As a clays competitor and coach of a youth team there are some things I see around the various courses that cause me mild distress. As a shooter I try to extend common courtesy to my squad mates by not talking while they are shooting and not offering unsolicited advice on their shot selection or break point. I also refrain from driving my golf cart/utv buggy up to where someone is actively shooting. If I have to pass for any reason I try to accomplish the roll by when they are changing shooting partners in the squad rotation. As a shooter I know that a buggy roaring up while I am immersed in the shot is not helpful to the outcome. Most of the time the seasoned shooters will observe the same courtesy’s and will await at a distance until the squad is finished shooting. Believe me we’ve all been guilty of this broach of etiquette in our early exuberance of getting to our next station……So now you know……
During kids shoots this behavior is fairly common because on youth shoots with 500 plus kids the course is packed and kids who normally receive a show pair when no one is around have to crowd behind your squad to gain the advantage of the show pair……not helpful! But coaches , try to think of the other teams and refrain from being disruptive to shooters in the box……..remain a little distant and get your show pair. Keep some distance with your carts so that range workers can get by for repairs and reloading.
Shooting big shoots is always fun! I recently have been instructing a beginning senior shooter that has really been working hard to improve his game. I mentioned that he should try competition! “Oh no! I couldn’t compete with those master shooters,” he blurted! But you don’t have to compete against them……you only are shooting against your peers in e class as a beginner and super veteran as your concurrent. So he trusted my advice and shot the NWTF in Edgefield and after the main and all subgauge events he was nothing but one big smile! He said to me that it was great experience to see how others handled the stress and strain of shooting and he really enjoyed meeting the squad mates he was assigned…….
Speaking of squad mates, many shooters get in the habit of shooting only with folks they know but one of the most interesting parts of shooting with new or assigned squad members is meeting and enjoying the day with someone else. I have made many friends along the way that will approach me and say they shot with me on another course and had fun and will search me out for another shoot. This is truly one of the many things I enjoy and embrace about the shooting community.
The South Carolina Circuit shoots that are held most every month somewhere is the state are one of the best values to be had in sporting clays. For $76 you get to shoot a registered shoot and most clubs are furnishing lunch with preregistration. You get to compete within your class for the class pot and $15 of your registration goes to the yearend drawing and one through ten shooters points championship……..The shoots are all listed on the SC Sporting Clays Association website and Belton is next up with the September shoot. Scott Branyon always throws good targets and I am sure you will have a great time with the fellowship, fun and food that you’ll receive along with the shoot!