ULM — For the 128th year, some of the best shooters in the world are meeting at Ulm for the annual Montana Trapshooting championship.
The Montana State Trapshooting Tournament is sponsored in part by Scheels and North 40, and is one of the oldest sporting events in the state, even older than the Cat/Griz game.
This year's tournament has more than 250 competitors and many prizes and trophies. Ask anyone there, however, and it's not about the money, but rather the competition and friends made, says Ted Kronebusch, a delegate for the Amateur Trapshooting Association.
"We've got a great group of people. I get to travel a lot so I know most of those people. And when you don't see somebody for a few years, it's like a family reunion. You want to know how their kids are doing and how are things going and how's your health and how you're shooting,” Kronebusch said. “This program is also based on what we can do for the younger generation because that's our seed. There’s lots of youngsters taking up shooting and it’s great to see.”
The competition has shooters from every corner of the country as well as the "Land Down Under." Ray Collins is shooting and representing Melbourne, Australia. He says he's a big fan of the state and is loving his first visit to the Treasure State. He’s done trap shooting for more than 40 years and is glad he finally made it to Montana after hearing about it at another tournament back in February in Tucson.
“Oh, I love it. It's a great place, Montana. They're a great bunch of people. They're good fun to shoot around. Everybody's very welcoming,” Collins said. “Everybody wants to know a little bit about Australia, where we come from, what we do here, how we shoot. It's really good."
In addition to being an international tournament, the competition and trap shooting in general is picking up around the area and getting more people on board and falling in love with it. Emi Smith from Havre was one of those people and has noticed more women and children picking up the sport.
"When I first started doing registered targets, there was some ladies that did it. You compete against them men, but now more and more ladies are doing it. I love seeing more and more of the ladies and the young shooters that have started shooting. There's quite a bit of youth from here in Great Falls, Kalispell, Helena. The best part about coming to Great Falls or any of the other clubs is the people."
The competition will go through July 10th, all at the Great Falls Trap and Skeet Club at 138 Northern Ulm Frontage Road. Click here to visit the website.
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