Year end review.
3 registered bird tournaments
2 registered side events
41/50 finished 2nd in both however not enough to earn a punch in either.
Happy to pick up nearly 20 birds since my 1st. Still need to be better. I finally know enough and am skilled enough to hit most shots. I’m executing the techniques I learned way back in September and have a decent “feel” for the shot. Consistency has gotten better although there is a lot of work left to be done on the mental side. I need to turn those 5s and 7s to 6s and 8s. I’d like to get another lesson in before May.
Things I learned
I really had no clue how to shoot clays. My gun was totally ill-fitting. Ammo makes a difference. Not in regards to performance at my skill level, but in how much more punishment is dished out. Cheap Walmart federals are fine in low doses, but in volume situations they will fuck you up!
Shot calling is a thing in sporting clays however there usually aren’t any makeup shots. Zeroing a stage is a thing too and the consequences are just as high.
Overall I think I’m getting closer to putting up a big boy score on register birds. I’ve done it on a few occasions in practice but not in a tournament yet.
Simple. Get better and shoot more.
Learning how to practice was a major obstacle this year. There isn’t a Ben Stoeger in this game yet. There hasn’t been anyone to really breakdown the fundamentals and say here practice this and you will get gooder. I miss the free flowing information of the practical shooting world. I feel a lot of people in the business of shotgun teaching are snake oil salesmen. They act like they’re guarding the secrets of the Freemasons when it comes to information.
I’m going to shoot less registered birds and practice more. Registered birds are pricey, practice is less pricey. By the middle of January, I will have enough targets to enter major shoots.
Speaking of major shoots I want to shoot one this year. Although I hate doing so, I’m going to pass on the US Open that is less than 2 hours from the house. Instead I’m going to focus my efforts on the southeast regional in October. I can plan a small family getaway around it and I’ll have a solid month, un-interrupted, to prepare for it. May is a busy month for me.
Shoot a FITASC event. Apparently FITASC is where the heat is and the winners get all the cougar vag they can handle.
Better nutrition at and leading up to tournaments. Eyes are everything and dehydration affects vision. This will be more of an issue when I participate in a multi-day event.
Physical conditioning. Part of the reason I chose this hobby was to be able to get out and stretch my legs. It’s working. I always walk the course. While it’s been good for me, I’ve lost 25lbs since May, I find myself fatigued at the end of a long tournament day. A quick glance at score cards reveals my scores suffer because of it down the stretch. I’d like to drop another 25lbs this year. Couple that with building endurance by adding pace and distance to my normal walking routine, I should see an improvement.
I’m pretty happy with my current set up. I will add a back up gun at some point in 2019. There is nothing I can change that will add more broken targets to my score at my skill level. If there is anything gear related that I’ll spend any amount of time on is shells. For the most part I’m paying $50-$60 a flat. I’d like to pay less. Unlike pistol shooting, reloading saves nothing so I’ll have to explore other options. I’ve shot just over 5k rounds since September. That puts my current volume at about 10k/yr. Right now, it’s looking like my options are find a few more volume shooters and share a pallet, or buy a pallet and get into the ammo sales business. Both are options with access to the shooters at my local club.
I’m looking forward to improving my game. My goal is to melt faces and break hearts short term. I’d like to HOA my state championship long term. We have a long way to go but I’m happy with the progress so far.
I bought a new vest
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