LAUREL — Aaron Gould takes a deep breath before hoisting the clay targets into the air. Several shots ring out rapidly and smoke spreads through the air as he completes his task.
Aaron has managed to shatter all seven of the clays before they hit the ground. The crowd erupts with applause as a smile breaks across Aaron’s face.
The Gould Brothers — Aaron and Steve — Exhibition Shooters performed their skills at a birthday party for their cousin, Dan Gould, at his Dixon area home last week.
“I enjoyed the show very much,” Dan Gould said. “It was fun to watch the reactions people had.”
Based out of Alexandria, Minn., Aaron and Steve Gould have traveled around the county doing their craft for private and public audiences alike.
They’ve traveled to Illinois and West Virginia this year among more. They’re also scheduled to pay visits to places such as Arkansas and Ohio in the coming months.
Another one of their services is to perform at faith-based events. They not only perform but also offer to read their interesting testimonies on their journeys to dedicating their lives to their Christian belief.
For just shy of an hour, this particular exhibition featured the brothers showing off their skill to an audience of over fifty members.
“They’ve got a future ahead of them,” Helen Gould said.
The pair shot moving targets with their guns behind their heads, through their legs, behind the back and other compromising positions. They also shot vegetables and fruit as small as a grape.
One of the duo’s goals is to instill inspiration in kids and adults to help the hunting and shooting heritage live on. If the interest isn’t encouraged, they fear eventually kid’s opportunities to hunt and shoot will dwindle and the heritage will die.
Although the brothers share the same passion, their stories are very different.
Aaron’s love for shooting sports started when he was young.
Squirrel hunting was where he began to build his skill level. Before long, he was able to hunt with muzzle loaders, compound bows and shotguns.
Getting a later start, Steve’s interest in shooting didn’t occur until college.
“Six years ago things started clicking,” Steve said.
Steve and Aaron started shooting together five years ago and have been performing publically for the last three years.
It’s taken a lot of work, but they have enjoyed every minute if it.
In June, the team was inducted as members of the Winchester Repeating Arms Pro Staff Shooting Team.
“Aaron and Steve Gould are partners in one of the hottest, most exciting exhibition shooting teams to enter the scene in decades,” Winchester’s website said about their new members.
Both having other jobs, the brothers are hoping to make their passion for shooting a full-time career.
“We’re building a company together as brothers,” Aaron said.
“We’re away from our families [when we’re traveling] but we’re still with family.”