Picture this: it’s a beautiful, sunny day. You and a group of friends decide to take advantage of the weather and head outdoors for a little friendly competition. You play a challenging course, get a lot of walking in, spend a few hours in nature, post some pictures on social media, and end the day with drinks at a clubhouse.
Surprise, we aren’t talking about golf! (Though we love golf.)
We’re talking about sport shooting. Far from being a boys’ club, this sport is growing in popularity among women, and here’s why.
Sport Shooting Is Actually Several Sports
Trap shooting is when a clay pigeon is launched from a single machine, or “house”.
Skeet shooting is when two clay pigeons are launched from two different houses so that their paths cross in front of the shooter.
Sporting clays is when you have a whole course of different shooting stations. There are no standard distances and angles. Instead, sporting clays courses are designed to mimic hunting ducks, pheasants, rabbits, and other game and fowl. Sporting clays is often described as golf with a shotgun.
That’s a comparison Bob MacDonald, Fox Harb’r Resort Outdoor Activities Manager, endorses. He explains, “Like golf courses, no two sporting clays courses are alike, plus the setting and terrain impact how targets are presented and how you approach them.”
Last, Five Stand has been described as more action-packed than trap shooting, without the space rand time requirement of sporting clays. As the name suggests, there are five stations, or stands, and six to eighteen strategically placed traps. Shooters take their turn at each stand, and shoot at various combinations of clay birds.
Sport Shooting Is Highly Social
Throughout his career as a shooting instructor, MacDonald has coached hundreds of brand-new shooters, many of them women. “If you are strong enough to hold a shotgun that’s fitted to you, enjoy games like tennis or pool, and like being outdoors, this is always an exciting sport to try,” he notes.
Some women get into sport shooting for the camaraderie with friends. Others join to meet new people and shooting partners. Many take up the sport because their partner does it, or their children want to try, and they’d like to make it a family event. There are even plenty of mother and daughter teams who shoot together.
And of course, social media plays a role. Friends, the great outdoors, and competition all make for good Facebook posts, which draw more people to sporting clay.
It’s Easy to Give It a Try
Trying your hand at sport shooting is as easy as showing up at a course. No experience is required, no permit needed, no Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) necessary. Fox Harb’r, for example, is specifically set up to provide beginners, even total novices who have never held a gun, with basic training in shotgun safety, handling, proper stance, shooting technique and sport etiquette.
“Our first priorities are to get you comfortable with the shotgun, ensure you and everyone on the course is always completely safe, and to have you hitting targets,” says MacDonald. “After that, we are here to coach, educate and help you decide what to try next.”
Competition Ranges From Friendly to Serious
Want a sport where you and a small group of friends can skip keeping score, but still collect a few laughs and memories? That’s sport shooting.
Want a sport where you can train to get better and compete in serious tournaments? That’s still sport shooting.
No matter what level of competition you’re looking for, sport shooting has you covered.
See New Places & Meet New People
There’s always a new course to try out, new people to shoot with, and a new event on the horizon. “Sporting clay is an amazingly friendly sport to connect with people of all ages and walks of life, doing exactly what they enjoy,” notes MacDonald.
And that golf analogy doesn’t end. “Like golfers, shooters have a home course or our favourites. But we’re keen to try shoot new courses too. Only at one you carry clubs and at the other you carry a shotgun.”
Fox Harb’r Resort has created a sport shooting venue that rivals anything in the world. Whether you are an experienced international wing shooter or a beginner learning proper shotgun handling, we have a sport shooting experience for you. Enjoy the thrill of hunting in Nova Scotia’s pristine woods, the challenge of world-class target shooting and the rustic comforts of our Sporting Lodge. For more on sport shooting at Fox Harb’r, as well as our sport shooting getaway packages, click here.