Shooting and hunting conjure up the image of English gentlemen in tweeds and cap with a healthy respect for the countryside. Shooting in countries such as England, Scotland and Ireland has been a tradition for hundreds of years. From the mid-1800s, Victorian and Edwardian hunting weekends, known as Saturday to Monday house parties, were legendary. Pheasant shooting or hunting wild game was known as the sport or kings as royalty and aristocrats often participated. Hunting on horseback, in particular fox hunting with hounds, was traditionally, and remains today, the bastion of the privileged. Shooting was, and is, an exclusive domain by virtue of the fact that you either are a landowner, or enjoy a similar social status to be associated with one, to shoot an animal. According to industry sources, trap shooting evolved from box-bird shooting in England in the 1800s. The first clay target, a Bat disc, was introduced between 1883 and 1887. Clay targets and clay pigeons furthered the development of trap shooting and subsequently, a new discipline known as sporting (also known as sporting clays) resulted in the 1900s. Before clay targets were invented, glass balls were filled with smoke or feathers and thrown by hand in the 1850s.
In the UK, the hunting season begins with grouse on August 12 and stretches until February. Everyone gets dressed up, has nice shotguns and bring their trained gun dogs. It's a society thing and it is among friends; as an exclusive party consisting of between 15 to 20 guns. The shoot is much bigger with staff and families and where people come and eat and drink. As long as you are trained and safe, a gun is like a tool. Safety and gun handling is a veiy important part of the training. As in all sports there are certain tactics, skills and techniques. In practical shooting, you try to have economy of movement, rhythm and "Put together correctly, it becomes poetry in motion". It is not just blastinq away. It can, and should be, graceful "smoothness'. Safety is of paramount importance, People who join are put through training and proficiency tests. The sport attracts ambitious and affluent people in their 30s and above.
The field sports of shooting, fox hunting, and fishing, while developed in eighteenth century England, were refined, in terms of etiquette and protocol, in the nineteenth century. A major function of field and equestrian sports was the reassurance of privilege and patronage. The eighteenth century game laws, by imposing a property qualification on sportsmen, effectively denied all but county gentlemen the right to take game or even to possess a gun. Shooting as a sport for gentlemen and aristocrats and their guests took shape under the aegis of the landowner with his country house, estates in Scotland and parties of house guests. Such field sports were exclusively the recreational domain of the nobility, aristocracy and landed gentry.
During the period from 1883-1887, significant changes in shooting were witnessed when the first clay target was introduced in the game.
This form of clay shooting was well included in the Victorian and Edwardian hunting parties, where numerous birds were used as targets. People used to do regular practice of their shooing skills. In fact, institutions such as the shooting schools in London catered the desires and installed traps and towers that would facilitate flight of game birds. Later, many others targets were introduced as a discipline in shooting. Also, during this era only, it was given the name of sporting and tournaments were held in London to promote this sporting activity.
Clay shooting is the art of aiming at special flying targets. This sports activity has a long history as it was commenced way back in 1880. At that time, pheasant and grouse shooting were mainly popular in the UK.
The allure of shooting has two aspects: it brings back the hunter/gatherer days (and) it requires a lot of discipline, practice and concentration.
With trap shooting you need determination, persistence and good hand-eye co-ordination. The clay discs are flying at 130-150km/hr and thrown out to 76m.