NWTF Joins Thousands of Youth Shooters for World’s Largest Shooting Sports Competition


The Minnesota NWTF State Chapter joined thousands of youth sport shooters to talk conservation and turkey hunting in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Whether purchasing your favorite turkey load for the incoming spring season or sporting clays with family and friends on the weekend, those who purchase firearms and ammunition are helping fund conservation efforts nationwide.

Specifically, through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, an excise tax exists on long guns, bows, arrows, and ammunition, which is 11% and 10% for handguns. This price is figured into the MSRP for the products and is paid for by the manufacturers. This money is then transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which appropriates funding to state wildlife agencies proportionally. In short, hunters and sport shooters are America’s ardent conservationists.

The 8,660 youth sport shooters from over 400 different schools that descended upon the Minnesota Trap Shooting Championship (also the world’s largest shooting event) exemplified the impact sport shooters make towards conservation, firing over a million rounds.

Minnesota NWTF volunteers sponsored the event (and have for over a decade), thanking the youth and their families, talking about conservation and sparking their interest in hunting. In fact, 10 kids from the event this year are signed up for upcoming NWTF mentored hunts.

The event is hosted by the nonprofit, USA High School Clay Target League each year at the Alexandria Shooting Park in Alexandria, Minnesota. The league’s priorities are safety, fun and marksmanship. The event attracts student-athletes who have earned their firearm safety certification to participate in shooting sports while creating a competition among high school teams at no cost to the schools.

“Over 1 million targets are thrown during this competition; it’s pretty impressive,” said Teresa Carroll, NWTF Education and Outreach program coordinator. “The Minnesota NWTF State Chapter has a booth where they sell merchandise, memberships and just talk turkey with the youth and families that stop by. It really gets so many new eyes on the joys of turkey hunting and the NWTF mission.”

NWTF volunteers worked through the nine-day event, switching off with others throughout the week. Ralph Warzecha, NWTF state outreach coordinator, who’s been attending the event for over a decade, was a constant.

Warzecha sees immense potential to engage new audiences with the NWTF mission and share the life-changing power of the outdoors.

“Hundreds of kids and their families visit our booth to talk about the NWTF and learn about our organization,” said Warzecha, “With over 8,660 kids participating during the event, we get all types of people coming through and get the chance to talk to them about the role hunting and shooting play in conservation. This is a very courteous and disciplined group, and we are proud to engage with them.”

Warzecha also mentioned how he was able to sign up numerous kids for upcoming NWTF mentored hunts, and he even signed up some youth who are volunteering to help with an NWTF BB gun shooting event.

Like the USA Clay Target League, the NWTF sees shooting sports as an accessible activity for youth of all ages and encourages families to get outdoors and try it.

“Introducing kids to shooting sports in any capacity is great, and even if hunting isn’t their thing, it’s a great way to benefit conservation and have fun,” Warzecha said.

See what NWTF events are happening in your area.

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