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A belated thanks

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by hunter870, May 21, 2007.

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  1. hunter870

    hunter870 Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Last year we visited friends in Lutts, TN - up around the AL, TN, MS border. My buddy isn't exactly new to the outdoors, but recently retired and moved to that part of the world and expressed an interest in hunting. As he is the new owner of a 37 acre farm that had 3 deer stands on it, I was quick to generously offer to drive up from Miami and offer my guidance. Last Thanksgiving morning he shot his first deer, a really nice 6 point.

    For the second part of the trip, I'd made reservations to take him on a guided duck hunt a few days later up on Kentucky Lake with Steve McCardle's guide service...but my friend had never handled a shotgun before.

    We sat down and looked online for the closest open range, and found Deer Creek Gun Club in Red Bay, AL - about 40 miles away. We called ahead and were answered by the owner, Gino Bortone, who seemed surprised to hear from us, as he had only listed the club on the internet a few days earlier. We drove over via what appeared to be the absolute backroads of Alabama. It took about an hour and 15 minutes, and we really had no idea what to expect (or where we were).

    When we arrived, we drove around a gorgeous house to the property in the rear, and found what was appeared literally to be a brand new trap field. I figured I'd work with my friend, go over the safety issues we'd spoken about in the car on the way over, and stand behind him and hand over one shell at a time to get him started. Working that way, I hoped I'd get him up to breaking 8 or 10 in a couple of rounds.

    Instead, we were met by a gentleman who introduced himself as James King, a local coach who worked with the Alabama scholastic trapshooters program. Mr. King asked if he could offer my friend a few pointers, and I didn't object. I wasn't privy to the actual coaching, but my buddy broke 18 his first round out and stayed consistent from 18 to 21 over the next three rounds.

    The range was beautiful, the targets were I think about $4 per round, and the people, especially Mssrs. King and Bartone were more than helpful.

    I felt like I'd taken my buddy to teach him how to drive golf balls, and when we gotten to the driving range were met by Arnold Palmer who offered some private coaching.

    As a result, the duck hunting trip was a smashing success, and my buddy shot well. I'm trying to talk him into becoming a regular trap shooter.

    If anyone gets up that way, I highly recommend a stop. Mr. King, if you're a poster here, then allow me to express my thanks in front of the entire community. Thanks for helping a couple of strangers.
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