Santa delivered a particular LED* (Lead Emitting Device) to the SandCastle safe for the benefit of the SandCastle Son.
He joined the youth shotgun program at our local range back in the Fall. It's a heck of a deal, they provide the coaches, shotguns (youth sized Rem 1100's) and he gets up to 100 clays and shells a month. All for $60 for the year! Yes it's heavily subsidized. If you ever wondered where the funds raised at your local Friends of NRA dinners go to, here is one program that it funds.
He's picked up my mossy 12 gauge a couple times, but though he's big for his age, it's still to big for him. The LED Santa delivered is bantam sized that fits him well, possibly on the verge of too small.
The club used to have clay pigeon throwers on the line at the main range. If you look up our picture on POTG (6th row down, all the way on the right), that was then. They have since removed the throwers from the main range and built a token operated shotgun only range. It was probably the right decision for the club as they need extra bench space at the main range and the throwers were under utilized. OTOH as a user, I liked throwing my own $4 for 90 pigeons on the main range and now it's twenty cents a bird for me. But hey, it's a nice set up and the convenience is worth the price.
We headed out to the club to check out the new arrival. I haven't shot a clay in several years so I looked forward to the opportunity. We stopped in at the admin office and bought a couple tokens with the promise that we (as in the SCSon) would be back to buy more if it wasn't too busy and we were having fun.
Down on the range the RO complimented the SCSon on his stance and asked if I'd coached him. I 'fessed up and credited the Jr. Program. We each blasted through each of our 25 birds in short order. The SCSon offered to go get more tokens. I agreed on the basic "I buy, you fly" basis. "flying" in this case means running a couple hundred yards up the hill from the shotgun fields to the admin building. And back. So we did a 2nd round.
Back when the POTG picture was taken, I could reliably hit both
doubles, plus the largest piece still flying afterwards. That was a
while ago and I am clearly out of practice. It will take a while to get the sight picture back. Today's 50 birds didn't do it.
My shoulder had had enough but the SCSon wasn't done. So back up the hill for a couple more tokens and another 50 birds!
In the end, here's the break down:
Clay Pigeons: $20
Shot shells: $39
Quality time with the SCSon: $priceless! Truly I wouldn't have missed today for the world. I also wish I'd brought a camera. Next time!
Priceless! I hope your post-Christmas went as well!
* The LED joke makes more sense if your a EE. (or maybe a CE)