Hailey McKean Represents Clay Shooting at Durant

Hailey+McKean+%28center%29+is+a+student+at+Durant%2C+heavily+involved+in+clay+shooting.

Courtesy of Hailey McKean

Hailey McKean (center) is a student at Durant, heavily involved in clay shooting.

There are so many sports out there like football, baseball, hockey, basketball, and many more. With so many sports to pick from, one that gets overlooked is clay pigeon shooting, also known as clay target shooting.

Clay shooting is a of sport where participants fire at flying clay pigeon targets in the sky with a shotgun, and it all started way back in the 19th century. In the late 1800s, shooting targets started to become a very popular sport, especially over in the United Kingdom.

In fact, there was even a time where there used to be no clay at all, it would be glass balls filled with feathers, and around that same time, a man named Emile Laporte invented the machine that actually throws the targets into the air. As time has gone on, the sport has evolved into what it is today.

 This is a sport with a very wide age range, it can vary anywhere from a young teenager all the way to 65 years and older. One teenager who is involved in clay target shooting is a student at Durant High School.

Hailey McKean, a sophomore at Durant High School, started clay pigeon shooting in 2017. McKean has participated in a few competitions since then, she has even won “Highest in Female” back when she first began to compete in 2017. 

McKean has been clay target shooting for about three years now and her love for it sprouted out of her military based family. Hailey McKean believed that a great way to embrace her family’s involvement in the military would be to get involved in clay pigeon shooting, like her father. When asked about what influenced Hailey McKean to start clay pigeon shooting, she said, “The love of it from my dad.” 

There is so much involved in clay target shooting that a lot of people do not think about. According to the NRA (National Rifle Association),  some important factors that go into this sport are learning how to read the targets, learning when to slap the trigger, and much more.

A shotgun can be a very dangerous tool if not used correctly and safely, so that is something that a participant has to constantly think about when shooting clay.

Clay target shooting might not get as much glory as football or baseball, but it is just as worthy. This thrilling sport deserves just as much praise as some popular sports like basketball, baseball, and hockey because it involves just as much strategy as those sports, McKean comments on this saying, “You need to have the mindset and the accuracy and you have to train for it just like any other sport.”

Practices for this sport can include reviewing errors and correcting them, practicing one’s stance, and so much more.

  Clay pigeon shooting is very important to McKean, she expands on this saying, “I don’t do it for the competition part, I just do it so…  as a community we can all come together.”

This sport means a whole lot to McKean, when she goes out to shoot clay, she states that, “It is helping me feel like an empowered woman.”

Not only is this a way for Hailey McKean to embrace her family’s environment, but it is also helping her to grow as a person.