Wild Marsh was the place to be for shooting enthusiasts the last weekend in August, as the club hosted the 2023 MN State Sporting Clays Championship. It was their third time hosting the state’s best target-busters, and this year 247 shooters from across Minnesota participated.
“Wild Marsh was honored to be chosen to host the 2023 MN State Sporting Clays Championship and have Federal Cartridge be our title sponsor,” Manager Debbie Mortensen said. “It is the feature shoot for Minnesota and having the Foley and Zimmerman (high school) trap teams here as Referees for the main event added to the atmosphere, just seeing all those young people around the grounds gives us joy.”
The event offered 750 registered targets over the four day shoot, including the Federal Main Event 200, Remington Prelim 100, Wild Marsh Super Sporting 100, two 25 bird FITASC Par courses, 50 bird 5 Stand, 50 bird each for small bore (410 bore, 28 gauge, 20 gauge), Small Bore True Pair and 12 Gauge True Pair.
The huge event took a great deal of coordination, as the events were spread out over 120 acres.
“Promatic trap machines, target setters, and another gun club from southern MN were hired so we had enough machines and help to get it all laid out,” Mortensen said. “We launched over 170,000 targets over the 4 days.”
The MN State event was obviously a highlight of the year for the business, which still boasts incredibly strong numbers for its summer shooting league that runs from April 15 to August 10.
This year, 540 members joined the league to form 60 big teams and 54 buddy teams.
Mortensen said that the flexibility of the league makes it very popular with shooters, as the team members can shoot anytime during regular business hours.
“We end the season with a party fun-shoot, including clay target games and a Hog Roast followed by an award ceremony and prize drawings which included a Henry Golden Boy 22.” Mortensen said. “League sign-up opens in March and anyone can join the league by forming their own teams of two, or bigger teams of between five and eight shooters.”
Wild Marsh has been open since May of 1989, when owners Chris Mortensen and Dennis (Zeke) Steininger opened their course and tabbed Debbie to be the manager.
A league round of sporting clays offers shooters the chance to travel to 8 different stations to take aim at 50 clay targets that come from different angles and speeds.
More information about the sport can be found at http://www.wildmarshsportingclays.com/.