In sporting clays, I often hear the term “technical targets.” What does this mean?
A “technical target” refers to the way in which a target is presented or thrown and is characterized by inconsistent speed or line through the natural break area.
A skeet or trap target would not be considered a technical target, as the speed and line are fairly consistent through the break area. With a technical target, the target’s line and speed are less well defined and often deceptive with subtle changes in line and speed through the area where most shooters would choose to break the target. Any target that is losing its line, losing speed or transitioning in a way that is deceiving is considered a “technical target.”
In the early days of sporting clays, most all presentations were straightforward. After all, sporting clays was originally intended as a means to maintain one’s bird hunting skill in the off-season with most presentations mimicking birds in the wild. The incredible advancement in trap technology over the last ten years, and the corresponding sophistication and creativity of target setters, has led to an increase in technical targets and therefor a rise in the difficulty of your average registered tournament course.
The increase in technical targets has also led to the more frequent use of movement techniques beyond the traditional methods of sustained lead, pull-away and swing-through. Often times, less gun movement and techniques such as intercept and diminishing lead are more effective on technical targets. The most talented target setters, regularly engaged for the national championship, US Open and PSCA qualifiers, are those that can make targets fly in a way that baffles and deceives.
The best way to combat a technical target is to observe all targets carefully during pre-shot planning in an effort to uncover the subtle changes in line and speed throughout a targets flight path.