Clay Target Collecting with Tow and Collect.

As an Olympic sport clay target shooting has become a popular past time.

Recreational clay target/pigeon shooting, or skeet or trap shooting is a popular sporting activity worldwide. In the USA participant numbers fluctuate between 4 and 5 million people each year with a noticeable rise in participants in each year the Olympic games take place. As an Olympic Sport clay target shooting has nearly 30 competitors from different countries competing in both the men’s and women’s events. It is an exciting event that is extremely competitive. However, there is a downside to the sport that is increasingly becoming a problem for many clubs around the USA and that is the environmental impact of Trap Shooting. It seems like a simple enough sport to not really create these types of problems but on closer inspection there are some concerning trends beginning to emerge.
Clay Trap Shooting’s popularity has increased due to coverage and inclusion in the Olympic games.
Professional trap shooter shooting clay targets.
In the background of this image, you can see the orange speckles of broken clay targets or skeets that need to be cleaned up once target shooting is complete for the day.

Toxic chemicals find their way into the environment.

Not many people won’t be aware that bullets or more appropriately the shotgun pallets are made from lead. Lead is now known to be a highly toxic substance that when left in the environment can affect the health of both land and water. Not only that, the clay targets or ‘pigeons’ also contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) which can also leach into the ground and contaminate a site including any ground water present. Over time the amount of material from the shots and clay targets is significant leading to a potentially large and problematic environmental issue. Increasingly across many clay pigeon and trap shooting ranges it is becoming necessary to clean up the debris left behind as a result of this sport. This is largely due to the increasing spotlight being placed on ranges at the council or community and metropolitan government level. For this reason trap shooting ranges need to be preparing for a future where they can no longer simply conduct a shooting exhibition or customer shooting day without clearing up the site after it has been used.

Tow and Collect Machines make the clearing up quick and easy.

Not only are the clay targets environmentally harmful they are also unsightly. As it becomes an increasingly important section of the range to clean up doing it quickly and without trouble is the focus for many owners. The simplest and quickest solution to this clean-up is using a Tow and Collect to clear the paddock in front of the range. The Tow and Collect range are a terrific machine to speed up the collection of the skeet shooting targets that have landed on the ground broken. You can travel around at around 6-8 miles per hour and easily pick up the broken skeets. The machine simply sweeps them into the back of the catcher. Once you have completed the collection it is then a simple case of driving over to your dump site and unloading the catcher at the back. The more often you head out to clear the range the quicker and easier collection becomes.
Tow and Collect clay bird pickup in action
The above image clearly shows where the Tow and Collect has traveled and picked up the broken clay birds or skeets.
Tow and collect clay bird pickup dumping
Collecting broken clay birds and wads from the shooting range and then dumping it at a dump site makes for a clean and presentable range.

But what about the plastic wads?

The plastic wads that contain the led pallets are also an environmental problem if left out on the range. The plastic and metal used in their manufacture do not break down in the environment, so it is also necessary to pick these up and dispose of them in a safe and thoughtful manner. Once again, the Tow and Collect will easily pick these up and collect them in the catcher making for an easy-to-use, quick and efficient system to keep your shooting range looking tidy and environmentally sustainable.

Cleaning up clay targets for a better tomorrow.

As more and more focus is given to the environmental impacts of the things we do it makes sense for the owners and managers of gun clubs, clay target shooting ranges and similar properties to clean up the broken targets. Not only are the environmental benefits clear, but there are also obvious benefits in terms of how your property looks and presents itself to you members and customers. A Tow and Collect machine is terrific solution to the problem of leaving clay targets outside on the ground. Easy and efficient the machines are a terrific way to keep you club or range clean and tidy for years to come.
A group of shooters practicing their clay bird shooting at a shooting range.


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