Clay Target Club sells gifts made from recycled shotgun shells

December 6, 2017

Members of the new Clay Target Club at UW-Stout, including President Emma Kosanke, second from left, sell holiday crafts made of used shotgun shells.

Members of the University of Wisconsin–Stout Clay Target Club recycled used shotgun shells to create homemade holiday crafts.

The holiday crafts were sold Tuesday, Dec. 5, and Wednesday, Dec. 6, from noon to 4 p.m. on the lower level of the Memorial Student Center.

Clay Target Club members Hannah Brotzel and Eli Knott help sell holiday gifts made from used shotgun shells to raise money for the club. “We were really trying to come up with fundraising ideas,” said club President Emma Kosanke, 21, a junior majoring in interior design from Woodbury, Minn. “I wanted to do something that was different and unique to our club that would get our name out there.”

The idea to craft ornaments, key chains and refrigerator magnets from spent shells caught on, Kosanke said. Members of the club used about 100 to 120 used shells in the handmade crafts.

Ornaments were decorated to look like candy canes, penguins and Santa Claus.

Eli Knott, 20, of South St. Paul, Minn., a junior majoring in computer science with a concentration in game design, created the iconic UW-Stout “S” made from shotgun shells and painted the traditional blue.

“Forty-eight bullet casings went into it,” Knott said.

About 25 students belong to the club. Members shoot at the Westgate Sportsman’s Club in Eau Claire, where on-campus students’ personal shotguns are stored. The club was started this fall by Kosanke.

“My family didn’t hunt, and when my school started the club my mom suggested I join,” Kosanke said, who went to high school at the Math and Science Academy in Woodbury. “It really is just fun.”

The UW-Stout “S” was made from shotgun shells by club member Eli Knott.Hannah Brotzel, 19, of Apple Valley, Minn., a sophomore majoring in hotel, restaurant and tourism management, joined the club because she enjoyed clay target shooting in high school.

“I’m competitive,” Brotzel said. “It is an individual sport based on your performance. Anyone can do it.”

Making the holiday gifts from used shotgun shells allowed members to recycle, Brotzel said. “This is a different way so they don’t just go to the trash,” Brotzel said.

Club member Maddie Spain, 20, of Salem, a junior majoring in interior design, said clay trap shooting is a growing sport. She started shooting when she was a freshman at Westosha Central High School in Salem.

Spain believes the sport is growing because people are more comfortable with guns, and in the Midwest hunting is a popular activity. “I think our club is successful because we are trying to get people who haven’t shot before to try it,” Spain said.

The club usually meets Mondays evenings at Westgate Sportsman’s Club. Shooting costs $10, and shotguns are available to borrow for those wanting to try the sport. Membership to the club is $40. For more information on the UW-Stout Clay Target Club contact Kosanke.

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Photos

Top: Members of the new Clay Target Club at UW-Stout, including President Emma Kosanke, second from left, sell holiday crafts made of used shotgun shells Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the Memorial Student Center.

Middle: Clay Target Club members Hannah Brotzel and Eli Knott help sell holiday gifts made from used shotgun shells to raise money for the club.

Bottom: The UW-Stout “S” was made from shotgun shells by club member Eli Knott.