Not only have Bath residents Tim Reed and Todd “Swede” Hanson racked up many awards and championships for shattering targets at the Aberdeen Gun Club, but they’ve also enjoyed success at state and national shoots. They have earned some of the highest honors in the trap-shooting world.
Both men started shooting when they were very young while living on a farm, and their abilities are testament to having who family introduced them early to outdoor traditions.
“We grew up with BB guns, and we shot all the time,” Hanson said. “We were young, we enjoyed it and we practiced a lot.”
“I think I was born with a BB gun in my hand,” Reed said. “We certainly started shooting at a young age. Our grandfathers and fathers taught us to compete, whether it was shooting, riding snowmobiles or anything else. Competition showed me how good a job I was doing and gave me pride in what I did.”
Reed was a natural trapshooter and started shooting during high school with a league in Aberdeen. He also shot at the trap club in Columbia from 1978 through 1980. He then joined the Amateur Trapshooting Association and started registering targets, meaning every round and score he shot went down on his ATA record.
Since joining the ATA, he has shot 60,650 single clay targets, 54,900 handicap and 41,850 doubles. He has won 21 overall South Dakota state titles and many national Grand American and satellite Grand championships.
Over the last several years, Reed has made either the first or second ATA All-American Team. Three trap disciplines include singles, handicap and doubles. Reed is sixth best in the U.S., with a 99.32 percent average for singles. In handicap, he has a 94.59 percent average from the 27-yard line and is 12th best in the nation. His average in doubles is 97.89 percent, which is seventh best in the nation for 2012. He sits in the 12th spot on All-American Team, which is contrived of all winnings at state level and better. At a recent shoot in Vernal, Utah, he shot 885 out of 900 targets for highest overall score.
“Reed is an awesome shooter,” said Truman Nelson, from Sisseton, another trapshooting champion. “He was a tough shooter in the beginning, and he just kept getting better.”
Both Hanson, who shoots a Beretta, and Reed, who shoots a Perazzi, will shoot this year at the Grand American, where there are three miles of trap houses.
Hanson has been shooting trap tournaments since 1985. During that time, he has won 17 state titles and the handicap at the Grand American in 2009.
“I don’t have any strategy,” Hanson said. “I just go shoot and have fun with it. If I win, it’s a bonus.” His wife, Lynn, will accompany him to the shoot.
“My wife, Cheryl, goes to the Grand with me, and it help me feel more comfortable,” Reed said. He is sponsored by Federal Premium Ammunition.
As far as practicing goes, it’s now easier and closer for both shooters because of a newly constructed trap range near Hanson’s home.
Hanson’s daughters, Shelby and Maggie, have both shot league at the Aberdeen Gun Club and participate in state shoots.
“I’m proud of our youth teams in Aberdeen,” Hanson said. He thinks it’s important for youth to start when they are young, and he contributes to their shooting education by coaching them. “We have 28 youth teams, which is more teams than in the state combined,” he said.
Reed has an ambitious summer shooting schedule, starting with Utah, Minnesota and Iowa state shoots. Then it’s on to the Central zone shoot in Sioux Falls, the Grand American in Sparta, Ill., for 10 days and then on to Utah for the Western Grand.