The morning chill blew in from the East with a gusting wind of 12 to 18 mph. As the sun rose over the the mountain top we were waiting for our hunters to arrive. There were rabbits scattered about the ground, crows and even some hogs. All within shooting range! The guns and ammo were being prepared and it was finally time to begin.
More than a year ago the planning for this began in one of our Safari Club Chapter Board Meetings that we have once a month to discuss how we can promote not just hunting, but shooting sports as well. Being on the board of directors for Phoenix Chapter Safari Club has opened my eyes to what SCI really is all about. It is not only about hunting in Africa as I had been led to believe, but more about the Conservation of all wildlife species and Preservation of gun sports across the world. In one of our meetings, Van, our Chapter President, said to me that we need to have a big bore airgun shoot and my reply was “Yes, that would be fun. But how would we get enough guns and where would we have it?” His reply was “You will do a good job.” Well I needed a bunch of help to accomplish this and with all of our board members we had that part done but still we needed guns and lots of them. Airguns of course, so I went to my friend and boss Robert Buchanan at Airguns of Arizona and told him our plan and what we needed he said “Yes Kip, whatever you need” and also gave me some ideas in planning.
Now back to the shoot. We set out more than 30 targets in total with Remington automatic animals, swinging gong targets and for the Bushbuck 45 Caliber we needed something a bit stronger. So I made a three gong set with a spring loaded jackrabbit. Targets were placed from 10 yards out to 77 yards and we set up three shooting stations. One for the Weihrauch spring piston rifles, one for the Brocock, Daystate, and FX precharged pneumatics in .177 and .22 caliber, and one for .25 caliber FX Royal 500, Daystate Wolverine .303 caliber, and the Big 45 caliber Bush Buck rifles. As a participant any amateur shooter could come and shoot all the rifles as much as they wanted from 9:00 to 11:30am. The air was filled with the pop, ting, the Boom, Smack and the laughter of the shooters hitting their targets, and it was nice to see so many young shooters having so much fun!
Then we put a competition together for all shooters in three different categories; Adult Men, Adult Women, and Juniors. For this we used the ten meter 5 bull target set at 20 yards. The shooters would get 5 shots, one at each bullseye and have 5 minutes to complete this. We had a tie for third place in the mens division and a tie for first in the juniors and after the shoot off, plaques for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd were awarded in each category.
Then to everyones surprise i called all of the first place winners up for an overall shoot off… the Quigley Bucket Challenge! This was to be with the BushBuck 45 caliber standing offhand. Targets were placed at 40, 50, and 60 yards, three shots, three buckets. First up for the ladies was Sandra Ortiz and as she let off her 3rd and final shot… BOOM !! … the stage was set. One bucket down! Then came the junior Keyon Beyrami and because of his size we let him shoot with a front rest only as the BushBuck 45 is not a light gun… BOOM!! … 1 bucket went flying through the air! Shot 2… BOOM!! … bucket 2 flopped across the ground. Now could he really get three in a row? As young Keyon lined up the crosshairs on the bucket one could hear a pin drop… BOOM!! … the crowd roared as bucket 3 flipped up in the air! Keyon had smashed all three buckets, Watch out Quigly!. Now for the mens division Kyle Seifert to defend his title. As he raised the BushBuck, nerves set in and the pressure was on and with only one bucket out of three the Junior shooter Keyon was the winner! As an unannounced surprise, his prize was a Weihrauch HW30 rifle wrapped in an AOA soft case. But Keyon said he already had an AOA case and asked if he could donate it back for second prize. Way to go Keyon! So we had ourselves another shootoff and after the dust settled Kyle Seifert in the mens division took second place with two buckets out of three to win the AOA case.
The SCI Big Bore Turkey shoot Co Sponsored by Airguns of Arizona was a great success with shooters of all ages attending. Phoenix SCI Extends A Big Thank You to all 49 shooters, And to Airguns of Arizona. Remember if your not a part of a good organization like SCI – JOIN and be part of the solution so events like these can continue for all ages! We must bring our youth more into shooting sports and airguns are the best tool to make this happen.
Until next time, shoot straight and hit your target!