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NSSA World Skeet Championship: Day One

Arriving at the NSSA shooting complex in San Antonio was a first in itself. But not only had I never been to the complex, I had yet to shoot my first NSSA registered skeet target. I was going to go through the World Skeet Championship as a rookie.

Being a rookie means all of the confusion of not really knowing what to do or where to go, but the NSSA staff were extremely helpful and completely understanding.

First stop was the registration building. A survey, a ticket, a form, another form, registration fees and I was all set to compete.

My first event was the 12 gauge mini-world.Once arriving at the field, I met the other shooters that the event organizers had squaded me with. The four of them were from Mississippi and were as nice as could be. They made me feel as if I were shooting back with the gang in North Carolina.

I was shooting in the fifth position in the squad (last). So I had plenty of looks at the targets as the first four shooters shot at station 1. I stepped up, got ready, called for the target and promptly missed my first ever registered target. Things happen.

What happened next, is where it gets interesting.

I then shot the remaining 24 targets in that box (25 targets in a box). Then went perfect in the next two boxes (74 targets straight at this point), then shot the first 20 targets in the fourth and final box without missing. That’s 94 straight targets without a miss.

During this most-interesting run, I did make a mistake that could have cost me,had it not been for the awareness of of Frank, from the Starkville Gun Club. I had mistakenly set up for low five when I should have set up for the high bird. I called pull. When nothing came from the right side of the field, I put my gun down and looked at the referee – that’s when I heard a booming voice say “high bird GET IT” – in a split second I realized my mistake, turned around, pulled the gun to my shoulder while sighting the bird, inserted into the lead point and pulled the trigger …  SMOKE. That was an adrenaline pump and a fine example of the camaraderie that I have witnessed in every skeet shooter I’ve ever met.

READ:   But, I don't Have a $20,000 Shotgun

NSSA Mini world skeet championshipAll-in-all, I missed two targets out of 100 for a total score of 98 – which was good enough to the the Mini-World 12 gauge rookie champion. Second place shot a 96.

I had family at the event and we toured the grounds in the time between shoots, a mistake I learned from. All that walking around in the sun took a lot out of me and when I got to my second event that day, I was beat. I was struggling to focus, could not get “in-the-zone” that I had been in that morning. I shot a 90 – good enough only for 5th place.

The lights-out shooting in the 12gauge event still had me stoked despite the not as spectacular 28gauge follow-up. I did however learn that I needed to spend more time in the shade relaxing between events and will take that into day 2 where I will shoot the 20 gauge and .410 bore events.

About Rich

Rich Mitchell is the President and CEO of RAM Arms inc. Rich is also a competitor in Skeet, sporting clays, 3-gun, Steel Challenge and USPSA.

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