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Sunday Hunting Bill Introduced

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Keep in mind the bill has to go through the sausage making legislative process so we don’t think this will be its final form. However, I am glad to see that at this point there is no restriction on public land hunting. That was something I fully expected to see. With over one million acres of public land in the mountains it is important that access be available. I do have a couple of concerns that should be addressed as the bill is discussed and amended.

First, I don’t understand the prohibition on waterfowl hunting. It may be that much of that occurs during the early morning hours and people don’t want to be awakened by shotguns blasting that early. That will put a damper on outfitters, guides and lodges on the east coast. With a burgeoning waterfowl population this is a great opportunity to expand that tourism industry and bring in out-of-state hunters. It would be nice to get an explanation of this provision.

Second, I think I understand reason for prohibition of hunting with dogs but it needs to be re-defined. My suspicion is this provision is to keep bear and deer dogs from running through private property on Sunday. I get that. However, the current blanket prohibition also means you can’t hunt quail, grouse, or rabbits with bird dogs or beagles. Anyone who has hunted knows the way you hunt those species in no way compares to running bear and deer dogs. A simple change to that wording to state “bear and deer” can change that.

Altogether though it is a good bill. Please contact your representatives in the state Senate and House and ask them to support the bill. I plan on doing that and going one step further: offering to sit down and discuss their concerns with the bill and overcome the negative press that will ensue from its introduction. As the bill works its way through the process we will keep you posted.

In our third installment of our preparation for Spring sporting clays we discuss the third aspect of the Ready Position: hold point. This is where your body is oriented and the barrel is pointed when you call for the target. We see two common mistakes here in our instruction. First, many novice shooters want to point the gun at the trap machine. The problem with this approach is you immediately start out behind the bird and try to play catch up. When you do this the shooter rushes to catch up and then stops the swing when they do, missing the target. The second mistake is not having the barrel aligned with the flight path of the target. If the barrel is above or below the line of flight the shooter has to move the barrel up or down to intercept the flight path which again puts you behind the target causing the same whipping motion with the barrel that results in a lost target.

The hold point is established by first facing the point at which you want to break the target (break point). Then turning the upper torso to that point at which the shooter acquires visual acuity of the bird. Not when you first see it as a blur out of the trap, but when it comes into clear focus. Then the barrel is brought down to the line of the target. This is the hold point. Many shooters think you have to be a contortionist to shoot sporting clays. If you go try this on several stations you will see that very little upper body movement is required. In fact, on high incoming and going away targets very little body or barrel movement is required. The weather is warming. Time to bust some clays.

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