Sporting Clays Shooting Events Offer Targets All Year

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PHOENIX — Shooting enthusiasts can add another item to their to-do list each month. There will be a monthly organized sporting clays shoot at the Ben Avery Clay Target Center in Phoenix from May though the end of the year. Each shoot is sanctioned by the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) and hosted by the Arizona Sporting Clays Association (ASCA). Multiple classifications for all skill and interest levels will be available.

There will be six sanctioned brackets, master and classes “A” through “ E“, as well as a hunter’s non-registered bracket. Entry fees for new shooters of sanctioned brackets include a one-year membership to NSCA and ASCA. Each sanctioned bracket has a winner’s payout purse, while the hunter’s bracket winners are awarded prizes.

Although these are sanctioned events, they are not only for pro or seasoned shooters.

“These are very social events, and both shooting organizations are very welcoming and encourage new shooters,” states Keith Newby, program project specialist for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “Experienced members are willing to assist new shooters with event rules as well as tips on becoming a better shooter. It is always a fun time.”

Registration typically begins at 7 a.m. with shooting starting at 9 a.m. Each course is typically 15-stations with 100-targets and will consist of five-person squads. Dates and event names titles include:

May 17 – “Harris’ Hawk” Open

June 29 – “Flaming Target” Open

July 26 – “Peregrine Falcon” Open

August 23 – “Dove Season Primer” Open

September 20 – “Gettin’ Ready for Quail” Open

October 26 – “Spooky Bird” Classic

November 15 – “Wild Turkey” Open

December 20 – “Holiday Goose” Open

Akin to golf, sporting clays is a course designed in natural landscapes to simulate a hunting experience with multiple stations and target presentations using clay targets. Standard targets are just over four inches in diameter, with some specialty targets barely over two inches in diameter. They are thrown by mechanical throwers that launch the clay target at a variety of speeds, angles and distances. The result is a relaxing stroll through the Sonoran desert landscape for an unforgettable shooting experience.

The Ben Avery Clay Target Center located on the grounds of the Ben Avery Shooting Facility on the northwest corner of I-17 and Carefree Highway in north Phoenix. The entrance is on Archery Drive off Carefree Highway, 1 ½ miles west of I-17 and then follow the signs.

For more details or to preregister visit the Ben Avery Clay Target Center’s Web site at or call (623) 434-8119.