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Tips for Trap and Skeet Shooting

Skeet shooting is different from shooting steel targets. Trap and skeet shooting helps hunters improve their bird hunting skills, assisting in developing fast hand-eye coordination. Trap and skeet shooting involves a machine throwing clay bird targets in the air.

Trap shooting involves launching targets from a single machine. Skeet shooting is shooting targets from two machines so that they form an intersecting path in front of the shooter.

The best weapon to practice trap and skeet shooting is a shotgun. A 12-gauge is preferable, but people will need at least a 20-gauge. Shotguns can be semi-automatic, pump action or double-barreled and feature a 26-inch or longer barrel with an open choke.

There is a great degree of unpredictability when launching targets, which gives shooters the ability to develop their hunting and shooting skills.

To improve trap and skeet shooting skills, follow these helpful tips:

  • Point and Shoot – When using a shotgun, point the weapon at the target and pull the trigger. These types of shotguns do not have sights, just a tiny bead that is located at the end of the barrel.
  • Keep Eyes Open – Shooters are following moving targets, which means it’s important to keep both eyes open to help track it. Determine which eye is dominant and use that eye to focus on the target.
  • Body Position – The body’s position should be comfortable and relaxed, in a boxer’s stance. This means having the lead leg slightly bent and the rear leg straight. It is important to have a slight bend at the waist, making it easier to bend forward into the shotgun. This helps control the gun’s recoil and allows the body to rotate at the waist and easily track targets.
  • Holding the Gun – A proper hold involves holding the butt of the stock firmly in the shoulder pocket, which is located between the collarbone and arm. The shooting elbow should be parallel to the ground.
  • Cheek to the Stock – The shooter’s cheek should be placed firmly on the top of the stock, moving the head slightly forward, so the nose is approximately one to two inches from the shooting hand. If any length of the barrel is visible, the head is placed too high. Only the top of the receiver and barrel bead should be visible.
  • Swinging the Gun – Swing the front of the shotgun while tracking the bird. When the muzzle covers the bird and makes it not visible, pull the trigger in a quick, efficient manner. It is also important to have follow-through when engaging targets. Resist any urges to swing the gun to the target. Good shooting skills require continuously swinging the shotgun through targets while firing.

It is important that hunters are fluent in shooting both moving clay targets and also steel shooting targets. A combination of these two provides a well-rounded base for shooters.