HEY! HOT SHOT!
Summer is the time to get your shot in shape in between those fishing trips. Whether you shoot trap, skeet or sporting clays, there’s a fun way to get your aim down well ahead of any hunting season. We break down the basics of all three forms of recreational shooting in today’s Three Things, and give you some ideas on where to get the lead out in ND!
After scattered rains and a few rumbles of thunder overnight, cooler temps prevail for a few days.
Today: Wed 6/7 – Canadian high in place. Hi 79, Lo 48, Winds N @ 8 mph.
Tomorrow: Thu 6/8 – Easterlies all day. Hi 82, Lo 52, Winds E @ 13 mph.
Sunrise: 5:49am Sunset: 9:35pm
Moonrise: 7:46pm Moonset: 5:07am
Overhead: 12:01am Underfoot: 12:23pm
Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous (97% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 5:00 – 6:00 am. Get up early to catch moonset and sunrise for a great dawn fishing opportunity. With light winds, it should be smooth sailing for whatever you’re angling for as the moon gets fuller and fuller. We’re entering prime time for the month of June, so get ready for a steady increase in action into the weekend!
TRAPPED! Trap shooting is perhaps the most basic form of recreational target shooting. From five stations located 16 yards behind a house where the trap thrower is placed, shooters take aim at clay targets thrown forward at various angles. Trap has become a highly competitive sport with a rapidly-growing following, spurred in part by the exponential growth of the USA Clay Target League and the success of Team USA’s Kim Rhode, the only woman to medal in six straight Olympic Games. Any shotgun can be used to effectively shoot trap, which also increases its popularity, and modified or improved modified chokes are fairly common and most often used for 16-yard trap shooting.
SKEETER. Skeet shooting was initially designed to simulate those explosive moments in bird hunting, as targets are launched singly and simultaneously from a high and low house, while the shooter moves around a semi-circle between the two structures. As the targets are often launched close to the shooter, or coming at him or her, a more open choke like Improved Cylinder or Skeet is recommended. Additionally, an over-under or semi-automatic shotgun provides the best chance at taking down those doubles.
BE A SPORT. Where the confines of skeet leave off in the simulation of flushing birds, Sporting Clays picks up. Sporting clay courses consist of a number of stations, where shooters take aim at various simulated hunting situations such as incoming geese, flushing ruffed grouse, even bounding rabbits on the ground. Typically in rounds of 25 or 50 clays, the varying presentations of targets on a Sporting Clays course test the ability of a shooter to gauge distance and shooting points of each target to match their gun, choke, and of course, skill.
So clean up that old 870, find a shooting sports facility near you and have fun this summer!
(Featured Photo: The USA Clay Target League has expanded to over 20 states, including North Dakota. The state had over 900 students participate in its league this year. Courtesy Don Atcher)