WHAT IS SPORTING CLAYS?
You may have heard of sporting clays referred to as golf with a shotgun, and that’s a fair comparison. Like golf courses, no two sporting clays courses are alike, and terrain and background have a lot to do with how targets are presented. Sporting clays is the closest thing to actual field shooting of all shotgun sports. Rather than having clay birds thrown from standardized distances and angles as with skeet or trap, sporting clays courses are designed to simulate the hunting of ducks, pheasants, other upland birds, and even rabbits. Since there is no set season and it can be shot at any time, many hunters shoot sporting clays to further their wingshooting skills during the off-season. Targets may be thrown from literally any angle or distance to simulate wingshooting, and six different sizes of clay targets are used to further give the shooter the experience of actual hunting conditions.
Sporting clays is typically shot in squads of two to six people and played over a course of 10 to 15 shooting stations laid around fields or around the natural features of the land. The course designer is not limited in target speed, angle, or distance, so every course is different.
The most common target used in sporting clays is the clay that is used in skeet and trap. But sporting clays also uses specialty targets to introduce the illusion of speed or distance in the eye of the shooter, moving at speeds or in the ways of game birds. All can be thrown as singles or pairs.