Sporting Clays Seen as Best Prep for Real Bird Hunting

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — Making shots on wildly flushing birds can be one of the most challenging feats in all of hunting. It takes skill and practice—lots of practice—for wingshooters to reliably fill their game bag on each hunt, and the folks at wanted to know, what type of shooting event best prepared sportsmen for hunting a covey of quail, diving doves or even fast-crossing mallards.

Of all the various shotgun shooting games that involve busting clay targets from the sky, the one competition that survey respondents overwhelmingly chose as the best practice for real-live hunting situations was sporting clays. In fact, just over 53% of surveyed sportsmen said sporting clays was the type of shooting that best prepared them for actual bird hunting.

Skeet was the second most popular means of preparing for a bird hunt being selected by 26 percent of sportsmen, followed by trap with 15 percent. Wobble stand and 5-Stand were both the choice of approximately 3 percent of those surveyed.

“Sporting clays has certainly been one of the most popular and fastest growing types of clays shooting in recent years and the perception that it best prepares shooters for true hunting situations could be a big reason for that popularity,” says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at, and

To help continually improve, protect and advance hunting, shooting and other outdoor recreation, all sportsmen and sportswomen are encouraged to participate in the surveys at, and/or Each month, participants who complete the survey are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.

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About, and Launched in 2006,, and help the outdoor equipment industry, government fisheries and wildlife officials and conservation organizations track consumer activities and expenditure trends. Survey results are scientifically analyzed to reflect the attitudes and habits of anglers and hunters across the United States. Follow them on Facebook at and or on Twitter at!/AnglerSurvey and!/HunterSurvey.