How to Start a Trap & Skeet Business

by Shanika Chapman; Updated September 26, 2017
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The sport of trap and skeet shooting takes shooting to a whole new level. Instead of firing their weapon of choice at fixed targets, in trap and skeet shooting participants challenge their skills by shooting, typically via shotgun, at mobile clay targets from various stations around a field. With skeet shooting, targets are launched at high speed from different angles, and cross one another. Trap shooting differs in that only one target is shot at a time. The target is also launched away from the shooter.

Items you will need

  • Permit
  • Zoning approval
  • Warning signs
  • Targets
  • Trap house
  • Skeet and trap machines
  • Liability insurance
  • Safety policy
  • Website
  • Instructor
  • Employee
Step 1

Contact your county clerk to learn the rules and regulations governing trap and skeet ranges in your county. Your range must meet strict safety standards, which include shot containment, hours of operation, noise mitigation, liability insurance coverage and proximity to other occupied properties.

Step 2

Find a location for your range and contact your zoning authority to confirm that the location can be zoned. Land considerations include access to electricity, pro shop size, the number of fields you will have and parking for tournaments to include RV hookups. Look for well-drained, flat land. According to the National Skeet Shooting Association, you can expect to need at least 45 acres with about three more acres for each extra field. If offering carry permit classes, you’ll need a classroom.

Step 3

Develop a site plan of the entire range to include property lines, existing structures, proposed structures, shooting stations, firing lines, shot-fall zones, target areas, access areas and parking. Refer to National Skeet Shooting Association to see plans on how to construct your fields and how to situate your stations. Submit your application for your permit to your county clerk along with proof of liability insurance coverage.

Step 4

Outfit the perimeter with warning signs that meet National Rifle Association guidelines. Begin construction of your fields for trap shooting and skeet shooting, a pro shop, and a food area, such as a grill, seating area, barbecue pits and a gazebo. Situate your fields to avoid sun glare. On your field construct high and low houses, install skeet and trap machines and create out-of-bounds and distance markers. Purchase targets and shotguns and ammunition if you intend to rent them. Generally, shooters supply their own guns and ammunition. However, if you intend to sell firearms, you must apply for a federal firearms license.

Step 5

Hire a certified NRA instructor to offer instruction. If necessary, hire someone to man the cafe or grill, run the pro shop or work the fields.

Step 6

Purchase a website for your range. Develop a Rules and Policies page that details general policies and procedures such as age and supervision requirements for minors, smoking and alcohol policies and other general safety policies, as well as a Field Safety policy for safety gear, gun safety and ammunition requirements. Include operating hours, directions, league and tournament information and any discounts such as for locals, military or college students.

Step 7

Draw in business. Start by joining the National Skeet Shooting Association and the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation. Get involved in the community. Join your Chamber of Commerce, attend locals fairs and festivals, volunteer at schools to help get youths interested in the sport.

About the Author

Shanika Chapman has been writing business-related articles since 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Science in social science from the University of Maryland University College. Chapman also served for four years in the Air Force and has run a successful business since 2008.

Photo Credits

  • man shooting a bird image by Nickolay Bolshakov from Fotolia.com