So winter finally arrived in the Rochester, New York. I came back from a company trip out west to brutal cold and snow.
But this hasn't stopped me from practicing. I was fortunate enough to be able to shoot my personal course so much before winter finally set in. Now I'm downstairs in the basement shooting a 3/8" target kneeling and standing several times a day if not more.
One lesson I learned early on is that you HAVE TO LIKE KNEELING AND STANDING. If you don't you can pretty much count yourself out of any placings in a competition. I started out just wanting to throw pellets at the targets instead of proving to myself that I couldn't hit the damn things. Then it dawned on me that I'm probably losing 8-12 points on targets simply because I don't do well on them, or don't like them. Once I realized that I realized that in order to "like" these positions I'd have to practice them....A LOT!
Nice thing about having such a quiet shooting platform is that you can shoot inside. All you need is a good backstop. And backstops are easy to come by. One option is a rubber mulch filled box, which is inexpensive and easily replaced. Simply put your paper target up there and start shooting away.
In my case I have a basement with 9 yards available, 10 if I really wanted to move some things around. Being in the basement I'm also not too concerned about the lead pellets after they hit the target so I switched from shooting paper to shooting an actual 3/8" drop-down Gamo target. Personally, I felt as though shooting paper got "boring" and I would always error on the side of "it would have gone down" more often than admitting it was a bad shot. Now it's either hit or miss. There are times when I'll get 9/10 standing and 10/10 kneeling, while others won't be nearly as good.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!
I never said it would be easy, but eventually you'll notice that you'll be knocking down more than you did yesterday and more than the day before that. Hopefully you'll get to the point where you don't mind the standing/kneeling lanes as much as you did.
Just because you are better then you were, you can't stop now. Shooting is a perishable skill and more so standing/kneeling. So you need to continue practicing, set aside time, do what you need to make time...just do it.
The weekend started out on Saturday with Eric coming over a bit early. We shot my course that I have in my back yard as much as we could then Eric, Sydney (my daughter) and I headed out around 3:30pm. After 5 hours travel and a stop at Quaker Steak & Lube (first time for all of us) we arrived at the hotel that Mike arranged for us about 10pm.
The next morning we got up and going, had a nice breakfast at the hotel and went over to the shoot which was just 4 miles from the hotel. Mike and his crew have put in a LOT of work. I think they have 45 lanes on the side of a hill now. And they seem to have more each time we go there. Absolutely spectacular and a must if you are up for the travel.
Eric, Sydney and I sat down to make sure our guns were sighted in about 8:15. 10 shots later and I was good, which frustrates Eric to no end..."puff guns" he always says. Hans and Rosalie showed up, which was an unexpected bonus and then HECTOR came walking in. He hasn't seen Sydney in about 4 years, so it was great to see his expression when he realized she was there.
Mike got things going. Sydney and I shot together as we were sharing my gun. There was very little wind during the entire course, which is strange when you are on the side of a mountain like that. We had a great day shooting. Sydney did very well shooting in the "young division" as Mike called it. There were two of them. Sydney was definitely not near 16 and I'm not sure if the other boy was or not. But those were the two "young" shooters -- in comparison to us old farts I guess. She ended up with 102/120 (17 misses) and the other fellow had 96/120.
I feel like my FX Streamline shot really well getting me 51/60. The X-Barrel that FX put on it hasn't hurt at all, and I think it actually does better with it. There were two shots that I couldn't figure out why they did what they did, but I've come to realize that it was probably me and not the gun. <sigh>
Afterwards Mike got all the scores together and went over the standings. Field Target isn't about any monetary reward as typically you'll get a piece of paper, small plaque or something similar. And there is usually a lot of ribbing because today you might be on top, but tomorrow you might be on the bottom. It all depends on you and how you shoot on a given day. Some times you are on top of the world and other times you feel like crawling under the covers and forgetting about the day. But they way I see it, it's like a round of golf. You might really suck, but then there's this ONE shot that you can't believe you got. And THAT is what makes you go back next time to see if you can make it TWO.
Even though it was 53 Sydney was still cold <crazy>
Had a great weekend with my daughter -- it's been a while since she shot. We had a lot of laughs and had a great time without any incidents.