BY MELANIE BUCK –
Cossatot River School District is adding a shooting range to their high school grounds for their ever-growing Youth Shooting Sports program. Scott Morgan is the Ag Instructor at Cossatot River High School and said they have had the program since 2009 and have a practice area, but the upgrades will bring the range up to look and feel like those they compete at.
“We have some land that is an outdoor classroom through a partnership with NRCS, National Resource Conservation Service,” explained Morgan. There is an area in the northern/northwestern edge of the property that is currently used as the trapshoot practice area and with a little work, and the addition of shooting platforms, the project will be complete. However, there is the issue of funding the project.
Morgan said the work will be done on a volunteer basis and it began with Mark Duggan bringing in his own tractor and providing his time, on Thursday, January 26. Amy Bult, Water Quality Technician at Rich Mountain Conservation District, said, “Today students helped build a retaining wall made of railroad ties that will be back-filled with dirt. This will make a flat spot for their skeet machine. Mark Duggan volunteered his time, tractor, and talent and KCS [Kansas City Southern Railroad] donated the cross ties over a year ago.”
Mr. Morgan said the improvements “will allow them to duplicate the scenario they will shoot at competitions. We want to set it up as close to them as possible for regional and, hopefully, state tournaments.”
The popularity of trapshooting has been on the rise in recent years across the region with many schools now offering shooting sports. “The goal of the program, for us, is it’s another activity we can offer and gives students an option or avenue to feel like they are part of a team. They have a sense of accomplishment and get to experience something that helps build a relationship with others,” said Morgan.
They are currently recruiting team members for their next season. They welcome students in 6th – 12th grades.