Clay Target Prep for Hunting Season

November 3rd, 2018|Categories: Hunting, Shooting Tips|

When the success of a hunt is so often gauged by how many birds you come home with, hunters must do everything they can to stack the odds in their favor. Using the off-season to hone your skills as a shot-gunner will lead to more birds in your bag at the end of the day. The majority of successful hunters will tell you that they shoot a lot of clays in the off-season, and “practice like you play” is as true in this situation as any other. In the clay target shooting world, that means shooting the same amount of targets (or more), wearing the same type of clothing, and using the same choke tubes in practice as you would when you shoot in the field. This type of repetition increases a shooters comfort level and helps to work out any kinks that could potentially arise. This [...]

The Battue Target

August 5th, 2018|Categories: Shooting Tips|Tags: , |

Earlier this month, a reader emailed to say that for as long as he could remember – in a shooting career of nearly ten years or so – the battue had always been his bogey bird.  He went on to say that it was often the battue that ruined his scorecard and sometimes made the difference between winning his class and being in the middle of the pack. I too have had my fair share of bad experiences with the battue. To this day, I still recollect the left-to-right battue that was thrown over the pond on station 13 – the last station - of the 2011 Michigan State Championship. It cost me three losses and a perfect score. I had a 97 that day.  Providentially, the battue is now a target in my comfort zone. It’s time it be in [...]

The Looping Chandelle Target

June 26th, 2018|Categories: Shooting Tips|Tags: , |

In this issue of Target Tactics, we are going to examine the strategies for crushing the chandelle target. The chandelle, or arching target, is thrown vertically off of the trap’s arm, usually showing full face or full belly to the shooter. Why the weird name? The word “chandelle” originated from the aircraft aerobatics world. It designates an aircraft maneuver where a pilot executes a steep climbing turn accompanied with a simultaneous change in. It is a maneuver designed to show the pilot's proficiency in controlling the aircraft while performing a minimum radius climbing turn at a constant turning radius. The chandelle target mimics this movement. General Technique There are essentially three different ways for a target setter to utilize the chandelle – quartering in, quartering out, or crossing. Determining the line of the chandelle target at your breakpoint is critical. Pat [...]

The Outgoing Trap Target

June 26th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

The straight-away, or trap-style target, is perhaps the most straight-forward of any target you may encounter on the course. It’s undoubtedly one of the first target presentations you ever learned to break. Having said that, people seem to miss more straight-away targets than they should. For the purposes of this Target Tactics article, let’s characterize the “trap target” as any presentation that consists of a machine in front of you launching the target away. Sometimes straight away, other times angled to one direction or another. In many ways, the trap target is similar to the teal. The significant contrast being that the trap target is usually lower in height and edgier. Whether you’ve found yourself uncomfortable with the trap target once again, or you are just missing one here and there, this article is for you. The objective of this installment [...]

The Teal Target

June 26th, 2018|Categories: Shooting Tips|Tags: , |

Whether you are new to sporting clays or at the top of your game, you’ve likely had the teal target eat your lunch. The springing teal can be petrifying, but why? At close distances, the teal is everyone’s favorite target. Its vertical trajectory displays the target’s full face or full belly. It’s like a garbage can lid; how could you possibly miss? Add distance, speed and height to the mix and the teal quickly evolves from the target you can’t miss to the one that’s got your number. The chances are it’s the high, fast and bloody far away teal that has you flummoxed. Like any target, solid technique is the key to consistently crushing the teal clay. Technique No one strategy will work for every teal. You must analyze each teal you encounter with a plan that best suits your [...]

The Driven Target

June 26th, 2018|Categories: Shooting Tips|Tags: , |

Pushed off a high hillside hundreds of yards in front of the guns, soaring, perhaps with a tailwind that makes him even faster, a tall, driven pheasant is one of the most testing targets one will ever encounter in the field. In this second installment of Lieske’s Target Tactics, we will discuss the clay counterpart to this tricky shot: the driven target. Though seldom thrown in the states, primarily due to its safety concerns, the driven target can pose a serious threat to your scorecard. The relative level of inexperience that most shooters have with the driven clay makes it one of the most challenging targets you can encounter. Visually, think of the driven target as an overhead target, but in reverse. In order to simulate the height of a driven pheasant, target setters typically employ a tower or high bank [...]