Helice was developed in Europe in the 1960'a as a replacement for live pigeon shoots.
The Helice target, called a ZZ bird, is a plastic propeller containing a clay pigeon-shaped plastic center called a "witness cap". The center witness cap is made from a tough plastic that does not shatter. The orange outer propeller, or ‘wing,’ is made from a much more brittle plastic that shatters when hit.
The shooter stands at a station located 26 meters behind 5 evenly spaced helice throwers each 5 meters apart. When ready the shooter calls "Pull!" to release one of the targets which flies randomly from one of the 5 throwers. The propeller-driven targets fly from oscillating throwers spinning at 5,000 rpm which simulates the unpredictable flight path of a live bird. A helice target flies incredibly randomly and at high speeds which means much of the shooting is done on pure instinct so speed and accuracy are at a premium. When struck by pellets, the center "witness cap" must be completely detached from the propeller to count as a hit, and it must fall inside a designated 2 feet tall fenced area or "ring". The "ring" fence is located 21 meters beyond the throwers.
Shooters can shoot twice at each Helice target. At sanctioned shoots only factory ammo is allowed. Shooters normally use 12 gauge over and under shotguns. 1oz load and shot size no larger than 7 1/2, typically 1,250 fps loads or faster are used. Full and extra full chokes are are normally used to be able to break the center "witness cap" free from the propeller wings.
The US Helice Association has sanctioned Helice shoots throughout the year where shooters can earn points towards a place on Team USA and go on to represent the United States at the Helice World Finals.
Helice is instinct shooting at its most extreme. If you enjoy a good challenge come out to Iowa Park Trap Club and try it. Whether you usually shoot trap, skeet or sporting clays, shooting at Helice targets will be sure to hone your shotgun skills in the discipline of your choice!
More information is available at www.ushelice.com