Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Setting skeet targets

I've touched on this in the past and I will probable do so again in the future, but some clubs just cannot seem to get targets set correctly for registered skeet.

The best targets I shot this year was at the Fairfield club in Connecticut. I shot on four fields and the target setting was the same from field to field. The targets were right on the money. It was a pleasure to shoot at the club and I will be making a return visit.

This is the exception and not the norm at many clubs.

One problem is target distance (speed of target). I suspect that some clubs don't have the distance markers set correctly. I shot at one club in 2005 where the low house distance stake was off by five yards. I assume the lawn mower guy knocked it over and at the end of the day he just placed it where he thought it should go, maybe it was knocked down several times over a summer or two, but I will never know. All I know is the stake was not at the correct distance and it was a tough 100 targets. One of the shooters when we finished walked off the distance and discovered the problem.

Three or four yards can make a big difference in target speed. Get the tape measure out and check the distance to the stake, don't assume!

Second and most likely, is that target distances are not set under NO WIND conditions, something that cannot always be accomplished the day of the shoot because of winds.

If you have to chase after the second target on doubles on station 2 or 6, we have a problem. And, if a 15mph wind is blowing and the high house bird is hitting the distance stake with the target going into the wind, we have a problem.

Someone has to get down to the club a few days before the shoot when the wind is not blowing and check to see that targets are going through the middle of the hoop and hitting the bottom of the distance stake on all fields. After that, you don't let anyone mess with the spring just because the wind is blowing and the targets are falling short or going past the distance stake. Check the rules if you think I don't know what I'm talking about.

Speaking of the hoop. Make sure it's at the correct height. I shot at one club where it was to short.... I finally took a tape measure out to show the club they had a problem.

One last problem at some clubs. Slanted or tilted pads. Please get someone to level the pads. Two people with a long pipe, a 2x4, shovel, and gravel can level a pad in five minutes.