Saturday, January 20, 2007

The HUGE Fish that got away....

It’s 5:20pm…We’re home from the field trial. I have now added many things to my repertoire. As of today, I have shot chukkar in snow, sleet, and rain – all within the time frame of a couple of hours. It was cold. Did I say it was cold? And muddy. Many hours later, my feet are starting to thaw. My husband (who went with me, after all, due to the weather) and I decided we’re going to have to get better outfitted for this sport.

I did have to shoot over Zack, and I was so nervous! My trainer was right by my side in the field, which really helped. This was my first time to shoot over my own dog. It was fun! My first run, we did in 9 minutes (out of 20 allowed). Zack found three birds, pointed them, and I shot them. All the other competitors and hubby were cheering! On our first retrieve, Zack looked a little like Billy on the Family Circus cartoon…go around that tree, throw the bird up in the air, catch it, stop and relieve himself, then bring the bird back…to the trainer. It took Zack a second to bring it to me. (After the bird is shot, the shooter has to keep one foot planted and can only move one foot to stretch out and get the bird from the dog after the retrieve.) After we got that bird, Zack really went to work. At the end of it, we capped 238 points, only 2 points behind the leader, and went right into the finals. How exciting!!

I’m a sporting clay girl…in that sport, you step into the box, safety off, then load your gun. You shoot 2, make sure your gun’s unloaded, step out of the box. Usually, it’s warm, so you have on summer clothing.

In a hunting situation, your gun is loaded, and gun is on safety until you flush your bird. It was cold, I had gloves (and everything else imaginable) on, and I had a little safety trouble on my second run. I shot and missed 2 birds just because my safety was on - I had to kick it off, then shoot. I thought I was ready when we flushed the bird.) We got our third bird, just barely under the 20 minute call. My bad shooting and lack of expertise kicked us right out of the finals. If Zack could talk, he’d probably be lecturing me all the way home.

I’m going to have to practice field shooting. I’ll get it down – I don’t want my dog to lack because of me. The field trial was so much fun! And Zack, as usual, is a joy to watch!

And a new twist (and pressure)…my trainer told me I would be shooting over Zack in the National Finals in Missouri in March.

Guess I’d better rope up - because I love, love, love this sport. And…oh, my Lord - so does Zack.

5 comments:

Rach said...

Yay - Glad Zach made it to the finals. Bummer about the shooting thing - but I'm sure practise will make perfect ;).

Karen said...

I feel the enthusiasm in your post! Good for you. My husband has mentioned I would probably enjoy clay target shooting. His dad was a big game trophy hunter. The husband doesn't hunt much but if he does it's quail and dove. It's been years, though.
Onward to Missouri!

Janie said...

Rach, you can bet I'll be practicing! When you come back, I'll take ya!

Karen - clay shooting is fun, and it is a sport in which women are starting to take notice. My entire family clay shoots, and we love it - we even compete in the charity shoots around here, Dallas, and Houston. Lots of fun, and lots of great people!

Gwynne said...

If Zack could talk, he’d probably be lecturing me all the way home.

Heh. :-) Sounds like you both did great. Whereabouts in MO will the National Finals be?

Janie said...

Gwynne - It is in Fairview, Missouri...(like I have any idea where that is;))