Sunday Mashup: Camping, Sporting Clays and Shotgun Shells

This weekend we spent a lot of time outside, enjoying the beautiful weather.

Saturday morning Delaney and I drove north for a little over an hour to attend an Indian Princess campout.  Delaney had a blast hanging out with her friends, and I had fun meeting some of the other daddies.

This morning we had breakfast and a closing ceremony, and headed back home.

We got home around 10:30 a.m., so I decided to try to beat the coming rain and shoot some sporting clays.

It was windy and it felt like it was going to start raining any moment- though it didn’t.  Still, I felt a little rushed, and didn’t have my best day.  I shot 61 of 72, for an 84% mark.  That’s a decent percentage, but it was on the easier South Course.

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Station 10 killed me, and it’s not particularly hard.

If you’re wondering (and I guess even if you’re not), the iPhone program I use to score sporting clays is ClayTracker (iTunes link).  It’s a $20 program, which blew my mind at first, until I thought about it.  There’s probably a pretty small market for a sporting clays scoring app, so if we want developers to write for a niche market, we have to be willing to pay a little more.  On the whole I am pleased with ClayTracker.  It is well designed and graphically pleasing.  If the developers continue to add features, it will remain one of my favorite apps.

Among the features I’d like to see added are:

1. Skeet scoring, which the developers say is coming.

2. A “Notes” feature where you can quickly add notes about the various stations.  This would be extremely helpful when you’re scouting a new course.

3. More stats, easily accessible.  For example, when I arrive at a station I shoot a lot, I’d like to be able to easily access my recent or lifetime stats for that station.  Historical graphs would also be helpful.  That would let me see my rabbit percentage approaching 30%.  OK, 25%.

4. The ability to snap a photo of a station for future reference.

5. An online service, where your stats would be automatically uploaded and available for review or sharing.  You could even create and link tutorials on YouTube or some other video repository.  It would be cool to be able to access a rabbit tutorial while whiffing at a rabbit station (though miraculously I hit 2 out of 3 rabbit shots today, including the first half of a double).

image Afterwards, Delaney and I went to Academy Sports to buy some gun-cleaning patches and a little Hoppe’s No. 9.  While there, I made an important discovery.  As all shooters know, finding cheap shotgun shells is a never-ending quest.  Generally, I alternate between Carter Country and Academy, based on who has what on sale.  Recently, I have been frustrated at the local Academy to find that the shells I want are not on sale, when other similar shells are.  For example, the last two times I have been there I found a big stack of 20 gauge cases on sale, intermingled among the identical cases of 12 gauge shells which were not on sale.  Today, after telling Delaney we weren’t going to buy any shells because they were too expensive, we wandered over to the camping aisle.  There, far away from the hunting and shooting gear, were cases of Remington 12 gauge shells for $59.  That’s not the best price you can find, but it’s close enough.  So if you’re going to Academy in search of shells, look around.  They may have cheap shells in an unusual location.  And based on my experience, they may not tell you they’re over there.

So I stocked up on shotgun shells, came home and cleaned my guns, and put them away in the (locked) gun cabinet.

With any luck, Cassidy and I can prevail upon the rest of the family to finish off a great weekend with a sushi dinner.

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