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Sporting Clays

What is Sporting Clays?

Sporting clays has its origins in England. The game is designed to simulate bird shooting in the field, except it is done using clay targets. Unlike the confined field of trap and skeet, Sporting Clays is set on a walking course in a natural environment. Shooters, in groups of 5 or 6 walk around a course that usually has 12 to 15 shooting stations. Each station is designed to simulate a certain species of game, such as crossing mallards, rising pheasants, quail, duck or rabbits. Target presentation names have root in game species such as “springing-teal” and “running-rabbit.” A round of sporting clays usually consists of 50 or 100 birds and is mostly done in a competitive challenging environment.

Sporting Clays at SGC

The Saskatoon Gun Club has a 16 station walk around sporting clays course with each station having 2 machines. The course is continually changed throughout the shooting season. The difficulty level has been designed so that there are target presentations for all skill level of shooters. We try to set it for 30% beginner, 50% intermediate and 15% challenging and 5% fairly difficult. It is laid out so that there will be a mix of these targets all throughout the course so that experienced and beginner shooters can shoot in a group. Some targets are “true-pairs” and others are “report-pairs.”

While a typical round is 100 targets, you are welcome to shoot as few or many targets as you choose from any one station. They typical shooting will be 6 targets from every station, with 2 stations you will shoot 8 targets. (** note you will need to purchase at least a 100 shots on your card for a full round of sporting clays at SGC – see pricing here)

The targets thrown are tracked by an electronic card system, so individuals can select which targets they shoot at and the system will deduct targets each time a target is launched. So if you want to sit at that challenging station trying to figure it out, or if you are a beginner and are enjoying hitting a particular target, that is totally acceptable. We just ask that when another shooter comes to the station you provide them with a turn to shoot, then continue having fun shooting.

There is a multitude of presentations, including rabbits, springing teal, midi, overheads, chandelle, battue, crosser, incomer, outgoing, quartering in and away, 2 towers.

The course is easy enough to walk (1.4 kilometers), however, for those who would like to have a comfortable experience, we have golf carts available to rent.

There is a bench and garbage at at each station. Please pick up your hulls after your group is done shooting at the station.

At this time, there are no washrooms on the course, you will have to hold it until you get back to the clubhouse.

Types of Sporting Clay Target Presentations

Each path has a rise, apex, plateau, and falling portion.

Incoming: Launched toward athlete.

Outgoing: Launched level or below the stand. Sends targets away between 11 and 1 on the clock.

Crossing: Nearly right-angles to athlete.

Quartering: Targets cross at other than right angles.

Passing: Target come from behind and pass directly overhead.

Skeet Shooting

What is Skeet Shooting?

The term “skeet” refers to an old Scandinavian word meaning “to shoot.” It stands for competitive, target shooting sport that was invented in America in 1920 by several Massachusetts men who wanted to improve their aim before hunting season. Their system of simulating the flight patterns of live birds with hand-propelled clay targets began as a spirited game between hunters. Today, a modern version of that game has become an international sport in its own right – for non-hunters and hunters alike. It is the skill and thrill of marksmanship that unites all skeet shooters.

What Constitutes a Round of Skeet?

A round of skeet for one person consists of twenty-five shots, the object being to score the greatest number of broken targets. The targets are a combination of going away, incoming, and crossing targets at 30o, 60o, and 90o. They are shot in singles from each side and then a pair.

Competitive Shooting

The Saskatoon Gun Club is home to Canadian Olympic style skeet champion Richard McBride.

Trap & International Trap

What is Trap Shooting?

The word “trap” refers to the usage of a trap in which a live bird was placed and released on command and then an attempt was made to shoot it. The earliest printed description of this sport was in Feb. 1793 in England. It became one of England’s most popular sports and migrated to the United States in 1831. The evolution of the sport replaced live birds with glass balls and then clay targets. The clay is called a “bird” and the machine which throws the bird is the “trap” and it is housed in a “trap house”. The shooter is 16 yards behind the trap house, and targets rise and fly away from the shooter. The shooter moves moves in a semi-circle throughout the round to change the angle and difficulty of the going-away shot.

What Constitutes a Round of Trap?

A round for one person consists of 25 shots, five each from five shooting stations, the object being to score the greatest number of broken targets. Most competitions shoot four rounds for a total of 100 targets.

Trap Field
Trap Field

What is International Trap?

International or Olympic Trap is a faster version of the trap game. The targets are thrown about 75% faster than ATA trap. While ATA presentation is ± 22 degrees and only one height – about 2.3 meters, International trap goes ± 45 degrees and the height varies from 1.5 to 3.5 meters. A computer controls the machines so that each shooter gets the exact 25 targets, just in unpredictable order. Each shooter gets two shots at a single target, and moves stations after each shot. Finally the shells are limited to 24 gram of shot (slightly less than 7/8 oz). This is the game one must master to get to the Olympics or other Major games like World Championships, the Pan-Ams or Commonwealth Games.