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What is Skeet Shooting?

A shotgun is used in skeet shooting.
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  • Written By: Kathy Hawkins
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 April 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Skeet shooting is a type of target sport in which the shooter uses a shotgun to hit moving clay targets, which are sometimes referred to as "clay pigeons." There are many regional clubs where members have skeet shooting competitions, and skeet shooting is also a competitive sport in the Olympic games, although it is only open to men.

Skeet shooting was invented by a bird hunter, Charles E. Davies, in 1915 under the original name of "clock shooting." The game was modified slightly and reached a wider audience over the coming years, and in 1926, Davies held a contest to determine a new name for his target shooting game. The winner was Gertrude Hurlbutt, of Dayton, Montana. Her entry, skeet, was based on the Scandinavian word for shooting. The new sport of skeet shooting became very popular throughout the United States, and was even used for a practical purpose: during World War II, soldiers practiced skeet shooting to master shooting at flying or moving targets during wartime.

Today, skeet shooting is a common hobby for people of all ages. Though most fans of the sport are male, there are also a fair number of women involved with skeet shooting. For friends or families, skeet shooting together at a sporting club can be a fun activity. For the serious skeet shooter, there are a wide variety of skeet shooting competitions all over the country.

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To get involved with the sport of skeet shooting, you will need to purchase a shotgun, ammunition, and safety gear, such as a shooting vest and safety goggles. If you have a large, private yard, and would rather shoot there than at a club, you can purchase your own clay traps and discs. If you have never done shooting of any kind before, you should also enroll in a gun safety course, which will teach you about proper use and storage of your shotgun. If you have children in the home, or ever have children over to visit, such a course is essential to keep your house safe.

For hunters, or those who just enjoy target sports, skeet shooting can be a fun way to pass the time. If you enjoy skeet shooting, you can also try other target sports such as trap shooting and sporting clays.

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