Months ago I decided to pick up a LivingSocial Deal for a clay pigeon shooting session. Lois was in town over the weekend and so we decided it would be a perfect time to use it too.
The Richmond Hunting Club offered the deal and I wasn’t too sure what to expect before arriving. The Club is located about 80 minutes outside of Chicago (traffic free), close to the border of Wisconsin and Illinois. The thing about guns and shooting, in my opinion is that sometimes people are very protective and not very warm about teaching/fostering a sense of empowerment and safety. I wasn’t sure if we would stumble upon friendly gun-enthusiasts, or a grumpy city-hating gun club. (It turns out they were a GREAT group of gun enthusiasts in a very welcoming club.) Personally, I’m lucky enough to have grown up around firearms as well as been taught as an adult by my favorite ex-military Führer how to shoot, clean, and maintain firearms safely. I could imagine for some their first experiences with firearms could be not so safe/fun/interesting/proper though, leaving the door open for poor gun handling practices and unsafe conditions. Here in Illinois, there is a huge split about guns in our culture/society. Considering much of the state is rural – it’s no surprise firearms are welcome in farming/rural communities and so lamented within the city of Chicago. I have researched and also become informed about the huge illegal gun market/social problems in Chicago – but – for me, my experience with firearms and shooting has no correlation to this epidemic. I will never purchase a gun illegally, or at all in Illinois, nor will I ever engage in unsafe gun handling scenarios. I understand that guns are guns, but my experience with guns, in no way shape or form resembles the tragic gun violence that sadly plagues Chicago. I have no idea how to begin to remedy this issue, but I know that making guns illegal for all is not the solution. I do know that proper safety and engaging in a culture that passes down the respect and importance of guns is something I do identify with. That is my opinion from my experience – you are entitled to yours.
That being said. We arrived. The people were very welcoming and were incredibly excited that we were early! I have heard this complaint about Chicagoans quite often when traveling outside the city for appointments – apparently everyone forgets that 90/94 is a MESS most of the time and you always have to add 30 minutes on to a commute outside the city proper. We bought our additional 75 rounds at $1 a piece (!!!! this is when you can tell you are not at the gun show !!!!), grabbed some attractive safety vests, our 20G Shotguns, and headed to the clay pigeon course.
First, our ‘puller’ and firearm companion for the morning was awesome. He really made our trip and time SO MUCH FUN. We were able to quickly master the mechanics of the shotgun so that our marksmanship skills became the focus early on versus struggling with loading/processes. Lois did so so well at this. I was super impressed with her sighting skills and gained some great pointers from her gun/body movement. I’m much more a ‘wait till the target passes my line of sight’ versus ‘follow the target’ shooter. We both did so great. I was really proud of our skills and our aptitude at firing effectively. On the ‘bunny simulator’ I hit 8/10 clays and was really proud – but again I just set up my sight and waited for that ‘wabbit’ to breeze by and then BAM.
We shot 100 rounds each at 10 different blinds/scenarios and I would highly recommend the Richmond Hunting Club for any sport/recreational/hunting practice shooting. The ammo buy-in was really expensive, but the blinds and the shooting scenarios were worth it (seriously best course ever) – not to mention our ‘puller’ was just great. We had a blast. I will def try to get back as often as I can because it was just a really great time. Thanks Richmond Hunting Club! 🙂