Get on target by shooting at clays

Clay shooting is fun.

Even if you are not a hunter, shooting clay targets out of the sky with a shotgun is a blast.

If you are a hunter, then ethical hunters must hone their shooting skills before entering the field in pursuit of game. Summer is a perfect time to do this, and nothing is better practice for wing shooting than skeet, trap and sporting clays.

Sporting clays is often compared to golf, because you follow a course and shoot from multiple stations, like holes. No two sporting clay courses are the same, so you have to adjust your shooting to each individual station on the course. Targets come from all directions. They come from the sides, over the top of your head, right underneath you and straight at you.

Having to adjust to the differing shots is what makes shooting sporting clays so much fun. It’s also what makes it so much like hunting. You never know where a quail may flush or from what direction a duck may approach. Learning how to make quick and accurate shots on a sporting clays course will prepare you for the same sort of experiences in the field.

Trap is pretty easy, so it is a great way for new shooters to cut their teeth on flying targets. The clays are always moving away from you at predictable angles. Once you get the hang of it, the targets are fairly easy to hit. This helps build confidence that will carry over into the field. A round of trap includes 25 targets. A shooter moves through five shooting stations. Five targets are thrown from each. You can shoot trap with one person or with as many as five, so it’s a great way to practice shooting while having fun with family and friends.

Skeet is similar to trap but with added difficulty. There are eight shooting stations and two trap houses. Seven of the stations are arranged in a half moon shape between the two trap houses and one station is directly between them. There is a high trap house and a low trap house.

The high trap house is on the left side of the field. It throws targets 10 feet above the ground that rise to a height of 15 feet in the center of the field. The low trap house target is on the right side of the field. It throws targets 3-1/2 feet above the ground. These also rise to 15 feet in the center of the field. A round of skeet consists of 25 targets. A shooter takes 17 shot as singles and 8 as doubles.

Sporting clay, trap and skeet shooting are all great ways to hone your wing shooting skills while having a great time with family and friends. A simple online search should direct you to a shooting location near you.

If you can’t find a course or club near you, there are many models of personal clay throwers you can purchase to throw targets yourself. These range from as simple as personal hand thrower to automatic machines. You can set up your own shooting opportunities with a minimal investment in a thrower and a box of clay targets.

See you down the trail.