A Short Ride from Cary: Deep River Sporting Clays

From the blog of Julie Roland, our correspondent on all things Chatham County and the outdoor life.

Chatham County, NC – Imagine a sport that combines the excitement of shooting with the challenge of golf. That’s the idea behind Deep River Sporting Clays. Mark me down as a fan.

Deep River Sporting Clays

Just 13 miles south of downtown Pittsboro, Deep River Shooting Clays sits on 65 acres of rolling woodlands outside Sanford.

On a recent Saturday, I took my daughter Kelsi out for a little Mom-Daughter outdoor fun.

It really is a lot like golf (but with a shotgun). You climb in a golf cart and roll around to 13 different shooting stations. From Deep River:

Sporting Clays emulates hunting using clay targets instead of live game. Clay targets can be thrown to simulate the flight patterns of low-flying ducks, teal coming off thewater or woodcock zipping through the trees. They can even replicate the pattern of a hopping rabbit.

The game is comparable to golf in two ways. Just as a golfer goes from hole to hole, a Sporting Clays shooter goes from one station on the course to another. At each station, the shooter encounters a different kind of shot which mirrors the wild game of the area.

The second way the sport compares to golf involves the course. The layout and design of the Sporting Clays grounds depends on the natural habitat and terrain of the area, providing each course with its own challenges and character.

My Visit to Deep River

Kelsi was given a private lesson with Chuck Foster. Chuck is NSCA certified level 11 instructor.  He absolutely loves what he does and is there most days and ready to help.  We went out on the range in a golf cart and visited all 13 different stations.  Everyone there is so nice  you can’t help but make new friends.

I was so proud of Kelsi – she only missed a couple.  I listened in while Chuck was giving instructions to Kelsi and I learned a few new things too!

Getting There

Be sure to bring safety goggles, ear protection and ammo and of course your  firearm.  If you have private instruction then they will fit you to a gun, give you ammo and ear protection which is all included for $45.00.  Chuck did such a nice job with Kelsi, I threw in a generous tip.

Regular fees are $20.00 per shooter for walk through but for another $4.00 you can rent a golf cart with gun holders.

From Pittsboro circle it took me approximately 15-20 min to get there and it’s a very beautiful scenic drive  – a straight shot down Moncure-Pittsboro Road past houses, farms and fields. Easy to get to from Raleigh, Cary, Apex or even Siler City.

Now, some of my Mom friends are talking about organizing a big Mom-Daughter outing to Deep River.

If you’ve ever wanted to try shooting, Deep River is a great place to visit – easy enough for beginners and challenging for the experienced shooter. Chuck told me almost no one gets a perfect score.

Deep River Shooting Clays definitely makes my Top 10 list of fun things to do in the Triangle.