Area Shooting Team Tests Their Hunting Skills

by Richard Simms and Keith Watson

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Youngsters with the Str8 (Straight) Shooters Shotgunning Team gather for a group shot following a hunting/shooting outing at the Dunaway Hunting and Fishing Club. (Photo: Contributed)

The Tennessee Valley Chapter of Safari Club International recently provided an outing with several members of the Str8 (Straight) Shooters, a Hamilton County 4H Shotgun Sports Shooting Sports team.

The entire Str8 Shooters shown with their numerous awards. (Photo: Contributed)

The TN Valley Chapter sponsors the Str8 (Straight) Shooters, as well as other Hamilton County teams involved in the Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program (TNSCTP) and the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP).

SCI chapter President Keith Watson said, “Our chapter has provided trophies and awards for an area archery tournament for the last several years.”

The Tennessee Valley chapter of Safari Club International sponsors several area teams involved in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). (Photo: Contributed)

Watson coaches the Str8 Shooters while SCI chapter Treasurer, Chris Willmore, is a coach for Boyd Buchannan School’s NASP archery team.

While all the participants in the SCI event were experienced shooters, for many of them, this was their first experience actually hunting. (Photo: Contributed)

The chapter recently teamed up with the Dunaway Hunting and Fishing Club in Sequatchie County and Quail Forever, to offer the Str8 Shooters a chance to put their shooting skills to the test.  Several area dog owners/handlers volunteered their time, and dogs, for the event.

The Str8 Shooters split into two groups. One group went quail hunting while the other participated in a match on Dunaway’s 5-Stand shotgun range. The two groups switched places in the afternoon.

Most of the shotgun team members had never quail hunted before. The hunters quickly began to catch on, learning what to watch for when the dogs got “birdy” and the game bags began to fill.  Many young hunters bagged their first quail while several bagged their first wild game ever.

Participants on the 5-Stand course got to flex their shooting skills. Five Stand is similar to shooting sporting clays, trap and skeet. There are five stations, or stands and several strategically placed clay target throwers. Just like in a real-life hunting situation, the shots presented vary widely, unlike the repetitive and predictable shots presented when shooting skeet, or even trap.

Bobwhite quail were once a common staple for small game hunters in Tennessee. The small game birds explode from the ground when they flush and are very challenging targets. (Photo: Contributed)

Watson said, “We are committed to insuring the future of hunting. Our chapter members are dedicated to providing opportunities for kids to enjoy and appreciate the outdoors by experiencing hunting traditions and active shooting sports.”

Learn more about the Tennessee Valley SCI Chapter on their web page: www.tennesseevalleysci.com

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Richard Simms is a professional journalist and fishing guide in Chattanooga. (See www.ScenicCityFishing.com) He is also a former wildlife officer for TWRA, a book author and a self-proclaimed "River Rat" with a sincere desire for spreading the message about our bountiful natural resources and the people charged with using, or protecting them.

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