Out From the Rabbit Hole

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.

OK, so that may be a little much, but I have had a serious breakthrough in my shooting.

Everyone who knows me knows I have had major issues trying to hit rabbit targets. I’ve thrown cases of ammo at those things. Techniques? Yeah I tried them all. Pass through, sustained lead, just focus on the leading edge, you name it, I tried it.

How bad was it? It was so bad that one day while throwing lots of ammo at a rabbit target, an instructor who was giving a lesson at another station interrupted his lesson, came over and worked with me. It was an act of kindness that I truly appreciated, but it was in vain.

Nothing worked for me. And that’s a very important statement. For other folks, any of these approaches may have worked fine. I was the one with the issue.

To add further to the problem, I convinced myself that I could not hit a rabbit. I could have become a poster boy on Lanny Bassham’s website as an example of what not to do.

Another strange aspect to this problem was how superstition began to play a role. For example, based on a success sample of two broken rabbit targets, probably accidental, I became convinced that I could hit them by using pass through. Although I never hit more than those two initial targets, I kept trying to apply that method.

life-size-rabbit 51CF3C24 large

Again, pass through maybe a fine method for some, or even most folks, but clearly it was not meant for me.

So what happen?

I was shooting a round at Addieville East with a few friends. There were two rabbit stations. As we approached the first station, the usual set of jokes started, “Oh man, I don’t even want to get caught up in your bad mojo for rabbits” and “Don’t waste the ammo, just take a zero.” 

I missed the first three rabbit targets. Somewhere in the cemetery of my memory, a comment from my friend Mark came to mind.  “When I shoot rabbits, I focus on the exact center of the target.” 

What followed was truly a thing of beauty. My friends pull more and more rabbit targets for me and I turn them all into dust. Not just a chip here and there, but dust.

A few stations later we shot the second rabbit station. Each of my shots turned the rabbit targets into dust. I do believe I’m on to something!

The final test, and the one that caused me to bestow the high and mighty rabbit title on myself, was the Maine State Sporting Clays Championship held in Scarborough Maine.  This was a course deserving of a state championship. And because the trap setter has a huge sense of humor, he set up station three as a simo double rabbit shot; one black, one orange. To make it just a little trickier, the orange one did not appear until a few moments after the black one. This was meant to play havoc with your focus and concentration.

Eight rabbit targets, eight broken rabbits. I have lived long enough to see the Red Sox win a World Series and long enough to learn how to break rabbits.


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.


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