Never one to turn down the opportunity to try something new, a couple of weeks ago Lee and I got the chance spontaneously to try some clay pigeon shooting at Stratford-upon-Avon Clay Shooting Ground, our neighbour at the airfield. The nice chap who runs it is World Champion and former England Captain Carl Bloxham, who’s been teaching here for 30 years. People come from all over the world to shoot with him, so we were really lucky to get the chance to do so.
I have actually done clay pigeon shooting before, though not for many years. The set-up at Stratford Clay Shooting Ground was somewhat more elaborate than what I’d experienced before, with numerous different kinds of targets to keep things challenging. We were dead impressed at how all the clays are remote controlled, and some of them can even be rotated round so that they can be fired off in a different direction if the sun’s in your eyes. After a little practice at holding the rifle in the clubhouse, it was straight out to the first target. The rifle was quite heavy, despite the fact that I got to use a lighter one for ladies, and it was quite a kick in the shoulder each time I fired.
Lee took some videos of my attempts, which I thought might be more interesting than photos. In this one, I managed to hit a disc that was quite cleverly configured to roll along the ground, replicating a rabbit.
This one was harder, as it was flying through quite a wind. Carl was really patient and encouraging, even though I missed most of them! You’ll notice I’m only including videos where I did actually manage to hit the target. ;-)
It was quite tricky because the discs fly through the air pretty rapidly, and you have to aim a fraction ahead of them in order for the shot to coincide with the target at the right time. Carl would fire off a clay or two to show us the direction so we knew where to look for each target.
Overall, Lee was better than me, but it was interesting to see how I was better at some kinds of targets than he was, and vice versa.
A huge thank you to Carl for taking the time to instruct us so patiently, and do check out Stratford-upon-Avon Clay Shooting Ground if you’d like to have a go!