Shooters hosts Minnesota State shooting competition

Photo by Jody Isaackson Bill Jolitz of Lakeville showed good stance as he took on the double shot at station two during the Minnesota Sporting Clay Association championship tournament held at Shooters Sporting Clays of rural Marshall over the weekend.

MARSHALL — It was like listening to fireworks at the Minnesota State firearms shooting competition held at Shooters Sporting Clays in rural Marshall over the weekend.

According to owner Nate Petersen, it was the second time Shooters Sporting Clays has hosted the competition since it opened in 1994. The first time was in 2010.

Competitors came from several states such as South Dakota, Iowa and Texas. There were more than 180 competitions, Petersen said.

“There is even one person here from Canada,” he said.

One course held the small gauge competition for 410 gauge shotguns, 28 gauge, and 20 gauge, super sporting, pump guns, side-by-sides and True Pair (matched pair).

There was also a FITASC competition, which some find challenging. FITASC Sporting, is a shooting discipline which forms part of the ‘Federation Internationale de Tir Aux Sportives de Chasse’ based in Paris. FITASC as it is more commonly known, is an international form of Sporting Clays and enjoys a following from all over the world.

Then there’s the Main Event. Shooters take on 100 targets on Saturday and a 100 more on Sunday.

“They must shoot both days to compete for the state championship,” Petersen said.

The event is part of the Minnesota Sporting Clays Association which is the governing body for Minnesota and part of the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) which is based in Texas, Petersen said. This is the Minnesota state competition.

“This competition is open to anyone who is an NSCA member in good standing,” he said.

Giving a tour of his clay shooting grounds, Petersen pointed out the massive dining tent where competitors were treated to a luau Saturday night, with Tom Handelan roasting the hog provided by Boerboom Ag Resources, Petersen said.

Harry Zarn of Richfield and Bill Jolitz of Lakeville were at station two Saturday morning during the second flight.

They were shooting at clay pigeons coming from both sides.

“The Lakeview Trap Team members and parents are shooting referees,” Petersen said.

Many of the shooters said they were out there to have fun in spite of the heavy competition.

“You get to see a lot of friends when you travel around to different shoots,” James Bauman of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, said. “Nate, here at Shooters, does a great job with targets and large shooting tournaments. It’s always fun to shoot here.”

“Nate has come to Kansas to help with our shoots,” Jake Neely of Claythorne, Kansas said.

“Nate sets traps for us,” Brent Flemming of Atlantic, Kansas said. “He’s great with traps.”

More information about the Minnesota Sporting Clays Association can be found at or by calling Nate Petersen at Shooters Sporting Clays, 507-336-2638.