ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Canada native Trell Kaupp has found his niche in skeet shooting

Having lived in Mitchell for just over half-a-year, Trell Kaupp has already won the individual title in skeet shooting during the South Dakota High School Clay Target state tournament, where he competed for the Mitchell Trap Club.

062722.S.DR.SKEETSHOOTING.JPG
Mitchell's Trell Kaupp aims at a target during the South Dakota High School Clay Target League State Championships at the Aberdeen Gun Club on Sunday, June 12 in Aberdeen.
Courtesy photo from Paul Kaupp
We are part of The Trust Project.

MITCHELL — Shooting clay targets has become second nature to Trell Kaupp.

Growing up in Bassano, Alberta, Canada — a town of 1,200 people located 140 miles from the United States-Canada border in northwestern Montana — Kaupp was first introduced to shooting at the age of six and trap shooting, specifically, at the age of eight.

Now, after eight years of growing as a marksman and more than 1,000 miles from where his journey began, the 14-year-old is a South Dakota state champion.

In the early stages of being introduced to trap shooting, he was learning and shooting targets with his dad, Paul Kaupp, three times a week at a local trap shooting club in Canada.

Following his father, who also began clay target shooting at an early age, Trell’s dedication to skeet shooting has paid dividends. Having only lived in Mitchell for seven months, Kaupp’s shooting has consistently improved and the 14-year-old has now earned his first individual state medal.

ADVERTISEMENT

During the South Dakota High School Clay Target state tournament at the Aberdeen Gun Club on June 11-12, Kaupp had the highest score in the skeet competition, hitting 97 of 100 targets to win the event. In four rounds of competition, he hit 24 of his 25 targets three times and had one perfect round nailing all 25 targets.

“It was very surprising to find out I had won,” Kaupp said. “I only average a 90, but with my dad coming to state, I think that added some pressure on me and I somehow got a 97.”

062722.S.DR.SKETESHOOTING2.JPG
Mitchell's Trell Kaupp poses for a photo after winning the skeet shooting event during the South Dakota High School Clay Target League State Championships at the Aberdeen Gun Club on Sunday, June 12 in Aberdeen.
Courtesy photo from Paul Kaupp

With the limited number of trap shooting events, that was the first competition Paul was able to attend since Trell officially joined Mitchell’s Trap Shooting Club.

Before Mitchell, Trell and his father Paul had been shooting partners since Trell was 6 years old, when the pair were shooting paper targets. The trap shooting tradition had been passed down from generation to generation in the Kaupp family, as they are members of five separate clubs in Alberta, where they used to shoot at least three times a week.

The Kaupp family first arrived in the U.S. in 2007, when business opportunities brought them to many states including Colorado, North Dakota and Pennsylvania. They moved back to Canada in 2012, but they began exploring the states to see where they would reside next in 2021. Even though the Kaupp family had never been to Mitchell or South Dakota, it was the optimal destination within the U.S. for them.

“The reason that we moved to South Dakota was one because of low taxes,” Paul Kaupp said. “We also wanted a lower population and to be around good people that are more on the conservative side. With us also having business in some of the surrounding states, South Dakota was in our sights and Mitchell fit the mold for everything we wanted.”

Once they arrived in Mitchell in November of 2021, Paul and Trell quickly got back to their roots and became acclimated with the Mitchell Trap Club. Trell began shooting with the club right away and took an early liking to the Mitchell community.

“We moved here in the winter and with everything I’ve noticed, I’d say that Mitchell is just a really nice town,” Trell Kaupp said. “It’s nice people here and the club is very supportive.”

ADVERTISEMENT

However, a hometown that provided trap shooting events like Mitchell wasn’t exactly what Kaupp was used to. In Canada, Kaupp would only shoot against 3-5 other kids per competition. In Mitchell, Kaupp shoots against a much larger pool of competitors, which includes 50 shooters alone on the Mitchell team and hundreds he faced in the state tournament.

The change of location, which also came with more competition and more people knowledgeable about the sport, has helped Kaupp immensely with his shooting technique and approach.

“Mitchell so far has taught me some new techniques on how to shoot better and my coaches always tell me to focus on one bird at a time. They’ve really helped me a lot,” Kaupp said. “They teach us not to get angry because even though it’s such a competitive sport, we have to just take deep breaths and concentrate. They’ve taught me how to just zone out in a way, not think about much else and that’s helped me quite a bit.”

In his six years of shooting trap, Kaupp has gone from a kid that didn’t particularly like the sport, to now wanting to be the best he can possibly be. As he enjoys his summer before entering his sophomore year of high school, Kaupp already has a plan of how he will achieve his goal and that’s skeet shooting every day of the summer.

“Now that I’m starting to get better, I want to become one of the world’s best,” Kaupp said. “It’s the only thing that I’m good at, so it’s fun having that feeling of winning. When you win, you enjoy it and it’s nice to keep feeling that feeling. … I want to shoot every day and I have a passion to get out there and see how good I really can be.”

Branden is a sports reporter that graduated from Purdue University Northwest with a bachelor's degree in communications and a focus in journalism. He joined the Mitchell Republic in June 2021 and covers prep and collegiate athletics. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Full-Court Press, providing a weekly web-exclusive look at high school basketball throughout all of South Dakota. Branden can be reached at bhull@mitchellrepublic.com and found on Twitter at @bhullreports.
What to read next
Kimball/White Lake's Zak Wallner threw 138 pitches in his second consecutive complete-game effort to punch the Nationals ticket to the quarterfinals of the South Dakota Class B amateur state tournament.
Everything you need to know about the four quarterfinal games, played Thursday and Friday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.
Pick-up player Luke Bamberg of Corsica/Stickney snatched victory from Lake Norden with a two-out two-RBI walk-off base hit in the round of 16 matchup on Wednesday night.
Members Only
The Winner/Colome Pheasants defeat the Lake Norden Lakers 4-3.