High birds are the quintessential expression of the wing shooting art, demanding mental discipline, masterful technique, specialized equipment and humility. The high curling bird is the most difficult game bird shot and one great shot is more rewarding than a dozen straight-aways. This recognition drenched my mind as I stepped into the shooter’s cage to begin a European-style pheasant shoot at Oak Creek Sporting Clays Club in Brainard, Nebraska. Oak Creek is a full-service shooting club, boasting two sporting clays courses, skeet, trap and a rifle/handgun range.
It was a perfect morning to uncase the shotgun and prepare for a luscious dinner. The weather was temperate, the sky a pale blue slab dotted with cotton-candy clouds. The meticulously orchestrated shoot featured ten shooting stations arranged in a circle of a quarter mile in diameter with a tower in the center from which the birds would be released. About twenty guns attended the event. Each shooter or pair of guns shot for ten minutes at each station and then, at the sounding of the traditional hunter’s horn, rotated to the next, giving each participant the benefits of the best positions.
Thick stands of sixty-foot hardwood and pine trees obscured the release of the birds, which did not become visible until high overhead. While some pheasant flew low like missiles, most pheasant went high, some to cloud-tickling altitudes. The birds were challenging, with perhaps fifty percent flying past the guns unscathed.
Birds were immediately retrieved by ardent dogs, leaping through brush and foliage like porpoises over waves, their tails wagging like a musician’s metronome. In my gorgeous Beretta SO 3 EEL I shot Fiocchi Golden Pheasant loads with number 6 shot. A well-place shot dropped the bird like an anchor. Closing my eyes and opening my imagination, visions of the great Edwardian shoots at Elveden, Holkham and Sandringham flooded my mind. This European format event was set up by Terry Kriz, an owner of the club and a wonderful man who has become a dear friend. Oak Creek did this shoot right.
Please visit the facility on the web and, better yet, in person. http://www.oak-creek-club.com/
Michael Sabbeth is a lawyer and writer in Denver, Colorado. See his book The Good, The Bad & The Difference: How to Talk with Children About Values. Available at Amazon.com http://tinyurl.com/c5flmmu
Congratulations and thank you all!!!
Jack, Kenny Armstrong's dog, won the “Billy Ring Classic” Tournament that was held this weekend at the Bama Birddog Club in Lincoln Alabama.
Jack’s overall scores totals from 2 days of competitions, out preformed 35 other dogs from Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
A little field testing with our friends at Benelli, running their new #Ethos 28 gauge with a 3" chamber.
Fiocchi of America is proud to have partnered with Benelli to develop the first 3" 28 gauge on the market.
Here is what a Benelli team member on the hunt had to say about the shells:
"WOW, they are great. The group is thoroughly impressed with the knock down power of these new loads. We were killing pheasants stone dead at 50 yards."
The first Fiocchi Family Fun Day was a huge success!!! Plant employees were invited to the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Academy in Ridgedale, Missouri yesterday. The folks and their families participated in our first Redneck 3-Gun competition. The winners in each division were awarded Olympic style medals. The shooters tried their luck with shotguns, BB guns, and slingshots. Team Fiocchi / Benelli shooter Dianna Mueller and her family set up steel targets so we could try the shotgun portion of a 3-Gun match. A big thanks to the PSCA for setting up the venue and having the Pro Shooters mentor, meet, and greet our people.
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