Eric and I headed up to Grenville, Canada on Sunday to Tim MacSweyn's course. We typically head to Port Colborne, but this is in the opposite direction above Oswego. The courses are very similar in that they are both in the woods so you need to bring your bug spray, or in this case your Birds of Prey spray. I've NEVER felt mosquitos bump into me until this visit and they absolutely swarmed you. Bug spray was a must and Tim's homemade "juice" that he sprays helped at the lanes for sure.
I left at 4:30 am, got to Eric's by 5, and we ended up arriving a bit late at 9:25 and were greeted by everyone standing in the lot expecting our arrival. We quickly got ready and moved to the sight-in range to prep for the match. While I only took 2 shots the others took the full 20 minutes or so. I had just shot yesterday and only needed to verify 0. We then headed off to the course which is in the middle of a swamp of all things. But this meant that the mosquitos/birds-of-prey were abundant and hungry. If you stopped at any point you were swarmed so keeping a good pace to the course seemed necessary.
Ryan (Mr. Clean) and I were paired together. All total there were 10 shooters. Tim has the course set up so there are 4 targets in each lane and you shoot 8 lanes (1 standing/1 kneeling) for a total of 64 shots.
Right off the bat I only got 7 out of 8 on the first lane. I always feel more at ease once I get that clean lane, but my hopes weren't too high as I had just missed 1 shot and the kneeling lane was next. I was to be pleasantly surprised as I ended up clearing the next 5 lanes. My next miss was a standing shot that, looking back, I rushed and "hoped" the pellet would go into the hole. Always take your time on the standing shots if you have it. Never rush, and if it isn't stable don't take the shot. We then finished the last lane with me repeating the mantra "every shot counts". Sometimes you get complaicent and ruin a great match on the last lane because you start to relax. Don't relax until the last shot is over...
Jeff Hemming, who used to be so laid back, seemed to be calling cold lines on every lane he was at. So he deservedly got assigned the nickname "Coldline". And when a target got stuck I called down to the far end of the course to ask Jeff if he'd like to be the one to call Cold Line making everyone on the course laugh.
In the end I had managed my highest score to date, 62/64, and was thrilled that I got to achieve this with such great people surrounding me.
Always keep bug spray in your box...and aspirin/advil/etc.
ALL photos are courtesy of John Bradley.