Can’t See Target
I am an older shooter, and the color orange can be difficult to see against backgrounds. Can you offer some suggestions for target setters to consider that will lessen the difficulty some of us have with seeing certain colors or targets against certain backgrounds?
Because I travel around the country to many different clubs, I do indeed see an opportunity to inform and train local target setters with regard to the proper target color for a given background. The average age of shooters in our sport is mid-50s and, for most, the eyes start to decline in the 40s.
With that aside, however, the proper combination of target color and background is an important factor in the ability of the average shooter to see the target. There are a number of basic principles of target setting that I see violated on a regular basis by local target setters, and a brief review of those principles might be helpful to some.
The two guiding principles of the target setter are that target presentations should be fun and visible. With that said, no matter how much a target setter tries to please everyone with a certain assortment of targets on a given course, there will be those that complain that the targets are too easy and others, that the course is too hard. The goal of the target setter, therefore, is a level of difficulty somewhere close to the middle: challenging, fair and interesting while not humiliating or punishing.
As for visibility, targets in the sky should be black. Targets against foliage should be colored. The trajectory of targets should be kept at a distance from the path of the sun throughout the day. Targets above the horizon should show some belly or face. And lastly (my personal pet peeve), battues and rabbits should not be presented on-edge.
Sporting clays should be a test of one’s shooting ability, not of one’s visual acuity. While I genuinely sympathize with those who have eye issues, if local target setters adhered to these basic principles, it would eliminate most visibility issues.