For the past few years, I’ve been heartened to hear and read about the increases in high school and college-level clay sports. It is great to know that clay sports are among the fastest growing school sports in the U.S., and that there is tremendous opportunity to continue this trend.
That is just one of the reasons why the National Shooting Sports Foundation
(NSSF) is supporting USA Clay Target Leagues’ Multi-State R3
Recreational Shooting Sport Project, which has a goal to bring thousands of new participants to school-sponsored clay target shooting sport teams around the country. There are many such initiatives like this, and, as the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, NSSF is playing a key role in bringing in the next group of participants with recruitment efforts through our +ONESM initiative.
It sounds simple, but bringing a newbie with you to the range or the field is
one of the best things you can do in 2021 to make sure that activities such as
sporting clays, skeet, trap, and even hunting will have a strong future. It shouldn’t be too hard to find someone interested, as approximately 8 million Americans became first-time gun owners in 2020, and they are eager to learn and participate. You’ll find that plenty of your friends, neighbors, coworkers, and classmates will say “YES!” when asked to go target shooting or hunting for the first time, so don’t be afraid to make the invitation.
If you need some information on how to get someone started, you can visit LetsGoShooting.org or LetsGoHunting.org where you’ll find plenty of helpful tips to share with your +ONE. NSSF’s #RangeChallenge target game is a fun way to get a new participant excited about shooting sports as well.
An added benefit of increased participation is an increase in funding for your state wildlife agency. Excise taxes on firearms and ammunition have contributed $3.5 billion dollars to these agencies over just the past five years. One of the uses for these funds is to build or enhance new shooting facilities in an effort to meet demand. Other uses for these funds include hunter safety education, land acquisition, habitat management, and wildlife restoration so know that the more you shoot, the more money goes directly back to the activities you enjoy.
I’d like to thank you all for making clay sports one of the fastest growing high school sports in the U.S. As it is the time of year to make resolutions, I’ll ask that you resolve to bring a +ONE with you this year and help make 2021 “The Year of Recruitment.”