Women in Clay Shooting: Breaking Stereotypes and Shattering Clays

The world of clay shooting has long been associated with masculinity and tradition. But in recent years, there has been a significant surge in the participation of women in this exhilarating sport. Women in clay shooting are breaking stereotypes, shattering clays, and carving out their place in what was once considered a predominantly male domain.

Empowering Women in the Clay Shooting Arena

Clay shooting encompasses various disciplines, including trap, skeet, and sporting clays. What was once viewed as a male-centric pursuit has witnessed a remarkable transformation. With more women embracing the challenge of aiming, shooting, and hitting moving clay targets with precision.

The Rise of Female Participation in Clay Shooting

Traditionally, shooting sports were often perceived as intimidating or unwelcoming for women. However, a growing number of women are challenging these perceptions and actively participating in clay shooting. The reasons for this shift are diverse, ranging from a desire for outdoor recreational activities to an interest in refining marksmanship skills.

Overcoming Stereotypes

One of the primary challenges women face in the world of clay shooting is the persistence of gender stereotypes. The image of shooting is that of a masculine activity, deeply rooted in historical associations with hunting and combat. Which can deter women from trying their hand at this sport. However, the narrative is changing as more women showcase their prowess on the shooting range.

Skill, Precision, and Determination

Clay shooting is not about physical strength; it’s about skill, precision, and determination—qualities that are not bound by gender. Women who engage in clay shooting often find that the sport provides a unique platform to showcase their capabilities on equal footing with their male counterparts. Achieving success in breaking clays requires focus, coordination, and the ability to read the flight of the target, skills that are honed through practice and dedication.

Creating a Supportive Community

As the number of women in clay shooting grows, so does the sense of community and support. Many shooting clubs and organizations actively encourage female participation, fostering an inclusive environment. This camaraderie helps women feel welcomed, supported, and inspired to pursue their passion for clay shooting.

Advancements in Equipment and Apparel

The shooting industry has responded to the increasing number of female participants by developing specialized equipment and apparel. From firearms with adjustable stocks to accommodate different body sizes to clothing designed for comfort and functionality, these innovations contribute to a more inclusive experience for women in clay shooting.

Encouraging the Next Generation

The rise of women in clay shooting is not only about the present; it’s also about inspiring future generations. Many female shooters are actively involved in mentoring programs, encouraging young girls to explore the world of shooting sports. By sharing their experiences and expertise, these women contribute to the continued growth and diversification of the clay shooting community.

Challenging Preconceptions

The involvement of women in clay shooting challenges preconceptions not only within the shooting community but also in society at large. Women are proving that they can excel in traditionally male-dominated activities, reinforcing the idea that passion and skill know no gender boundaries.


The increasing presence of women in clay shooting is a positive and transformative development in the world of shooting sports. Women are breaking stereotypes, demonstrating exceptional skill, and contributing to the evolving landscape of clay shooting. As the sport continues to attract a diverse range of enthusiasts, the contributions of women will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the future of clay shooting, making it an inclusive and welcoming pursuit for all.

Located in the Willamette Valley between Salem and Portland, Oregon, Mid-Valley Clays & Shooting School is the premier clay target shooting range of Oregon, offering a variety of recreational and competitive shotgun sports. This shotgun-only facility is open to the public and does not require reservations. If you’re looking for outdoor activities in Oregon, Mid-Valley Clays is a creative change of pace!

Mid-Valley Clays offers activities for everyone – from first-timers to experienced shooters. Our on-site Pro Shop offers everything you need to enjoy a fun day at the range – shotshells, gear, even shotgun rentals.  We have several professional shotgun instructors who are ready to help you establish and/or sharpen your shotgun shooting skills. We also offer Sporting Clays5-StandSkeet, and Trap shotgun sports.

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.