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One rural area helps young shooters

  • May 3, 2011 - 9:07 PM

Schools at McGregor, Aitkin and Cromwell formed one 36-member trap-shooting team this year and joined the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League. But organizers soon encountered a problem.

"These rural kids can't bring their guns to school, and they can't go home and then make it to the gun range because of the distance,'' said Gary Vorlicky, 53, who runs the Minnewawa Gun Range near McGregor and coaches the team.

No problem.

The McGregor Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association bought a 700-pound, 48-gun safe and installed it in the clubhouse. "Now the kids can safely store their guns there,'' Vorlicky said.

Then, to make sure cost wasn't an impediment, the Minnewawa Sportsmen's Club raised $2,500 to help pay for the kids' shotgun shells and targets, which normally costs about $200 apiece. "The club is picking up the rest of the cost,'' said Vorlicky, a member. The kids will shoot for free. "We're really excited about getting young kids who haven't shot before,'' he said.

Eight to 10 volunteers usually show up to help keep score and give tips. "When it comes to youth, this community is unbelievable,'' Vorlicky said.

DOUG SMITH

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