Yesterday Jack and I travelled up to Indiantown, actually to the west side of Indiantown, down a road to a cow pasture that an enterprising gentleman has turned into a game preserve, rifle and pistol range, and a skeet and trap shooting range. Along one side of part of a field there are also some store-front sets, something like the set of a western, where people who dress up like cowboys and pack six-shooters have meets of some sort. We went there to see a lady for a skeet shooting lesson. Her name is Jo Hanley and she is an approved instructor of the National Skeet Shooting Association.
My goal was to hit one clay pigeon. (Jo calls them "birds", also politically incorrect. In the blue states they refer to such things as "clay targets" so we don't hurt the feelings of our feathered friends, and I am not making this up.) I hit several and missed a lot, but Jack did very well. We blasted through 5 boxes of shells, using two Remington 1100s, 20 gauge, that Jo had brought for us. We spent about two hours there.
On the way back to Miami, Jack and I decided that the 4 and 1/2 hour round trip to Indiantown was simply not worth the trouble, as good as Jo is as an instructor. We decided we learned enough from her to go back to Trail-Glade Range, rent their shotguns, and blast away there. But we did break the ice, and Jack discovered that he already has most of the hang of it.
As for me, I have the same problem with skeet as I have with golf: I get tense and, as a result, I don't have a smooth swing of the gun as the barrel leads the bird and then follows through after one pulls the trigger. But now and then, I would put it together and blast the bird out of the sky, just as I sometimes smash a golf ball solidly, straight and respectably long. Those moments keep me coming back to golf, and will propel me to more skeet shooting, at least for a while longer, to see if I can get better.
Jack and I are thinking we would each buy a used 20 gauge automatic and see how far we get. He's been emailing me links all day to posts on AuctionArms.com for mostly 12 gauge shotguns for sale. It looks like you can get something for as little as $385, which is not too bad to start with. Stay tuned.