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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Happy June everyone! I am not sure where the time goes, but it sure flies by. My May was so full of travel, weddings and celebrations that I am not 100 percent certain what day it is right now. My middle child graduated from high school, my daughter had her junior prom and one of my best friend’s daughters got married. There have been a birthday celebration (ugh), athletic banquets and baccalaureate services. This is a long way of saying there has been less shooting time than we would have liked around here. But alas, we must have our priorities.

Last duck season was my best ever: I was a pretty good shot most days, and I got to hunt in some great locations on some great days, so I killed 120 ducks and geese.

“You’re gonna hate this part,” I warned Ninja.

My 19-year-old co-worker – nicknamed for her ability to get anything done efficiently and well – immediately began to cringe and squeal, which was exactly what I wanted.

As I stood yesterday looking at the big looming facade of Gold’s Gym, dreading the forthcoming workout, I thought “Damn all that meat and Malbec!” Yep, it happens every year! We go to Argentina and we become gluttons. We eat too much, drink great Malbecs and a few (or several) cervezas and shoot until we cannot hold the gun up anymore.

It had been a very good duck hunt. Clear, bright December day. Sky swept clean by a raging north wind. And at this particular spot in a small marsh surrounded by grazing cattle, we were where the birds wanted to be.

The last few years have seen a jump in the number of women getting involved in the shooting sports and the shotgun sports are seeing a surge in women participating. So much so that gun manufactures are even marketing guns specifically for women. For me, whatever gets them out there enjoying a morning or afternoon of shooting is fantastic.

Well for us here from the Mid-Atlantic up to Maine, the winter hopefully is having its last hurrah and Spring is coming! I guess ol’ Punxsutawney Phil was right when he said six more weeks of winter, and boy have we had it! Good grief, we are so ready for some good weather and with that comes shooting fun again.

The first weekend in January is one of my favorite here, because that’s when my organization, California Waterfowl, does one of the coolest things ever: We take a group of college wildlife biology students from non-hunting backgrounds, teach them to shoot, put them through hunter education, then take them on a hunt. All in one weekend.

February is upon us! Where does time go, truly? The older I get, the faster the days seem to fly by.

January has been full of action in the shooting world. There has been the Dallas Safari Club Show, The Shot Show in Las Vegas, and now the Safari Club International show in Las Vegas is just around the corner. From all I hear, the first two were a great success. I’ll be attending SCI in Las Vegas and hope to see many old friends and meet new ones there. I always look forward to seeing all the new offerings the shooting world is bringing forth gear, lodges and trips and these shows are a great place to seek them out.

Oh, no. It was happening again.

When I first started getting the hang of duck hunting, it never failed: If Hank was having a good day of shooting, I would be shooting atrociously. And if I was having a good day, he couldn’t hit a damn thing.