inspector if you wish, but usually the puller can
handle that chore as you don't want to be walking post to post with your shotgun, even if
it is unloaded.|
|If a shooter fails to shoot and the referee calls it lost, speak up and explain the
"fail to fire" rule and let the shooter shoot again. Usually this must be
indicated on the score sheet.|
|As Squad Leader you must be emotionally mature. You, of all people, must never
raise your voice in anger or frustration. Be professional at all times and others
will act accordingly. The other shooters will match your tone of behavior.|
|When you are on post ready to shoot, always check the other shooters to make sure they
too are ready after changing stations. Don't forget the shooter on post #5 must walk
the extra distance to post #1 and may not be ready. This is especially important
when you are on post #5 as post #1 shoots after you. So always check this carefully.
|You will notice most all of the shooters will be "into themselves" and not
being aware of what is going on in the squad. As Squad Leader it's your job to be
sure everyone is ready when they are ready and to start the shooting when all are ready.
A hasty shooter, or one who is oblivious to the squad, should not be a squad
leader. It takes that ability to switch concentration on and off and to be aware of
other shooter's needs to be a good squad leader. |
|If the puller is sitting down that's okay, but the moment slow pulls arrive politely
request the puller to stand up and pay attention and to walk behind each shooter to hear
the calls. If slow or fast pulls keep on? Replace the puller. You ask
the Field Captain for this change. A good method that does not offend is to simply
tell the puller, "You must be tired. Why don't you take a break and get us
someone else who can pull for us, okay?" Often, the puller is dog
tired and needs a rest. |
|When leaving the trap you check the scores and if there are no objections you initial
the sheet and take the scoresheet to the next trap. Don't rush. The other
shooters will tend to leave you behind and will be ready to shoot before you will be.
Take your time and stay in mental control. The moment you start to play
catch-up you blow your nervous system out of whack and you won't shoot well. You
have extra duties to perform and that always places you last to be on deck.|
|If the squad is talking too loudly while the another squad is shooting, remind your
squad to speak softly so as not to disturb the other shooters. Do so politely.
|A good squad leader leads with a silent sense of authority but never flaunts authority,
scolds or yells at other shooters or trap help. Maintain a smooth emotion.
Remember, you are not a "boss." You don't have actual authority over other
shooters. But you can take charge simply by acting and being professional and others
will listen and conform. |
|If a shooter is falling apart real bad and is having a "bad hair day" a word
of encouragement will help. Nobody else is going to do it, so you do it. After
all, you are the squad leader. You may want to tell the shooter, "Relax and
shoot with confidence... not with doubt." Don't say, "You're lifting your
|If a gun keeps jamming or other malfunction and it's disturbing the harmony of the shoot
call for timeout to have the gun fixed. Don't put the shooter and the squad through
misery. Take the time out allowed. |
|Be supportive and friendly. Don't be afraid to smile and introduce yourself by
name. It's all supposed to be fun still even if it is serious business.
|The rest is all common courtesy. Never get into any arguments with any shooter and
never raise your voice. Speak gently and firmly. Never go beyond your
authority. Read the rule book! Follow the above rules here and you will receive many
compliments on being a good squad leader and others will want to shoot with you.
Why? A good squad leader can have a powerful influence on the shooter's
subconsciousness and scores usually rise when a squad leader is behaving appropriately and
running a smooth operation.|
Are you willing to take a drop in scores to "learn how" to be a squad leader?
That's a big decision as scores will certainly drop as you learn and it may take an
entire season of shooting to get it down where you feel comfortable and confident.
Not everyone will want to be a squad leader, but if you wish to have a little bit more
control over your shooting it can pay off good dividends. For others it will simply
not be their cup of tea.
You can save money writing off your expenses.
The intent to turn a profit.
For more information
See IRS rules. Ask for bulletins on starting a new business.
Most clay target shooters do not write off expenses. If they did, they would save
more money and receive higher tax rebate checks. For some, the amount of the rebate
could pay for the next year's shooting expenses or close to it! First, you do not
have to be "professional" to deduct trap shooting expenses. There is only
one rule and test to qualify, "Do you intend to make a profit?" Whether
you make a profit or not is irrelevant, it's only the "intent" to make a profit.
In other words, you are trap shooting with the intent to make a profit not just for
fun. This does not mean you can't have fun. You just have to prove that your
activity is leading to the potential to make a profit. Many shooters meet this
If you are attending registered shoots you certainly do intend to make a profit!
The handicap prizes is money and if you play the options too (you don't have to, but
should) you certainly "intend" to make a profit. So right there is two
Your gun, shooting clothing, shells, practice and entrance fees, reloading components,
fuel, motels, meals are all qualified as tax write off's!
The IRS will not allow a full tax deduction for a "hobby." Is trap
shooting a hobby for you? That is a state of mind, and for shooters who do not
attend registered shooting events and only practice at the local gun club as a social
event then you are a hobby shooter. The key test is attending registered competition
where prize money is awarded and if you do attend registered shoots it is time to begin
thinking of tax deductions!
Is it complicated? No. It's easy and it's completely legal. You
simply begin saving your receipts and enter the totals on tax form "C- Profit &
Loss for Business" and you'll have your deductions. Your family will appreciate
trap shooting way better if income is being returned from your shooting even if you lose
THIS IS YOUR FIRST YEAR OF STARTING YOUR
|You will need a computer to enter your tax information, so go out and buy one and you
can write that off this year. You do not need to depreciate it... just write off the
$3,000 you spend now. But you should be aware that the computer must be used for
business. If the kids have games installed on it the deduction will not survive an
audit. You may only be able to then write off 1/3 or 1/2 of it.|
|You need Quicken or Quickbooks accounting programs so you write that off too.|
|Need a new competition-grade shotgun? Go buy it and write it off!
|Do you need a new shooting vest, ear phone protectors, shooting shoes, shirt, hat,
pants? Write it off.|
|What else do you feel you need that is customary and required of most trapshooters?
Deduct it. |
|Club dues, shells, components, practice fees, fuel and meals are all deductible.
|Need to attend a competition shoot out of town? Write-off the trip's expenses.|
Now you know why I have included the expense form in my Trap Shooting Secrets book and
on this web site so when you are traveling you can easily tally your motel, fuel, meals,
practice and shooting fees.
Can you bring your wife and kids to a shoot and write off the expenses? No.
Only the expenses directly related to your shooting activity. However, fuel
or milage to get to the shoot, even though the family is with you is deductible.
Motel room for you (and if you wife still agrees to sleep with you after all these years)
the motel stay is deductible. Meals can only be deducted for the shooter in most
cases. Same with air fare.
If you win an event you have to declare any money winnings as income and rightfully so.
For most shooters, more money will be spent on expenses than will be earned in
income, at least for a few years. A good year here and there will require you pay
tax on your profits after your expenses are deducted, but you are still way ahead,
financially. And, the more money you do make the more expenses you will likely
acquire and be able to write off. Believe it or not, you can make more money doing
it legally than trying to hide money from the IRS. And by not writing off your
expenses and pocketing money and not declaring it to the IRS can get you a serious fraud
rap! It's better to start operating your shooting as a business and do it legally.
HOBBY OR BUSINESS?
Generally you can deduct expenses on a hobby but these deductions are
limited to the amount of income the hobby produces. Not a good way to go. If
you operate your shooting as a business your expenses can exceed your income! The
IRS, if you are audited some day, will challenge your trap shooting as being a hobby and
not a business and disallow your prior years deductions. But do not fear this.
If your expenses show that you are writing-off to attend registered shoot
competitions the IRS can't make its case and will have to allow you the business
You can write off all your practice sessions and the mileage to attend
each weekend too at your local club, but if you only shoot one registered shooter per year
your shooting will be deemed a hobby. So, you have to attend a reasonable amount of
registered shoots to prove you are shooting in a businesslike manner. How many
shoots? Nobody knows, but I would say at least 6-per year, especially the major
state and grand events should be included if you can attend. Small shoots are okay
as long as they are "registered" shoots. Turkey and fun shoots don't
The IRS is concerned with only one fact... "a business is an activity
engaged in for profit." However, there is no law that say's, "You must
actually make a profit." The only "rule" is that you
"intend" to make a profit. Now, if you can show a profit just once in
three years or so, you should be okay in any audit situation. Again, even if you
don't make a profit for 5-years you will prevail if your intention is to make a profit and
not just shooting for pure fun or enjoyment. Making money must be your motive, and
you practice and attend shoots with the intent to earn money. That is why registered
shooting can be a huge benefit to you for tax reasons.
If you feel uncomfortable about writing off all your expenses such as all
of your practice fees and shell costs at the local club, you can just deduct all of the
expensis to attend registered shoots. The IRS wouldn't stand a chance to deny them.
IF YOU ARE CHALLENGED
You will likely not be challenged by the IRS, but it can happen so here's
a few things you should know. You have to prove that you are not shooting as a
hobby, so you...
Maintain books and records of expenses and winnings in a businesslike
manner. Computer helps you do this very easily. Make sure you get a reciept
for all practice fees, meals, etc., and enter it in the computer.
You have lost money last or years before but have changed something to
correct the loss to help you from stop losing money. Like taking trap shooting lessons, buying books,
magazines, videotapes, a new gun. Getting your gun professionally fitted, installing
a recoil pad, etc. Doing just one of these things each year or all in one
year. The point is... do something to help yourself shoot better so you can improve
your odds to win and earn money. You may not win, but you did try to stop the
Play the option money at registered shoots. The 25/50 option is a
good place to begin as you will likely start earning money very quickly. It may not
pay nowhere near your expenses, but it is proof that you did in fact "earn
money and the registered shoot was a business activity." You don't want to be
filing tax returns that show $15,000 in losses and $0 in income. $15,000 in losses
and $400 income is better. You won't owe money in taxes but you'll get your
deductions and a nice rebate check in the mail next year!
You act professionally. You consult with other top-gun shooters
asking for tips and instruction on how to improve your shooting ability. This is
where lessons come in handy to satisfy any audit in your favor. You consult with the
Small Business Administration for advice on operating a business and maintaining records.
You make a serious effort to make a profit. This does not mean you
have to spend 40-hours per week trying to make a profit. Not at all. Trap
shooting may only be a sideline business for you, but when you do trapshoot you are
serious about it. Again, playing the options reveals the serious intent to make
money. You may think of this as gambling but all businesses are gambles.
You have profit potential. Even if your trap shooting business
continues to lose money, you are an artist. Like a writer who has to write for years
before s/he finishes that first book - and even then may never be able to sell it and make
a profit. The fact of writing the book, putting in the effort with the
"intent" to sell it to a publisher. Now, "My Life Story" won't
qualify just as, "I Love Trap Shooting" won't get you any points with the IRS.
However, if you have earned money from the options here and there and your scores
are actually climbing too you'll be okay.
A bad year or two. It is common to all artist to have a bad spell.
Writer's get, "Writer's block" and trapshooter's get "Slumps."
Same as with golf pros and boxers and... you get the idea. When you are in a
slump increase your practice or start buying books, videotapes, take lessons. Do
something to improve yourself and improve your chances of making a profit. It's the
attempt you make that counts here. If you simply do nothing then it shows you are
not serious and you have no profit motive and just using shooting as a hobby.
Past success. If you have won shoots in the past, won money and
prizes of any value and you are competing in a professional environment (registered
shoots) with the intent and ability to earn money, you will be okay with your business
Keep a log of business contacts you have made each year. Names of
shooters' you have consulted with asking for advice is a good method. It's also a
good way to meet new friends.
All the "technical" books you buy and lessons you take can be
deducted from taxes. A book that just talks about trap shooting isn't going to pass
the test. But technical books will be tax deductible! A shooter who is audited
and simply hands into evidence, Trap Shooting Secrets and Precision Shooting books is going to demonstrate to the IRS
you are a serious shooter and not just a casual hobby shooter... the books are very
technical and only a serious shooter would buy them to improve the chances of earning a
A trap shooting magazine, such as Shotgun Sports Magazine, will
qualify as a deduction as the content is rich in technical instructions. So is the
Trap & Field Magazine, Clay Shooting Magazine and Pull Magazine. A Guns &
Ammo type mag may not qualify for a trap shooting business as it is not dedcated to clay
You can, if you wish, setup a separate bank or checking account just for
your business. It helps to establish with the IRS (if you are ever audited) that you
are indeed running a legitimate business. But it is not necessary with the computer
programs today that can filter out all the business expenses from personal expenses.
What you don't need is a bank's business checking account. They will hit you
will outrageous fees. Just open up a normal checking under your name or just use
your current account as is.
You are not operating a typical business with a physical location so you
don't have to buy a copying machine, get a business card, business phone, business bank
account or register for a typical business license. There are no customers to serve.
You don't even need a resale license as you are not selling anything. You
don't register your business period. There are no zoning rules. You simply
file tax form "C" each year with your taxes. It's that simple!
MIXING TRAP SHOOTING WITH A VACATION
Yes, you can deduct your trap shooting vacation expenses! The test
is this; Was the purpose of your trip a vacation or business? How much time
did you spend on business?
The best way to deduct a vacation is to see its true purpose. It has
to be business related. This does not mean you can't have fun and go sightseeing
once you are there on location, but be aware that only the time you spend in the business
portion is deductible. The transportation air or cruise ship fare is usually
deductible in full, but there are percentage rules that often apply so only 50% may be
deductible if you mix too much pleasure with business. Luca Scribani Rossi has a
shooting school in Australia. If you attend this
school you can write off the entire trip, even if the evenings after school were pure
pleasure sightseeing the harbor, shopping, etc. You just don't write off the
sightseeing and shopping vacation portions. You can write off your evening meals
(for the shooter).
Make sure you keep accurate records because the IRS treats
vacation/business ventures as "all or nothing." This means if you have a
business trip and you have good records and a good purpose to be at the location related
to business you deduct the entire trip's expenses. If not, you can't deduct any of
it. What are good records? Just "receipts" for meals, taxi, bus
fare, etc., and the "business purpose" for these expenses. Taking a
taxi to a shopping mall or museum won't fly.
Keep in mind this rule when you bring a spouse with you on a business
trip/vacation. If the spouse does not increase the expense that expense can be
deducted. So, air fare is not deductible, but a taxi or hotel room is. Meals
can only be deducted for the shooter not the wife.
If you are not turning a profit or are showing a high gross and a
low net profit don't take the standard deduction. Use the itemized deduction.
Otherwise the IRS will suspect you have padded the accounts with personal expenses.
Use a computer program or a tax preparer to do your taxes. Actually, the
computer programs today are better! They have audit checking and will give you
advice on how to save even more money on taxes.
THE FINAL BLOW
The IRS is not friendly. They are not nice people to deal with.
But they are not going to put you in prison for negligence either. Everybody
makes mistakes and that is a big difference between fraud. It is not fraud to
be a trapshooter struggling to make shooting into a profitable business... not at all!
So, for quite a few years you may show a loss and no profit on your tax
forms. This could trigger an audit, but not always. The audit process is not
as horrible as you may think it is. For trap shooting, they will simply ask for
proof of expenses. So you just print out your expense sheet from the computer
program and mail it in. They may want receipts for certain expenses, so you send
them a copy. No big deal.
What if you get attacked by some belligerent IRS agent who hates
trapshooters and wants to disallow everything? This is how it will go down,
"You had other sources of income and you could afford to lose money so you did not
have the intent and profit motive to make money... your shooting is a hobby."
What do you say? "I would have been better off by not trap shooting at all in
the first place. I lost money, my money. My deductions are legal and I have
operated my business in a serious and professional manner. I can't help it if I lost
money. It's a tough world out there. I compete with professional trapshooters
and I have earned money in shooting (option money) and as time progresses I will
earn more and turn a profit." That ends the matter.
IN ALL HONESTY
When I first considered writing-off trap shooting as a business I was a
bit intimidated by the thought of it. Is it legal? Is it hard to do?
What if I get audited by the IRS? How come nobody else at the club is doing
it? After some investigation work I found there were a few doing it and then I
decided to do the same. Yes, I did get an audit showing multi-year losses and it
went very smoothly... no problems with trap shooting as a business! I know many
shooters who have never been audited. Mine was due to a stock that was cashed and
that triggered the audit, not the trap shooting. But in audits, everything gets
looked at and trap shooting was no problem at all.
The basic tips are here in this article to get you started. This is
an opportunity for you to save some money, get a bigger tax rebate check and most
certainly elevate your mindset to professional status which will enhance your shooting so
you can one day turn a profit!
Why are you attending registered shoots spending all that money and not
writing off your expenses? Do you think it is illegal? It's perfectly legal
and it is foolish to not do so considering the costs of trap shooting today. For
many shooters I see at the big state and grand shoots they are competing to win money and
that is a business venture not a hobby! Shooting with the gang at the club on
weekends may be a hobby, but registered competition shooting is not by any means... it's
all business. It may be fun, but it's still all conducted in a strict business
atmosphere with official rules, standards and regulations by the governing trap shooting
bodies. You are competing against professionals for prize money, especially if you
play the options. It's tax deductible and it's time you get with it! Yes, even
your option fees are tax deductible!
The key is honesty. If you are looking for a way to cheat the
government don't bother using this article to do it because it won't work. Why?
You won't put in the extra effort to maintain the records in the computer, save
receipts, etc. But if you really want to give it a try to see if you can become a
professional trapshooter then begin today and start writing-off all your expenses and
shoot the best you can to win! Yes, you can win for losing!
One more thing. You may never become a professional trap shooter but
you don't have to be to take your deductions. And, the IRS will help you do it too!
Simply ask for their bulletins on starting up a new business. Publication
#583 - Starting a Business and Keeping Records. Call 800-829-3676.
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