Clay shooting is marksmanship, but it requires mastering certain skills to succeed, including rhythm, good form, coordination of hand and eye, and decision-making. To enjoy the countryside during the offseason and to fortify your skillset for hunting, clay shooting is a sport of thrill. Likewise other sports, one should have to follow the etiquette of sports and behave like a sportsman. A sportsman is expected to be a skilled, trained, deferential, and sociable person.
Let’s review some etiquette for cogent sportsmanship.
1. FOLLOW BASIC RULES OF FIREARM SAFETY
In all the disciplines of clay shooting, whether you are going for local club practice, national or international level, you should know about the basic rules of the sports organization before entering for the gunshot. You must be familiar with firearm safety while holding a shotgun. You must know the following etiquettes of shotgun handling during practice.
- A shotgun should not be loaded when not in use.
- When not using the shotgun, to ensure sports safety, place your fingers off the trigger of a gun.
- Make sure that the shotgun is always aimed at clay pigeons and should not be pointed toward any other object.
- Keep the action open for safety reasons. Consider the gun loaded, even if it is unloaded.
- When moving from post to post, make sure there are no shells left in the gun.
- Don’t raise the gun until it’s your turn.
2. SHOW RESPECT TO FELLOW SHOOTERS
The mainstay of clay shooting is to give every shooter the maximum opportunity to break every target possible in each turn and to make the sport safe and enjoyable.
- Good sportsmanship is necessary to make shooting sport congenial for everyone. So, respect the other shooters and follow the “Golden Rule” of sportsmanship state that: Treat every other shooter and all volunteers the same way you expect to be treated.
- Before touching someone else’s gun, ask them. Shooters are generally not happy if someone else handles their gun without permission.
- Do not disturb other shooters when you are having a bad day. Always be courteous to all the shooters.
3. MAINTAIN A SQUAD RHYTHM
- Trapshooting requires reflexive and coordinated movements of the body, especially the coordination of hand and eye. Establish a rhythm with other shooters to keep track of your turn so that shooters enjoy equal opportunity to hit the target.
- Practice the time management you spent on one station. Taking more or less time will interrupt the squad rhythm and cause distraction.
- Don’t make the squad wait for you, be punctual. Before arriving at the bank, make sure you have taken all the necessary equipment with you.
4. SHOW SPORTSMANSHIP AS A LEADOFF SHOOTER
You should immediately take the field when your squad is up to the bank. You should also be attentive before starting the competition, between the rounds until the scoring has been done. As a leadoff shooter, once you take the field, ensure that the squad is ready to shoot. Do not assume and shout, “Everyone ready, puller ready” instead, you should check the preparation of the squad by yourself.
Look back at the puller to ensure they are properly oriented. Then you can call for a show bird; meanwhile, load your gun and call for your first target. When you have completed your round, check your score and politely ask your squadmate to verify their scores before you sign the sheet. Now proceed to the next field.