You know you’re going to have a great day on the sporting clays range when the sky is a powder blue with cotton-candy clouds, the cool temperature is tip-toeing into warm, shooters are all smiling and American flags dot the course like mountain flowers in the Colorado Rockies. And it’s the 4th of July!
Kiowa Creek Sporting Clays annually hosts a 4th of July Fun Shoot. This year, Fiocchi teamed up with Kiowa Creek Sporting Clays to break targets and celebrate July 4th for the first Fiocchi Fun Shoot held in Colorado. Breaking clays could not have been timed more perfectly. This year’s Kiowa Creek’s Fun Shoot was part of a series sponsored by Fiocchi in several states. Other Fun Shoots around that time included the Oregon Fun Day held March 26, the Ohio Fiocchi Fun Day held June 30 and shoots in Hawaii (I wish I could have attended that one!) and Missouri held on July 7.
About one hundred and ninety shooters checked in beginning at eight in the morning, were assigned to squads and starting stations and began shooting at nine sharp. To keep the shooters moving briskly, seventeen stations were activated and, with only one exception, each shooter shot six targets at each station. The plan was to complete the shoot by around noon so shooters could attend family events such as BBQs and fireworks later in the day.
Score-keeping was a whimsical endeavor, with no high-scoring winners being recognized. Each station offered July 4th-themed prizes and a few pink targets were launched from the traps. Prizes for breaking a pink target included dog training sessions, half-priced shooting lessons, gun cleaning by Kiowa Creek’s gunsmith, rounds of sporting clays and memberships in Kiowa Creek.
Fiocchi donated hats and ammunition. Regional Fiocchi representative Joey Silva zoomed around the course in an ATV like a water bug on a pond, handing out ammunition to youth and women shooters. The -atmosphere was upbeat and collegial; the shooters were of good cheer, as sporting clays shooters tend to be.
I chose to shoot a new CZ-USA 20-gauge Supreme Field on loan to me, using a mix of Fiocchi cartridges with #9 and #8 shot. Unlike any previous sporting clays event, not even one # 7 ½ pellet ambled down the barrels. I was a little anxious in that I’d been shooting sporting clays since the Jurassic Period, or so it seems, and I’ve never shot a round exclusively using a 20-gauge shotgun, which I knew would be more challenging. I was pleased with my performance, solidly hitting the fifty-yard crossers and some straight-aways that, if missed, might land somewhere in Staten Island. I do acknowledge, however, that at my skill level, it’s tough to miss all of them!
As always, several shooters exhibited stunning skill. Two of the most skilled were super-star Dan Callahan, whose achievements include winning the 2018 Kansas State HOA, the 2017 Colorado State HOA and the 2018 US Open pump gun HOA. His daughter, Erin, following in her dad’s formidable footsteps, won the Colorado Sporting Clays Association 2017 Lady’s State Sporting Clay Champion, the 2018 Colorado Lady All State champion and the 2018 US Open 20ga B Class 4th.
This Fun Shoot was, as always, the consequence of meticulous planning and orchestration by Brenda and Mark Moore, owners of Kiowa Creek, and their skilled staff, working in harmony with Adam Pinto, Fiocchi of America Clay Target Range Sales / Shoot Director and Joey Silva. Adam told me: “Kiowa Creek Sporting Club is a very valued customer and event host. It was an easy decision to select them to host our first Colorado Fiocchi Fun Day. These events (one per State) are a special way not only to thank our stocking ranges but to also reach out to our customers. It's all about the shooters and range staff having a truly fun day.”
From all of us who enjoyed that marvelous 4th of July at Kiowa Creek, thank you, Fiocchi!
For more information: Kiowa Creek Sporting Clays www.kiowacreek.com
by Michael G. Sabbeth