A couple of years ago I received a call from a business acquaintance at Benelli USA, the good people who build a great shotgun. The call was an invitation to be a guest on an episode of Benelli’s Dream Hunts program airing weekly on The Outdoor Life Network now called Versus. Not being one to turn down any chance to hunt I quickly accepted without knowing any of the details at the time.
I was a very unlikely prospect, but Gary Jackson knew better.
The past President of Blackwater Worldwide and ex-Navy SEAL took one look at me and saw my inner commando. It speaks highly of his perceptive powers, because at the time my legs were ready to completely give out from under me, which is how we met in the first place.
This is the final installment in our three-part series, The Triple Crown of Sporting Clays Resorts. In the first installment, Shotgun Life Editor, Deb McKown wrote about The Greenbrier. The second installment brought us to The Homestead. To wrap it up, Deb now writes about the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.
For most people, The Homestead resort conjures up visions of golf, tennis, horseback riding and a romantic evening of four-star cuisine.
Part 1: The Greenbrier
You know a road trip is going be great when, on the first leg of it, Johnny Cash comes on the radio and sings "Ghost Riders in the Sky."
Your SUV is packed with sporting clays guns, ammo and shooting gear and Cash's renegade ballad sends a shiver down your spine. You wonder, Does it really get any better than this?
For us, the answer would be a resounding yes.
We anticipated an extraordinary weekend of shooting and dining, since we also had dinner reservations at another great American institution, the Culinary Institute of America in nearby Hyde Park.
The opportunity to shoot sporting clays on hallow ground doesn't present itself that often, but you can do it in the area of Manassas, Virginia where the battles of Bull Run were fought.
Depending on which side of the Mason-Dixon Line you're standing, it's called either the First and Second Battle of Bull Run (as it's known in the North) or the First Battle and Second Battle of Manassas (the Southern name for it). The first battle took placed July 21, 1861 while the second, larger battle was fought August 28-30, 1862.
This installment is the fourth and final part of Deborah McKown's series on clays shooting in the San Francisco Bay Area. In part I, Deb reveals a little-known skeet field inside San Francisco city limits. Afterwards, Deb and friend Diane visit a nearby micro brewery with a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean.
This article is the third part of Deborah McKown's four-part series on clays shooting in the San Francisco Bay area. Part I reveals a little-known skeet field inside city limits. Afterwards, Deb and friend Diane head to a nearby micro brewery with a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean. In Part II, Deb and Diane shoot skeet and trap at a place that resembles a covert terrorist camp. Afterwards, they visit an interesting mix of wineries in the "Other Napa Valley." Now here is Part III...
If you're into fried seafood, hand-carved decoys and the pleasures of small-town life then the 38th Annual Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland was the place to spend a leisurely autumn afternoon.
This article is the second part of Deborah McKown's four-part series on clays shooting in the San Francisco Bay area. Part I reveals a little-known skeet field inside city limits. Afterwards, Deb and friend Diane head to a nearby micro brewery with a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean. Now here is Part II...
There’s bobwhite quail, chukar, partridge and pheasant for the taking in Texas. But there’s more than great bird shooting in Texas. You can drive to Austin, the city that surprisingly has more live music venues per capita than even Nashville, Memphis, Los Angeles, Las Vegas or New York City
In Mexico you can go on trips to shoot ducks, quail goose, and perdiz. Then squeeze in a visit to the magnificent Inca ruins, stunning scuba diving in Cozumel or magnificent deep-sea fishing in Cancun.
Michigan is a pheasant-hunting paradise in the fall -- especially if your lodgings are a rustic lakefront cabin with a wood-burning fireplace.
You could stay in gorgeous San Francisco and make day trips to the “other Napa Valley” for a weekend of great clays shooting and tastings at tiny wineries destined for greatness.
Or you could hop a train -- one of the many rail safaris in Africa that take you to private bird-shooting preserves in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania. And of course, there is plenty of exotic wildlife -- up close and personal.
Luxuriate away your time in the travel section of Shotgun Life. You can travel vicariously or book a reservation. This is a place to explore.
Three-hundred targets, three sporting clays courses, 48 hours.
The eight of us piled into three cars to meet the challenge.
We left from Greater Baltimore on Friday morning. The group split up according to breakfast habits. Us four, not real big on lumberjack specials, decided to sleep the extra 30 minutes and grab a last-minute coffee at home.