Ken is a technical writer and has spent the majority of his career documenting storage hardware and software products for start-up companies. Although start-ups demand long hours, he always finds time to get to the club and break some clays. Ken is not a shooting instructor and he is not a professional shooter. He’s part of the majority of people who love to shoot clays just for the sheer fun of it.
I see the solution for breaking a clay target as a puzzle. For every target I must assemble a set of pieces. When pieces fit together, targets break.
It is now December, and here in the Northeast where I live, December marks the beginning of winter. Winter can be a difficult time to be outside, and the added layers of clothing will change the geometry between you and your gun and can restrict your range of motion.
It is the end of a round of sporting clays. Scores are added up and the cards are either turned into a referee or tucked away, never to be looked at again. In either case, only the scores are looked at. All of the data points at each station are usually ignored.
Are you that guy? I was. I think there’s a little bit of him in most of us, and a lot in some. Who is he? He’s the guy who misses a few targets and gets so frustrated that he misses even more. A lot of shooters are just a few misses away from becoming that guy.
A lot of people (like me) have gone to a gun store, shouldered their soon-to-be-shotgun, looked down the barrel and thought that it fit just fine. And so did their friend who came along with them, and most likely the salesperson as well.
From this day forward, let it be known that my name is Ken, Destroyer of Rabbits and Obliterator of All Targets that have the Audacity to Roll Before me.
Since this column is titled “Confessions of an Average Clays Shooter” it’s time to make a confession:
I shoot in tournaments.
There, I said it. It’s out in the open.
It’s going to happen; or maybe it already has. If it has, there’s a VERY good possibility it will happen again.
Yes, sooner or later, even if you are only half-way serious about shooting sporting clays, you will take lessons. And if you’ve already taken lessons, you will take more in the future. The questions are: When? What will motivate you? Who will you call?
The shotgunning websites and magazines are full of stories about the pros and lots of "How Tos" from instructors.
I can read all about a pro's experiences or how a top-notch instructor recommends approaching a particular target.
Now, there's nothing wrong with any of this, it's valuable information that I read and use everyday.