#Claypigeon shooting was actually derived from the original sport which used live pigeons. In Europe, a special breed of pigeon was used called a zurito (Columba oenas) more commonly known as a stock dove. Tournaments and competition during beginning to mid-twentieth century were worldwide. In the 1900 Paris Olympics, live pigeon shooting was one of the events.
During the early 1920’s, there was a worldwide movement toward the better treatment of animals. As you can imagine, live pigeon shoots received plenty of attention during this era. Anti live pigeon shooting activists argued that shooting captive pigeons was not only unsportsmanlike, but that it was also cruel. The sentiment for changing live shoots spread throughout the UK, And these competitions were made illegal in the UK in 1921.
But since the 1860s artificial shooting targets had also been introduced. The artificial targets made shooting available to more people who couldn’t afford to go on shoots for live game.
The glass balls, which were sometimes filled with feathers, Clay targets, designed as a dome-shaped saucer, were patented in 1880 in the US, first being used in Britain in 1882. In 1888, Cogswell & Harrison created targets made from lime and pitch, making them easier to break.
The terminology used by clay shooters relates to when live-pigeon shooting competitions were held. Targets are still usually called a ‘bird’; hits may be referred to as a ‘kill’ and a missed target as ‘bird away’. The machine which projects targets is still known as a ‘trap’.
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