By Ed Carroll
We all remember our first experience with the shooting sports we love—that Aha! moment of excitement and downrange success that has kept us coming back.
Creating that moment is the purpose of the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s new First Shots Clay Targets program, which encourages NSSF-member ranges and clubs to introduce new shooters to shotgunning. Building on the successful First Shots program, which began in 2010 as a way to introduce people to handgunning, the NSSF offers range and club managers a total package of incentives and support, including eye and ear protection provided by Howard Leight/Honeywell, a course handbook, and both financial and marketing support.
In addition to the materials, financial incentives allow many ranges to offer First Shots Clay Targets sessions for free or as little as $25 per student. The support package also includes a $25 discount for participants who complete a survey on the experience and return to the same range for a Second Round. Shotguns, ammo, clay targets and instructors are provided by the ranges.
For all involved, it looks like the effort to promote shotgunning through a safe, structured, fun and inexpensive introduction is creating a memorable experience: 50 to 70 percent of First Shots participants return to the same range for a Second Round.
For more information on how your range or club can offer the First Shots Clay Targets program, visit nssf.org/ranges/first-shots-home/first-shots-clay-targets.