Comanche Hills - Driven Clays Shoot - May, 2014

 SxS Members - The Great Central Valley SxS Chapter had a Driven Clays Shoot last Saturday.  The shooting simulates the well-known Driven Bird shoots in England. The difference is in England they push the fields with drivers flushing live birds over the shooters.  We shoot clay birds thrown from a high hill, using 15 traps.  Larry Skinner ,the club manager, has 12 station on a graded trail around the base of the steepest part of the hill, two shooters at each station.  Shooting is frantic at times and always some clays get past unscathedThis may be the reason Skinner adds extra birds above what we pay for, this time he added over 200 extra targets.  The stations, where the hill is the steepest, tend to get more high over head shots, these are fun.  As you progress around the hill the sloop changes and is more gentle, here you get more shots coming at you.  At any station you never know what your next shot will be.  It seems that a case of shells is the customary amount of shells to have on hand for this shoot.  Some shooters may only use four boxes while others take a case and run out before the last wild flurry of targets that rain down on shooters.  You would hate to miss this final crescendo.
We had some excitement along the line, Joe Dickerson did a backward somersault after shooting at a high flying target over his head.  Talked to Joe that night, he had hot pad on back, said he thinks he wrenched his back and would be  shooting in a week.  I shoot with Joe most every week and have great admiration for his determination.  Vern Brinkerhoff created some excitement when he came face to face with a large rattle snake,  but the snake was no match for Vern's 12-gauge shotgun. (see photo)

When shooting was over, we motored back to club house (about two miles) where we had lunch waiting.  We were served on one end of the patio and the guns were displayed on the other end waiting to be voted on for Favorite Driven Bird Gun award.  While eating there was conversation about the morning shoot: the snake, Joe and the high flying birds.  After Joe fell I was talking with him and he was telling me about some of his Driven Bird shoots that he has been on in England and how he liked the high over head shots like the one that today made him fall. 

After eating we determined by vote the gun that won the, Favorate Driven Bird Gun, prize.  Dr. John Hilt's gun won with his - Robert Robinson,   (12bore, 30" English 3-band damascus bbls. Chokes: R - .005, L - .035 7 Queen St.            "Ward Target" type fences, Best A&D boxlock ejector. Mfgr.circa. 1917.)  Hull, Yorkshire John choose a custom "T" shirt with

Larry Shelton
Author of newly released book J. P. Clabrough Gunmaker