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Outdoors

Shooting sports offer fun for family and friends

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    Sportsmen's Gun and Reel on Middle Ridge Road in Lorain has five trap fields, two lighted skeet fields and a sporting clay course. It is open to the public and offers memberships.

    SPORTSMENGUNANDREEL.COM PHOTO

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    An unidentified shooter gets in target practice at Sportsmen's Gun and Reel on Middle Ridge Road.

    SPORTSMENGUNANDREEL.COM PHOTO

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In 2017, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) established the month of August as National Shooting Sports Month.

Some types of shooting the NSSF promotes during the month are action pistol shooting, long-range rifle shooting and the shotgun clay target sports of skeet, trap and sporting clays.

These are just a few shooting disciplines as NSSF also focus on competitive handgun, rifle and shotgun shooting.

The latest survey showed 50 million Americans have participated in some form of target shooting. The NSSF’s mission with National Shooting Sports Month is to “draw positive attention to (shooting sports) and their many benefits, and to simply serve as a reminder to make time to enjoy a day at the range — alone or with friends or family.

Trap shooting and scoring was something I got into a few years ago when my parents got a German shorthaired pointer for bird hunting.

I had never trap shot before despite being an avid hunter almost my entire life. However, going to the range and shooting to sight in a gun or hitting a target was something I had previously experienced.

What I found with trap shooting was it was not only fun and entertaining but a great way to spend time competing with and against my family. Trap shooting also gave me the opportunity to learn a new sport and its rules along with honing my skills for going bird hunting successfully.

Locally, Sportsmen’s Gun and Reel on Middle Ridge Road in Lorain offers good shooting opportunities. Open to the public with membership available, the range is open Wednesday through Sunday. The club has five trap fields, two lighted skeet fields and a sporting clay course. Hours and rates can be found at sportsmensgunandreel.com

There are other ranges in the area for those looking to target shoot. For a diversified array of shooting and getting more into the competition element of it, Sportsmen’s Gun and Reel provides shooting sports of all kind.

The State of Ohio and the Department of Natural Resources also have ranges across the state. While, there are none in Lorain County, a full, comprehensive list can be found at ohiodnr.gov

When it comes to shooting, gun safety is paramount. Make sure you treat your firearm as if it were always loaded.

Also, make sure your finger is off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. Acquire your target and look behind it to make sure everything is clear before shooting.

If going shooting, make sure you follow all of the gun handling safety rules and also any other additional rules the range may have in order to ensure a fun, safe time.

Trap shooting and competitive shooting can be a lot of fun and even lead to joining a league and meeting new people along the way. Brush up now on those shooting skills. September is a short time away where hunting seasons will open up statewide.

Contact Brad Zahar at bzaharoutdoors@gmail.com.
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