Three weeks of dry weather and on the eve of a forecast heatwave our members met at Oakedge Shooting Ground on the edge of Cannock Chase for an evening of clay pigeon shooting organised by our Chairman, Peter. So what does it do, light rain for a couple of hours! Despite having only two umbrellas between us we were not going to let this spoil our enjoyment.
Once we were issued with our earplugs and cartridges it was out to the first stand to shoot at clays that were flying away from us. Only Stewart had not fired a shotgun before; after the safety briefing Chairman Peter went first. After missing the first clay, he set himself up as the man to beat with six kills out of nine. Very quickly the trap developed a mind of its own and started to fire clays continuously. After a call for maintenance we continued but when it started again, we moved to the next stand with only half the competitors having shot.
On this stand we were shooting at clay rabbits as they ran across in front of us. This was not as easy as it looked and kills were generally less than before.
It was then back to the first stand for the remainder to complete the round before moving on to the final stand where the birds were flying across from right to left. A close fought contest was developing with Stewart on 13 kills, Peter on 12 kills and three other members on 10 kills.
Once again, our Chairman went first and missed only one bird bringing his total to 19 out of 25, a very creditable score! Stewart was to shoot next but made the mistake of checking with the scorer as to how many he could afford to miss and yet still beat Peter. He could only afford to miss one clay to win, two to draw. In the event his nerve went and he only achieved 5 kills out of 8 shots putting him in second place. At this point nobody else could challenge Peter but, Stafford Round Table President Gary made a valiant attempt with a clean sweep of all 8 kills to put him in joint second place.
It was then back to The Barley Mow in Milford for a few beers and a buffet. We were joined by several more of our members for a convivial evening and reflection on the missed shots. Peter presented the booby prize to Brett for only 6 kills and then presented himself with the prize for the highest score! Perhaps now we know why he took us shooting for the evening. Whilst never having fired a shotgun before, how come Stewart managed 18 kills out of 25? Perhaps it was his 14 years service in the Armed Forces that gave him an edge!
Thanks go to Chairman Peter for organising a fun evening, even if he could not get the weather organised. Next month is a BBQ at Chase Golf Club.