Outdoor Articles

Rules of Etiquette

by Pursue The Outdoors on November 30th, 1999 in Competition Shooting

Here’s a few rules to abide by when shooting registered shoots. Very handy to know when attending your first shoot and a refresher for those who know better but forget the rules.

When Not Shooting

  • When walking with your shotgun always make sure the action is open. The rules are generally well observed here but a good reminder anyway.
  • When in Vendor’s Row shouldering those new guns do not point the gun at people. Yes, we know the gun is unloaded but it’s also rude and uncaring for those who see the muzzle bore staring at them. Find a place alongside the Vendor’s stand and point with courtesy. We all have made this mistake as our mind in on the new gun and it’s easy to forget this rule.
  • When watching shooters shoot keep conversational volume down, especially for the back fence shooters.
  • Do not speak to shooters who are walking from trap to trap during the event. Many are in deep concentration and they need to remain focused. Talk after the event ends.
  • Keep your dogs on a leash and under control. Not everyone loves your pet and it is a nuisance if your dog is running around leaping on peoples legs, chasing other dogs, etc. If your dog barks at night do something about it. A veterinarian can prescribe a sleeping pill for the pet or other anxiety medication. People need to get some sleep!
  • Be careful when walking near gun racks or you may bump the rack and knock over the guns. When pick up your gun from the rack do so slowly as you turn to walk away with the muzzle facing down or up. There is always someone behind you who you can hit with the muzzle if you are not aware of this fact.
  • Do not let your children run around bumping into people. Assign them to a play area to play games, not in the clubhouse.
  • Keep the restrooms clean. Do your part to make the experience enjoyable for the next person. If you drop papers on the floor please do pick them up. If the trash can is full and overflowing simply tell management about it and they will remedy the problem.
  • If you enjoyed the shoot tell management. Send them a little letter or note. These people work very hard to conduct a registered shoot and a compliment often is all that is needed to reciprocate the joy you had to them. If there are problems? Tell management not other shooters. They can’t solve a problem if they are not aware one exists.
  • Leave your camping space the way you found it.
  • When having late night gatherings keep the music down or off. Don’t yell and laugh loud after 10 p.m. Respect the other shooters who want to sleep. Sure, you won’t hear complaints about it from trapshooters but still keep your fellow campers needs in mind.

When Shooting On The Line

  • Never turn around on post facing the puller or audience with the gun facing in their direction. The gun must always be facing up or down. Keep the gun pointed into the trap field when changing posts.
  • If you shoot a semi-auto use a shell catcher. It annoys shooters to have shells flipping at them.
  • Do not fumble around with excessive body movements when waiting your turn to shoot so as not to disrupt other shooters on the squad.
  • Keep a reasonable squad rhythm going, not too fast, not too slow. Sometimes you can’t if the squad is in error machine-gunning at rapid pace. Ultimately you have to play your own game, but keep the rhythm in your mind as best you can.
  • Check your reloads and your gun before shooting. Constant dud loads and gun jams will certainly destroy your scores…and the squad will silently thank you for being professional.
  • Don’t be afraid to turn down a target if you must. It upsets the squad rhythm but that’s expected in the game.
  • Do not be rude to the puller if you receive slow or fast pulls. Simply check the switch button first to make sure it’s working okay. If it is, then kindly instruct the puller to stand up or stand closer to hear your call. If this does not solve the problem the puller may be tired. Ask for a replacement puller, politely.
  • Do not talk to other shooters on the squad during the event unless they are open to conversation. Do not make comments like; “Those targets are hard to see today.” This sets up other shooters for a fall in scores and it will do the same for you! Watch out for what you think, for as you think it will be.
  • Do not load your gun until you are on station and the muzzle is facing into the trapfield.
  • Watch the warning flag on the traphouse! Do not load if the flag is showing. Unload your gun when the flag rises. And don’t forget…some trap setters have poked their heads out of the traphouse not raising the flag. If this happens stop the squad and have management instruct the setter never to do it again.
  • If you are squad leader then be the leader. Make the decisions as best you can and be fair, but don’t be a boss. If you see a safety violation you must speak up about it. If you see a target being scored as dead when it is not you must not allow the score to be registered. Don’t start any emotional arguments on the line. Call for the Field Captain to resolve the problem. When in doubt ask the scorekeeper to place a question mark by the score box. If you see a squad member abusing staff tell the shooter you’ll handle the situation, then do correct the problem with flair.
  • If two broken targets emerge from the house in succession ask to see one more. If the target is faulty stop the squad and have the trap machine checked out by the maintenance crew.
  • Do not start shooting until the puller and the scorekeeper is ready. Ask first. You’ll receive better targets.
  • Make sure the scorekeeper calls out the scores at the end of each 5-rounds and correct any discrepancies before resuming shooting.
  • If you win or lose in a shootoff, shake hands with your competitor before the shooter leaves. It’s tough losing so be a good sport and make the loser feel like a winner.
  • Do not rush other shooters when changing stations or changing traps. Allow some time for the squad leader as they have a bit more to do than you do and they need a tad more time to get ready for the next trap.
  • If you drop targets do not become emotional and fling hulls or exhibit other angry outbursts. It only makes you look amateur and is very disruptive to other shooters. Control thy emotions less they ruin your game.

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