Back at the beginning of January I entered my first registered shoot of 2018. In actual fact it was my first registered shoot since the ICTSF Worlds last July; six months ago. Although it went OK, I definitely need a lot more practise to get me ready for the major competitions this year. I have thoroughly enjoyed time off of the competitions and just focusing on my Game Shooting, but, my season is now over and I am looking forward to getting my head back in the game with the registered shoots.
We headed to Podimore Shooting Ground for their first registered shoot of the year; it has become a bit of a tradition now with my friends so it was good to get out with them again this year. Although it was bitterly cold it was luckily dry which is more than we could say about last years event! As well as the standard 100 bird Sporting Competition they were also holding a small gauge competition after for anyone mad enough, or brave enough, to go around again.
When you shoot to have fun it is easy to forget that this is a professional competition and many people do take this very seriously. At one point a group of men were given a warning by the referee for not focusing on the shooting and wanting to ‘see the pair’ again before their turn on the stand. They had already handed in their score cards but had walked off and only came back when it was their turn. Apparently the rules state that once you have handed your score card to the referee on a stand you need to be ready for your turn and watching the targets. I had never realised this, although luckily it isn’t a mistake I have ever made, I can see it being easily done. My advice would be – if in doubt just stay focused and prepared for you turn.
The day was incredibly fun and although the stands were challenging they were not impossible. I have now found myself at the point in my shooting where no clay ‘frightens’ me. I have seen every type of target possible and I know how to hit them in theory; although this doesn’t always work in practice!
I have set myself a few goals with my shooting in 2018 –
- To shoot at least one registered shoot a month
- To try other disciplines in shooting
- To shoot a registered competition at five different clay grounds
These may not be very big achievements for those who regularly shoot competitions but for me these are the first steps into taking my shooting to the next level. I have always shot for fun with friends however this year I would like to focus and see just how good I can be.
I’m looking forward to my next registered shoot this Sunday (4th February). Wish me luck!