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If you are thinking of starting a simulated shoot, or if you already have an established one, we have some handy hints on how to make sure its a money earner!

It’s no secret that running a simulated shoot is a money earner, the growth of shoots over recent years is testament to the fact.
The question is, with so many to choose from, how do you ensure your business is the ‘go to’ location that shooters want to be at and more importantly return to! Here is some ‘food for thought’ on how to make your simulated shoot pay.

Generate new business

Advertising is the obvious answer to generate new business. Using social media, professional pictures & videos, hosting a website and using sites such as Guns on Pegs will all help towards generating business.

Simulated Game clay pigeon traps by Bowman Traps
Whatever method you choose to get the word out there, if you’re using Bowman Traps here are a few things you can put across to let your shooters know you’re using quality equipment.
  • Bowman traps are robust traps for professional use.
  • Our machines are renowned for reliability.
  • Our frames are cast from high tensile aluminium which reduces clay breakages.
  • Our Supermatch 8 traps will throw a clay a whopping 150m!
  • Our multi-clay traps give the best representation of live quarry.
Put on the best show you can every time you host an event. Although social media is a powerful tool, word of mouth is so important in generating new business. Nothing sells days more than shooters talking and if they come away from your shoot with an enthusiastic buzz, they are bound to tell their friends about the experience.
Here’s a few ideas to get your guns buzzing during the shoot:
  • Prizes for hitting an elusive mini crosser that screams across the guns
  • Flash clays
  • Team competitions

Ensure return business

As a small family business established since 1966, return custom has been crucial to the continuation of Bowman Traps.
While listening to my Father in Law talk about major milestones in Bowman History, I soon realised that the family’s personal approach to dealing with customers has been a factor in our success. Customers appreciate having access to the designer, our knowledge and time which has always been freely given.
In turn, having a close relationship with our customers has benefitted us and the feedback has helped mould our traps into the machines they are today.
Therefore, on this basis, part of my advice to ensuring repeat business is to spend time getting to know your customers and offer them extra value from your service that doesn’t come at an extra cost.

Always look after your equipment

It sounds like an obvious piece of advice, but I have serviced many traps that have taken knocks during transport and storage which can lead to no birds and breakdowns. If the guns have a great day, they are sure to come back for more. Here are some tips for keeping your traps in tip top condition.
  • Spray your traps down at the end of the shoot with GT85 or WD40 to displace water and keep moisture away during storage; excess condensation can be damaging to motors.
  • Lubricate moving parts. We find using a can of chain oil spray called CD90 is quick and effective and takes a lot less time that using a grease gun.
  • De-cock your trap so the arm is safely showing to the left and then manually push the arm in towards the edge of the main plate. This ensures your arm won’t take a knock during transport. (Do not push the arm under the main plate as this may result in the trap firing / damaging the gear box)

Invest in branded merchandise

People like to be a part of a group. Think about all those shooters that wear branded clothing e.g. Browning / Beretta. Offering a branded cap to your shooters, not only makes them feel part of the team but is good advertising for your shoot. With this in mind, if any of our customers would like to add the Bowman Logo to their merchandise and help promote our brand, we will return the favour by offering you a discount off your next purchase.

Develop your shoot by adding new drives

Having the flexibility to change things up is a real plus which will keep shooters coming back. The more drives you can offer, including different locations, varying quarry and, or switching shooting styles means your customers won’t see everything you have to offer in one visit.

Simulated Game clay pigeon traps by Bowman Traps

Rabbit drives are becoming increasingly popular and are a great way to develop your shoot. They provide a fast, furious, and fun intermission in between driven targets.



Simulated Game clay pigeon traps by Bowman Traps
Another purchase made by established shoots trying to expand their repertoire is the grouse trailer. Although slightly less powerful than the game trailers the grouse throws a midi clay to an impressive 130m. The grouse traps move in unison and can throw 6 clays in the air at one time to replicate a covey of grouse / partridge.
We spoke to Andrew Rabett from The Sporting Clay Company near Bury St Edmunds, who informed us that experienced clay and game shots struggled when faced with 6 targets hurtling towards them at once. He said with the choice of multiple targets it was difficult for guns unfamiliar to grouse shooting to focus on the two they wanted to break. With practice, his customers were able to shift their mindset and get ready for the grouse season by practising with the Bowman Trailer.

Ensuring Longevity

Considering the Covid-19 pandemic, I am surer than ever that simulated shoots need to be as flexible as possible. For a while we have been advocating the use of individual traps for new emerging shoots. We feel that being able to separate your traps away from one central place gives you certain advantages.
  • For the cost, you can cover more guns.
  • You can create more types of drives.
  • Host multiple training stands.
  • Turn your simulated set up into a sport trap layout with 5 traps.
  • Rent out traps for private events.
Something worth thinking about! We hope you enjoyed our take on how to make your simulated shoot pay and you enjoyed the read.


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