The Swift Current Trap Club has been called the city's best-kept secret, but it was never intended to be that way. Judging by a recent renaissance though, the secret may just be out.
Only a handful of years ago, the club had dwindled to a dozen or so members. The club has recently blossomed to almost 100 members and is gearing up for continued growth.
The turning point for the Swift Current Trap Club came two years ago when they started up a league shoot that has revitalized the club.
"It started off as a team-building exercise for businesses and organizations within Swift Current and the surrounding area to have a social function outside of work and yet have a competition with other teams," explained member Larry Kruse.
"They came out and practised and competed and they have been here ever since," Kruse added.
"We started that league shoot and that just helped it skyrocket," added Tom Michell, the club's president. "We were thinking it will probably be good and once the league is done that they'll maybe start tailing off and they just kept coming. It was really good and helped us out immensely, so it has been good to see."
The club, located just a few miles east of the city, is currently shooting Tuesday and Thursday nights. They might have to add another night of shooting next year to meet the growing demand.
The club is also in the process of adding new washrooms with running water. They hope to add running water in the clubhouse as well. They also have powered campgrounds on site. They hope to add two or three more trap fields in the future.
They can shoot seven days a week from dawn to an hour or so after dark if they follow through on one proposal that would see them install lights.
"We are going to be a club that is going to be here for quite a few years. We are gearing up for a long stay," said Kruse.
The club is primarily composed of men but they do have a few female members. Kruse pointed out that it is not uncommon to see three generations out shooting together at once. Kruse also noted that they have one member well into his nineties who is still shooting.
Michell has been the president of the club for the past seven years. He has been shooting trap for over 25 years, beginning in Moose Jaw with recreational shooting and then moved on to more competitive shooting.
"A lot is just to meet the people," he explained of his continued involvement in the sport. "You meet a wide variety of people and most of them are really good to get along with and to shoot with ... Then there is the fun of competition too, travelling to all the small different clubs around the provinces where it is good to meet people there and shoot at a different facility."