My New Hat
June is here and finally the cold and snowy winter is just present in our memory and while the dog days of summer don't arrive we can enjoy some nice time at the shotgun range, at least when I am not traveling on business, which is not very often.
Anyhow, yesterday my son Daniel and I drove to Cedar Rod & Gun Club (www.crgc.org) to shoot some Trap. Any form of shotgunning is always my preferred form of relaxation after a working day, and it is always more enjoyable if Daniel can come along, even if does not accept my coaching.
Driving from Old Mission Peninsula to Leelanau is always enjoyable, and I particular enjoy the country views once we leave M-72 and get 651 towards Cedar. The gentle rolling hills where farming and old growth forest intertwine always hide a deer or a flock of turkeys, keeping the distant fall hunting season alive in our hearts.
When we got to the club shooting was already underway and Daniel and I got engaged in some small talk with other members which soon turned to some new gun appreciation, as someone always has a new gun.
On our first round I started at station 5 and missed my seventh and eighth shots, which were taken at station 1, finishing with a score of 23. The Eighth Ammendment of the US Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, and while missing while shooting flying, be it birds or clay pigeons, is not unusual for me, it is always cruel to miss two birds in a row!
On the second round we only had four shooters in the squad which makes for a little faster pace, while I'd rather have a slower one. Anyhow, I was just "in the zone" and could focus the bird that was slightly affected by a rising air current with eagle eyes, despite being a middle aged grandfather. The Caesar Guerini Summit Limited was throwing the Remington Gun Club one ounce load of No. 8's exactly where they were supposed to go.
My last five shots were taken from station 3 and by the 21st or 22nd shot I had to start some yoga breath control in order to keep my concentration and avoid thinking about a possible twenty five straight, which is a clear receipt for disaster. The last shot was a straight-away bird, which is a harder shot for me, since I've always been a Skeet Shooter.
Anyhow, yesterday I had my first twenty five straight at Trap, and after everyone congratualted me they asked for my hat following a very old tradition, which may go as fas back as the OLD HATS pigeon club in England. Unusually I did not have one, so I bought a brand new CRGC hat, distributed ammunition to the other five shooters present, stuffed the had with a handfull of clay pigeons to give it some weight and threw it up.
The picture clearly shows what being hit by ten rounds of twelve gage ammo does. It turns a brandnew hat into an honorable Old Hat and a true trophy in seconds.
I just would like to thank all present to have allowed me to throw the hat in the air, rather than have to wear it when they shot it!