Clay Shooting for Families: Fun and Bonding in the Great Outdoors


At Mid-Valley Clays & Shooting School, we take pride in providing family-friendly shooting experiences that bring loved ones together in the great outdoors. Clay shooting isn’t just a sport; it’s a chance for families to bond, create memories, and share the thrill of hitting targets as a team. In this blog, we invite families to discover the joy of clay shooting at our Gervais, Oregon shooting school, conveniently located only 35 minutes outside of Portland and 21 minutes from Salem.

1. An Adventure for All Ages:
Clay shooting is an inclusive sport that can be enjoyed by family members of all ages. From young teens to grandparents, everyone can participate and have a blast at our shooting range. Our experienced instructors are here to guide beginners, ensuring that everyone feels comfortable and confident on the shooting line.

2. Safety First, Always:
The safety of our guests is our top priority, especially when families are involved. Our shooting school has strict safety protocols in place, and our instructors will brief you on all safety measures before you begin. You can rest assured that we provide a safe and controlled environment for your family’s shooting adventure.

3. Quality Time Outdoors:
Clay shooting takes you away from screens and technology, allowing your family to reconnect with nature and each other. Spend quality time outdoors, breathing in the fresh air, and appreciating the beautiful surroundings of our Gervais, Oregon shooting range.

4. Friendly Competition and Teamwork:
Clay shooting creates friendly competition and fosters teamwork among family members. Root for each other’s success, celebrate every successful shot, and share in the excitement of hitting those flying targets together.

5. Life Skills and Focus:
Clay shooting not only enhances shooting skills but also teaches valuable life skills, such as focus, discipline, and patience. As shooters step onto the range, they enter an environment that demands unwavering attention to detail and a calm, composed mind. Whether it’s analyzing the trajectory of a clay target, mastering proper shooting techniques, or adapting to various shooting scenarios, sport shooting cultivates mental acuity and sharpens concentration.

Participating in clay shooting at Mid-Valley Clays & Shooting School challenges individuals to set goals, measure progress, and practice perseverance. Shooters learn to overcome challenges and accept both successes and setbacks with grace. The sport instills a sense of responsibility, as safety protocols must always be observed and adhered to during shooting sessions.

Beyond the shooting range, these life skills translate into personal and professional endeavors. Focus and concentration become powerful tools for success in various aspects of life, whether it’s academic achievements, work performance, or managing daily challenges. The discipline cultivated on the range reinforces dedication and commitment in all pursuits, making clay shooting a transformative experience that enriches lives beyond the sport itself.

By embracing sport shooting as a means to foster essential life skills, participants not only enjoy an exciting and rewarding hobby but also prepare themselves for success in life’s diverse journeys.

Sport shooting at Mid-Valley Clays & Shooting School offers an array of benefits that extend beyond the sport. From promoting camaraderie to enhancing physical and mental well-being, and fostering valuable life skills, clay shooting is an activity that continues to capture the hearts of enthusiasts and newcomers alike. As you embark on your clay shooting journey at our Gervais, Oregon shooting range, you’re bound to find an experience that is both exhilarating and transformative. Whether you’re aiming to improve your shooting prowess, bond with family and friends, or simply enjoy the thrill of hitting clay targets under the wide Oregon sky, Mid-Valley Clays has something to offer everyone. So, grab your shotgun, bring your enthusiasm, and join us for an unforgettable clay shooting adventure. Let’s aim high and shatter expectations together!

Clay Shooting Etiquette: Tips for Being a Considerate and Respectful Shooter

At Mid-Valley Clays & Shooting School, we believe in fostering a positive and safe shooting environment for all our visitors. Whether you are a seasoned shooter or new to clay shooting, practicing good etiquette on the shooting range is essential. In this blog, we will explore the key elements of clay shooting etiquette, from safety protocols to being considerate of fellow shooters. Let’s aim for a respectful and enjoyable shooting experience at our Gervais, Oregon shooting school, located just 35 minutes outside of Portland and 21 minutes from Salem.

1. Safety First:
The cornerstone of clay shooting etiquette is safety. We prioritize the safety of all our visitors, and we expect every shooter to do the same. Familiarize yourself with our range rules and adhere to them at all times. Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction, and remember to engage the safety when not actively shooting. Respect the designated safety zones and only load your shotgun when on the shooting station.

2. Range Courtesy:
As you engage in clay shooting, show courtesy to fellow shooters. Avoid loud conversations on the shooting line and maintain a respectful distance from other shooters. Wait your turn patiently, and when it’s your time to shoot, step up to the station confidently and efficiently. If you notice any safety concerns or issues with equipment, alert a Range Safety Officer immediately.

3. Cleanup and Conservation:
Our shooting range in Gervais, Oregon, is a pristine outdoor environment that we all must care for. Clean up after yourself, collecting spent shells and disposing of any trash properly. Let’s work together to preserve the natural beauty of our surroundings, ensuring that the range remains clean and welcoming for all.

4. Sharing Knowledge and Tips:
Clay shooting is a sport that welcomes both beginners and seasoned shooters. If you have knowledge or tips to share, do so in a constructive and supportive manner. Encourage and assist new shooters, offering guidance to help them improve their skills and enjoy the sport to the fullest.

5. Observe Range Commands:
At Mid-Valley Clays, we have Range Safety Officers who oversee the shooting range. It’s essential to listen and follow their instructions promptly. Range commands are put in place to ensure everyone’s safety, so respect and comply with them without hesitation.

6. Mind Your Gear:
Keep your shooting gear organized and contained within your designated shooting area. Avoid leaving items on the shooting stations or common areas that may obstruct other shooters or cause unnecessary distractions.

Clay shooting etiquette is a crucial aspect of our shooting experience at Mid-Valley Clays & Shooting School. By following these tips and practicing respectful behavior, we can all contribute to a safe, enjoyable, and harmonious shooting environment. Let’s continue to embrace the spirit of camaraderie and responsible shooting at our Gervais, Oregon shooting school, just a short drive from Portland and Salem. Together, we create a clay shooting experience that leaves lasting memories for every shooter who visits our range.

The Best Sporting Clays Shotgun

The best sporting clays shotgun is the one that fits you!

Shotgun fit isn’t a term you may not hear often, but one that has the greatest impact on your success as a shotgun shooter. Most hunters and sporting clay enthusiasts read a few “The Best Sporting Clays Shotgun” lists, select a factory gun off the rack, test its heft, eye the finish, and purchase it. Now, this isn’t to say that your new shotgun won’t be effective, but it won’t be as precise as it could be because most mass-produced shotguns are designed for the “average shooter’s build,” forcing the shooter to adjust and adapt to the shotgun rather than having the gun adjusted to fit them.

When a shotgun has been properly fitted to the shooter, it feels comfortable to the shooter. When mounted, it becomes an extension of their body, in natural symmetry with their eyes, head, and arms. It rises fluidly to the cheek, rests comfortably on the shoulder, and the shooter’s eyes align almost instinctively down the barrel. Now doesn’t that sound like the best sporting clays shotgun?

So what parts of your shotgun should we focus on? Mount, stock length, and sight picture.


When you mount your shotgun, check the distance between your thumb and nose. We recommend at least an inch of spacing to account for recoil. You want to avoid striking your nose and breaking your concentration on the range or out in the field. You want to keep your eyes downrange and your barrel tracking the next target.

Stock Length

When considering stock length, there are three specific measurements to account for: drop at comb, heel, and length of pull. Using these three measurements to fit a shotgun to your body will significantly affect your shooting success.
A stock that is too long may catch under the armpit or drag on the lower shoulder—delaying your ability to acquire a target. Whereas a stock that is too short may cause a conflict with your face and hand. You should also take into account the seasons. You’re probably wearing a thin shirt when shooting in the summer, whereas you’ll be layered up during the winter months. So a stock that fits you in the winter might be an inch or two too short in the summer. A quick way to adjust your stock length is to add or remove spacers in front of the recoil paid.

Sight Picture

Since most shotguns have no rear sights, the shooter sights along a plane from breech to barrel muzzle. In effect, the shooter’s eye is the rear sight. Thus, the amount of drop at the comb is significant in its impact on success or failure. Should the comb be too low, the shooter’s eye will be too low when the gun is mounted and will miss low. Conversely, the shotgun will miss high if the comb stands too high. Shooters also need to determine if they want to see the rib and the bead or just the bead when sighting down a target. This is a point of personal preference, and there’s no better place to determine your preference than at a trap range, shooting targets repeatedly.

90% of shooters will be happy with their off-the-rack shotgun, but you’re not like everyone else, are you? A discriminating shooter such as yourself should consider working with Mid-Valley Clays Shooting School to choose a shotgun with the proper measurements for your body type, then adjust or alter the stock from there and work with you to determine your optimal sight picture.
Call or stop by our range today and let’s talk about how you can be a better shooter.