2 Girls, 15 Guns, some Rabbits and a Pig

It is that time of year where office parties reign!  I was invited as a guest to a end of year function yesterday by my brothers company.  It was a function for suppliers and clients.

My brother decided to do something out of the box this year and arranged for a day at the Clay Target shooting range at the Waterhaven Country Estate.  I run an IT company so I offered to sponsor a few gifts.

I have never shot a gun before so decided to take up the challenge and take part.  It was a typically male orientated day so I was one of 2 women.

I left home early that morning to drop kids off at school in a short little summer dress.  The weather did not look fantastic but there was blue sky and I thought the day would improve. By the time I had done the school run, the clouds had come over and rain looked imminent.  So I went back home to change into something more suitable – jeans and a t-shirt!

I arrived with my fellow compatriot as we agreed that us girls would stick together.  We had to travel along a dirt road for quite some time to get there and it had been raining heavily over the last few days so I was rather grateful I drive a 4×4.  Needless to say we took the wrong road and ended up going a little further out than we anticipated and ended up doing some real 4×4’ing.  (So glad I went on that 4×4 course – read blog post here) We eventually figured out we had gone too far and doubled back.

Eventually we arrived at the Waterhaven Estate.  Everyone was there already and socialising.  It was beautiful out there.  There was a “lapa” area and we were welcomed with coffee and muffins.  The bar would be open after lunch.

As pictures tell a thousand words I’m going to go through the day pictorially where possible.

View from the Lapa

One of the shooting ranges

Coffee and Muffins

The Bar

Our minders for the day

I was introduced to our minders and our hosts.  Our hosts were David Tweddell and Cathrene Walton.

We would be broken up into 4 groups, each with a minder.  I had an interesting conversation with David about clay target shooting and he explained quite a few things to me.  Things like it was important to know which eye was dominant.  It so happens I am left eye dominant – meaning it was recommended that I need to close my left eye while aiming (although this doesn’t work for everyone and you do what is best for you).  He also explained the gauges to me and the grams of the shells.  We would be using 12 gauge shotguns and 21 gram shells (hope I got that right).  Apparently 34 grams is typical but the recoil is a lot worse and as I was new at this, we would be using 21 grams.

He then went on to show me how to stand.  Feet apart with the left leg slightly in front – facing forward and leaning forward, giving your body space to move back.  Legs straight.  It was important to have the shotgun tucked into your shoulder and your cheek resting on the shotgun, otherwise the recoil would result in the shotgun hitting you in the face.

So us ladies were allocated 4 clipboards and we had to assemble 4 teams.  Once all done, we started heading out – each team to a different range.

My team (of 3) ended up at the most difficult range first – called “the Wobble”.  The target doesn’t shoot out in the same direction all the time and randomly shoots out wherever. Rather challenging for my first time.

The wobble
The Wobble machine

Our minder (Mark) showing us how it’s done

Yeah – we had some comical moments too

Me taking instructions

Needless to say, I didn’t manage to shoot anything here – it’s my first time anyway so I decided not to count these points (I’m allowed to cheat).

So we then moved onto the “Rabbit”.  This is where the clay target comes out from the side and rolls on the ground.

Actually managed to shoot something here – got 4 out of 5 – Whohoo!

My fellow compatriot taking instruction from Mark too

Then it was off to the next range……

Yeah, I’m starting to get the hang of this!

Totally at ease!

Then we went on to some more ranges ….

Us girls rule!

Fellow team member having a go

I’m beginning to like this….

We eventually finished and it was time for lunch, and we headed back to the main building.  Us ladies were not left without some form of reminder for the next few days:

This was going to leave a nice blue mark!

Then we had lunch – a typical South African meal – a braai with salads and pap and sauce and then the bar was declared open.  We even brewed our own beer for the day (shhh, don’t tell anyone) .

Freshly home brewed

Look what I found roaming around:

Isn’t he cute!

It was finally time for prizegiving!  Yay

3rd Prize of an iPod Touch (lowest score)

2nd prize of an iPod Touch (Second highest score)

1st Prize of an iPod Classic (Highest Score)

In case you were all wondering, I got 12 out of 25 20 (I refuse to count the first 5 points lost for the wobble)

Then it was time for some fun in recognition of MOVEMBER!

Even us girls had fun 

I had an amazing day.  The Waterhaven estate is an amazing experience and I’m so glad I went along.  I had loads of fun and my next challenge is shooting a hand gun and I’d like to try archery as well.

I uploaded some video’s to YouTube  – shot with the new iPhone 5S using the slow motion function – it is an amazing function and I am really impressed with it.

(I shot the first target, the second was a dud so I didn’t shoot it and I shot the next one as well – 2 out of 2! – bear in mind that it is in slow motion)

Lanthie Ransom