Shooting Skeet!

I can cross one more thing off my bucket list, shooting skeet! Half hour before I was scheduled to meet with the Capital Area Sportman’s League, a hail storm unlike any other broke out over Haslett, it was like a solid sheet of hail outside our windows. Those little icy balls were bouncing off of every surface and to me, looked pretty intimidating. When I called the club to see if we were still on, I was met with an “Of course! The men are out there right now!” Silly me, why wouldn’t they be out shooting guns in the middle in yucky weather?

My GPS warned me I would be going on unpaved roads, it did not warn me that I should be dressed in flannel as that was the style of choice among the men folk. One man, Bob, was so manly he wore flannel on top of flannel. I did not get the memo. Grizzly men, with guns, hip bags full of ammo and aviator glasses were some of the nicest, sweetest most helpful and patient people I have ever met. They told me if I was going to be serious about shooting skeet in the future, I should invest in a child’s gun because it would fit my frame better. Ouch. Bob didn’t even hand me his gun as he is probably six foot, one million inches.

Pat Rademacher, a club volunteer and skeet shooter enthusiast was my mentor and narrated everything Bob was demonstrating for us.  Bob was a sharp shooter, no doubt about that, the clay pigeons would come flying out at warp speed and he would pick them off easily. After the first position where you shoot pigeons from two locations, Bob turned to me and asked if I liked the smell of the bullets. I told him I did and he smiled his first bearded smile and told me he did too, he liked the smell of sulfur in the cold air. My guess is that it’s the smell of success for that hunter.

After our shooting lesson (Bob-9, Me-0) we went inside to warm up and the fellas offered me some cake. Another member had brought in an enormous carrot cake for some celebration and like wonderful hosts, Pat and Bob offered us slices. Pat reached into his pocket and pulled out a huge hunting knife, reassuring me that it was clean, that the red on  the blade was just frosting. We all sat down and talked about the merits of butchering your own deer. By we, I mean I asked the questions and the guys told me their thoughts on it, and then shared a ton of recipes about how to prepare the venison, Julia Child would have been enlightened.

I would love, love, love to go back and practice my skeet shooting. Imagine how proud the guys would be if I could hit a target! Before I return I’d need to invest in some flannel and come bearing a solid recipe for venison pot pies, maybe I could teach them a thing or two!

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