"The Vacation Station"
Years ago I tried to teach my pig how to whistle. No seriously, I did!
I thought if I could teach a pig how to whistle, I could teach practically
anything. He was a funny pig and most days he played along pretty well.
I figured the best way to develop this hogs embrasure was to first
teach him how to hold a circular object in his mouth for an extended period
of time. I said, "Now Scrapple, Im gonna teach you how to whistle
but first you have to learn how to hold this half smoke between your lips
with out eating it." I held his chin and inserted one of Shady Brook
Farms finest between his lips. The first one lasted all of two seconds.
After 16 unsuccessful attempts I gave up on that idea. I thought, "Ill
get you now you sucker." I replaced the half smoke with a big old
cheap stogie. I figured if he swallowed one, hed only do it once
and then we could get on with our whistling lessons. After he wolfed down
four or five cigars (and got God awful sick after each one) I decided
to light the next one I gave him. He was hooked on cigars about half way
through his introduction to music. I saw it in his eyes.
Three months later, Scrapple had a $10.00 a day cigar habit and I was
no closer to being the owner of a whistling pig than I was before I started.
Six months later, I took Scrapple to the vet to have his cough checked
out. The vet asked, "Whats wrong with him?" "Doc,
my pig wont whistle." I replied. After the examination, the
doctor gave him a stern admonishment to quit smoking, a smoking cessation
program on CD, a bottle of Vicks 44 and a Prescription for 100 Prozac.
His diagnosis was severe depression. He said Scrapple was acting out because
he hated going to school and demanded I immediately discontinue the music
lessons. He gave me a funny look, handed me the bill for $450.00 and told
me if I continued buying cigars for my pig he would geld me, whatever
Ignoring the doctors warning, a year later, still no whistling pig. One
day, I took old Scrapple out with me to shoot a couple of rounds of practice.
He had cut down pretty good, but he just couldnt quit them stogies.
(You should have been there for the Beechnut experiment.) He got really
edgy because I wouldnt let him smoke in my car. As soon as we arrived
at the gun club, he got out and fired one up. I walked toward the skeet
field and he followed behind me just a puffin away. I was straight
past station six and felling pretty good about having this round in the
bag. I stepped on the pad at station 7, called for the high house target,
tracked it across the field and inches from out of bounds turned it into
a ball orange of dust. I called for my low house target, pulled the trigger
and immediately a look of astonishment swept over my face
When the target sailed unscathed past the out of bounds marker I looked
over at old Scrapple. He rolled his eyes, shook his head, spit out the
cigar and WHISTLED like everybody else does when someone misses a target
at station 7.
How to never miss another target at Station 7
QUIT SHOOTING SKEET, NOW!!
Give me your mind
Why we miss at station 7 is not nearly as perplexing as how we can miss
at station 7.
Because the targets at station 7 are so easy to break, I think some of
us tend to loose our focus and concentration after shooting station 6,
especially if we are straight. This is why I refer to station 7 as, "The
Vacation Station.". The fact of the matter is, after station 6 there
is still a whole lot of skeet left to be shot. To be exact, if you are
straight past station 6, there is still 28% of a round of skeet left.
Station 7 can wreak havoc with your game. Any 24 or 99 that involves
a miss at station 7 will have you walking off station 8 in utter disgust.
In my opinion, there is no good excuse for any experienced shooter to
miss any targets at station 7. These targets truly are, "GIMME"S."
This is not to say there is no thought or concentration required to break
these targets. Unfortunately, to effectively clean this station you must
follow the same routine you do on the other stations.
Relieve yourself of false hope now. THE VACATION IS OVER!!!
If you are straight past station 6, forget the approving nods, high 5s
and the pats on the back you may receive from your squad mates. When you
get to station 7 if you approach the task at hand with the same intensity
as station 6 you are ready to step on the pad. (with shell/s in hand)
I dont care nor do I think it matters how or where you stand on
station 7 as long as youre comfortable and the low house target
doesnt hit you in the back of your head. For high 7, your hold point
should be far enough to the right of the high house window to allow the
optimum view of the target as it exits the house. Track the target across
the field, allow a lead of about a foot and make it your intention to
break the target while you still have some unwind left so you can follow
through. One third to one half the distance past the center of the field
is a good place to break this target especially on a windy day. As this
target loses velocity, even a slight wind can affect the flight path.
The farther out you shoot this target, the greater the target velocity
and the larger your pattern will be. This break point is also pretty close
to where your gun will be pointing after shooting at the low house target
in doubles. If you get into the habit of shooting at this target late,
you decrease the opportunity to break the target by increasing the margin
for error. Once this target has passed the center point of the field you
cant shoot it too soon. See the target. Break the target.
Why we delude ourselves into thinking low 7 is going to fly directly
over the center stake is beyond me. If low 7 is the easiest target in
a round of skeet, why is the straight away the most frequently missed
target in round trap? Usually because the target is not flying straight
away but quartering at an imperceptible angle. At no other shot in a round
of skeet can wind and machine calibration so grossly affect the target
presentation and make it quarter. The two most common mistakes made at
low 7 are; hold point and break point. I dont have a consistent
hold point that I am aware of on low 7. However, I do have a LOOK point.
Depending on conditions, when shooting low 7, I simply point the gun up,
out and away. If the wind picks this target up I have noticed I have a
tendency to pick my head up. For this reason, before I call for a low
7, I reaffirm my commitment to keep my head firmly on the stock. My look
point on low 7 is where I think Im likely to see the target. I try
to break this target in an area where it is likely to be, not where I
think it should be. I mentally take the center stake out of the game.
If the target is there, thats OK. If its not, thats
OK too. It is nice to ink ball low 7 but jumping this target on a windy
day can and does have disastrous results. If you break this target where
youve perceive the center point of the field to be, youve
achieved two positive objectives. Youve allowed your pattern to
open up making the target easier to hit and youve established where
you should be looking for the high house target in doubles. If you get
into the habit of shooting this target a nanosecond later, you increase
the opportunity to break the target by decreasing the margin for error.
Regardless of condition, whether shooting singles or doubles, closer to
the center of the field is where you should try to break low 7. See the
target. (where it is, not where you expect it to be) Break the target.
When shooting doubles at station 7, the object is to hear the same rhythm
you hear when shooting doubles at stations 1, 2 and 6. BANG
If you allow yourself sufficient time to allow the pattern of your first
shot to develop, you not only increase your chance of breaking the low
house target, you also gain the benefit of pointing your gun in the area
where the high house target is likely to be. It is not necessary to jump
the low house target, nor beneficial to wait on the high house target.
Again, let the low house target get out a little before you pull the trigger,
let your pattern do the work, youve certainly got the time. Dont
let the high house target come in too far, again let your pattern do the
work. See the targets,. Break the targets.
In short, when shooting station 7, Shoot at the high house a little sooner
and the low house a little later. When shooting the pair, let your rule
of thumb be, "Slow down a little faster." The closer you shoot
these target to the center of the field the better off you will be.