THOMAS – There is a new game in town, or at least at Snake River High School, with the formation of a new trap, skeet, and sporting clay shooting club.
Under the direction of advisors James Carter, Drew Lusk, and Larry Seymour, the idea for the club was born and action began to create the club at the school.
“We were getting a lot of students who were asking why we didn’t have a club that centered around shooting,” Carter said. “We started to look into it and found that there were grants and other clubs around us and we started to form an idea of what we wanted to do.”
The club gathered support and began asking around and found high school shooting clubs as close as Pocatello and Burley and began to formulate a plan to start the club at Snake River High School.
They approached the Snake River school board and received their blessing and support and that was the first step that launched the program.
Carter and Lusk then applied to the National Rifle Association for a grant and were rewarded with a $7,000 grant that included five shotguns, a gun safe, a supply of shells, and clay targets.
“Aside from all of the support at the school and through the district offices, the NRA really helped to set us up,” Carter said. “The gift of five guns and a gun safe, along with 500 rounds of ammunition and $700 worth of clay pigeons really got the ball rolling.”
“It was great to get the support from the school, the school board, and the NRA, but without a place to practice and shoot and hold competitions, we were like a boat without oars or a rudder.” Carter said.
“That was provided by the backing of the Cedar Hills Gun Club, which is what really pulled everything together for us.”
Currently, there are about 12-13 students that are active, including one young lady, and all are anxious to learn more about gun safety and are interested in the proposed competitions between the schools.
Part of the formation of the club was to be able to teach the real fundamentals of gun safety in the lifetime sport of shooting.
“We all recognized that there was a need for not only gun safety, but the proper handling and care of the guns,” Carter explained. “We are concentrating on safe handling, cleaning, storing, shipping, and transportation of guns and the equipment that goes with it. We have enlisted the help of some of the folks at Cedar Hills Gun Club to help us.”
One of those willing to participate is Jed Taylor, who is a main figure at the Cedar Hills Gun Club.
Taylor has given his time to instruct the entire club in the proper handling of the guns when using them to shoot at targets and has agreed to assist the advisors and students in their use of the gun club. He is also going to assist in the organization of competitions which are sometimes the lifeblood of clubs such as this one.
“The students in Burley Club have been going for a couple of years, so we are relying on their experience in this whole adventure for a lot of what we are doing,” Carter said. “They have been competing for a while now and have agreed to invite us to their competition and have helped us get going along with the club in Pocatello. We are trying to organize a competition between the three clubs here in the spring.”
The intent is to help the club grow to where there will be enough students to be able to field at least two teams of five shooters that are male and one team of five women as well, with the prospect of teaching the members not only how to shoot, but also the proper way of licensing to hunt and even organize some hunting trips for the students to participate in.
“I think that the sky is the ceiling to how far we can take this whole thing,” Carter said. “It will be up to the students to take this as far as they want, we just want them to be able to do in a safe manner and in the right way, with safety at the forefront of everything that we do.”