Wednesday, August 4, 2004
Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs shooter Pete Schroeder compares sporting clays to golf with a shotgun.
Last weekend, Three Quarter Circles Sporting Clays gave Steamboat a taste of the sport when it hosted a registered target shoot in conjunction with a Ducks Unlimited fund-raiser for the wetlands conservation. The National Sporting Clays and Colorado Sporting Clays associations sanctioned the event.
"I've been shooting shotguns since I was 16," Schroeder said. "It was great to have this kind of event here in Steamboat."
Schroeder said he grew up competing in sports such as skeet and trap but has been thrilled to see that sporting clay events, such as the one held in Steamboat, are catching on.
Schroeder said while shotgun-related sports such as skeet and trap shooting have been around for some time, sporting clays are relatively new in the United States. In sporting clays, shooters must move among stations where the targets are launched in different ways. The targets might be moving parallel, away from or directly at the shooter. The target might be launched straight up in the air, or along the ground to simulate the flight of a bird.
Targets may be launched one after another (following pair), one immediately after the shooter takes a shot (report pair) or at the same time (true pair) to test the shooters skill at hitting multiple targets.
In last weekend's event at Three Quarter Circles, shooters moved among 12 stations, shooting clay targets. The shooters earned a score based on how many target pairs they broke during the cycle.
Ron Mower of Thermopolis, Wyo., won Saturday's event by breaking 88 of the 100 targets.
John Grey of Spring, Texas, Pam Lozier of Thermopolis and Dave Brown of Evergreen all scored 86 hits in the contest. Matt Riveria of Denver and Schroeder each scored 79 hits in the event.
On Sunday, the shooters returned to the range, where Dave Brown was the high man, breaking 81 of 100 targets. Mower and Schroeder followed with scores of 78.
Mike Hogue, who owns and operates Three Quarter Circles, a 40-acre shooting club west of Steamboat, said sporting clays is one of the fastest-growing sports in America.
He said anyone with the ability to fire a shotgun could take part in the events, which require solid hand-eye coordination and quick reflexes. He said men, women and children compete in sporting clay events across the country.
Competitors are placed in classes based on their ability level and can be moved up or down based on their most recent scores.
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