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Nationals 2018

I’m sitting inside our RV in San Antonio at the 2018 NSCA National Tournament and it is pouring down rain here.

We chose not to go and shoot our 28-gauge 100-bird competition or the 28-gauge FITASC event because of the rain. Hurricane Willa started coming through this morning and it has not stopped raining buckets all day.

As most of the ground here is dirt, it can be a little treacherous walking – or should I say slipping and sliding – so we chose to get some things done under some cover.

We will shoot the 20-gauge tomorrow since it is supposed to clear (but still muddy).

As always, we have had a ball at Nationals, seeing the variety of target presentations and see our students and friends. Brian was able to come for three days, so it was like old times with the three of us shooting.

We have been coming each year since the first Nationals 30 years ago. In fact, I am one of two people who have attended all 30 of them.

We rent an RV and have it delivered. We move in for a week, then move out. It’s really easy and fun because we have RV space next to some friends and we stay here so we are not in the San Antonio traffic. We usually go to dinner with students who have become close friends and catch up on what is going on in their lives or solve some problem they may be having.

We shot the Main Event on Saturday and Sunday – four courses with 75 birds on each. On Monday we shot the K-Kup, which is a 100-target event. Tuesday, we shot the 100-target Special Sporting Event.

Today, Wednesday, we were to shoot the 28-gauge but we passed on it due to the rain. Tomorrow we’ll shoot the 20-gauge 100-target event and the 20-gauge FITASC Event. For two people who don’t shoot tournaments, when we finish on Thursday, we will have shot 650 targets.

I must confess that on the second day, both Gil and I ran out of juice and didn’t finish the event very well. We spent so much of our energy focusing on all the targets and making our plans, but it was so much fun to remember why people love this sport.

The targets this year were a lot different from years past. There were a lot of targets that had some distance on them, they were thrown belly-up but it certainly was not like skeet in the woods as it has been in the past. You really had to know how to shoot and not swing through them.

Our system of shooting was perfect for the courses. Park that gun somewhere out in front of the target’s path and same speed at the end.

All the courses were very well laid out. Nothing was unhittable and all equally challenging.  It was nice to be in control of the target, at least most of the time.

It is very interesting to see how some participants react to missing the target. They throw shells and say bad things about themselves. We got to watch the downward spiral that was happening to a lot of folks. I guess they sometimes forget that it’s a game.

Another Nationals is over. I learned to have fun and it was so fun to watch those targets break. Of course, not all of them did, but it was fun to be doing something all three of us love to do together!