Shotgun Lives

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Ann Kercheville

Ann Kercheville is President of Joshua Creek Ranch. Located in the renowned Texas Hill Country just 45 minutes northwest of San Antonio and 90 minutes southwest of Austin, Joshua Creek Ranch occupies a uniquely diverse terrain including miles of Joshua Creek and Guadalupe River bottomland planted in fields of grain crops for prime upland and deer hunting habitats. You can visit their web site at http://www.joshuacreek.com.

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Ken Hartshorn

Ken is a technical writer and has spent the majority of his career documenting storage hardware and software products for start-up companies. Although start-ups demand long hours, he always finds time to get to the club and break some clays. Ken is not a shooting instructor and he is not a professional shooter. He’s part of the majority of people who love to shoot clays just for the sheer fun of it.

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Lars Jacob

Unless Lars Jacob is running dogs, wetting a fly line or turkey hunting, everything he does revolves around shotgunning. Jacob has been teaching the finer art of wingshooting for over 30 years. He has run programs and gun rooms for the Dutch River Club, Covey & Nye and Orvis Company to name a few. Jacob is the founder and CEO of Lars Jacob Wingshooting, LLC and LJW Roving Syndicate. In addition to instruction, Jacob is recognized as one of the country’s finest gun fitters and recently worked with Perazzi’s Al Kondak to develop the Perazzi Ladies Sporter. He has a soft spot for side-by-sides and has introduced thousands of shooters to the nuances associated with shooting such shotguns. For more information visit www.larsjacobwingshooting.com.

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There’s no shortage of self-help books, blogs and TV shows on how to maintain a successful marriage. They often dispense predictable suggestions such as romantic getaways, better communications and compromise.

While those tactics are certainly useful, my friend Paula Formosa and I have discovered that hunting with your significant other strengthens personal bonds in ways that are more meaningful and longer lasting than a dip in a heart-shaped Jacuzzi.

Wild quail hunting can be found from Mexico to the uplands of California to the northern Midwest across the country to the so-called Golden Triangle of Georgia. North America itself is home to several quail species that live in assorted habitats and regions. Given the incredible variety of quail hunting opportunities there are many ways a hunter can get on birds – making these challenging birds available for an array of budgets and skill levels.

In the world of international hunting there are several ways to book your “hunt of a lifetime.” It could be at conventions such as Safari Club International, or a local show, the Internet, word of mouth or through a booking agent. The easiest, and honestly, most reliable way to book a hunt will be through a booking agent. Here’s why:

While Uruguay has been a player in the international wingshooting scene for many years, the country has been slightly overshadowed by Argentina. Uruguay is a true wingshooter’s dream, and quite possibly has the best mixed bag of wingshooting in the world.

In 1979, at age 35, Jeri Booth journeyed by herself from Houston, Texas into testosterone-charged southern Mexico to meet with the 6-foot, 4-inch Robert Brand at his new wingshooting operation, Paloma Blanca. Her objective: book American hunters there through an outfitter company she had just started, Detail Company Adventures.

As a hunting and fishing consultant, it’s a daily task to make sure each one of my customers gets the very best trip they can possibly have. Part of my job is to ask questions, and match each client to a lodge or outfitter that best matches their expectations and desires. That’s why I believe working with an agent or consultant is the number one thing the traveling wingshooter can do to ensure a good trip. Since most agents have been to the places they represent they have insights as to how you can maximize your money and time. What follows are a few things that I recommend to my clients and think they apply well to most any wingshooting adventure.

There’s a term in international wingshooting called “High-Volume.” Most outfitters claim they have truly high-volume shooting, and in many cases they do. Especially when you’re talking about shooting doves in South America. But what is High-Volume shooting, and more importantly how do you determine what High-Volume shooting really is?

The aerial acrobatics that a pigeon can perform are awe-inspiring in the world of wingshooting. The pigeon can only be rivaled in speed by a teal or a dove. A pigeon can turn on a dime. It can barrel roll or loop to loop with the best jet pilots. So it’s no wonder that when I ask well-traveled wingshooters “What’s your favorite bird to hunt?” more often than not they answer “pigeon.”

We all know that it can be pretty scary to book an international hunting trip. The big questions hunters ask themselves center around trust, enjoyment and performance of the outfitter you’re thinking about booking. After all, it’s not only the money involved but often a dream come true, the anticipation of memories created by hunting with loved ones or your buddies, or as some folks like to say checking off another item on your “bucket list.”

Alicia and Monica Dale are red-haired sisters that make up a duo of successful clays shooters.

And their shotgun of choice? Well, coincidentally, it’s the CZ Redhead Premier Target as it happens, which actually marked an upswing in their games by providing better fit and improved reliability over their previous shotguns, according to the sisters.