Learn Environmental Clay Shooting
On my first day at The Lodge at Blue Sky, I signed up for a sporting clay lesson since it is one of their signature adventures. I was a bit nervous because I had never shot a shotgun before. I inquired as to what my options were to learn how to shoot clays. I had never shot a gun before, but I really wanted to understand how it was done and if I would be any good at it. Luckily, there is an option to receive private instruction on shooting clays as a beginner as well as different level courses.
After breakfast, I met with my instructor to begin my lesson. I was a bit nervous since I have never shot a shotgun before. Before I even held the gun, the instructor covers gun safety and the basic principles of sport shooting. Not only was this important, but it helped me feel more relaxed around the gun. All of their instructors are certified through the West London Shooting School, one of the oldest and most prestigious shooting academies in the world. This really put me at ease quickly.
I thought I was ready to start shooting practice after that, but I was told the next thing to learn was how to stand and hold the gun. This is vital to actually being able to hit the target, which definitely makes the whole experience more fun. The instructor told me the way he stands and how to adapt the stance to make me feel balanced while shooting. I got more excited about actually beginning to shoot now that I had the gun in my hands.
A few unloaded practice shots were taken to help improve my vision focus so I could see the target coming. The day was clear and cloudless, which helped me to see the clay against the clear blue sky. I always thought you would follow the mark with the gun and then shoot, but really you focus your vision in the direction the clay is coming and only pivot slightly with the gun. I am sure if no one had told me, I would have turned my whole body to the target and probably never hit a single clay.
While I felt totally at ease with the gun at this point, I now really want to be able to hit the clay. Before I hit a clay, the sounds of others shooting and hitting their targets motivated me to keep trying. Finally hitting a clay was thrilling and the sound of the clay breaking apart made me jump for joy.
As the sun rose higher in the sky the shooting ended and I asked some questions about the sustainability of clay shooting at The Lodge. The instructor told me that the clays are biodegradable and help to fertilize the land when they break apart and the bullets are made of paper so they can be recycled.
Once I have some more experience, I would love to come back to The Lodge and complete some of their sporting clay courses and see how I would do on a course compared to learning. Not only did I leave my vacation refreshed, but I learned a new skill that is fun and rewarding at the same time. I can’t wait to do it again.