Trap shooting is one heck of a sport.

Back in the 18th century, it started as a way for bird hunters to practice their aim, according to an interesting history of the sport by the US Shooting Sports Association. They'd release clay targets from a spring-loaded trap (hence the name) and blast 'em away.

Fast forward to the late 1800s, trap shooting officially became a competitive sport in the US. Folks would gather, shoot, and share tall tales over cold ones. It spread like wildfire, even becoming an Olympic event.

Credit: Chase Hawks Memorial, used with permission
Credit: Chase Hawks Memorial, used with permission

Legendary Western figure Annie Oakley was a fan favorite.

Trap shooting evolved with modern tech, but the thrill remains the same – hitting those airborne clays with precision. Annie Oakley participated in the Grand American World Trap Championships for years, with her last competition in 1925. Her shotgun skills are credited with helping attract many women to the sport.

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Chase Hawks Memorial Trap Shoot is August 12th, 9 AM in Billings.

I'm not very good at trap shooting. I don't bird hunt, and my shotgun skills are simply home defense. But you don't have to be a pro to participate in the 28th annual Chase Hawks Memorial Trap Shoot and have a blast for a great cause. It's on Saturday, August 12th at the Billings Trap Club, near the shores of Lake Elmo in the Heights. Chase Hawks organizers say,

Experts and beginners are welcome here. Teams are assembled by handicap and experience and handicapped by the first round.

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Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Youth can participate and there are lots of great prizes.

  • Five new shotguns for top finishing teams.
  • Great prizes for the 6th-place team.
  • One guaranteed shotgun prize for the Youth category.
  • Raffles.
  • Door prizes.
  • A BBQ after the shoot.

It's $70 per person to register (shells included) or $60 if you bring your own. A limited number of shotguns are available for use if you or your child doesn't have one. You can pre-register in person, online, or over the phone. Find full details HERE.

Another HUGE Chase Hawks event is coming up Labor Day Weekend; a longtime Billings favorite event, Burn the Point. It's hundreds of classic cars in a parade, a street dance with Bucky Beaver Ground Grippers under Skypoint (back from retirement for one night only!!), and an awesome car show and auction at MetraPark the next day.

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