For the fourth year, the Capitol City Gun Club will be among a handful of sites to host the California Youth Shotgun Shooting Association’s championship shootout.
The 1,200 participants will compete at five venues in Northern California and Carson City from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.
“The kids keep saying they want to come here, for obvious reasons — the beauty and everything the region has to offer,” said Dave Gilles, treasurer for the Capitol City Gun Club. “But we can only handle about 200.”
Competitors will use a .12-gauge shotgun to shoot targets from a distance of 16 yards. Each participant will shoot at 100 targets on the trap shoot course.
“We’ll throw 20,000 targets that day,” Gilles explained.
The club sponsors the Capitol City Hotshots and other youth gun organizations in Truckee, North Lake Tahoe and Reno.
Gilles said all participants must go through gun training and the club and competition shooting help teach the youth discipline.
“Bad behavior is not tolerated here. It can’t be. You only get one chance to make a mistake,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of kids whose grades have improved because they just want to shoot. You just watch them grow.”
In addition to the trap shooting, the gun club also offers skeet shooting as well as five-stand and sporting clays.
“If you’re new, we have instructors,” Gilles said. “We make sure everybody is safe.”
Gilles said the gun club is becoming an increasingly popular destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties.
Rusty Wolbers, president of the Capitol City Gun Club, has a reputation as an ace instructor.
“When I get done with them, everybody hits one or two targets,” he said. “And we’re talking women and kids. It’s a sport the whole family can participate in.”
Gilles said neighboring businesses in the industrial park open up their parking lots the weekend of the shootout for families to park their RVs.
Spectators are also welcome.
He said any tips left at the gun club go to youth programs.
“That’s what it’s all about, keeping these kids shooting,” Gilles said.