PIGEON-SHOOTING, a form of sport consisting of shooting at live pigeons released from traps. The number of traps, which are six-sided boxes, falling flat open at the release of a spring, is usually five; these are arranged 5 yds. apart on the arc of a circle of which the shooter forms the centre. The distance (maximum) is 31 yds., handicapping being determined by shortening the distance. The five traps are each connected by wires with a case (" the puller "); a single string pulled by a man stationed at the side of the shooter works an arrangement of springs and cog-wheels in the " puller," and lets fall one of the traps; it is impossible to know beforehand which trap will be released. At a fixed distance from the centre of the traps is a boundary within which the birds hit must fall if they are to count to the shooter. This line varies in distance in the various clubs; the National Gun Club boundary being 65 yds., that of the Monaco Club being only 20 yds. The charge of shot allowed must not exceed ij oz. The best type of pigeon is the blue rock. From the start of the Hurlingham Club at Fulham in 1867 pigeon-shooting was a favourite sport there; it was, however, stopped in 1906. The principal pigeonshooting centre in England is now at the National Gun Club grounds at Hendon. The great international competitions and sweepstakes take place at Monaco. An artificial bird of clay, now more usually of a composition of pitch, is often substituted for the live pigeon. These clay birds are also sprung from traps. This sport originated in the United States, where, under the name of " trap-shooting," or inanimate bird shooting, it is extremely popular. At first the traps invented threw the birds with too great regularity of curve; now the traps throw the birds at different and unknown angles, and the skill required is great. In clay-bird shooting the traps usually number fifteen, and are out of sight of the shooter. The Inanimate Bird Shooting Association in England was started in 1893.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)