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Teaching in South Dakota

Hunters Point Sporting ClaysWe finally got to Hunters Point Sporting Clays in Humbolt, South Dakota. Don’t know where Humbolt, SD is, it is 16 miles west of Sioux Falls, SD. Tony Bour the owner had been trying to get us to come up there for 2 years but it just never worked out so we squeezed it in this year to teach on Thursday, Friday, Saturday to return to Houston on Saturday night as we need to be somewhere else by Sunday evening. Great plan for travel but it didn’t work out that way as our flight Saturday night was cancelled and now its Sunday morning at 5:30am and we are getting ready to board a flight to get home today sometime. That’s life in the travel zone.BUT we had a fabulous time teaching and meeting all the fine folks in South Dakota. We will definitely make this a regular stop. The biggest thing we learned was that everyone still wants to look down that gun barrel. And they have such a hard time getting away from the aiming mind set. Most of these folks had never had a lesson and had learned by just going out and shooting after someone told them to put that little white bead 3 feet in front of the pheasant and shoot. Well you all know how well that works so we had a ball teaching a system that works and is easy to do. Easy for some and not so easy to accept for others. As one of my students remarked, it is counter intuitive but it works so I’m going with it. Most of the students were swing through shooters and really wanted to see the barrel and know exactly where it was but we were able to get all of them on the right track of success with their shotgun.Once again we found that the importance of a good gun mount is imperative. Having that gun up and in your face makes it impossible to see the target until it gets past the gun then panic sets in and nothing good will happen. If people will just learn to mount the gun then you don’t have to think about it when you are taking the shot and loosing some of your focus on the target because you are thinking about the gun mount. I think if we could get that through everyone’s head before they came to the clinic they would do so much better so much quicker because they wouldn’t have to be thinking so hard about making the gun mount and it not hurting. The first day I had 3 gentlemen that were hunters and the first thing they did when we went out to the first station was to mount the gun. Now I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be in the pheasant field with someone that has the gun mounted all the time. You only have 100% of focus and if you mount is less than steller then you have to put a lot of your focus on making the mount and that takes away from the focus you need to have on the target. I made them all get the gun out of their shoulders and they said it made the target slow down and they could see the target and this was they didn’t need to close the eye. Oh yes, most of the students were closing their eye in the last second…why so they could see where the barrel was of course. The wind that day was ferocious and gusting to 30mph and practically blowing us over but we all hung in there and ended the day shooting well and to know that old dogs can learn new tricks.The animations were a hit again as they make it so clear to everyone how this works and really shows where the eyes need to be and that dominance is not as big an issue as some instructors make it. I had 2 people who were told they were left eyed but right handed so 1 had started shooting left handed the other had always shot right handed but had changed but really wanted to shoot right handed so I told him lets give it a try. It took all day to get the pictures right and get him to stop looking at the gun but it finally started clickingThis morning started very early around 4am with texts from Brian our son and pictures of our new grandson, Joseph James Ash at 7lb. 13oz. worth getting up early to see, can’t wait to actually see and hold him.Another great day of people learning and a beautiful day it was, weather was perfect. I had a gentleman from Minnesota on his second day and 4 of the Bour Family. What a hoot and they learned so much. None had ever had a lesson and all the mythology out there became real. We also talked a lot about the gun mount which they did not have. T, short for Tony Jr., had been diagnosed as left eyed and he was right handed so he had been shooting left handed for awhile but as a kid he had shot right handed and he really wanted to shoot right handed. So I gave him an option to try it and let the brain redo the pictures and he said he was willing to endure that and go for it. It was a rather long day for him but by the next day it was all coming together. And he really shot well and was very happy as it was more comfortable shooting right handed. The ladies in the group also learned that they needed to not look at the gun and to practice their gun mount. A great day for all.The next morning we started early as we had a flight out that night because we needed to be somewhere else on Sunday night. We some new ones for the day and some 2ndday folks to heal. We started out with nice weather and then it went to rain then hail then sun again. Wow almost like being in Houston, just wait and it will change. I had the 5 Bours and John was almost beside himself as this system was counter to what he knew but it worked so he accepted it and shot great when he stopped looking at the gun. During the rain storms we went to the lodge and did flashlight drill and 3 bullet drill which helped everyone realize how often they look at the gun and how to practice the right way to let the peripheral accept the gun. Different way to look at it. Also making the target be behind the barrel or across the barrel really worked.So off to the airport only to find out that our flight was cancelled and we spent another night there and off for a 6am flight tomorrow. Ah the joys of the traveling.

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