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The name goes all the way back to released pigeon shoots and the birds were kept in cages called traps prior to release. Trap is the oldest of the games and traces its origins back to around 1750. The "new" zzbird is another try at simulating live pigeon shooting and relies on the way early trap was shot, both following the rules of 2 shots at each bird and the bird has to fall within a marked area to count.

The released birds are the same reason for the targets to be called clay pigeons. Several things such as not having enough birds for a shoot and the expense of the use of live birds caused shooters to look at substitutes. Glass balls and then those filled with feathers were in favor and in use for a shortime but this was also expensive. This is at the end of the Victorian era, with shoots and the ability to shoot becoming a social event....much the way golf is perceived today. The pitch blend targets came into use around 1880 by an American inventor George Ligowski who invented a replacement for live birds made of baked clay and modeled after the clamshells he used to skim across the water. Ligowski's clay pigeon quickly replaced the feather-filled balls, the only other alternative to live birds, and just as quickly replaced the real thing.
 

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And why do we say PULL ?

The new CPSA magazine just arrived in Florida, it is their 75th Anniversary edition and they have photos of Pullers - they are heaving on a 5 foot long lever to launch the clay !

The trap was in the ground 16 yards away and the lever/puller was in line with the shooters :lol:

Roger
 

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As I understand it, we say pull because the original live pigeon "traps" were boxes with birds inside. A rope was attached to the box and when the rope was "pulled" the box collapsed and the bird flew.

Paul
 

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Hey... if you want to be modern, you can always say "Push!!!"
 
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