Dove season is less than a month away. If your wing shooting could use some improvement then make plans today to go to a local skeet or sporting clays range. Opening day can humble even the most accomplished wing shot, much less one who hasn’t picked up a shotgun in six months.
If you own land in an area where shooting is permitted, you can practice on your own with equipment available at many retailers. You can buy a hand held thrower for just a few dollars and a box of clay targets usually costs less than $5.
When shooting at a skeet course, shooters fire at a total of 25 targets from eight different stations. Depending on the station, a shooter will face clay targets, or "birds," going away or incoming, as well as passing shots and overhead shots.
Sporting clays, on the other hand, is often called "shotgun golf." A typical round of sporting clays consists of 50 targets in a variety of settings designed to mimic actual hunting situations. Shooters will face "birds" launched to imitate flushing quail, fast-flying doves, high-flying mallards and scampering rabbits. Many stations feature a combination, requiring quick reflexes and the ability to make snap decisions.
You don't have to travel far to find a place to shoot. A Web site sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, www. wheretoshoot.org, lists over 25 locations where Oklahomans can go to hone their shooting skills. Shooting sports articles, fact sheets and links to other conservation organizations can also be found on this useful site.