The M.A.C Bird Busters – a competitive trap-shooting team with 45 shooters from McGregor, Aitkin and Cromwell – recently completed another trap season.

The squad finished fifth in the 7A-1 conference.

The shooters must complete a firearm safety course and follow all the Minnesota State High School League requirements to participate. The team shoots once a week, with two, 25-target rounds, at the Minnewawa gun range in McGregor on Hwy. 65S.

Varsity, junior varsity and novice are determined by the shooters hit average – novice-0-14.99, junior varsity 15-18.99 and varsity is 19-25.

The Bird Busters want to thank the McGregor, Aitkin and Cromwell athletic departments for recognizing trap as a lettering sport. To letter, a shooter must meet all the Minnesota State High School League requirements and shoot an average of 19 or higher.

This year, the team had 17 varsity letter winners, nine of them being seniors. Congratulations to the graduating lettering seniors: Justin Aho, Daniel Beldon, Cade Clays, Aiden Garard, Blake Jatkola, Mitch Lamke, Everett Olesen, Seth Ridlon and Jordon Rinta.

The other varsity letters went to Jordan Paquette, Landon Sorenson, Garrett Guida, Abram Perrine, Wyatt Crowther, Edward Koch, Tucker Korpi and Jacob Anderson.

As the short five-week season concluded, the high gun male and female were established. High gun female went to Jordan Paquette with a 22.7 average. Landon Sorenson and Mitch Lamke tied for first for high gun male with an average of 22.9.

The coaches also voted on male and female most improved, which went to Jax Henderson and Erin Ford, respectively. For the ladies, Jordan Paquette took first in the conference and Jordon Rinta took third.

The state championship tournament was held June 20 in Alexandria, with 30 M.A.C Bird Busters participating. Despite terrible weather, the team placed 16th of 29 teams that day with the top five shooters scoring 463 targets hit out of 500.

Standings for the day were:

• High gun novice male Jackson Dalchow tied for 17th out of 116 with 75 of 100 targets hit.

• High gun novice female Ava Guida tied for ninth out of 74 with 75 of 100 targets hit.

• High gun JV male Layton Carlson tied for 105th out of 241 with 78 of 100 targets hit.

• High gun JV female Kenna Garard tied for seventh out of 53 with 83 of 100 targets hit.

• High gun varsity male Seth Ridlon tied for 44th out of 340 with 94 0f 100 targets hit.

• High gun varsity female Jordan Paquette tied for 15th out of 43 with 89 of 100 targets hit.

Mitch Lamke and Jordan Paquette each walked away with a straight 25 patch and Seth Ridlon and Landon Sorenson each shot two rounds of 25 straight. Thank you to all the parents and coaches for enduring the rain and wind and keeping the shooters going.

The M.A.C Bird Busters would like to thank Minnewawa Sportsmen’s Club for sponsoring the team throughout the years. Thank you to the McGregor Fire Department, MDHA, Dam Lake Sportsman’s Club, Nathan Forster on behalf of the Mr. and Mrs. Voller family, Mille Lacs Energy Cooperative, Ace Hardware and Ukura’s Big Dollar for their support and donations. Also, to Eric’s Guns and More, from Wright, for sponsoring two shooters, donating several cases of shells and another shotgun for the youth league. Eric has donated three shotguns to the youth league which has allowed those who do not own a gun to still participate.

The M.A.C Bird Busters rely on donations from businesses and individuals and time volunteered by the coaches to be successful.

Thank you to head coach Kevin White and team manager Angela Dewitt who volunteer countless hours to keep this program going. Also, to Becky Paquette for helping with the management, and to the coaches Paul Nelson, Samantha Nelson, Dale Vincent, Walt Ford, Tim Bartz, Todd Nutting, Bob Dreger, Ben Horton, Luke Horton, Dan Westberg and Gary Vorlicky for volunteering their time.

We are looking forward to the fall season and recruiting new shooters.

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