We’ve partnered with Jules Country Pursuits, an inclusive members club that organises country pursuits and celebrates the great outdoors! Julia Truscott, its founder, is passionate about making country pastimes accessible to all. One such pastime she promotes is clay pigeon shooting, which, as Julia informs us, is an excellent way to destress.
The Spanish Boot Company is offering our customers a special deal of £10 off (per ticket) all clay pigeon shooting events with Jules Country Pursuits. Just visit the website and use the code juleslaunch2021 when booking. The membership is a free trial for three months for anyone who signs up before the end of the year.
We recently gave you some ideas for fabulous stocking fillers, but if you’re looking for alternative or activity-based Christmas gifts, a day’s clay pigeon shooting with family or friends could be the answer! Don’t know anything about the sport? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on to find out more.
What is Clay Pigeon Shooting?
Clay pigeon shooting is a sport that involves shooting clay targets - sometimes called ‘clays’ - with a shotgun. These targets are disc-shaped (they don’t resemble pigeons) and are launched from a device (or ‘trap’) into the air, simulating the flight of a bird. They are shot at and break apart when hit.
The shotgun fires a cartridge with hundreds of small pellets. These fly towards the target in a formation. Although the large number of pellets might make it seem easy, hitting one of the targets involves precision, strong hand-eye coordination, and requires practice and patience.
However, the country pastime can be enjoyed at any level. Whether you’ve never touched a gun in your life or you’re a professional (yes, clay shooting is an Olympic sport) it doesn’t matter, anyone can learn and give it a go.
Clay pigeon shooting it more flexible than game shooting, it is not dependent on the season, can be played at any time of year and there’s no dress-code. Though, we would of course recommend a pair of our boots, which are perfect for the occasion!
There are three main disciplines of clay pigeon shooting: trap; skeet; and sporting, which involve variations in the direction and trajectory of the targets and the formation of the shooters.
A Brief History of Clay Pigeon Shooting
The sport is only just over a century old. It began as a cruelty-free alternative to the aristocratic pigeon-shooting competitions of the nineteenth century.
Artificial shooting targets were introduced in the 1860s. They didn’t start out as clay discs though, and it took much trial and error to produce the perfect shooting target. Everything from cricket balls, stones and potatoes were used, and in the very beginning, the targets were glass balls containing feathers! Eventually, an American inventor produced and patented the clay disc in the 1880s.
Today, the terminology that the sport uses is a hangover from the original pigeon-shooting contests. The clay targets are still referred to as ‘birds’, the hits as ‘kills’ and a missed target is a ‘bird away’.
Clay Pigeon Shooting Today
While originally a sport confined to the upper classes, today, clay pigeon shooting is available to all. Fantastic organisations like Jules Country Pursuits and Shotgun Chelsea Bun Club are striving to change perceptions about country sports with their fun and relaxed event days. The latter is an award-winning club specifically for women, and both pride themselves on being supportive, close-knit and social communities.
So, if you want to try out something a little different, what are you waiting for? Check out some of Jules Country Pursuits’ upcoming events and book yourself and friends into a day of clay shooting. Don’t forget to use The Spanish Boot Company’s code: juleslaunch2021.