Back on August 18th & 19th Beaver Pond Sporting Club hosted their first annual SXS shoot. I promised right afterward that Iíd post more about the shoot and facility as soon as I got the chance. Well, between work, Alyssaís wedding, and a few unexpected twists, Iím just now getting a chance to make good on that promise. Iím providing an event write-up for our Winter Journal to David Williamson, so my pictures and a more detailed description of the event will show up there.
Some may recall that the weather forecast for that weekend was abysmal. As late as Thursday the 17th the forecast was for rain chances of between 60 and 80 percent between Friday and Sunday. What had started out as great enthusiasm for this event began to cool as lots of folks decided to pass due to the impending weather.
Having never been there, and with time off from work pretty hard to schedule, myself, Chuck Brady, and Orenda Love were still all in. The club is located in Snow Camp, NC, about 15 miles from Burlington. I arrived at about 4:30 Thursday, to be followed by Chuck and Orenda a couple of hours later. Dan Christoffersen met me in the parking lot, handed me a cold beverage of some sort, and took me on a tour of the grounds. What an awesome place. First thing you see is a two acre or so kennel facility, most of which is open run area, with a bunch of happy dogs running around wagging their tails. A hundred yards or so off to the right of that is a covered picnic area that Iíd guess will accommodate somewhere around 200 folks. Across the lane from the picnic area is the main lodge. The owner, Johnny Miller, is passionate about upland bird hunting, sporting clays, and cooking. The Lodge consists of a nice Pro-shop at one end, several guest rooms on either side of a hallway leading to two full baths, and then a breezeway which leads to a covered porch with large pig cookers and smokers and comfortable chairs. On the other side of the breezeway is access to the kitchen, a kitchen capable of putting on a feed for several hundred with no outside help. Like I said, Johnny loves to cook! The exit door from the kitchen leads to the indoor lodge dining area. Words canít really do this place justice. Rustic post & beam construction, with lots of hunting related doo-dads decorating the walls. Beautiful wood paneling lines all the walls in the lodge, and Johnny & company take great pride in informing all in earshot that there is not a single square foot of sheet rock in the entire facility.
Next we were off in Danís cart for a tour of the sporting clays course. For this weekend there were 14 stations set up with 4 trap machines each. Both large and small bore events were to be contested on the same course, and machines were utilized based on which event you were shooting. While I didnít get to see any targets that afternoon, I was impressed by the different shooting conditions throughout the course. Some stations were in heavily wooded areas with limited shooting lanes, others were in clear-cut areas, and still others were in open fields with machines set at great distances. While it wasnít on this weekends agenda, there was also a scaffold tower set up & visible on the way into the lodge from the main road. A very large structure from which I can only imagine many a pheasant has flown to the table in the lodge. Earlier in the week, Dan and Tony Tucker had erected a practice 5-stand for warm-ups prior to the competition, and the trap machines set there looked to be pretty sporty to say the least.
Finally, we pulled up to the competition 5-stand. This was a very nice permanent structure of post and beam construction where one could shoot in a hurricane and not get wet. I could tell by the trap machine placements that this was going to be a very challenging venue.
No rain fell that afternoon, and I met Chuck and Orenda at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Burlington in time for supper. There is an Outback Steakhouse in the parking lot of the hotel which made supper an easy no-brainer after a long day of either travelling of shooting.
As I indicated above, Iíll provide some pictures and a more shoot specific write-up in the Journal, but Iíll prime the pump in saying that not a single drop of rain fell during shooting hours the entire weekend. The targets were awesome. The food was great & while we had less than 15 shooters make the event, including two ladies, there were 45 rounds shot, including the competition 5-stand, but not including the practice 5-stand. Iíll post the scores in the journal, but as one might expect, my friend Adam Pickett was HOA. HOA was the best combined Main Event and Competition 5-stand score. Anyone wanting more information about this great facility can navigate to www.beaverpondsportingclub.com .