State trapshooting tournament takes aim on the coast

State trapshooting tournament takes aim on the coast

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Competitive shooters from more than a dozen states are on the Mississippi Gulf Coast this holiday weekend.

They're taking part in the Mississippi State Trapshooting Championship. The tournament is being held at the shooting range off Hwy. 67.

"Trapshooting is a process through which we are shooting clay birds, or what we call clay pigeons or clay targets, depending on whatever word you want to attach to it," said John Oren, the secretary for the Coast Rifle and Pistol Club. "It came to America in the early 1800s, and it's been around ever since."

This is the second straight year the state championship tournament has been held at the Coast Rifle and Pistol Club's range.

Around 150 shooters will take aim at more than 80,000 clay pigeons through the course of the tournament.

"You think of a shotgun, which typically shoots in a 30 inch circle. You think with a 30 inch circle you should be able to hit about anything, but it doesn't work out quite that way," said Oren.

Jenny Kate Conley, 18, is from Middle Tennessee. She is hooked on the shooting sport.

"I did better in the dove field than my dad, and a guy at our church told us he had a trap team and I should join. So, that's kind of what got me into it," Conley explained. "If you get the technique, it's easy. It's all basics, once you learn it. And then, it's all in your head. You can't let the one you missed get in your head. You just have to stay focused and be positive."

"I was shooting pistols and rifles, and I love, I love shooting trap. It's fun hitting a moving target," said Brian Harmon, from Vancleave. "Not hard to hit, but easy to miss."

Along with enjoying the competition, all these shooters and their families will also help boost the tourism economy.

"People come for a week, enjoy the cuisine, the weather, the beaches and all the other entertainment the coast has to offer," said Charlie Boggs, with the Coast Rifle and Pistol Club.

Trophies, cash prizes and bragging rights are on the line for these competitors. The shooting continues through the weekend.

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