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2019 Spring has Sprung: Back on the Road Again!

Lessons from the Advance School

We had two weeks of Advance School at the 74 Ranch, and what a great two weeks they were.

The biggest thing we worked on was having a pause before you call “pull,” and the sequencing of your pre-shot routine.

It took everyone a little time to get their timing down on the pause, but they realized that the pause before the calling “pull” actually helped clear their mind of the chatter and clutter. The voice of self-doubt did not come in. They were then able to make their move away from the target without the voice talking to them.

It made a big difference in everyone’s hits. And the hits were not chips, but massive explosions of clay.

The other thing that was new to everyone was the sequence of their routines. We have been noticing for many months how when you get out of sequence with your routine, you are probably going to miss the target.

With one of my groups, we were going over how to close the gun in the breakpoint and immediately put your eyes in the focal point. And we talked about how that made the gun stay near the breakpoint and not go too far back to the trap and get jammed.

So, I was demonstrating the routine of closing the gun in the breakpoint and eyes to focal point and I ran eight targets. I turned around to answer a question from a student without taking the time to regroup and go through the routine again and I missed the target.

“Did anyone see that I was out of sequence?” I asked immediately.

They had noticed something was different but one student saw it and said, “You were out of sequence”

Yes, I was. And the result was not pretty, but it was a great teaching moment.

Coaching Ladies at Hunting Camp

We stopped at the bay on our way home, hoping to be able to fish. But the wind and weather were having none of that, so we went home.

I got a call from Jacqui at Krieghoff, asking me if I could go to Utopia, TX for a She Hunts Skills Camp. I didn’t know anything about it but learned real quick. After I learned where Utopia was, I said yes, I would go.

The camp is for women who want to learn about the outdoors. They shoot rifles and I was there to teach them to shoot shotguns. Krieghoff was a sponsor, and the lady who was to come was unable at the last moment. Fortunately, I was available that weekend so I drove up on Friday morning.

I got to be in the seminar about turkey hunting by a gentleman from Texas Parks and Wildlife. He was great and also funny. We all laughed when he strutted like a turkey. And they all got callers, so he taught them how to use them.

They all went to the rifle range and I set up for my seminar the next morning and then went to see where we were going to do our shooting. It was about 15 minutes away on a hill (in the hill country, of course) and there were two traps there that hadn’t been used since who knows when. They had a foot release. You couldn’t load more than ten targets at a time, and they couldn’t be reset to do a high chandelle, so I was stuck with only going away targets.

I went back to the lodge at 4 PM and was told dinner would not be till 8:30 since some of the ladies wanted to go hunting. Wine time came and I got a glass. One lady was in the lodge working, so we talked a bit then I went over to the seminar room to make sure all was good.

At about 7 o’clock, several of the ladies came back to the lodge and said that two others were going to go kill either a javelina or a hog. They did indeed kill one hog and two javelinas. After a few drinks, dinner was served about 9, and it was wonderful.

Then the price list came out if anyone wanted to use their new skills to kill an animal. Most picked out an animal to kill in the next two and a half days.

The next day I had my OSP shotgun seminar to find out how many had actually shot a shotgun. I was not surprised to see that only two of the 24 had ever shot a shotgun, so I made them all do the three-bullet drill before we went out to the cold and blustery hill to shoot.

I was figuring we would stay an hour and go back to the lodge, but after three and a half hours we stopped to have lunch. They all got to hit targets and the smiles were as big as the Rio Grande.

I went back to the lodge and got packed up since I had a five-hour drive ahead of me. If you are ever near Utopia, Texas, stop by the Record Buck Ranch and see all the wildlife roaming around. The ladies were all going hunting that afternoon, kill something, learn how to field dress it, and the chef was going to cook it. They were getting the whole experience of the outdoors.

It really is a great program to introduce women to hunting, whether it’s with a bow, rifle, or shotgun.

We’re off to California to teach at Camanche Hills, so I’ll have a report next week on what everyone learned.

Also, Gil did an interview with the Behind the Break gentlemen. It had a wealth of information, so be sure to go listen to it.