Added this feature to my site so I can keep you all posted on where I'm going, where I've been and the status of your pictures being posted. See you soon! -Lynne (aka Green Girl)
I was recently asked about everything I see when I'm out on the Sporting Clays Course. I see lots of things when I am camped out at a station taking pictures and generally keep quiet about them. Except at the Houma Oilman's 2012 event.
Certainly a stroke of luck that out of 14 stations I could have been on, that when the wad didn’t clear the barrel and the shooter was just about to shoot again that I got VERY loud and brought it to the shooters attention and also all of the trappers and squad mates that were standing very close.
As it turned out, the wad was about 6-8 inches into the barrel and had to be pushed out with a bamboo shoot. At the time, when it sunk in what had "not" happened, this shooter thanked me several times.
I tell you this as that same shooter came up to me and thanked me again for preventing him from blowing up his gun. I corrected him and said I actually prevented you from blowing off your hand – guns are replaceable, hands aren’t!
He said he tells that story often…as do I!
So I've had a few, okay well several people, want pictures of themselves catching their shells as they come out of the gun. I can do this. It's actually pretty easy to catch...with a few conditions...to you, the shooter.
1. You have to hold your hand up far enough away from the gun for the shells to "travel" to your hand. Many of you have been catching your shells for so many years, you don't think about the symantics of the shot you're asking for. If your hand is just over the opening when you crack your gun open, there is no "hang time" for the shells...I can't get the shot.
2. Ask me BEFORE you step into the cage to catch the shot. I try to capture it on most shooters but if I know specifically that that's what you want, I will focus on getting that shot for you.
As you turn off Route 60 onto 82nd Ave, you pass some little neighborhoods, then the paved road turns to sandy/gravel and after the sand mines and groves...there's the sign for Indian River Trap and Skeet (home of the Caribbean Classic). Driving in past the citrus groves makes you realize that it really is warm down here as the large ripe fruit is making the branches bend downward...with several grounders laying under the trees...and then you remember it's only February!
This is a neat club owned by Mick and Emma Howells and it's a really nice place to come and shoot. Lots of familiar faces from the great white north have descended South again to start the Sporting Clays season. Patricia and Barry Clute from Ontario, Alain and the Frenchmen from Quebec, ME and Louis McMurren from Virginia...just to name a few and we're all in shorts and tees enjoying the Florida sun. Of course, Mother Nature gave us a bit of a chilly blast on Sunday to keep us all in check but it wasn't too bad.
This shoot is the weekend before the big Seminole Cup down at Quail Creek Plantation. I had left my cart here after the US FITASC Shoot at Doug's South Florida Shooting Center but didn't get to return until Saturday morning having driven down from Atlanta on Friday. Several people were wondering where I was since they saw my cart but not me.
I love the shoots where everyone shoots the same course on the same day...and with only 2 rotations, it was really nice for me to work the 12:30 rotation each day! I know, sounds like I'm slacking but two full days out on the course shooting pictures really is exhausting!
I've actually got over 1800 pictures from just this shoot and don't be surprised if you see some new "faces" in my pictures...I think it's really interesting to capture the expressions that you all make just after you finish your shots...sometimes you can tell exactly what is happening but I find also that just because you hit all the targets doesn't mean you smile when you're done...hmmmm...so my experiment will continue...may have to do some analysis on this later in the summer.
Congrats to Bill McGuire on his win in the Main and Ashley Little on her Lady Champ win...I expect to see more of her on the podium this year.
So my New Year's Resolution is to WRITE (well one of them at least) more, and more specifically on my Blog.
I'm in Las Vegas for SHOT Show and I attended Media Day yesterday. They don't ask you what you do...they ask you who you write for...and I was told very quickly that my Blog is out of date! Totally busted thanks to smart phones - and we hadn't even gotten to the event yet. So I'm going to try and remedy that this week and throughout the year on my travels.
Being from Texas, I understand that it can be 70 degrees in January...or 20 so I checked the weather forecast before I came this week. Knowing the high was only going to be in the 30's I came prepared - thank goodness. Along with the cold there was a bit of a brisk wind to boot. I had my coat done up over my 3 layers and scarf underneath and my furry hood over my head most of the time.
There were some familiar faces...
and some neat new products...
One of the uses above is for home protection - slugs that will stop the intruder, but won't go through two more walls and injure the neighbor next door.
Of course there are the targets...I can handle the alien and the zombie...but the clown really creeps me out!
The new Winchester AA Trackers look really neat too. I watched a guy shoot several targets and being able to see the wad travel with the shot could be very effective.
On the Shotgun side, Promatic has a nice compact personal use machine that you can add the wobble to.
But if that's a bit more than you wanted - these guys have a hand thrower that won't throw out your shoulder (most of us have used the age-old thrower - we used to attach it to a golf club for better swing)
This guy barely flicked his wrist and the clay went flying...would be great for any age shooters and everyone would be more willing to be the target thrower when it was their turn.
Saw some more familiar faces - Angela Schwendeman on the left, Judy Rhodes, founder of the (formerly Texas DIVAS) DIVA W.O.W. organization and Cheryl Long in the fur vest making the rounds - all bundled up. Judy of course wanted to see all there was to see...and Cheryl wanted to stop and shoot every gun - she's a shotgun girl, but I think Pistols and rifles are her first love and working at the Gun Counter at Cabela's in Allen, TX it's nice for her to be able to talk the talk.
I got in on the action too and shot the "black gun". Of course the gentleman told me it was designed to shoot about 800 yards and we were only shooting about 25 so I was a bit off. It continues to confirm my belief that the only thing stopping a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun...or girl for that matter.
The inside show starts today and I am nervously excited to see it all again. I think this is my 7th or 8th time to come to SHOT (more than some and way less than lots of others) - started coming in 2003 and had a few years off in the middle - but it's my 3rd year as "the Green Girl". Looking forward to seeing friend and making new ones!
Driving into Westside Sporting Grounds in Katy, TX you see the big white tent, reminiscent of a big circus tent with decorated tables covered with linen tablecloths, sponsor banners everywhere and of course the flags of our great nation and even greater state of Texas! A big blue Texas sky welcomed everyone much to the relief of Lauren Byars and her capable crew of volunteers. I have heard that Mother Nature hasn’t always cooperated in past years.
First bit of advice at an Oilfield shoot - come hungry. Axis Oilfield Rentals (Dustin “Bigfoot” Labat) started off the event with Friday lunch. The Crawfish etouffee was supreme! After lunch, Stephanie Thomas – a rookie oilfield vendor - from Muller Chokes said, “I should probably pace myself”. Patterson Services has done the Friday night Fish Fry for many, many years at H.O.I.S.T. and this year they didn’t disappoint! Fried catfish, baked beans, chicken wings and spicy Louisiana coleslaw…it didn’t take long for the line to form and the food to be gone.
Saturday morning, Aramark hosted breakfast with a made-to-order omelet bar, cream cheese pastries and breakfast burritos. I talked with several disappointed people who had eaten at their hotels…back to my advice – come hungry. Lunch was already cooking with the C&G Boats and Linear Controls crews. A whole roasted pig on a spit had been cooking since 5:45 AM and there was boiled shrimp and corn on the cob. I was told afterwards that they cooked and served every bit of food they brought…even the extra stuff…the cupboards were bare.
Of course if you needed an afternoon snack you could cool off a bit with some ice cream provided by Precision Directional Drilling.
And there was shooting too. Friday was open to shoot the courses for practice and lots of games – long bird, wind chime and the two-man flurry were busy all day. The golf cart winner is drawn from the long bird shooters so there is always a steady stream of people waiting to shoot, and re-shoot. The Friday golf cart is an EZGO donated by Offshore Energy Service with the trailer from Frank’s International and the Saturday cart drawing is a 4-seat Polaris Ranger donated by H.O.I.S.T. and trailer from Frank’s International! Congrats to Dustin “Bigfoot” Labat with Axis Oilfield rentals on winning the Friday night cart and Saturday night winner Brad James with Hercules Offshore.
2012 marks the 16th year for H.O.I.S.T. (Houston Oilman’s Invitational Sporting Clays Tournament) and they again were sold out with 90 teams of 5 shooters. H.O.I.S.T. makes their largest donation to the Children’s Assessment Center of Houston with $75,000, with this year’s donation totaling $795,000 cash donations since the start. They also give $20,000 to Charlie Wilson and the Texas Parks and Wildlife and $25,000 to The Wounded Warrior Project.
This year they had one extra special team - the Wounded Warriors Project Team and they had a bit of help getting prepared for their 100 bird rotation. Each team member received a Beretta 391 engraved with “To our Heros” and “HOIST 2012”, donated by HOIST, with Randy Wright and his team from Able Ammo processing the paperwork; Joe Morales with Rhino Chokes provided a Skeet II choke tube and did a first time gun cleaning; Tim Holt with Audio Protection Company provided custom molded ear plugs, Briley donated a Briley Gun sleeve, Browning shooting glasses with multiple lenses and a shooting towel. Hercules Offshore donated Bob Allen Custom shooting bags and Lonesome Charlie shell pouches and David Chandler with Oilfield Welding donated a case of 12 gauge Rio Shells for each shooter. On the course, they had instruction from Master Class shooters Doug Kuykendall, Robert Hamilton, Billy Madden, David Chandler and Jim Ponder.
Friday nights Top Gun shoot off had a host of top shooters including 2011 H.O.I.S.T. winner Keith Talley, Carey Perry (2010 winner), Cory Kruse (2009 & 2007 winner), Robert Hamilton(2008 winner), Cole Storey(2006 winner), Ricky Hileman (2004 winner), Scott Bellaire (2003 & 2001 winner), Mark Cruse (2000 winner), Gilbert Sims (1997 winner), David Chandler, Ryan “Duson” LeBlanc, Jim Ponder, Steve Choate, Rick Storey, Doug Kuykendall and Drew Bounds. That led into the Calcutta for Saturday’s winner.
Saturday morning had shooters ready to roll by 8:30 AM with two courses full of shooters. The format is 5 separate 5-stands with 10 true pairs per station for 100 total targets and 4 rotations. In the past, the top-gun/Calcutta course was typically a bit tougher than the other but the instruction to the target setters this year was make them both as close to the same as possible. Well they were definitely tougher! The top score and only score in the 90’s was Master Class shooter, Eddie Speed. Perennial favorites Cory Kruse, Cole and Rick Storey, Scott Bellaire, Robert Hamilton and Keith Talley were all in the mid-80’s.
And to ensure that everyone left with a full tummy, Halliburton cooked steaks on Saturday night – a great way to end 2 days of competition.