Monte sticks to his guns


Photo by coutesy of Noah Monte

Senior Noah Monte displays the goat he took down on a hunting expedition in PoliPoli. He waited about four hours until a herd of goats came into the gulch he was hiding in, and used a Ruger .270 rifle to get the kill.

Senior Noah Monte might be a football player and paddler for Kamehameha Maui, but this athlete takes his abilities to the shooting range, too.

Monte started to shoot casually with his family at the age of eight, and eventually moved on to the Maui Trap & Gun Club’s shooting range in Haliʻimaile.

He learned trap shooting, which is shooting at a single clay target that’s launched from a machine, and sporting clays, which involves shooting at clay targets being launched from multiple points, usually on a more complex course.

After gaining experience, Monte began to shoot competitively at the age of 12, shooting in tournaments on Maui. Despite his shooting skills, Noah hasn’t won any shooting competitions, and says that he gets “choked up” at competitions.

“My scores when I’m shooting with friends and family are always a lot better,” he said.

He stopped competitively shooting during his sophomore year because he was too busy with school work, although he still shoots casually sometimes.

For anyone looking to take up the same hobby, Monte says they just need a “safe, isolated location” where they can shoot. He recommends a 12- or 20-gauge shotgun, and says that cheap clay shooters will do the job for a beginner. He suggests the Do-All Full-Cock Clay Hawk Trap from Cabela’s.

Monte also enjoys hunting, but surprisingly, he doesn’t think that his clay shooting skills apply to the hobby.

“I think hunting and shooting clays are two different things, and require two different sets of skills,” he said.

Noah said that even though there’s the aiming aspect to hunting, that shooting at clay targets helps with, there’s a big difference in the shooting circumstances.

He said that with hunting, a shooter has to be quiet and still, and usually shoots at a target (the animal) that isn’t moving. In clay shooting, the target is moving quickly, and it doesn’t require the shooter to be stealthy.

Although Monte enjoys both shooting at a range with his family and hunting goats in the mountains, this senior is says he really enjoys hitting clay targets.

“My favorite part of shooting is the kick of the gun, and the smell of the powder after dusting a clay bird,” he said.