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Go to the Vancouver Trap Club (Wed night and Sundays I believe) and practice up. ...
Sat and Sun 10AM to at least 1:30PM, but as long as there are shooters they stay open. Same deal for Wed. but the hours are 3:30PM to at least 6PM.

Non-members pay $8 per round. They sell trap loads for $10 per box and have rental shotguns for $5 a day.

Coaching is available for free (and they love first timers to the sport to come out and try if anyone out there has yet to try this very fun game) and you can bring your own shells but are limited to size 7 shot or smaller due to safety fan issues.

They also have loaner vests for free, which is important since you need a handy place to hold shells. You don't want to be fumbling with hard to reach pockets or have to be stooping down to grab a shell from a box set on the ground.
 
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Go to the Vancouver Trap Club (Wed night and Sundays I believe) and practice up.
I used to use nylon, waterproof chaps.
Don't wear anything "fuzzy" like fleece that will pick up seeds.
If you're hunting over dogs, you'll usually have advance notice of a bird about to flush.

Let the bird get out a few yards before taking the shot if it's a close flusher.
Went there today with my wife and shot a couple of rounds. Everyone there was really friendly and super helpful. We will probably become members. And I need a ton more practice….
 
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Went there today with my wife and shot a couple of rounds. Everyone there was really friendly and super helpful. We will probably become members. And I need a ton more practice….
I was there today as well. Great weather for December. You only need to shoot a handful of rounds for a membership to pay off. If you'd like, PM me the next time you are headed out and perhaps we can meet. I'm there a lot lately as my daughter has taken a strong liking to trap shooting and I like connecting with forum members.
So they offer lessons at that club?
It's a volunteer club so there are no instructors per se. There are a number of excellent shooters there that are very happy to give instruction and advice, especially to new shooters. I pick these guys brains every time I'm there and learn something valuable when I do. Just let Trevor (the guy taking money) know what you'd like help, and he will connect you to whomever is there that day. These folks will give up their own shooting to help others, it's a great bunch.

The first trap field is basically held open for new shooters and instruction. If you are having problems connecting, they will stop the trap from oscillating so that you see the same trajectory each time. That really helps to get a mental picture of what a good swing and lead look like. If they need to stop the shooting to coach a shooter, they do it on this field. It takes the pressure off of learning and nobody else shooting will mind. So you can make your mistakes in a lower stress setting.
 
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I was there today as well. Great weather for December. You only need to shoot a handful of rounds for a membership to pay off. If you'd like, PM me the next time you are headed out and perhaps we can meet. I'm there a lot lately as my daughter has taken a strong liking to trap shooting and I like connecting with forum members.

It's a volunteer club so there are no instructors per se. There are a number of excellent shooters there that are very happy to give instruction and advice, especially to new shooters. I pick these guys brains every time I'm there and learn something valuable when I do. Just let Trevor (the guy taking money) know what you'd like help, and he will connect you to whomever is there that day. These folks will give up their own shooting to help others, it's a great bunch.

The first trap field is basically held open for new shooters and instruction. If you are having problems connecting, they will stop the trap from oscillating so that you see the same trajectory each time. That really helps to get a mental picture of what a good swing and lead look like. If they need to stop the shooting to coach a shooter, they do it on this field. It takes the pressure off of learning and nobody else shooting will mind. So you can make your mistakes in a lower stress setting.
Great info! Thank you. I will definitely take you up on your offer. My wife decided to part with her 20 gage benelli so as soon as we find her a new shotgun we’ll be back out there for sure.
 
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This coming January I am going on my first hunting trip in Echo Or. Going with experienced hunter friends and a guide so I’ll be be in good hands.
I have a few questions about clothing. Specifically in January should I go out and buy some water proof overalls? I have a good set of waterproof hicking boots, orange vest and orange hat. Trying to figure out what to wear besides jeans. TIA.
You do a LOT of walking out in the field, so footwear is EXTREMELY important.
"Galoshes" ain't gonna cut it.
Good tough flexible leather boots THAT FIT. WELL.
Get'em now and go for a walk in them every day. By the time your hunting trip comes around they'll broken in.
Waterproof shoes would be helpful, but even if they're not, there are waterproofing compounds you can apply to your boots, so comfortable walking over waterproofing, but if you can get both, that would be a good thing (my dad talked my mother into cooking Goose for Xmas dinner a couple of times and he kept the drippin's from the pan. We put that Goose Grease on our boots every year. Worked like a champ!).
After that, a nice light lined hunting coat that is waterproof should be all you need. Maybe a hat, and a shooting vest, of course.
Back in the old days, JC Penny's had a line called "Big Mac" and through that they sold a denim jacket with an indian blanket lining.
I wore that on a few hunting trips. Not waterproof, but it kept me warm and wasn't so puffy that I couldn't move in the thing.
These days, I might look at some Carhart working coats and jackets. They look to me like they'd tick all the boxes.
Also, GLOVES.
There's not much to stop the wind out there and your hands can so cold, so fast, you'll hardly be able to hang onto the gun before you ever jump any birds.
Again, light but warm. You need to be able to hit that trigger when the time comes. Fingerless gloves can help, but you should really have a full set, fingers and all.
Mittens with the little flap that you can fit your fingers through never worked for me, because it took too long to get my fingers out.
Something slim enough to fit into the trigger guard, warm enough to keep the wind off you and flexible so you can pull the trigger at will.
From there, you just have to go and try stuff on.
Don't worry if you find your intial ensemble lacking on your first outing.
Like most things, it takes a few tries to get it all just right.
Good luck and happy hunting.
 
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As to shot size and loads, Pheasants haven't suddenly become bulletproof, and preserve birds will not be bigger or heavier plumage than average. Nearly all birds will flush close. Shooting a heavy 12ga load with #4 or #5 shot will produce hamburger. In 57 years of hunting upland birds (much of it in Montana where wild late season birds WERE a bit more hardy) #6 shot was always the order of the day, and no more power than a standard high-base load was used. After a few years at it, my father and buddies decided by experience that #7-1/2 shot resulted in more head shots (lots more BB's), and we stuck with it.

12ga "field loads" (low base) are entirely sufficient for preserve hunting.

On the preserves, you will see the "aficionados" carrying 20's and 28's rather than a 12ga. They want to enjoy themselves even through the shot, and a 12ga Magnum is not to be enjoyed. The little guns knock the snot out of Pheasants, and like light rifles, everyone shoots them better.

While Pheasant is delightful fare, on a preserve I prefer to spend my money on Chukar. Most outfits will turn out more Chukar than Pheasant for the same money, and I much prefer them for eating: All white meat and great flavor. More shooting and better vittles. Can't beat that.

Oh, and keep a strategic distance from your partners that did not bring a vest: they'll want you to carry their birds.

Have fun!
Spitpatch knows!
You don't need $80-a-box ammo. Good ol' "Duck & Pheasant", or even standard field loads, bring dinner home every time and they won't break the bank.
My personal "Gold Standard" since the late 70's (different gauge is ok, but the load is the point)....

Winchester_20GaAmmo.jpg
 
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Pheasant are mostly rising shots going away, mostly. IMO that what trap simulates. Sporting clays would be kinda a waste of time and money. But it's good for a general tune up. Stick with the trap.

Most new pheasant hunters shoot over or under the pheasant, keep your head down and your mount solid.
Practice leading the bird, swing thru and ahead. Most newbies try to rifle shoot the bird by figuring out where it is going to be, putting the bead there, and smashing the trigger. It works if you are really good at nailing running deer or rabbit (sporting clays is good for rabbit), but long term it is better to learn shotgun fundamentals. Swing... like a golf club... follow thru!!!
 
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Spitpatch knows!
You don't need $80-a-box ammo. Good ol' "Duck & Pheasant", or even standard field loads, bring dinner home every time and they won't break the bank.
My personal "Gold Standard" since the late 70's (different gauge is ok, but the load is the point)....

View attachment 1331490
DeanMk knows!
I've dropped many a pheasant (and a bung load of ducks!) with those very shells, though in the 12 gauge flavor.
 
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If you’re lucky enough to hunt over someone else’s dog, offer to carry the pup’s water. Even if if the owner says no, it goes a long way. Be as cool to the dog as you are to the owner.
And always remember, as a first-timer there are no stupid questions.
 

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