The Beginner’s Guide to Trap Shooting | NSSF Let's Go Shooting
The Beginner’s Guide to Trap Shooting

Trap is a great way to prepare for upland season. It’s also a blast. Here are the skills and manners you need to get started.

The Challenge

At your call the oscillating trap throws a target at a consistent height but at an unknown angle somewhere within a 34-degree arc. The bird rises quickly, levels off, and falls 50 yards from the trap.

“Perhaps the most confusing five minutes a person can spend in their life is the first five minutes on a trap field,” says Gil Ash of OSP Shooting School. In this video, aptly titled “How to Shoot Trap,” Gil provides a great synopsis for those new to trapshooting. He explains how he approaches each station on a trap field. By knowing the proper hold points and focal points for each station, you can see great results from the start.

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The Skill

Mount the gun to your hold point, then look over the trap; house. Call “pull.” See the bird and read its angle before moving the gun. Think about shooting the bottom edge of straightaways, the leading edge of quartering shots, and a foot ahead of hard angles. Shoot as the bird is rising or as it levels off. Keep your head on the stock until after the bird busts.

How to post your new high score. You have 25 shots — five each at five posts. Make ’em count. Chris Philpot

Read more about trap shooting hold points and manners at Field & Stream


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