Visitors to this year’s Game Fair will be treated to a fine show of shotgun shooting skills put on by Steve and Aaron Gould of Alexandria, Minnesota. They did one show at last year’s event, located at the Armstrong Ranch Kennels in Ramsey, MN, but this year they are shooting two times a day for all six days of the fair.
For those who don’t know, Game Fair is the nation’s largest outdoors pre-hunting event and it takes place over two weekends in the northwest metro off Highway 10 and Armstrong Boulevard.These guys are very talented shooters who have managed to amass a lot of notoriety in a very short period of time.
That’s a testament to both their marksmanship and showmanship because in the exhibition shooting world you have to be able to consistently hit a lot of targets while also making crowds laugh, smile, ooh and aah.
What I found most interesting is that neither had ever heard of exhibition shooting until about a decade ago. The older brother, Aaron, grew up hunting with an uncle, so he has been around shooting and firearms most of his life. The younger brother Steve, only really started shooting when he was in college.
That was less than 10 years ago and now the two are being flown all over the country to put on shows and talk about their number one sponsor Winchester. They selected Winchester as much as the company selected them and they are more than willing to show off the attributes of their Super X3 and Super X Pump shotguns.
Crowds at Game Fair over the past six years saw Tom Knapp put on the exhibition shooting shows and for the first 25 years of Game Fair the exhibition shooter was John Satterwhite.
Retirement ended Satterwhite’s run while Knapp retired from exhibition shooting earlier this spring, only three weeks before his death in late April. His passing was a very sad moment for everybody at Game Fair as well as for the Gould Brothers who idolized Knapp and saw him as their mentor.
Knapp accepted that mentorship role and did a lot to pass on many of his shows to them, including Game Fair. But it’s not like Chuck Delaney, owner of Game Fair, and other folks had to just accept the Gould Brothers. The pair earned their shooting gigs because of their skills and talent. A nod from Tom Knapp doesn’t hurt either, but it’s a tough world out there.
I had a very good conversation with Steve Gould on the phone Sunday night and he’s excited for Game Fair. He has a lot of different ideas for what the two of them will do in their twice-daily shows and visitors can expect to see their finest tricks on display.
Their first shooting exhibition is at 11:30 each day of Game Fair (August 9, 10, 11 and 16, 17, 18) in the Game Fair bleachers near the front entrance. Their second show of the day is at 5:00 on Friday and Saturday and 4:30 on Sundays.
For more details on the Gould Brothers exhibition and the entire Game Fair rundown be sure to visit www.GameFair.com.