Nate Cahill breaks

Nate Cahill breaks a clay target at the Izaak Walton League shooting club just outside of Maquoketa on Aug. 5. The Ikes open up their shooting grounds to the public on the first and third Mondays of the month now through the end of September so people can hone their shooting or clay target skills.

Attention hunters who would like to sharpen their wing shooting skills before dove, duck, or pheasant season, or anyone who just wants to shoot some clay targets. 

The Izaak Walton League invites you to come and shoot as many clay birds as you wish. 

They shoot every first and third Monday of the month through the end of September from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

The Ikes offer no-judgment grounds — no one cares if you scratch 1 out of 10 or hit 10 for 10. It is just a friendly competition among friends, family, neighbor, and members, according to Ikes President Tom Lane. 

Lane and the rest of the Ikes members invite anyone and everyone to come and shoot. 

“We get anywhere from 10 to 20 shooters a night,” Lane said. But they request that you bring your own gun and ammunition. 

There is a minimal charge of $2 for 10 birds, and $5 for 25 birds.

Lane grills and sells hamburgers for $2 and hotdogs for $1 for everyone, they also have bottled water for 50 cents and can pop for 75 cents.  

The clay targets come 135 to a box, and it takes four boxes (540 targets) to fill the trap house, which is the box in front of the shooter from which the targets are launched, according to Lane. Ikes members said it takes about 30 to 45 minutes to fill each trap house when it is empty. It is a group effort: whomever gets there first opens the gate and starts filling the trap houses. 

Participants can shoot from the five shooting stages. If you shoot 10 targets in a round, you move to your right to the next stage after two targets so you shoot at all the different positions. 

It is a good way to relax and shoot some flying targets on a Monday night, Ikes members said.