Trap Shooting Overview

Trap shooting was originally developed, in part, to augment bird hunting and to provide a method of practice for bird hunters.


Post or Station: Refers to the position on the trap field where you stand and shoot.

Round: One complete cycle consisting of five shots from each of the five posts, which will require 25 shotgun shells and 25 clay targets.

Squad: The group of shooters that line up together on the different posts during a trap event.

Bird, target or clay: A clay pigeon

“Pull”: The verbal command to call for the target to be released. Other commands may be used.

Change: A command that is called when everyone changes post positions after shooting five shells from a post.

Trap shooting basics

Clay targets are thrown by a trap in a “house” or “bunker” set in the ground at the front and center of the trap field. The clay targets fly up and away from the shooters, who are positioned behind the trap house on the “shooting line.” The targets are thrown from a trap that oscillates from left to right, and because the trap is out of sight from the shooters, the shooters don’t know which angle the target is going to travel until they call for it.

There are five Posts on a trap field. The left position is Post 1 and the far-right position is Post 5. The shooter in the Post 1 position is the squad leader. The squad leader always shoots first after the shooters move to a new Post. NCRGC only has Posts at 15 yards from the trap house and does not accommodate scoring handicaps.

Making your way around the posts

Shooters each line up on a post / station and then take turns shooting. When ready, the shooter on Post 1 loads their gun and calls for a target. The shooter on Post 2 then takes their turn, followed by the shooter on Post 3, etc., until all shooters have taken a turn. The next shooter should only load their gun and call for a target after the shooter on the previous post has taken their turn. This is repeated until each shooter has had five shots from the Post that they are on.

After all shooters have fired five shots from their Post, the command “Switch” will be given and the shooters all move to the next post and repeat, with the shooter at Post 5 moving to Post 1.

This repeats until all shooters have finished the round by firing five shots from each of the five Posts, totaling 25 shots/targets.

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