Local 15-year-old Trap Shooter Alfred (AJ) Jermyn is taking the trap shooting world all on his own.
AJ, who has only been competing for just three years, has already built an impressive resume within the sport.
The Plains junior competitor, who grew up within the Plains Trap Shooting Club, has qualified for the “Super Bowl” of trap shooting next month in Spartar, Illinois.
“He is really impressing some of the best trap shooters around, not just in Montana either,” said his father, James. “We would love to be able to take him to ‘the grand’ next month, but unfortunately the costs are a little too much for this year.”
James went on to explain, though AJ is only a junior competitor, just to compete per day, per event can be upwards of $200. This doesn’t include travel and accommodation costs either.
Though AJ will miss the event this year, he will be in Plains for their second tournament.
“It’s a great sport, it really teaches so much to these kids, and keeps them out of trouble. Trap shooting is a hobby he can go somewhere with,” James said.
This certainly speaks true as AJ has just recently secured the Western Zone Singles Champion title in the sub-junior category and also the State Champion title in the sub-junior category.
He hopes this will help secure a spot on the All-State Team, which he was a part of last year.
James explained that, though the numbers may have seemed small for the state finals, with only around 15 competitors at most, it can get fiercely close for these kids.
Sometimes, with only a handful of pigeons separating the places, James went on to say that technique and skill two really important aspects of this sport.
This rings true as AJ then moved onto the Western Zone Finals which is made up of 12 states.
Outshooting the competition from states like Alaska, Hawaii, Arizona, Oregon, California, Wyoming and others goes to show just how great a sport this is for his AJ, who shot 198/200 pigeons to win the title.
AJ has also competed recently in the Big Sky Games to which he received two gold medals and a silver for his classes.
Looking towards the future, both AJ and his dad hope that the sports official youth program AIM will extend through to the local club.
This youth program is designed to help those competitors with scholarships, safe gun handling courses, sportsmanship and responsibility through competition.
Though AJ is still a few years from college, he aims to continue his success in the Trap Shooting world with a goal of being a recipient of the AIM program.
AJ will be at his next local shoot here in Plains on August 5-6.
“We are a club that values all our members, we also like to encourage people to come out and join in on the fun, just like any other club, we are family friendly and love our sport,” James said.