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Bartholow brothers collect more titles

Foster Bartholow, of Rapid City, right, fires on a target as his brother Matt Bartholow, left, waits his turn to shoot Friday during the South Dakota State Trapshooting Tournament at the Aberdeen Gun Club. Photo by John Davis taken 7/14/2023

Foster and Matt Bartholow have both become natural shooters. The brothers gave up participating in other sports to pursue their passion for trapshooting, which has led to waves of improvement through the years as well as the ultimate success.

“It’s been a lot of fun. I’m lucky to have my brother shooting with me all the time because we have a friendly rivalry,” Matt said. “We always want to shoot better than each other, but we also want to pick each other up when the other one’s not shooting good and everything like that. From a young age we learned that, so it’s been good. It’s been awesome having him be there with me.”

Through the years, both have excelled at the sport, including reaching the pinnacle of becoming world champions. Foster has one world title to his name, while Matt has claimed three world championships, including the past two championships in the doubles event. Matt said the road to the world championship does not come easy.

“It’s different. We kind of start the summer slow and go to the state shoot, and then we’ll go to the Iowa state shoot from here, but then we’ll go to the Grand American after that,” Matt said. “That’s kind of where it really ramps up. It’s a slow build to get there, but once we’re there it gets competitive pretty quick because everyone who shoots really good is always there.”

The Bartholow family once again made the trek this year from Rapid City to Aberdeen for the State Trapshooting Meet at the Aberdeen Gun Club, with Foster taking home the doubles championship on Friday by hitting all 100 targets, beating his brother, who missed just one out of 100 targets. Foster said it was a great honor to take home the state doubles title.

“I feel honored and blessed to be able to take home the doubles championship because it is truly one thing that all of us residents go for every single year, and to be at the top is a huge privilege, and again, a huge honor,” Foster said.

Even though his brother beat him by one target, Matt said it was a privilege to watch Foster win the doubles title.

“He shoots on the same squad as I do, so I got to watch him do it, and I’m always happy for him when he’s shooting really well,” Matt said. “I definitely wanted to hit them all, but there’s no one better that I could have asked for than him to beat me.”

Foster said trapshooting is more of a mental game than a physically demanding one.

“Just like golf, trapshooting is a huge mental game, so if you can stay in the game, it usually helps,” Foster said.

As far as the state competition, both say they enjoy coming back to see fellow shooters and enjoy the camaraderie within the sport.

“It’s awesome. We love coming up here,” Matt said. “They take care of the traps really well here. They seem to run it really well here.”

Foster also says he enjoys everything about the meet atmosphere.

“I love this state shoot,” Foster said. “It’s always one of my favorites to come to, again, just being able to see friends and family that I haven’t for a year. Aberdeen is great to come to. It’s always beautiful country. They throw really good targets. The staff is really good. All the help is phenomenal.”

While they have been involved in the sport of trapshooting for several years, Matt says they do not plan on quitting anytime soon.

“We’ve been in it a long time and we’re hoping to be around a lot longer,” Matt said.


Becky Noble does not let what she cannot do get in the way of what she can do. Many years ago, the Rapid City shooter was dealt with serious, life-changing injuries.

“I was in a car accident 27 years ago, and I’m a paraplegic,” Noble said. “I have a spinal cord injury.”

However, that has not stopped Noble from pursuing the sport of trapshooting. Noble, who shoots in the 22-yard handicap event, described the process she uses to identify the clay targets.

Becky Noble, of Rapid City, takes aim as she competed Friday during the South Dakota State Trap Shooting Tournament at the Aberdeen Gun Club. Photo by John Davis taken 7/14/2023

“It’s all about the process,” Noble said. “Mounting your gun, keeping your head down, and seeing the target come out of the house. Then moving your gun ever so slightly to that target and breaking it.”

Noble says it takes a lot of muscle to shoot a gun when confined to a wheelchair, but also noted that her muscles have gotten used to it.

“When you shoot enough, it’s muscle memory,” Noble said. “You really get the knack for it. It’s called shooting shape. The more you shoot, the more in shape you are, so you’re ready to shoot.”

Noble appreciates the opportunity to be able to compete at the state trapshooting meet, while also building relationships while she is participating.

“Oh my gosh, this is amazing,” Noble said. “We’ve got friends all over the state, and country, actually, because there’s multiple states here, and I’ve been shooting since about 2012 competitively with the ATA (Amateur Trapshooting Association). Absolutely the best part is the camaraderie of all of our South Dakota shooters, of all ages.”


The State Trapshooting Meet not only brings people from all around South Dakota, but also from all over the country and the world. Patrick Lamont is from Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, and has been a regular at the meet. He says he enjoys coming to Aberdeen.

“We’ve come here for probably 10 years now,” Lamont said. “It’s not a whole lot different (than Canada). This is a very, very nice club to shoot, a great background, good competitors. Coming down to South Dakota you just know you have to bring your A game because there’s a lot of guys that can shoot well down here.”

Scott Wingen, of Sioux Falls, watches as a target is launched as he helps calibrate a trap between rounds Friday at the South Dakota State Trapshooting Tournament at the Aberdeen Gun Club. Photo by John Davis taken 7/14/2023

Lamont is a multiple time world champion, winning 10 titles at the Grand American World Trapshooting Championships. He says it took a lot of practice to be able to win 10 world titles.

“Just basically going there every year and just working hard, and sometimes you get lucky,” Lamont said.

For Lamont, this year’s goals are no different than any other year.

“The goals are always to go back to the Grand American and win more championships,” Lamont said. “When you get a championship you get a ring, a championship ring out of it, so the goal is always to get more rings.”

This year’s state meet continues through Sunday at the Aberdeen Gun Club.

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