Trap shooters gather to raise funds for 4-H

From left, Wyatt Dade, Tate Kerchal, Levi Greenhow, Elias Browning Stone Balleck and Will McStay pose for a photo at a fundraiser for the 4-H shooting team Wednesday at the Craig Trap Club.
Eliza Noe / Craig Press

Friends, family and supporters of the Moffat County 4-H Shooting Team gathered at the Craig Trap Club Wednesday evening for the team’s first community shooting competition to raise funds for the team.

Stephanie Ahlstrom, one of the organizers for the event, said that the team needs to raise about $2,000 to buy a new thrower. The current low house thrower that the team uses is between 15 and 20 years old and does not meet current standards to compete. Ahlstrom said that, with the new thrower, a team that’s already great would get even better.

“Sometimes shooting sports may scare people,” Ahlstrom said. “These kids are very experienced with their firearms and practice almost 12 months per year. This is a team that wants to be more competitive (at state competitions).”

This year, due to the pandemic, there will be no state competition in shooting, but Ahlstrom said that isn’t stopping the team from engaging the community to bring more attention to the club. For the fundraiser, shooters on the team went to various local businesses and challenged them to bring their own teams to compete against them.

With a $250 donation, businesses could bring any five members to the Craig Trap Club to participate to potentially win prizes. The 4-H Shooting Team received prize donations from Prodigal Sons Coffee House & Eatery, The Sizzling Pickle, Mountain Man Taxidermy, Country Living Realty, Axis Steel and many other businesses in the Moffat County Community.

Tate Kerchal aims to shoot a clay disk at a fundraiser shoot for the 4-H Club Wednesday at the Craig Trap Club.
Eliza Noe / Craig Press

“We thought a challenge would be a really great way to bring the community together,” Ahlstrom said. “We do well at the state level with their hands tied behind their backs with such an old low house.”

Wednesday’s fundraiser featured three teams: the 4-H senior team, the 4-H junior team and a team put together by Old West Hunting.

Will Myers, one of the shooters for the Old West Hunting team, said he joined their team in order to help ease team costs on parents of 4-H shooters.

“There’s usually a lot of businesses around that are willing to help,” Myers said. “Just so the families don’t have to split a lot of costs to cover stuff (like the new low house shooter).”

Sarah Bacon, whose son Jentry is on the senior team and has been involved with 4-H shooting for many years, said that the fundraiser was a good way to get community members to come together and bond with the team.

“I kind of feel like this is a shotgun family,” Bacon said. “We couldn’t shoot last year with COVID, and it was so sad. So we got back together for this fundraiser. Look, I missed our shotgun family. It’s nice to be together again.”

Wyatt Dade, a member of the senior team, said that although shooting is one of his favorite activities, the memories he has made through his time at 4H are even more valuable.

“The competition is fun, but with 4H, it’s like a family, and I can get to spend a lot of time with my friends,” Dade said.

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