At the end of a long dirt driveway, off of Manchester Road in Spring Lake, North Carolina stands the area’s only skeet and trap shooting facility.
The Fort Bragg Clay Target Center is the only facility of its kind in the Fort Bragg/Fayetteville area, as well as one of the largest skeet field sites in the state, said James Day, business manager and Chris Watters lead recreation assistant at Clay Target Center, a Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation facility. The facility is open to the public.
“The average facility has four to five fields because of how much land is needed,” Watters said. “We have 12.”
The 12 competition-level fields at Clay Target Center offer patrons the option to skeet shoot and trap shoot.
“Skeet and trap are two national sports,” Watters explained. “Both involve shooting standard clay rings that are shot out of a machine. The big difference between them is where you are firing from.”
With trap shooting, the shooter starts about 16 yards back from the “house,” which holds the throwing machine. One target is launched at a time away from the shooter.
Skeet shooting involves two targets being shot away from the shooter from a high and low house that are situated to the left and right of the shooter. The shooter shoots the targets from eight different positions on a semi-circle, Watters explained.
Of the 12 fields at Clay Target Center, six allow for trap shooting, Day said. A couple of the machines also are equipped with a wobble, which shoots the targets vertically.
Additionally, there is a five-stand field that has five-shooting stations. The Clay Target Center’s five-stand field has eight throwers that launch the targets in different directions.
Patrons can bring their own shotguns and ammunition to the facility or they can rent a 12, 20 or 28 gauge shotgun and ammunition, Day explained. Although any size shotgun can be used, only 7.5, 8 or 9 lead ammunition is authorized. Ear protection and eye protection are also required on the fields.
Anyone who is new to the sport can receive help from center staff.
“We don’t give instruction courses but our staff can give pointers and tips to help you understand how to hit a target and how to hold a gun and aim and how to track the target,” Day said.
Fields are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis but reservations can be made for large groups in advance.
Units can also rent a pavilion equipped with picnic tables, a refrigerator and grills for unit functions and training, Day explained.
Patrons can also sign up for the Skeet and Trap League. The next league is April 2 to May 28, Watters said. Each week participants meet up and shoot two rounds for eight weeks. At the end of the league season, awards are presented for best male, female, best improved and best junior.
To register for the league, contact Clay Target Center or sign up on site the first day of the league.
For more information about skeet and trap shooting or Skeet and Trap League, call 436-9489 or visit