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Helice-What is it and why you should try it?

August 14, 2018

Helice-What is it and why you should try it?

Helice is a fast growing shotgun sport in the US.  The word helice refers to the propeller type device used to move the target through the air in a manner much like a live pigeon.  The target is white, plastic, commonly referred to as the witness, and shaped like the traditional clay target with the propeller snapped to it more or less.  To score a hit the target must separate from the orange propeller and fall in the ring.  

It's not that simple though.  There are five launchers 29 meters from the shooter and the target must be hit, separated and fall within the ring 21 meters from the launcher.  Upon calling for the bird any one machine will release the target spinning around 5,000 rpm and the shooter must instinctively find the bird and hit it solidly enough to separate it using up to two shots.  That's the game in a nutshell. 

It gets a rap for being expensive because the "birds" can cost around $3 each.  A 30 bird shoot might cost you $90 or more.  Clay targets cost maybe one tenth of that but clays typically require more...stuff. 

Helice is simple in a way.  You need your gun, choked tight, eye/ear protection and shells.  You stand at the line and shoot your turn of 5 birds then have a seat until it's your turn again.  You don't need a clays cart, a bunch of chokes or spreader loads or all the crap that gets in your head out on the clays course.  You don't think about hold points and break points because there are none.  In fact you don't even want to think.  Except for safety measures you could leave your conscious mind at the house. 

I shot with a lady shooter the other day who had never seen a helice ring and possibly never shot more than 50 rounds with a shotgun.  On the fourth bird when she called pull I knew the target was going to be broken before she pulled the trigger and indeed she broke it.  As she's pulling the trigger I looked up and said "you're gonna hit that one".  She asked how I knew before she even fired the gun and I said it was in her voice.  Her natural instinct, hands and eyes got together as one then she emphatically and confidently called PULL and broke the target.

It's not easy though.  I have master class shooter friends that don't like helice because it's so random, and yes $3/bird can add up, it's hard to practice but if you want to simulate shooting a live bird there is nothing closer to it than helice. 

Learn more about it from the United States Helice Association here http://www.ushelice.com/






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