Prairie Shooting Team

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Prairie du Chien team member Ryan Seversen shoots while coaches Mike Christensen and Kevin Doerring (beard) look on. (Photo submitted)


Prairie du Chien Shooting Team aiming for success

By Ted Pennekamp


The newly formed Prairie du Chien Shooting Team has been practicing and is ready for competition. 

The team’s advisor, Bluff View teacher Kirby Kohler, said that the team has had two practices at the Prairie Rod and Gun Club Range and is getting ready for its first competition on April 27. 

“We have two experienced volunteer coaches,” said Kohler. “Kevin Doerring and Mike Christensen have done an excellent job of teaching the kids trap shooting technique. There has been one-on-one instruction, and in just two weeks we’ve seen tremendous improvement.” 

Kohler noted that there are 29 students on the team, 13 high school students and 16 from Bluff View. Prairie is in a five-team conference with Elmwood, St. Croix, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau and Ellsworth. There are five conferences in Wisconsin and 23 teams. There were only six school shooting teams in Wisconsin last year.

There will be five weeks of competition, said Kohler, and then the State Tournament in Rome, Wis. All of Prairie du Chien’s meets will be at the Prairie Rod and Gun Club Range, except the State Tournament. Kohler said that each of Prairie’s 29 students will shoot two rounds of 25 clay targets at each competition. 

The competitions are scored under the True Team Scoring  system, whereby the top 17 shooters from each of the five teams at a particular meet score points for their team. Each of the five teams shoot at their home range for the five meets. The scores are then entered into a computer and compared to see how each team placed. In addition, all of the shooters’ scores are compiled each week so that all shooters can see their progress from week to week.

“Everybody’s learning, doing well and having fun,” said Bluff View eighth grader Blake Bartels who had never tried trap shooting before becoming a member of the Prairie du Chien team. “We can get together with friends and keep trying to improve.” 

Kohler, who founded the team, said that the team would not be possible without the support of sponsors such as Nelson Hardwood Lumber Company, who donated $1,000; Kramer Auction Service, who donated $500 and the National Rifle Association, who gave more than $1,000 worth of supplies through a grant. 

Kohler said that any business, organization or individual who would like to sponsor the team can contact Kohler at (608) 412-5416.

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